I begin this article with a disclaimer - I have 2 insurance plans with HDFC -a Life Insurance plan and a Pension plan.I have no complaints against them. They are giving me excellent service. The agents have been good, and call me up often to enquire about my well-being. In fact, I have great respect for HDFC as a company, that is why I have not 1, but 2 accounts with them , and even an FD account.
However, there is one area of complaint - the mediclaim process. I had been warned by my friends to avoid the mediclaim done from HDFC, instead, have it done from Bharti AXA / ICICI Lombard. But my great faith in HDFC as an organisation led me to try and open and account with them for cashless surgical mediclaim policy with them. Thus began an now seemingly never-ending nightmare.
I had applied for the policy on July 20th, 2009, handing over a cheque to the over-eager agent, who claimed he would be a "big-brother" to me, and would get the policy done in a matter of 1 month. I had no reason to disbelieve him, as I had got the pension plan done within 15 days not too long ago, albeit with a different agent. 30 days went by without any communication. One fine day, I get a call from somebody from SLIC stating that I had not yet submitted my medical reports. I was surprised, I have had received no communication about any medical test. I tried to contact my agent, but his phone was switched off for one whole day. Finally, when I managed to get him, he told that he was on leave for 10 days.
I went over to the nearest SLIC office, and retrieved a mail from the system stating that I needed to get a medical test done before 30th of August. On 27th August, I had the test done which tested by fasting blood sugar and cholesterol levels. The reports were sent over to SLIC. On 4th September, I again had a call from SLIC statingmy reports were faulty. Again, I could not get across to my agent. later he called me to say he had quit his job !! I went to the office again on 8th September, and found that I had slightly elevated fasting blood sugar levels (115 when the normal range is 70-110). I was then told that I had to consult a doctor, get medications, and then get a second test done within 26th September. Also, I had to get my family history of diabetes !!
So I went to a doctor, spent Rs. 400 as his visiting fees, and Rs 1000 on the medication (of course, the doc prescribed me the costliest medicines available in the market. On 24th September, I had a second test done for which I had to pay out of my pocket (Rs. 800). I did not even get the reports of my test even after paying for them. In between, my new agent was pushing me to get her some new clients (with not-so-subtle warnings that my mediclaim process would be further delayed if I did not get her some). I recommended a friend, who got his pension policy done with her. In between, a courier was sent to me by SLIC, which never reached me and when I called in to enquire, the tele-caller misbehaved with me, shouting that she was not my servant to be at my service all day long, when I had politely requested her to know why the courier had not reached me.
On October 15th, it was declared that my policy was not accepted, as I have been suffering from high blood sugar which might require surgery sooner than later. I had by fasting sugar checked the next day, only to find it at 97, very much within permissible limits. I asked for my money back. No cheques was delivered to me till November 1st, when a 3rd agent came to my office, and tried to persuade me to re-process my request, instead of asking my money back. I had decided to go to the consumer courts, but this young man swas almost in tears. taking pity, I said I would go forward, and got it written from another doctor that I was now perfectly fit (again costing Rs. 300). Till date, there has been no response from SLIC except one phone call stating that I need to get another test done as they had my second test results, which they now found normal !!
I am still waiting to see how far can they go, and how far my patience stays with me !!