Have you even seen cases where when a person wants to get a home loan, and the bank or the lender says that taking some kind of ULIP policy or some other kind of insurance product is mandatory if you want the loan to be approved? Most of times, banks impose this restriction in the final stages of loan approval process because that’s the time when most of the customer will not reject the option and will forcefully go for it, because they don’t want to lose the home loan for this tiny roadblock.
If you are thinking about 50 lacs of home loan, you will not get stopped by this 40,000 per annum premium policy. Here is a case which was discussed on our jagoinvestor forum.
I recently planned to buy a home. So, after market research I approached SBI bank. But the manager informed by saying that ‘I need to take SBI Insurance along with home loan’ else will not sanction SBI home loan. Please let me know whether is it the case with SBI home loans?
Cross Selling is Unfair – IRDA
Some customers falls for these kind of gimmicks, but in reality there is no compulsion to buy any kind of product with home loan. It’s just a marketing gimmick and a way to exploit people. IRDA itself has clarified in its circular that this kind of bundling or forced selling is not fair and should be stopped. However banks still continue to ask customers to buy the insurance along with home loans and ill treat them.
Tying is defined as two or more products packaged together where at least one of the products is not sold separately while Bundling occurs when products are packaged but are also available separately. There could be various issues of concern for the consumer that arise from cross-selling. Packaging two or more products could become unfair to the consumer when it impedes his or her choice or makes price comparisons difficult or impossible.
One of the major concerns is bringing in transparency to prevent unfair commercial practices. At the same time, cross-selling facilitates service providers to use existing channels to reach out to those who are looking to buy insurance products. It is, however, necessary to ensure that the consumer is not put to any kind of disadvantage because of the packaging.
J. HARI NARAYAN
So what’s the way out? It might be, that if you are careless on documentation front, the bank might sell you the policy and you come to know about it very late; like it happened in this case where Axis bank sold life insurance along with home loan to this guy. While you always have an option to go to consumer court over the issue, that comes a little later.
What way you can settle this at the bank level itself? The main idea is to communicate to bank officials that you are not a easy bait and are an informed investor who knows his rights as a customer. Below are a few things you can do in a situation when bank tells you “Sir – Insurance is compulsory along with home loan, else it will not be processed”
What to do when forced to buy insurance along with home loan ? Lets see 4 tips which you can use when you are told by your lender that some kind of policy is mandatory to buy along with home loan.
Option 1 – Directly tell them, you know the rules
One of the simple things you can do is tell them straight forward that you know the rules on this, you are aware about the RBI circular that these practices are not fair and ask the bank for an explanation on how they are still doing it. Also tell them, that you have yourself helped another friend of yours to get a home loan without the bundled insurance when XYZ bank asked for it. You can tell them that you have already filed for RTI to IRDA and asked for this, if they want you can bring the RTI reply from IRDA. This first tip itself should be enough for your home loan provider to come to the right path.
Option 2 – Reject the Offer and Wait – They will come back
When you show desperation, they know you will do anything for getting a home loan and that’s one reason why they put forward such idiotic restrictions of taking policies. Another thing you should do in these kind of situations is that you can just reject the offer totally and tell them that you really are not so desperate to get the home loan, you can wait for some months or you already know other bank officials who have not put forward such kind of restrictions . In all probabilities, they will just come on track or if not that time, they will be back to you later saying – “Sorry Sir, we take back that restriction .. blah blah… ” This is exactly what happened with Muthu Krishnan which he shared on this blog some time back
IDBI tried to con me in similar manner. I told them that I don’t need their loan. After two days, they called back and offered loan without insurance which i accepted. Though you are absolutely desperate for loan, do not show it to the banks. The banks are very desperate to disburse loans as it is their livelihood and not ours. They will come around to our terms.
Option 3 – Ask them to give it in writing
The next option is to look at the bank official and ask him to give in writing that “Buying the Policy is mandatory along with Home Insurance” and also tell them you are thinking of inquiring about this with banking ombudsman because you have already filed a case for your friend and got compensation for this. If they are not ready to give it in writing, tell them that you don’t need home loan from them anyways, but you will still file a complaint with Banking Ombudsman to see what can happen and politely ask the official if he can also share his Name, designation and Employee id for additional information.
Option 4 – Take the Policy and return back in Free Lookup period
This is the last option, but if you feel that other options are great but you are victim of family pressure and at this time just need to go ahead even though you are disgusted by this force game, just go ahead with policy and pay the premium for first year. Then be a little alert and make sure the moment you get policy documents, just initiate the process of returning back the policy within the 15 day free look-up period . For those who do not know, the free look up period starts from the day you get the policy in your hands, not from the day you bought the policy. This helpful tip was shared by one of the person who shared his case with ICICI mis selling.
Any kind of loan should not be bundled with other products. Most of the bank officials try to pressurize the customers just to meet their deadlines and targets. So do not fall for forced selling and act like an informed and powerful customer.
Have you come across a situation like this? Can you share?