Importance of bike insurance, Two-wheeler insurance

Importance of bike insurance, Two-wheeler insurance

Why you should go for a bike insurance

Bike Insurance

Research says, India witnesses over five lakh road accidents annually with most of the incidents involve two-wheelers. In such a situation, it is important to protect our two-wheelers and ourselves. If you’re wondering, what it requires, go through the below piece where we are telling you about taking a two-wheeler insurance policy.

                                                                                                                                                               Subas Tiwari

 There are two types of bike insurance-third party liability insurance and on damage insurance. A third-party insurance policy covers you when your bike damages other vehicle. If your own bike gets dented then it is the on-damage insurance that comes to rescue. Third party liability insurance is a mandatory policy and also called TP insurance. A person needs to take this policy following the Motor Vehicle Act. And you stand a chance to get a traffic challan if you’re not a policyholder of third-party insurance. Good part is that, in both the kind of insurance policies, the company pays for any theft of the vehicle.

What the third-party insurance covers

Third-party insurance covers you when your bike damages someone’s property, someone’s car, bike or if anyone gets hurt or god forbid if someone dies in an accident with your vehicle. The policy will meet whatever legal expenses are incurred due to the above situations. Also, the insurance company will pay for you if a case goes to the court and the same asks to pay any fine. Kindy note that, an insurance company can pay a maximum of Rs 7,50,000 in the above-mentioned cases.

Third party insurance has a section of “Personal Accident Cover for Owner Driver”. The insurance company gives Rs.15 lakh if the bike driver dies in an accident while driving. S/he can claim this amount when the person has a valid registration certificate and driving license. This amount comes in the form of personal accident cover. However, there is an easily obtained, comprehensive rule, under the third-party insurance that comprehends all policies. Where the vehicle owner’s family can claim for compensation from the insurance company.

Choose add ons carefully

In a comprehensive insurance policy, companies provide many add on benefits. You can opt those match your need. In this policy, you will get the facility of zero depreciation cover, engine and gearbox protection cover, key and lock replacement cover, helmet cover, 24×7 site assistance add-on, etc.

Take insurance for a long time

By taking an insurance plan for a long time, you can also save a little money and you can also get rid of the hassle of renewing it every year. Apart from this, you can take advantage of the no-claim bonus throughout the term of the policy. Even if you have made a claim during this time period.

 The following figures tell you the importance of insurance:

  • Two-wheelers constitute more than 80 per cent of all vehicle sales in India
  • For every 1000 Indians, more than 100 owns a two-wheeler
  • About 13 per cent of these vehicles are stolen every year
  • Which accounts for more than 300 such vehicles per day

What does the motor vehicles act says about an insurance?

Chapter XI of the MV Act, 1988 deals with Insurance of Motor Vehicles with Third Party Risk & Clause 146 deals with “necessity of insurance against third party risk’.

Third party liability insurance

As of now, the MV Act mandates that all two-wheelers are to be covered under the third-party liability which shelters liability for injuries and damages to others, that you (the vehicle owner) is responsible for. This is also called Limited Liability Insurance which covers the insured and the owner/driver of the two-wheeler/pillion rider against third party liability arising out of an accident, which causes damage or loss to the third party or its property as well as death/disability of the owner/driver arising out of the accident. However, to fix the quantum of premium for third party liability cover, the IRDA rules will apply.

Insurance for comprehensive cover

While MV Act does not provide for covering insurance for other types of risks including, theft, fire, etc, as also damage to the owner’s vehicle, almost all the general (non-life) insurance companies are offering the comprehensive cover as an optional cover, which is not mandatory.

Why cover the vehicle for comprehensive cover?

A comprehensive policy covers the following:

The comprehensive cover (also called package policies) assures the following benefits-

On total or partial loss/damage to your two-wheeler

  • Against natural calamities such as-
  • Fire
  • Explosion
  • Self-ignition or lightening
  • Earthquake
  • Flood
  • Typhoon
  • Hurricane
  • Storm
  • Tempest
  • Inundation
  • Cyclone
  • Hailstorm
  • Frost
  • Landslide
  • Rockslide
  • Against manmade calamities such as
  • Burglary
  • Theft
  • Riot
  • Strike
  • Malicious Acts
  • Accident by external means
  • Terrorist activity
  • Any damage in transit by road, rail, inland waterway, lift, elevator or air

What are not covered in your policy (exclusions)?

  • Normal wear & tear
  • Breakdowns
  • Consequential loss
  • Loss occurred due to invalid driver license (expired license)
  • Loss occurred on account of drunken driving and/or drugs intake
  • Loss due to Civil War, War, etc
  • Claims arising out of contractual liability
  • Use of the vehicle otherwise than in accordance with ‘Limitations to Use’

(as and when driven by a person other than owner/driver and/or as stated in the ‘driver’s clause)

  • Any accidental loss or damage and/or liability caused/sustained/incurred outside the geographical area

(The list is indicative and not exhaustive)

What are optional add-on covers?

The following additional covers are available on payment of extra premium-

  • NIL Depreciation Cover (Nothing payable in case of partial loss; depreciation available to a maximum of 50 per cent on various metal, plastic, fibre or rubber parts in the event of total loss)
  • Loss of accessories (electrical/electronic)
  • Loss of driving license
  • Daily cash allowance (during the period of post-accident repair)
  • Engine protection
  • Tyres & Tubes
  • NCB Protection
  • Anti-Theft Device

Grievance redressal mechanism

Our study revealed that only a few insurance companies have posted a robust GRM system in their website. So, they are summarised below for our readers.

What is your grievance?

  • Any partial or total repudiation of claims by the insurance company
  • Any dispute in regard to premium paid or payable in terms of the policy
  • Any dispute on the legal construction of the policy in so far as such disputes relate to claims
  • Delay in settlement of claims
  • Non-issue of any insurance document to consumer after receipt of the premium
  • Any other grievance (not specified above)
  • Tier-I- call the Company’s toll-free number or customer care number and lodge your grievance. Follow this up by sending e-mail and hard copy to ensure that your complaint is on their desk for their first-look.
  • Tier-II– If dissatisfied with the reply, escalate to the Company’s AVP or company’s customer service desk at apex level-follow the same as above.
  • Tier-III– If the issue still remains unresolved, then approach the insurance ombudsman pertaining to your jurisdiction for the redressal of your grievance. Access to irdaindia.org & www.gbic.co.in/ombudsman.html )

What the government could do?

  • The irony is- almost all the insurance companies are doling out similar policies with almost the same inclusions and exclusions- leaving the consumer more confused than ever. He is forced to choose that policy which charges reasonable additional premium for add-on covers to bring out the BEST POLICY for consumer benefit!
  • IRDA could mandate to bring out a standardized comprehensive cover covering all major aspects of some vital covers (which are now in the add-on list) such as anti-theft device which would be compulsorily offered by insurance companies while selling a comprehensive policy to the consumer

Important to know

  • Go for policy cover for a longer period (to avail discount)
  • Go for policy purchase online (discounts are available)
  • Go for vital additional covers such as engine protection, zero depreciation and anti-theft device (to ensure additional protection on payment of a small price)

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How personal accident insurance helps face a distress better

How personal accident insurance helps face a distress better

Health Insurance

Many people opt for different financial policies and covers to guard against difficult times. Among the myriad choices, we have personal accident insurance scheme to choose from. The policy is helpful in protecting from financial troubles caused by accidents. Also, it helps the family to recover financially in the event of death. It is a type of policy that helps in recovering from economic loss due to accidental disability or death. 

Before we look into the benefits of personal accident insurance here are some alarming statistics. As per the Road Accident Report for 2019, a total number of 449,002 accidents took place in the country during the calendar year 2019leading to 151,113 deaths and 451,361 injuries. However, a personal accident insurance policy covers more than road accidents. For example, it includes gas cylinder blast to electric shock, sliding at the bathroom, injuries caused while at the gym, and drowning, fire accidents etc.

Types of Personal Accident Insurance

The personal accident insurance can be broadly classified into two categories – Group Accident Insurance and Individual Accident Insurance.

  • Group Personal Accident Insurance  

As the name suggests, the business owners or employers buy group personal accident insurance to cover their employees. Depending on the size of the organisation, and the number of employees, the insurance companies offer a discount on the premium. This serves as an incentive for the employees as financial safety is taken care. A group personal accident policy is an excellent incentive for the employees as it assures them financial safety in the event of any mishap at the workplace.

  • Individual Personal Accident Insurance

This is an individual policy that guards the policyholders against the accidental damages. It usually covers accidental death, loss of body parts and other disabilities resulting from an accident.

What is covered?

Accidental death- In the event of death due to an accident, the policy holder’s family (or nominee) gets accidental death compensation of Sum Insured Value just before death (usually 100%+ no claim bonus). Some insurance policies also provide for reimbursement by way of payment of lumpsum on education expenses of two kids under the Education Fund.

Accidental permanent disability- It covers a policyholder in the case of loss of one or more limbs due to an accident or one or more parts of his/her body gets dismembered. The insured person is liable to get a certain amount as reimbursement of treatment cost (usually 100 to 125 per cent of the Sum Insured).

Accidental permanent partial disability- One can avail the benefit of the policy in the event of loss of one index/thumb finger or one ear or loss of vision in one eye or loss of one hand/arm/leg- partial damage of permanent nature which is irreversible. Here, the compensation is a calculated percentage of the Sum Insured.

Accidental temporary disability- When the policyholder gets severe injuries that have made him/her temporarily disabled/physically disadvantaged (physically challenged). In this case, he/she is entitled to get a lump sum compensation for the number of days where he/she is not able to work.

Medical reimbursement for health complications that have arisen from the accident- Many personal accident policies also provide reimbursement for medical complications that have arisen due to an accident, like treatment of mental trauma (cost of medicines or cost of psychiatric counselling sessions), and so on.

To learn more about the benefits and how to apply for personal accident insurance, get the April 2021 digital copy of Consumer VOICE.

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How to get the best insurance for your pets

How to get the best insurance for your pets

Health Insurance

Have you heard of pet insurance in India? If not, there here is some good news for all pet lovers in India. Pet insurance, which is already a flourishing industry abroad, is also beginning to take off in India. Given the rising cost of purchase, grooming and medical care for pets, it may be time to cover the risks. Care and concern for pets has seen a massive transition over the years. Many insurance companies in India have realised this need and have thrown open the gates for pet insurance. A pet insurance is akin to other insurance policy that cover the expenses incurred at the time of any emergency. A pet insurance covers everything from veterinary bills for treatment/ accidents to loss or theft and death of pets. It also covers third party liabilities risks in the event of loss.

Features of pet insurance

  • Customized plans – Customized pet insurance plans are available for pets such as dogs, cats, birds, etc.
  • IRDA approved – The pet insurance plans are approved by IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority). There are various types of pet insurance schemes that fall under this plan, such as: cattle, dog, horse and cat insurance etc.
  • Sum assured – Generally, the sum assured for pet insurance products like dog insurance, ranges from Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 30,000. This depends on the breed and other related factors.
  • Add-on cover – Some insurance providers offer add-on covers for the base policy, such as for the loss of show entry fee. This cover is offered for the forfeit of entry fee for dog shows when the pet cannot make it to the show due to an injury or illness.
  • Third party liability – Some pet insurance policies offer third party liability cover, in the event that your pet bites/ attacks a third party or causes damage to third party property.
  • Types of cover – There are three types of pet insurance cover, namely, lifetime cover, time-limited cover and money-limit cover. Lifetime cover protects the pet and its owners against any critical/ long-term illness. This includes diseases such as eczema, arthritis, etc. The policyholder who opts for a lifetime pet insurance policy, will receive a specified amount each year towards treatment of the pet. Time limited pet insurance policy offers financial protection to a pet only for a specific period after a pet has contracted an illness or suffered an injury. Money-limit cover offers financial benefits to pet owners to meet the medical expenses of their pets. There is no time limit for this policy and it can be used until the money limit is reached.
  • Premium – Generally, the premium to be paid for the pet insurance policy in India is equal to 3 – 5 per cent of the sum assured.

To learn more about pet insurance and how is it done and the companies that cover pet insurance, do get a copy of the March 2021 Consumer VOICE English magazine today!

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Importance of Health Insurance in India

Importance of Health Insurance in India

Health Insurance

In this fast paced life with high levels of pollution and unhealthy eating habits, one needs to protect oneself. If there is a medical emergency, will you use all your savings ? You will have to if there is no medical cover. It is important to invest in a health insurance as you don’t know when you may need medical attention.Health policies allow you to opt for quality healthcare.Thus, policy holders can access medical treatment of the covered perils without any hassle.

If you have not covered yourself and your family under a family health insurance plan, a medical emergency can leave you broke. So, why do you have to wait for an emergency to occur when you can keep yourself protected. The rising medical costs again emphasise the need for every individual to be protected under a health plan.

Here are some point to consider why you should choose a health insurance:

Financial Security

The aim of every individual or family is to be financially secure. This is only possible if you save enough and getting medically insured is an equally important part of it. If you do not have a health policy, your savings will be hit. Health plans help you manage your emergency medical expense.

Lifestyle factors

Recent times have seen a major shift in the lifestyle of individuals. We don’t have time to take care of ourselves and neglect small signs of any health issue. All these things can lead to serious health problems in the future. Hence, a health policy is necessary as it includes regular medical tests, covers a range of medical treatments, and provides medical services at the best healthcare facilities.

Early disease incidence

We hear of younger people suffering from diseases such as arthritis, cardiac issues or muscular pains. Buying a health insurance allows you to avail free annual health checks ups therefore saving you from developing serious health problems.

Increase in medical expenses

Healthcare expenses are extremely expensive, and it is estimated that the cost of medical expenses will rise further with the rise in inflation.One has to protect oneself against rising medicals costs and stay financially secure. So having a health plan is a paramount to purchase.

It is recommended to consult a trusted health insurance advisor He should be able to provide you with unbiased advice and help you avail the best plans. You can also compare various policies on the websites to get a clear understanding.

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Did you know that your health information is confidential?

Did you know that your health information is confidential?

health

Whenever a doctor cannot do good, he must be kept from doing harm.

~ Hippocrates

In August this year, Andhra Pradesh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission had warned doctors and hospitals to not share patient information with anyone unless required by a court of law. Warning of legal consequences if they acted contrary to this, the commission had also stated that ‘maintaining confidentiality of a patient’s medical aspects is absolutely necessary and that it is not only part of a doctor’s professional conduct, but also a Constitutional obligation.’ Let’s look at some of the cases that brought this contentious subject into the spotlight.

 Dr Prem Lata, Consumer Awakening

Former Member, CDRF-Delhi

The case in question was against State Bank of India (SBI) wherein the latter had rejected a request of settling a loan against policy claim. The judgement was arrived at on the basis of ‘unethically obtained’ medical information by SBI.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Noushad Ali (president) and P Mutyala Naidu had allowed the claim of G Vijaya Kumari of Vijayawada against SBI Life Insurance Company.  The bench observed: “It is trite to note that of late, almost every doctor/hospital is observing a professional obligation and the mandate of Constitution with impunity. They are sharing medical records of patients routinely with insurance companies, without realising consequences.”

Case Background

G Vijaya Kumari had filed a case against SBI Life Insurance Company as they had rejected her request for settlement of a home loan (from SBI itself) through the insurance claim that was due to her after her husband’s demise. The insurance company had rejected her claim on the basis of investigation wherein they claimed to have found out that the applicant had ‘suppressed material information’ at the time of obtaining the life-insurance policy.

Kumari’s husband Seshagiri Rao had borrowed Rs 22 lakh as housing loan from SBI and covered the loan with the same bank’s insurance policy. He had also mortgaged his property. Later, Rao was diagnosed with cancer and died. Distressed, his wife pleaded with the bank to settle the loan against the insurance claim and return the pledged property papers to her. However, her claim was rejected by the company on the grounds that Rao had not disclosed true facts while buying the insurance policy.

It is interesting to note that the insurance company, despite maintaining in its records that Rao had suppressed material information, had issued a certificate of good health to him and approved the insurance policy.

After thoroughly studying the case and hearing all the parties, the state commission observed that while selling policies the insurance companies did not really care as to whether or not the intending purchaser was eligible for the policy – whether he or she was concealing ‘material information’, as was being contended in this case. Instead, they surpassed basic rules, lured customers through advertising and agents to meet sales targets. When it came to settlement, they would look for every possible excuse to dismiss the same. The bench pointed out that the insurance companies invariably engaged their so-called investigators, who in turn approached doctors/hospitals for records. “These doctors/hospitals are obliging to them as a matter of course. The present case is one such instance,” the bench said.

It its final judgement, the commission not just directed SBI to settle the loan against the policy claim and return the pledged property documents, but also asked the bank to compensate Kumari with one lakh rupees and pay Rs 25,000 towards the cost of litigation. The commission also reprimanded doctors/hospitals for sharing patients’ personal information with commercial establishments and asked them all to adhere to the regulations of Medical Council of India (MCI).

Another Case

An interesting case was decided by the National Consumer Forum in February this year. Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) had rejected a claim requested by the kin of PR Sumanagala post his death, on the basis of his medical records and a medical attendant’s certificate.

LIC rejected the claim stating that “the insured was a diabetic patient for the past 15 years and was undergoing irregular treatment.” To justify their claim, the company produced a discharge summary and the treatment records supplied by the Holy Ghost Mission Hospital where Sumanagala had died. They also produced a medical attendant’s certificate that confirmed acute renal failure as secondary cause of death and long-standing diabetes as the primary cause. On the other hand, Sumanagala’s wife continued to insist that her husband was totally healthy when he had taken the policy and that they learnt about his condition only after he was admitted to the hospital.

Interestingly, the company could not produce any evidence – treatment records, doctor’s statement, prescription or diagnosis – that could prove that the insured was getting treatment (even if irregular) for diabetes prior to his admission at the hospital. They could not counter the fact that kidney failure could be due to many reasons and that it was not possible to diagnose the time when kidney deterioration might have started.

All allegations by the insurance company were later proved wrong when the attorney cross-examined the doctor who had signed the medical attendant’s certificate. He accepted that he had not treated the patient and it was recorded that he was diabetic on the basis of symptoms of the patient. He also admitted that kidney failure could be due to many causes other than diabetes – there was no test available to determine the duration of diabetes. In fact, the old health records of Sumanagala that were obtained from a government medical college did not mention anything about him being a diabetes or hypertensive patient.

Announcing the final verdict, the commission reprimanded the insurance company and asked it to settle the claim.

Reiterating the above judgement in another case wherein Life Insurance Corporation had been sued by Dr PS Aggarwal, the Supreme Court had stated: “The onus to prove that there was material concealment of any disease, which directly proved fatal, was on the insurance company. In addition to above, the petitioner was supposed to prove that at the time of taking policy the person who gave the information knew about such a disease and he withheld it with an intention to defraud the insurance company.”

Likewise, in the case of Life Insurance Corporation versus Asha Goel, the National Commission had stated that “the burden of proving that the insured had made false representations or had suppressed material facts is on the Corporation.”

Stating the position of law, the National Commission explained that ‘exclusion clause’ could be applied by the court if insurer could prove the case of ‘pre-existing disease’. For that, the insurer must justify three elements:

(a) the policyholder suppressed facts which were material to disclose;

(b) the suppression must be fraudulently made by the policyholder; and

(c) the policyholder must have known at the time of making the statement that it was false or that it suppressed facts which it was material to disclose.

One must note here that Pollock and Mulla’s Indian Contract and Specific Relief Acts states that “any fact the knowledge or ignorance of which would materially influence an insurer in making the contract or in estimating the degree and character of risks in fixing the rate of premium is a material fact.”

Consumers, Be Aware

Although the above judgements and interventions are encouraging and have favoured distressed consumers, one should always be conscious when buying insurance and avoid any possibility of dismissal of insurance claim, by filling in correct details about health, history of illnesses in the family, and occupation and income.

Details of health: Insurance proposers tend to avoid filling in details regarding health conditions fearing that information on any ailment may result in the insurer rejecting the contract or asking for a higher premium. It must be understood that insurance companies do not deny any scope for insurance to those afflicted with specific diseases or health troubles.

History of illnesses in the family: Details of correct age along with health details of family members are important owing to the hereditary nature of certain diseases. Two or more people in the family succumbing to some specific illness that may be genetic in nature or exhibiting suicidal tendencies indicates a higher risk of death of those insured, and hence attract higher premiums.

Occupation and income: The maximum life cover allowed by any insurance company depends on the level of income, thus requiring the insured to provide right details of his/her income. Authenticity of income details may be determined by submission of last pay slip along with the income tax return (ITR) filed. For those employed in risky occupations including aviation, army, police, defence services or mining jobs, giving information about the nature of job is especially important as the underwriting criteria decided by the insurer require an added load to the premium paid.

Taking a life-insurance policy is a way to show your loved ones that you care. Since the process involves underwriting a legal contract, it is necessary that extreme caution is taken while filling out the form. This will ensure timely and complete payment of the claim to the nominee.

 

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How to Find Health Insurance for International Student Travel

How to Find Health Insurance for International Student Travel

Health Insurance

Students and parents of students who are going abroad often wonder how to find health insurance for international student travel. If you are also worried about this, then you should read on. Here are a few simple steps you can follow to pick the best possible insurance option that works for a student when he or she really needs help.

Talk to the School

When seeking the answer to how to find health insurance for international student travel, your first step should be the school of the student. If a student is sent for international education by a domestic school, the school might offer health insurance advice too. Similarly, if a student is enrolling in a school or college situated abroad, make sure that the student gets advice on health insurance from the prospective school or college.

Choose the Right Company

Though there are tons of companies that provide health insurance for international student travel, you should pick a company that has a good reputation and has been there since long. It will ensure that the company representatives will be there to assist a student if he/she needs their help. Also, make sure that the company has a local office near the student’s college, school, university or international address to get quick query resolution. Also, make sure that you choose a company that has a 24-hour support center.

Compare the Plans

Compare plans offered by two or more insurance providers to make sure that you make a right decision. It is essential that the insurance offers coverage for new illness or injuries, emergency doctor visits, lab orders and emergency surgeries. Don’t expect coverage for preventive care or routine checkups. Also, compare the value of each service offered in the coverage by looking at the costs. Learn about co-payments and deductibles too.

Examine the Plans

Examine each plan carefully and ask questions before you purchase. Ensure that it will provide coverage for the needs you identified in Step 2. You need to understand the exact amount of coverage it provides, what deductibles and co-payments are involved and any exemption limits and refund policies. Also, the U.S. State Department recommends looking for medical policies that guarantee their payments abroad, pay directly to foreign hospitals and foreign doctors and have a 24-hour support center.

Choose According to Trips

When seeking the answer to how to find health insurance for international student travel, make sure that you count the number of international trips a student will have in a month or a year. A few trip options are a single trip plan, multi-trip plan, group plan or a long-term plan. Choose whichever suits the student the best.

Inquire About Global Student Insurance Options

Many students can benefit from global student health insurance plans that provide comprehensive medical coverage for students. If you are eligible for the same, make sure you learn more about it before making a decision.

Stay Eligible

Once you have chosen the right plan after following the advice on how to find health insurance for international student travel mentioned here, make sure that you know about all eligibility qualifications and meet them to keep the insurance useful. For instance, some insurance providers might ask a student to attend classes for a specified number of hours each week to stay eligible. Be smart, and you’ll get financial support from your insurer even in a different country!

 

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