Insurance companies such as Bajaj Allianz, Tata AIG, ICICI Lombard and HDFC Chubb have introduced the kidnappers’ policy with some even providing psychological counseling in the event of abduction. Hundreds of industrialists and high net-worth individuals are said to be coming forward to take such policies in UP,
Bihar and northeastern states.
2nd October 2007
The policies have been introduced by the insurance companies to protect the businessmen against loss in case of kidnap of their kith and kin. But businessmen are after all businessmen! They always mean business and nothing else! They are reported to be denying the kidnappers their genuine claims! So much so that a smart BPO chief, in his attempt to save money for his father-in-law’s insurance company, even duped a genuine high-tech professional kidnapper by handing him over to the police! The following are the scenarios that took place after introduction of the policy by the Insurance companies:
Scene 1. One top businessman in UP receives a call from a kidnapper.
Kidnapper: Hello! Is it Mr. Somany?
Businessman: Yes, What can I do for you?
Kidnapper: Sir, I have kidnapped your son. You may bring Rs.25 lacs and take him back.
Somany: Nothing doing. I have taken coverage for Rs.1 lakh only.
Kidnapper: What do you mean by coverage? Are you not interested in your son?
Businessman: I am talking about kidnap insurance policy Baba! Don’t you know that? I think you are new to kidnapping business.
Kidnapper: Sir, thank you for the information. Genuinely speaking, it will not work out for me if I accept only Re1 lakh. Can you make it at least Rs2 lakhs Sir?
Businessman: Nothing doing. I will not give a penny more than the cover available.
Kidnapper: OK Sir. Send the cash and take back your son.
Businessman: I am contacting the Insurance Company to settle my/your claim! In the meanwhile you send back my son. He has to complete his homework!
Kidnapper: (Desperately!) Sir I cannot wait for the insurance formalities to be completed. Tell me. You want your son or not?
Businessman: In that case you can keep my son! To be frank, let me tell you. He is good for nothing. Even this cover I obtained is only to satisfy his mother! I know his worth! You will find it out yourself very soon! (Hangs up).
Scene 2: Within one hour the kidnapper drops the son in front of his house and drives away. His father coolly asks him to complete his homework!
Scene 3: The same kidnapper to a different businessman on the next day
Kidnapper: Hello! Am I talking to Manwani?
Businessman: Who is this?
Kid: Don't bother about my name! I have kidnapped your son.
Bu: Are you kidding? What do you want?
Kid: I am not kidding. I am kidnapping! Let me know the Kidnap insurance coverage available for your son.
Bu: Smart guy! Who told you about this?
Kid: I got the information from my other Client, Sir. In fact this is a latest value addition to me, Sir.
Bu: You seem to be knowledgeable! Good. I have taken cover for Rs. 5 lacs.
Kid: Ok for me. You can proceed with lodging your claim, Sir.
Bu: Ok. But I have my conditions! I will pay net amount only.
Kid: What? Are you deducting income-tax at source? But I don't have a PAN Card, Sir. This is not done.
Bu: Not exactly. I have paid a premium of Rs50,000/=.I will deduct it from the proceeds. The policy comes cost-free for me!
Kid: Ok you pay me cash and get back your son.
Bu: Not so fast man! You know the Insurance guys! They take their own time to settle the claim. I don't want to be out of pocket. You remit Rs.50,000/= to me upfront. I will ask them to settle your claim directly! In the meanwhile you send me your identity card, two photographs, address proof, form 60, form 15G, etc... (Hangs up).
Kid :( To himself) Oh shit! What kind of father is he? Whose face did I see in the morning? (Recollects that his wife woke him up in the morning!). Oh! I know the reason now. Hard luck for me!
Scene 4: Within one hour the kidnapper drops the son in front of his house and drives away.
Scene 5: Another Kidnapper to a BPO top Official on another day
Kidnapper: Hello. Am I talking to Suresh Asrani please?
Official: Yeahha...You are Mr.?
Kid: I have kidnapped your son sir.
Off: Don’t address me as Sir. Use my first name. You know the BPO culture!
Kid: I am sorry sir. No! No! I mean Suresh. What is the kidnap policy coverage you have for your son?
Off: Right now I am busy on my laptop. I have to prepare a presentation to my Board. For all my personal matters ownership rests with my wife. You can talk to her.
Kid: I have already spoken to her Suresh. She told me that as the matter pertains to insurance she has escalated it to you. Please check your mail.
Off: Ok. I understand. You tell me what ransom you want from me?
Kid: Let me be reasonable. Not more than the amount covered in the policy. Let me know it from you. After all you are not paying from your purse. Then why do you bargain?
Off: The Insurance Company also owns my company. My father-in-law is a major shareholder in it. I have to see his interest also. You understand? Anyways I am calling the company right now and will put you on a conference call. Please hold on.
Kid: You are Tech savvy. That is good. Let me tell you. This activity I have recently started as a diversification. My specialization is actually Highway Robbery! I took a package from Chicago Consultancy for this project. Let me tell you, the kidnapped children are well looked after by me. In fact your son right now is surfing the internet while simultaneously watching Hungama TV Channel! He is eating Pizza in the meanwhile!
Off: That sounds nice. But your game is up. I had put the police Inspector on the conference call! Right now the police are at your door. Bye! Bye…… (The door bell rings)
A V Krishnamurthy