How to steal a trillion
Retail investors lost a minimum of ₹1.5 trillion to the insurance industry over seven years.
When one lives in a country of over a billion people, big numbers seldom come as a surprise. But when I looked at the number of 1.5 trillion, I was astounded. That’s about 1.5% of the Indian gross domestic product, was the first thought. But the number in the excel sheet looked back with the certainty of coming out of a formula run on actual premium data sourced from the regulator: that’s the money retail investors have lost from mis-sold life insurance policies over seven years. Knowing that the industry will come after this number, as my colleague in this work so graphically put it, with their bazookas, we did the numbers again. And again. And several times again. Checked and re-checked the methodology with insurance industry experts, actuaries and academics. We used another, totally different method to see if we were way off the mark. But the final number refused to back down. Retail investors lost a minimum of 1.5 trillion to the insurance industry and its agents over a period of seven years that ended in the financial year 2011-12. You can read the full story of this lost money that appeared in Mint on 6 February 2013 here: https://bit.ly/X3YJDY.