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Rishi Mathur – How to Balance between Reduced Savings and the Need for Enhanced Protection

Vivek Law: Hello and welcome to this special series Finance Made Simple. Joining me today is Rishi Mathur who's the Chief Distribution Officer – Alternate Channels and Chief Strategy Officer at Canara HSBC Life Insurance. Thanks very much, Rishi for joining us today on this customer education series that we've put together. Rishi, one of the challenges that people are facing right now in the times of COVID – on one hand, is - financial balance sheets, household balance sheets are stretched at this point of time, people have lost jobs, people have seen salary cuts. On the other hand, they are keener and keener to make sure that they protect themselves in times of a pandemic. How does a customer balance these two? What would you advise should - you increase your insurance cover at this point or try and save as much as you can give the current financial difficulty that a household is going through?

Rishi Mathur: So, that's a tough one, Vivek. Think of it as a situation in which you have to prioritize. So, I think the most important thing to consider in such a situation where you are facing difficulties in terms of your income is to first cover your risks. Because the extent of the risks that can fall on top of a family is quite high. It could be in terms of your life, it could be in terms of your health, it could be in terms of a critical illness striking you. Covering your risks in these areas becomes even more important when your income is uncertain or slow. So, you should ensure that you're taking the right steps to avoid discretionary expenses and the savings from those discretionary expenses should be used to ramp up on expenses that are going to help you prevent a major risk impact, which could be due to a major illness, it could be due to hospitalization, it could be due to the unfortunate death of a member of your family. So, that's the priority that I would keep in mind when times are tough. The second important priority to keep in mind is that there are some long-term goals, which will not change irrespective of your current financial condition. These are the goals for your kids' education, these are the goals for your retirement planning and they are several years away but they are not going to go away. And, hence, it's important to perhaps redivert some of your expenses which are either discretionary or avoidable costs, or for short-term goals which were important in another context. But redeploy that money to plan for the really important and long-term priority goals. So, these are the two most important things that I would want customers to focus on when they are stressed about the income or the earnings situation. So, overall my view is to double down on protection and make sure that your long-term goal planning is not impacted.

Vivek Law: Alright, Rishi. Thank you very much for joining us and sharing your perspective with our viewers. It's been a pleasure talking to you.

Rishi Mathur: Thank you, Vivek. It was a pleasure.

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