Two teachers claim the insurance company’s polices to be discriminatory
Money: Two visually impaired teachers of Muenselling Institute in Khaling, Trashigang were both surprised and disappointed when the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan Ltd (RICBL) revoked their applications for a life insurance scheme.
An agent from RICBL had visited the institute in August where Kuenga Chhoegyel together with another visually impaired teacher had applied for the Money Back Policy scheme of 15 years.
All necessary documents including medical certificates were submitted and the first premiums paid. Two weeks later, the agent informed them that their applications were rejected.
“It just goes to show how disabled people are deprived of such schemes when we are the ones who need these schemes the most,” Kuenga Chhoegyel said. “We don’t understand on what grounds our proposals were disapproved when we can pay the premiums like any regular civil servant.”
Had the agent not approached them with the scheme, Kuenga Chhoegyel said they wouldn’t have shown interest in the first place.
“After carrying out medical examinations and fulfilling every requirement, it came as a huge blow when our proposals were disapproved,” he said. “The agent could have told us we were not entitled if such was the case.”
The agent, Dawa Wangmo Sherpa said she called the RICBL branch office in Trashigang when the teachers opted for the schemes. She was advised to get the necessary documents for risk evaluations.
“Soon after, I was informed that the head office revoked their proposals,” she said. “Their premiums were also refunded.”
Trashigang branch office officials said the documents were acquired to review the cases. Although RICBL guidelines don’t state that disabled people cannot insure with them, officials said certain “loading” or conditions have to be taken up before approving such proposals.
“The loading was taken up to assess the risk factors, good or bad, and correspondences with head office people were done before making decisions,” an official said.
Insurance officials also pointed out that the agent had carried out a shoddy work while filling the forms for the teachers, which was one major reason for rejection of the proposals.
Officials from the Life Insurance Department of RICBL, Thimphu explained it also takes time and strict assessments before converting any proposal into a policy.
Executive Director of RICBL, Sonam Dorji said he was not aware of the case and further discussions would be carried out to confirm on what ground the proposals were disapproved as claimed by the two teachers.
Meanwhile, Kuenga Chhoegyel said this was a case of sheer discrimination. He said they opted for the scheme to secure their lives beyond retirement.
“Does it mean we are not entitled for the same privileges extended by the company to normal clients?” he asked.
By Tshering Wangdi,  Trashigang