Couples in Partnership: Mehernosh and Diana Kotwal

Inadequate cover puts life in jeopardy

Venkat Raman

Couples in Partnership- Mehernosh & Diana KotwalInsurance is serious business but its importance is undermined by untrained practitioners and its benefits are unexplained to a large segment of the community, according to an experienced couple.

Mehernosh and Diana Kotwal said that the New Zealand market in general and the Auckland region in particular host an overcrowded insurance sector with advisors who ‘sport limited knowledge.’

Such advisors do not cater to customer needs and there is growing inadequacy of personalised service to suit specific requirements, they said.

Shared passion

The Kotwals are a good subject for our ‘Couples in Partnership’ column, for, both of them share the passion for quality service and believe in rising to the occasion to share the emotions of their customers, but more importantly, settle claims without making them or their successors go through further hardships. Graduates of the Mumbai University, both threw their lot into the same industry, striking a companionship that compliments each other’s strengths in promoting quality customer service.

The Advisor Channel

Beginning their career in the insurance industry 15 years ago, Mehernosh and Diana belong to ‘The Advisor Channel,’ a professional risk management and insurance service brokerage firm that works for clients, offering them a choice of insurance. This independence accords them the ability to provide the most cost-effective package that stands the test of quality and time.

They have nourished their business from its roots, challenging adversities and enduring hardships. They have also relished the successes that have followed.

Vision & Mission

“We have created a vision for our business with integrity and taken steps to fulfil and achieve our goals. Our customers’ lives are the foundation of our business where we continuously strive to innovate better tools of service,” Mehernosh said.

Diana, who works as Administration Manager, said that well-structured policies, good working relationships with insurance companies and constant review of policies with customers fortify the Claims Management capability of ‘The Advisor Channel.’

“Customers should focus on treatment and not paperwork in times of need. We look after their claims and other demands,” Diana said.

Gratified customers

The testimony to their claim that they settle customers’ claims with speed and efficiency is the increasing trust placed by an increasing number of people in taking out policies through The Adviser Channel.

Diana guards with pride a number of letters and emails she receives regularly following satisfactory settlement of claims.

“Mrs Smith underwent a timely major surgery after being informed of her infertility. The client emailed thanking us for playing an integral role in the life of their newborn. Mrs Clarke underwent an urgent eye operation following a diagnosis. She was grateful for our efforts. Mrs Paul also underwent a major hysterectomy and with our expertise, her claims experience was successful and smooth,” she said.

Underinsured community

Mehernosh and Diana are worried that in an increasingly uncertain world, many members of the Indian community in New Zealand are indifferent towards insurance, based on their homeland mentality of endowment policies that result in bonuses and premium reversal.

“New Zealand is based on a term life policy system, where the bullet-proof attitude against insuring oneself is considered unnecessary; whereas the assurance of home and physical property insurance is widely encouraged. Many do not understand the concept that insurance is to put yourself in the same financial position as you were prior to the unforeseen incident,” Mehernosh said.

Diana added, “We have developed our confidence, not from having all the answers, but from being open to all questions.”

Extensive range

“We are a business that offers a range of insurance products. We specialise in protecting people, their families and business through loans and mortgages, Life and Medical Insurance, Total and Permanent Disability, Mortgage protection, Critical Illness and Income Protection as well as Key Person Protection Planning.”

Mehernosh believes that many Indians have incurred debts beyond their ability to service them and hence must take proper cover.

Investment in properties in a highly inflated market has resulted in individuals not acquiring adequate insurance to cover their immediate debts, he said.

“We aim to rectify these situations efficiently and successfully.”

Changing perception

Diana is keen to change the perception of people towards insurance and help them to snap out of either fatalism or nonchalance and reorient them towards accepting insurance as a beneficial and essential in life.

“Overtime, we can make a difference to change the mind set for our community to ensure the creation of a more secure future for their families and impending generations. Our persistence and perseverance would make an unbeatable combination for our success. Customer service is not about telling people how remarkable you are; it is about creating stories that do the talking for you, and we hope to be a part of your story,” she said.

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