And no, that’s not redundant. Most agents, and most companies are not inherently evil, although a lot may be shortsighted. According to dictionary.com, despicable means: “worthy only of being despised and rejected.” And to which nasty practice do I refer? This one:
"Dear terrorists, new firman issued. Kill 10, take a branded T-shirt and be best terrorist in the group. Jehad begins from July 18-20 – Osama bin Laden.’’It is creative minds at work at ICICI-Prudential Insurance Company, exhorting local agents to go for a ‘sales kill’. The new strategy was aptly named ‘MissionJehad’.In a meeting of the company’s agents on Tuesday night, employees were asked to adopt the “binLaden strategy”, ie, one terrorist killing 10 people.
As I said, this is absolutely the most disgusting insurance idea I have EVER seen. And in over 20 years in the biz, I've seen a few.
Now, according to A M Best, the “Prudential” in this case is Prudential plc, a British company, and not “the” Pru. Of course, our own Pru has been accused of its share of questionable sales practices over the years, but nothing that approaches this level of depravity.
Does it matter that this took place in (faraway) India ? No. Some home office “leader” saw and approved this, and it reflects poorly on the industry. In fairness, it’s not a story that’s gotten a lot of play in the press (yet?), but I have no doubt that at least some carriers here know about it. I would certainly hope that it is condemned in the industry press.
What causes a presumably successful company to engage in such a practice? Obviously, we don’t know. But I would hazard a guess that it’s a result of a corporate culture of greed. That is, when sales become more important than integrity, abominable ideas such as this begin to surface. Now, that may mark me as naïve, but it doesn’t change the veracity of the statement.
Interestingly, the carrier is called ICICI-Prudential, and it’s a joint venture between a bank and an insurer. Perhaps that’s the root of the problem.