New Delhi: As the entire country rallies to come to the aid of the flood victims in Kerala and Karnataka, insurance companies are also working round the clock to compensate the financial loss of the insured persons in these areas.
A question posed by a journalist during a recent interaction on this subject was “What are the insurance products that a victim of such natural calamities can buy?” The simple and obvious answer to that question is that there are none. You cannot buy insurance for a peril after the peril has struck. However, the question set me thinking. It took me back to my early days as an insurance salesperson. Two common objections that prospects would have are ‘no need’ and ‘no hurry’.
1. No need – This is the most common objection that most insurance salespersons get even today from prospects. The illusion of immortality is very deeply rooted in the human psyche. There is a famous episode in Mahabharata, where the Yaksha puts forth questions that Yudhishthir must answer correctly in order to save his brothers. This episode is also referred to as Yakshaprashna. One of the questions that the Yaksha asks Yudhishthir is – “What is the greatest wonder?” The answer that Yudhishthir gives (which turns out to be correct and hence his brothers are saved), is that countless people die every day, yet those left behind, nurse an illusion of immortality and there could be no greater wonder than that. In simple words, we witness death and destruction on almost a daily basis, yet believe that it would not happen to us. That according to Yudhishthir is the greatest wonder of this world. It still hasn’t changed much. We have had several grim reminders in the last few years – the Uttarakhand floods, the Kashmir floods, the Chennai floods and now the recent floods. Yet as the flood waters recede, the belief of immortality quietly slinks back into our psyche. Everyone goes back to living as if they would continue to live in this world forever.
2. No hurry – Many customers acknowledge the need for insurance, but avoid acting on it by saying that they are not in any sort of hurry. This response is counter-intuitive, as the reason for buying insurance is to tackle the uncertainty of future events. Delaying the purchase of a product that covers uncertainty thus makes no sense at all.
So remember the adage that is oft repeated in insurance circles. Insurance is always bought when you don’t need it so that you have it when you need it. And once you have decided that you do need it, do not defer the purchase by even one day.
I pray and wish for the speedy rehabilitation of those affected by the recent calamity and urge each one of you to contribute your mite to the process of rebuilding the affected areas.
Written by Mr Anshuman Verma, Chief Marketing & Digital Officer, DHFL Pramerica Life Insurance