Mar 14, 2011

Koffee with Fisher: CEO of a Life Insurance Company

I got worried after hearing the recent news about the intentions of Indian Government following in the footsteps of China and curtailing our freedom of speech by covering blogging under IT Amendment Act 2008; so before government goes ahead with the proposed online censorship of blogging and restrain bloggers from voicing their opinion, I thought I should not delay publishing this uncensored interview.

First, let me tell you that it took many unsuccessful attempts, before I finally got permission to meet and interview a CEO of a leading life insurance company… after a lot of persuasion, he agreed for a discussion on Indian life insurance scenario over a cup of coffee. So here

goes the interview:

Q-1: What do you think is the best life insurance policy for an individual?
Any life insurance policy other than term plans.

Q-2: What is the purpose of a life insurance policy?
Obviously, to invest your life savings because insurance is the best investment instrument designed for the benefit of the masses. The major purpose is to take care of your investment and taxes together. It is the most tax efficient the way, we also provide some life cover as a bonus.

Q-3: Who should go for a life insurance policy?
Everybody needs to invest in life insurance irrespective of whether he is a child or an adult, male or female, young or old, working or not working.

Q-4: How much life insurance cover does a person require?
It depends upon the premium paying capacity of an individual, the more he can pay the more cover he requires, however, in any case the maximum is around 10 times of premium e.g. if a person is ready to fork out Rs 10,000 per annum, he requires a cover of Rs 1 lakh and if he is willing to pay Rs 1 lakh, he requires a coverage of anywhere between Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.

Q-5: What is the minimum no of policies a person should invest in?
The attempt should be made to buy maximum number of policies and in any case not less than 10-15 plans comprising at least 2 Child Ulips, 2 Guaranteed Ulips, 3 plain vanilla Ulips, 2 money back plans, and 2 whole life plans

Q-6: How do you train your agents for selling life insurance policy?
You’re talking about those 3 million foot soldiers whom we have hired to do this dirty job. Actually, we don’t have to do any hard work…it’s quite easy…we employ the technique of parroting… somewhat like training a parrot in rote repetition.

Q-7: What is the role of life insurance council?
False propaganda and Lobbying.

Q-8: And what about IRDA?
See, actually both are there to protect the interest of life insurance companies and therefore work in tandem, the only difference being that while one association is created by life insurance companies, the other is appointed by the government.

Q-9: Isn’t it that IRDA of late has become quite aggressive for reforming the life insurance after the spat with Sebi…Don’t you think as a result cosy relationship between Life Insurance Council and IRDA has taken a hit / come under strain?
Come on Fisher, you already know, there were only some cosmetic changes which IRDA was forced to do but only after due approval from Life Insurance Council.

Q-10: What if in future there comes an intelligent government who would really like to work for the welfare of common people and therefore change the life insurance regulatory environment. What steps have you taken to manage this risk?
Please don’t ask such a stupid question…the world is full of stupid people….when the idiots are in majority how can there be any chance of intelligent people getting elected and forming the government? So there is nothing to fear. Our lobbying is more stronger than that of TATA’s and Ambani’s and we know how to lubricate the government machinery. Moreover, till our big brother LIC is there, we’ve nothing to fear.

Q-11: How do you succeed in making fool of so many people who are otherwise well educated?
Let me quote Will Rogers,“There is nothing so stupid as the educated man if you get him off the thing he was educated in”. For achieving this we have to create high decibel noise…how do we create this noise? As you already know all those that idiotic stuff about insurance you read in the our product brochures and even that published in the newspapers and magazines is all written by us…how many negative product reviews do you come across? The information broadcasting through electronic and digital media is also vetted by us; in other words, the entire information network is controlled by us…there is no independent media–don’t give me the crap that you’re not aware of ‘Paid News’–they have do it because paper is getting costlier ..they are ready to publish anything we wish so long as they keep on earning advertisement revenue through us…don’t you know customer is king…how can you take pangaa’s with your client…dear fisher money is power and we have got plenty of it.

Now, why do we do all this…again to create more confusion in the minds of a confused customer…ultimately he has no option but to listen to the commentary of the those insurance agents who themselves don’t know what they are talking about…anyway, what is the need to understand a product when they get a hefty sum without understanding it….in other words, there is complete brainwash of everybody including journalists, insurance agents and the customer…nobody has time to unveil the truth…Haamare haath bahut laambe hai fisher.

Q-12: Sir, which insurance policy do you have?
Shhhh! I cannot answer this…it is a very tricky question you are asking me and you already know the answer …so let’s keep it under wraps.

Q-13: Sir, do you mind if I publish this discussion?
No, not at all; see intelligent people are a minority on this planet; for example, out of say, 5000 people who will read this post, I bet not more than 10 will understand it…and hopefully those ten already know the truth…so tell me how does the scenario change…so dear fisher, even if you start shouting from the top of Kutub Minar, nobody is going to hear you…you have already written enough damaging material, but tell me has it in any way dented our sale…our policies are still selling like hot cakes e.g. , LIC’s Unit-Linked Endowment Plus Plan has already sold 1.16 million policies and collected Rs 5,600 crore since its launch in September 2010.

Fisher, I feel sorry for you…because you efforts are all going waste… your voice gets drowned in the noise we create…I challenge you…you won’t get more than one or two comments on this post…go and publish it, I’ve nothing to fear…best of luck!

Q-14: Sir, one last question please…what you’re doing is morally and ethically wrong…still you do it. Doesn’t at times your conscience pricks you for doing such a dirty job?
Jab Kasai bakara katath hai to wo ye nahin sochta ki yeh ghalat he ki sai hi, wo sirf apna farz nihbhata hai…moreover, do you think all other industries are working for the benefit of mankind? For example, Are these cola’s , bottled water, all other kind of packaged foods really required by the masses?

Fisher, there is nothing good or bad in this world…Do you think nature is fair? Yes, at times I do feel bad about it but soon it’s over…
Fisher, for your kind information let me inform you that even Warren Buffet is trying to make an entry into distribution of life insurance products in India.

Q-15: Sir, what do you have to say about The Money Quest?
Tumahaara Blog kitane log padthe hai fisher…you know we also make sure that no good stuff ever makes it to the google top 10….likhte likhte bude ho ja ho gai fisher, kuch nahi hone wala…

If you don’t mind, let me give you a suggestion… start writing only positive reviews of our products…you’ll gain in two different ways…those ad sense guys will approve your blog in one shot and also your traffic will increase and you can start making a lot of money…apne biwi bacho ke bare me socho…logo ko samjahoge to kudh pagal ho jao ge…tumne galat kholi me haat dala hai fisher…

Thank you, Sir. I feel enlightened from your talks!

“It’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”.

-Upton Sinclair

Also see:

1. How to Check Life Insurance Abuse – Some Random Thoughts
2. Hidden Facts about Term Plans
3. New Tax Code – Impact on Life Insurance
4. Understanding Life Insurance –Ask Yourself a Few Questions


  1. This is like a bombshell interview...for a moment i thought it was all fiction, I mean I have never heard as frank an interview as this.
    Good work Fisher :)

  2. Good One Fisher, Sarcasm at it's best. But since as they say stupidity has no limits, I am afraid if someone takes the message literally and thinks its true without dceoding the sarcasm out of it.

  3. Good one... I liked it (& tweeted too)... very rarely can someone write a humorous post in personal finance space. I tried it some time back with this post

  4. Fisher,

    Thanks a lot for sharing such important and very useful information.


  5. Hi Fisher
    The better philosophical attitude to adopt towards the world is a union of the sarcasm of gaiety with the indulgence of contempt!
    For years the life insurance industry has been a smug sacred cow feeding the public a steady line of sacred bull. Insurance is an ingenious modern game of chance in which the player is permitted to enjoy the comfortable conviction that he is beating the man who keeps the table...


  6. Yes even my first question was .. is it really true?? Man..i just cant believe it. You have so well stated - "It’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it".

    I started my blog - with the same hope that of the 5000 people that read it - if even 10 can understand and get on the right path, my objective is achieved.

    I pray that people put their hearts in their job, specially when they are playing with 'lives after death'.

  7. Very nicely written fisher. And looks like the guy is right about the number of people who will read and the comments that you will receive :)

  8. You're freaking awesome. Wish we had more such people blogging on net. In case you're aware of any such blogs, please compile a post on them. I've posted/tweeted many of your earlier posts and this one is heading the same way.

  9. Good One!! Really liked it!!!

  10. Gud work :)

    not sure whether i am in that 10% side

  11. I often visit this site and leave quietly, without leaving a comment. I enjoy the way Fisher makes the points, mostly in a very humorous way.

    Thanks Fisher. This one on Insurance bares the Industry's hypocrisy, in a nice manner, as usual.

  12. One of the best kept secret of life insurance industry exposed in profound way.A must read.

  13. landed on your site via the article in LIvemint 'Three personal finance blogs to watch'
    interesting views, will be keeping back for more

    best of luck

  14. There was one more question you we could ask the CEO. How much more are you going to rip-off people (as in, Kasai aur kitne bakre kaatega) if the proposed bill in Parliament to hike the FDI stake in insurance companies to 49% gets accepted?

  15. gowri shankerMarch 30, 2011

    great article again
    thank you

  16. hahaha..loved it Fisher...just to let the CEO know...i m one stupid person who reads ur blog

  17. AnonymousMay 04, 2011

    Fisher I think I will give you some coffee to wake you up from your slumber.. Miss your posts..


  18. Good Job Ficher!

    But I am sad that every word that your grumpy CEO said is true. The stupid sees what is apparent; & the apparent, in turn, is controlled by people like your guest.

    Honestly, I felt sad (more than enlightened) after reading this interview. The place is full of shit & shitty people. This system can not sustain; everyone will succumb to all the hollowness that is being ballooned.

  19. very nice :) .. its a hell a lot difficult to convey this message to people

  20. Appreciate your blogs a lot.
    My team comprises of a young bunch of people in their twenties. I feel sad to see them mindlessly managing their money -buying useless ins.policies and following herd mentality while investing in stocks.

    I forwarded the moneyquest website link to all of them and today a lot of them are in introspective mood.


  21. You won't get more than 2-3 comments?!Boss, you already got 20... and counting! We all appreciate your efforts and thoroughly enjoy your keep blogging! :-)

  22. man O man : I hail from the insurance industry. Always concentrated on Ulips. Created awareness on the power of switching. Helped people generate 13-14% return. But man.. i loved this. I don't like the bad things people do in this Business, but tomorrow when i change my company after 3 and a half years of honest work and a single promotion because of the evident NO MIS SELLING .. i will know in my heart that i have not been a leach on the investments of the people who work their ass off for the Bread that they eat

  23. Eye opener for the first time readers about insurance. Good one. Thanks for your postings especially ULIP posting. It is very unfortunate that many are ignorant (including me).

  24. The way ULIP policies are portrayed is not correct... I believe in country like India where returns on traditional products are lesser, ULIPs are the best bet.. It's just that as buyers, we're not responsible enough while buying them. Visit this link to read what I exactly mean to say:


    Thanks Fisher for inspiring me.
    I shall come up with first hand mis-sell experiences about my profession that i have begin to hate.

    Never cheated. Never will.

  26. Awesome Awesome stuff fisher. More interviews please :)

  27. Thanks Fisher..Amazing work done


  28. Fisher Bhai, Excellent work done. Keep it up.


  30. Hey fisher,
    I know i am very late for commenting on this blog..but der aaye durust aaye..
    In my defense i can only say that,since i have started earning money only a year back now is the time when i have felt the eed to understand about financial products marketed in india.
    I am completely aware that understanding the fiancial market is not a cup of tea of common man and its not his fault but sadly the unncesssary complexity created by the ones who rule it.
    Your efforts are well appreciated and i request you to continue blogging,i have not come across any of your blogs after this.
    Did u completly stop writing or blogging at some other site?
    Lastly thanks for all your blogs till now

  31. If this is's humourous...if it's true...May God be with us...



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