Do service centres authorized by car insurers overcharge?

There can be enormous difference in the insurer-authorized service centre estimation as compared to the roadside repair shops. Is itjustified? Are insurance companies being fleeced which means you end-up with higher premium?

Imagine an ICICI Lombard-authorized service centre giving quote of Rs44,390 for labour and parts when you could have roadside shop fix your Honda City for only Rs5,000. It happened for one customer and hence it leads to the question whether insurance companies are ripped off by service centres they have tied up with? If so, are you paying extra premium to compensate for the profits made by the service centres? We know of some hospitals overcharging when you declare that you have a health insurance policy. If your car needs treatment, why should you expect authorized service centres behave anything different than hospitals?

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Birla Sun Life Insurance fined for violations

IRDA has penalised Birla Sun Life Insurance Company a paltry Rs6 lakh for a slew of violations, some serious including using unlicensed entities to sell insurance

The Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) had detected 22 irregularities in the functioning of Birla Sun Life Insurance Company (BSLI) but penalised it a paltry Rs6 lakh for two of the violations. What is most pertinent is that it took the regulator around a year and a half, from the date of its first inspection letter (22 November 2010), to pass the judgement (13 April 2012).

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One Second Billing Mandatory

“It has been observed that per second billing system is more acceptable among majority of the subscribers, because it ensures that subscribers pay only for the actual usage,” said TRAI

The Telecom Regulator Authority of India (TRAI) has made it mandatory for all telecom service providers to offer at least one, per paisa per secondtariff plan. The sector regulator has also allowed telecom operators to have up to 25 different tariff plans, in total. Consumer organisations have lauded the move stating that it will brings more clarity in tariff plans. But they pointed that such plans need to be popularised as they are deliberately kept away from the users.

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Right to Information Resources

The Right to Information Act 2005 provides effective access to information for citizens of India, which is under the control of the public authorities. It promotes transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority. It extends to the whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir. In order to ensure greater and more effective access to information, it was decided to repeal the Freedom of Information Act, 2002 and enact another law for providing an effective framework. To achieve this object, the Right to Information Bill was introduced in the Parliament and was passed by the Lok Sabha on 11th May, 2005 and by the Rajya Sabha on 12th May, 2005 and it received the assent on 15th June, 2005. It came on the Statute Book as THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005 (22 of 2005)

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Click Here for the official Government RTI website

State Stalling RTI Movement ?

Moves to limit word length, subject matter in applications as well as refusal to fill vacancies will backfire, writes Gajanan Khergamker

There seems to be a distinct bias in the ‘Sunshine’ Act…the Right to Information, particularly in Maharashtra and not without reason.

For starters, in what was construed as a stark “breach of trust and public confidence”, the state went ahead almost on tippy toes and notified an amendment to Maharashtra RTI Rules on 16th January 2012.

Changes aimed to defeat the law
That most members of the public irked by a public authority’s excess or inept attitude or behavior, making an RTI application to obtain information aren’t familiar with drafting, is a given. And, the process of educating the public about sticking to queries instead of providing background information and history is an ongoing, tedious one.

So, capitalising on this very snag, the state appears to have placed the 150-word caveat which will almost singularly defeat the very purpose of the RTI Act.

Applicants unfamiliar with the law, will continue to write and ramble on and on about the issues in question and wait for the stipulated period for official response which should be as dodgy as expected and dismissive owing to the applicant’s inability to restrict the application to the required 150 word limit.

Providing the perfect foil for issues which need to be resolved with urgency, the amendment is bad in law and needs to be reviewed.

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Consumer Forum asks Police to file case against Kotak

The district forum also asked Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance to pay Rs1 lakh as compensation to its customer, a retired Army officer for selling a wrong insurance-linked saving policy by signing the proposal form

New Delhi: The Delhi Police has been ordered by a district consumer forum to lodge a cheating case against Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance Ltd (Kotak) and its agent for selling a customer a wrong insurance-linked saving policy by signing the proposal form in his name, reports PTI.

The New Delhi District Forum also directed Kotak Mahindra to pay Rs1 lakh as compensation to its customer, a retired Army officer for rendering deficient service to him and for allegedly “committing fraud and cheating” upon him. It also asked the insurance firm to return him “entire premium or other sum received” from him.

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How Insurance Companies can rip you

How you can get ripped off by the staff of insurance company themselves!

Many implicitly trust insurance companies. We present you the chilling story of what can happen when a gullible customer walks into an insurance office

Arvind Injamuri, 65, a 9th std fail, retired railway employee living at Solapur, decided to use his retirement kitty to secure his complicated family’s future. This financial kitty included some money from sale of land as well. His understanding of insurance was probably shaped by the advertisements on television and he thought it was simple enough to walk into an insurance company’s office to buy the right policies. He has some vague idea about tax savings, but is so financially illiterate that he refers to all insurance policies as LIC (Life Insurance Corporation of India) policies.

The first thing that strikes you about Mr Injamuri is his lack of sophistication. He is the kind of customer that fancy private banks don’t even want in their lobbies and his knowledge of English doesn’t go beyond the most basic. But he had over Rs17 lakh in his bank accountand was looking for financial products to shop!

Click Here for the full story by Sucheta Dalal & Raj Pradhan