Know Your Financial Rights

As an investor and a tax payer, we have certainrights. Here are the following fundamental rightswhich can be acted upon whenever necessary:

Right to return insurance policy

There’s a Free Look Period in life insurance, which gives you the right to return the policy within 15 days of receiving policy documents, if you do not want it. All life insurance policies and health insurance policies having a term of 3 years and more come with this Free Look Period. If you wish to return the insurance policy, you need to submit an application which can be downloaded online. If an agent has mis-sold a policy to you, there is a risk of him or her deliberately not sending it within the prescribed 15 days.

Right to not be harassed by lenders

Evenif you default on a loan, it is obligatory for the lender to give you a 60-day notice. The lender or recovery agents do not have any right to harass you or disrespect you. Further during the 60-day notice period they can only call you between 7am and 7pm. If you are harassed, you have the right to raise the issue with the bank or even file an FIR.

Right to not pay for card frauds

In the case of credit or debit card fraud, you reserve the right to not pay for unauthorized transactions as long as you can prove that the transactions were not carried out by you. If you suspect that your card is being misused, report the matter to the bank and get your card blocked to avoid further misuse. Filing an FIR is an option. Most cards come with a zero liability feature that protects the cardholder from frauds.

Right to life insurance claim

As per the IRDAI directives you reserve the right to claim the proceeds of a life insurance policy that has completed 3 years and this rule has no exceptions. A 3-year window is given to the insurance company to verify policyholder’s authenticity, following which claims have to be settled. The rule holds valid in case the policyholder expires within the first 3 years, but the claim is made after 3 years.

 

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Right to locker facilities

If you wish to get a bank locker, you need not necessarily have a savings account or any other association with that bank. However, a bank can only ask you to open a fixed deposit that covers 3 years’ rent and charges for using its locker facility. If the bank forces you to invest in any of its products or services you can raise the issue with the grievance cell and even approach the ombudsman or RBI if the issue persists for a longer time.

Right to get tax refund in 90 days

It is your right to receive your income tax refund within 90 days of filing the ITR. If your refund is delayed beyond this period, you can approach the income tax assessing officer in your jurisdiction or raise a request on the tax department’s website. Besides, if your refund is delayed, you are also entitled to receive an interest of 0.5% every month on the refund amount. Since the tax refund is on excess TDS, you are entitled to get it back after you file returns.

Right to possession of property on time

If you buy a property and the project is delayed, it becomes legal obligation of the developer to pay you the same interest as the EMI you pay on your home loan. Remember, buying a property also gives you the right to get the possession within a given time frame. You also have the right to claim the refund of the entire amount paid by you. The builder is liable to return your money within 45 days of raising the request. For any issues concerning delayed possession, you should contact the Real Estate Regulatory Authority of your state. These authorities are required to settle your complaint in 60 days.

Right to know commission paid

It is your right to know how much commission your fund distributor or insurance agent earns from the financial products sold to you. In case of insurance policies, the commission depends upon the amount of premium and your insurance agent has to furnish this information before selling you a policy. A mutual fund distributor’s commission, paid by the fund company, is disclosed in your account statement. You have the right to get in touch with respective regulators, SEBI for mutual funds and IRDAI for insurance if you are not provided the information.

Right to deny service charge

If you are dissatisfied with the service provided at a restaurant, you have the right to not pay service charge that is included in your bill. Unlike service tax or VAT, service charge is not a government levy and goes directly into the pockets of the restaurant. This makes it a voluntary payment. If a restaurant forces you to pay service charge, you should approach the Department of Consumer Affairs and lodge a formal complaint.

 Right to know fund mandate change

You have the right to be notified about a permanent change in the investment mandate of a mutual fund you have invested in. Investors have the right to exit a scheme without paying exit load before the changes are enforced. This rule applies in case the fundamental attributes of a fund are being changed and the investor would not enjoy the same benefits or investment returns that they had invested for.

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