There is a poor perception of poor people.

It is that they are not very clever.

So when one of these ‘poor people’ starts a claim to something they have won, earned, or found, they can find themselves being questioned and challenged.

Whether or not they have broken the law is another question.

These questions are generally not asked of the rich, affluent, the opulent. It’s a unique situation for many of them. One which they have no control over.

People only tend to make one large insurance claim in their lifetime, if ever.

One chance to claim what’s theirs.

It’s in these situations that they need certainty; even though they are 100% in the right.

Remember the movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’? It is a classic case of a poor person in the right being given the third degree.

Jamal had sat, sweating.

Stage lights blaring. Everyone watching.

The whole of India tuned in to ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’.


The pressure sets in.

“Which cricketer has scored the most first class centuries in history?”

The clock started ticking.

Sachine Tendulkar? Perhaps Michael Slater? Jack Hobbs? Or Ricky Ponting?

Jamal paused, hesitant.

Spoke, stammered.

Then silence.

He had no idea.

Jamal opted to use his 50:50 lifeline.

A lifeline that eliminated Tendulkar and Slater.

With time running out, Jamal answered.

“Jack Hobbs.”

There was a pause.

A long, long pause.

Until once again, the crowd went wild.  

10,000,000 rupees. Jamal had just won 10,000,000 rupees.

People were shocked. They just witnessed an orphan slumdog win 165 times more than any lawyer or doctor or professional had ever won.  

When asked whether he wanted to continue, Jamal said yes.

You are in control of your future, no one else.

See, every question was life or death.

At each question he had the option to leave with his current winnings, or continue to the next stage.

It would be double or nothing.

There were no second chances in the trivia game. And there are no second chances in the compensation game.

You accept the offer as is, or you go higher.

No double dips.

The power to settle or go was in Jamal’s hands. He had the power the win or lose.

And today, he wanted to win.

The presenter cleared his throat.

“In Alexandra Duma’s book, ‘The Three Musketeers’, two of the musketeers are called ‘Athos’ and ‘Porthos’. What was the name of the third musketeer?”

Jamal, once again, had four options.

He was unsure so used a lifeline. But to no avail. His friend didn’t know the answer.

Jamal answered (A) Aramis.

The presenter paused. A pause that felt like a thousand years.

Before he yelled out “you are correct!”

Confetti cannons exploded.

Gold and green. Blue and red. Purple. Gold. Every colour imaginable.

The confetti showered down on Jamal.

The crowd went wild once more. And not just the studio crowd.

Everyone. Everywhere.

Everyone had tuned in to watch the underdog win all or nothing. From the slums to the royalty, the lounge rooms to the bars, everyone was celebrating Jamal’s success.

Jamal was as surprised as the crowd!

The were in awe. Baffled.

But no one was more baffled than the police.

How had he done that? Did he cheatWas it a hoax?

The police had a thousand questions to ask.

And they wasted no time. Jamal was immediately arrested for fraud.

How could an 18 year old from the slums possibly know the answers? How could he beat lawyers and doctors and engineers?

How?

He was strapped down in a chair. In a dark room. With 8 policemen surrounding him.

He was beaten, and he was questioned.

“What the hell can a slumdog possibly know!?” the police inspector yelled.

“The answers” Jamal spattered through the blood in his mouth. “I knew the answers.”

But how he knew the answers was nothing short of surprising.

When the presenter asked “who invented the commercially successful revolver?” Jamal recalled a time much darker.

There were no bright lights.

No cameras. No crowd idolising him.

A time when his brother put a revolver right between his eyes and threatened him.

“Shut up! The man with the Colt 45 says shut up!” his brother had bellowed.

The options were Oliver Winchester. Thomas Edison. Daniel Boone.

Samuel Colt.

The answer was clear.

His whole life had been spent learning the answers.

It was his years of living, suffering, and working.

Each chapter of his life was the key to an answer.

18 years in the slums had taught him more than how to make food from rice flour and water. Taught him more than to obey his mum. Taught him more than to hide under his brother’s arm when danger was near.

Eighteen years in the slums had taught him more than any professor at a university could teach a lawyer. A doctor. An engineer.

Jamal had spent his whole life learning the answers.

18 years experiencing hardship. Enough hardship to know he deserved the money he won.

A thousand times over.

The police had not choice but to release him.

There was no evidence that he had cheated.

His story matched up and made sense.

He was awarded the 10,000,000 rupees he had won.

And he accepted it.

Not for the 8 questions he answered to get there. But for the 18 years of slogging through the slums to get there.

He had never had control of his past. But now he had control of his future.

Control the authorities tried to take away.

Back in the real world, the person making an insurance claim is simply trying to control his future.

Control that an insurer can easily take away.

Authorities, insurers, lawyers, company executives.

Many of them try to take advantage of those less fortunate. Those in positions of uncertainty.

They will try to defend and deny your honesty.

Like the authorities tried to in slumdog millionaire. Or like an insurer may try to in a compensation claim.

They assume the knowledge of an underprivileged person is limited.

It’s the reason 27 million Indians tuned in to watch the real-life ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ in 2012. 20% of the population believed he couldn’t do it. 1 in 5.

But against all odds, Sushil Kumar proved them all wrong. He won 50,000,000 rupees after answering just 6 questions.

That was how much he would earn from 800 years of work.  

It didn't matter how much they doubted him. 

Sushil was certain he could do it. He was certain he would prove them wrong.

Sushil did not doubt himself.

He now has thousands of the public sending him letters. He has celebrity status.

But best of all, he has control of his future.

“The win was a godsend. Many of my problems were automatically solved.”

Self-doubt is one of the biggest reasons people don't make an insurance claim.

They doubt it will be worth their tie or effort. They doubt whether they will be able to control the outcome.

But Jamal and Sushil are prime examples of how you can overcome the doubt of others to end up on top.

Do you want total control like Jamal? Or Sushil?

All of your problems to be automatically solved?

Do you want to negotiate your way to the top?

Then keep reading below.