Wednesday, 8 June 2016

How Stakeholders take advantage of Insurance Companies

Insurance industry in Pakistan is still growing and has got only few major players in the market. In this phase of growth, the chances of negative intentions of stakeholders is a major issue. I am going to point out some common red flags in this write-up to which insurance professionals would easily relate.

It is not difficult to comprehend how billions of money is laundered each year through insurance industry worldwide. After many regulations by state authorities, the incidents still occur very often. More awareness is required to peruse anti-money laundering laws and periodic training must be given to underwriters to combat this financing terrorism.

Insurance companies are considered as a haven during taxation days. Number of applications received during this particular phase increase significantly, especially with high volume of premium. Although, it is a very good strategy to encourage potential customers to get insured but the problem is that an official tax rebate letter is issued to the client on behalf of insurance company at the time of application. The insurance case may linger on for a couple of months and then cancelled by the client. Even if the policy is issued, it can be cancelled by the client within free look period (and full premium is refunded). This kind of deal ends up being most profitable for client alone. It must not be that easy for anyone to cheat tax.

Some people see insurance company as an investment place. This point is very favorable from economic perspective but most of the time, clients surrender policies against cash values as soon as they get good returns. Insurance companies may introduce noticeable and attractive additional-to-existing incentives (not only limited to monetary) for a policy after every few years or so. In this way, sales gimmicks could also be reduced. The longer the insurance contract, the more profitable it would be.

Underwriters would agree that, underwriting do's and don'ts are subject to Sum at Risk. The same case is further submitted for higher Sum at Risk only after a few months of policy issuance. At this point, ignoring essential proposal requirements may result in risking the company to loss.

Transparency in SOPs and opting the best is the need of time to eliminate risk of scams. In my paperless proposal to Jubilee Life (Pakistan) for insurance application, underwriting and policy documents, it was mandatory to submit/upload video evidence of client agreement which is mentioned in Bancassurance Regulations by SECP as well.

There are many ways to overcome this issue in our insurance sector. All we need is implementation and good intentions. If everyone strives for profits keeping their eyes close to the loopholes, no one could be entitled as leaders.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

To-Do List at Work for Self Satisfaction

Office life constitutes most of your life as a professional. I said it often at workplace that this is our family where we spend more time with each other as compared to our family at home. Isn't it?
Weirdly, some people show different personalities and priorities at home and office. I think, whatever you do, self satisfaction would overpower in the end. Here are some of my picks to have an inner satisfaction no matter what :)
1. Take care of your people
If you are in a position to speak up for people, it becomes your responsibility to do so. Most of the time, they are the ones who cannot stand up on their own.
2. Never take part in office politics
You must have heard this phrase, "one bad fish spoils the whole pond".It actually happens! But what to ponder is whether you are also responding it with equal dirt? If yes, you are in no way better than them!
3. "Introduce" something 
And it must be new and original. You must have learned something in the past or you must have been gifted a skill by nature. Keeping it to yourself just to avoid extra burden/work is very self-centered kind of mindset. Try to bring in some fresh air to your office and you will also be blessed.
4. Teach others what you know
Lit the fire of knowledge, it will spread out itself! May be you are already doing a part. But, are you doing it for claps or to have a handsome increment or to butter up your boss? These materials won't bring you a token of self satisfaction.
Whenever you can, develop people around you to execute new ideas. Some of your colleagues just need a push and kind words. They can do wonders and you can be a source of encouragement for them.
5. Accredit others along with yourself
You are developing people and then you are taking all the credit when it hits as a big idea. Do you think it is fair? I would suggest you to mention the names and their efforts every now and then to your boss rather than just conveying the points where they couldn't perform well.
6. Invite your sub-ordinates for lunch
Professionals usually like to have lunch with their colleagues of same tier. The need of the time is to make your subordinates comfortable with you. And for me, lunch time is the best time to do so. Plus, look around if someone is skipping lunch for some reasons and bring/buy some extra food for them. Else you can simply arrange a group lunch, birthdays or a day-out.
7. Never compromise on your integrity
Like my mother teaches me, I never used even a pen for my personal use that I got from office, neither had a wrong intention for anything or anyone. Whatever your pride is, keep it flagged up. And then if someone tries to point a finger towards your integrity, what should be your take?
8. Be nice!
Your surroundings impact your efficacy. You can ignore physical space and facilities but you "have to" face people. Do not be another one to tease others. Enough already! there are many out there. Instead, you can be a go-to person and enjoy the perks of your very own satisfaction.
9. Personalize your space at your work station
You can have your family picture right on the wall. Why not? Dare to break stereotypes. Believe me it can act as an energy booster during late sittings. 
Once I had some colorful fish in a bowl at my desk. Many gathered around to see this little creature:) If you can find someone at office to take care of them, it will soothe your mind.
10. Advise correctly
If someone comes to you for advice and consultation (not because of your position or influence) then it's a great sign that you haven't wasted years.
In whatever way, it would be your prime responsibility to advise them rightly keeping all the factors in consideration. And yes, be careful of eavesdropping of your colleagues because they may get and pass on an extremely wrong picture of what you are actually advising (Haha! I experienced it :D)
Now that I have left job, above practices lifted my soul as I received so much respect after that. Those bittersweet memories would be a part of my life but with deep satisfaction within myself.