Archive for the ‘Plain English’ Category

Have you ever read policy documents..?

August 27, 2010

Today morning I was quite busy in exploring an application. I got a phone call from an unknown number. I knew that it will be another credit card or Health Insurance representative’s call.  I always give a polite refusal and thank for their time in calling my number. Of course they are doing their job for their bread and butter.

This time also it was a Health Insurance plan from a Bank where I am paying my annual Insurance amount (ULIP). So no wonder they already had all my personal information (except my T-shirt size) and this guy very cleverly took my attention. Half mindedly I agreed to lend my ears to listen his available plans. But I didn’t agree to go ahead. I just convinced him that I will consider his plans after some months.

Un tired by my response, he asked me to give a look at their website to understand those health plans. I knew that site already, as twice a week I check out their site to see my Equity bonds value has grown or not. 🙂

This time, I clicked onother tab – Health Plans in their site.

After reading all those plans, I stopped for a while. Reason is quite simple. I saw an Insurance act 1938 Section 41 which goes as below:

Section 41 of Insurance Act 1938 states: No person shall allow or offer to allow, either directly or indirectly, as an inducement to any person to take out or renew or continue an insurance in respect of any kind of risk relating to lives or property in India, any rebate of the whole or part of the commission payable or any rebate of the premium shown on the policy, nor shall any person taking out or renewing or continuing a policy accept any rebate, except such rebates as may be allowed in accordance with the published prospectuses or tables of the insurer.

Non-Disclosure:

Section 45 of Insurance Act, 1938 states:

No Policy of life insurance effected before the commencement of this Act shall after the expiry of two years from the date of commencement of this Act and no policy of life insurance effected after the coming into force of this Act shall, after the expiry of two years from the date on which it was effected, be called in question by an insurer on the ground that a statement made in the proposal for insurance or in any report of a medical officer, or referee, or friend of the insured, or in any other document leading to the issue of the policy, was inaccurate or false, unless the insurer shows that such statement was on a material matter or suppressed facts which it was material to disclose and that it was fraudulently made by the policy-holder and that the policy holder knew at the time of making it that the statement was false or that it suppressed facts which it was material to disclose;

Provided that nothing in this section shall prevent the insurer from calling for proof of age at any time if he is entitled to do so, and no policy shall be deemed to be called in question merely because the terms of the policy are adjusted on subsequent proof that the age of the life insured was incorrectly stated in the proposal.

Can anyone understand these sections 41 and 45 on first read and explain it in plain English..?

Section 41 has 101 words in a single paragraph with only one full stop whereas section 45 has 227 words with one full stop.  

  • Why all policy documents (govt, health, Land, bank loans and so on) are not in plain language..?
  • Why does the writer (?) complicate the paragraphs this much..? First of all will he/she understand whatever he writes like this..?

In the UK, there is a separate campaign demanding all policy documents in plain English. I have already mentioned about that website in my previous post.

By the way, I am still trying to rephrase these sections 41 and 45. Anybody interested..? 🙂

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Writing Plain English

June 30, 2010

Last two months were hectic as I was running on my toes for our product release – updating the help system, reviewing, testing the product, re-checking the bug fixes… So I was temporarily not been able to update this page (though this site has very limited readership).

OK, coming to the point, recently I came across a website www.plainenglish.co.uk . These people conduct courses on writing plain English. First it sounded a bit funny. But when I read through a PDF from their site, I understood the importance of plain English in day-today life.

Let me give an example: Have you ever read and understood any Insurance, Bank policies or disclaimers especially Subject to Market risk paragraph..?  Those paragraphs will be in such a way that even if you read thousand times, you won’t be able to get the point.

Click here to read some general guides uploaded in their site. It has some special guides on grammar notes, financial glossaries, reports, Forms, websites etc… Worth reading.

Disclaimer: I announce that I was not paid(I wish) to endorse this website and it is purely on my intention to share and spread this useful information.  🙂


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