Everything you should know about two wheeler insurance policies in India

Don’t you love having a bike? Most probably your answer would be a big ‘Yes’. Two wheelers are very popular in India because they have two major benefits. One, they are economical. Two, they are fast and a convenient mode of transport. That is why, two wheeler sales are booming. See for yourself:

Everything you should know about Two Wheeler Insurance Policies in India

(Source: http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/startup/how-bike-taxis-are-becoming-a-livelihood-source-for-indias-youth-2400665.html )

Did you know that a two wheeler insurance policy is also required with your two-wheeler?

According to The Motor Vehicle’s Act, every vehicle which is running on India roads must have a valid insurance policy on it. Therefore, if you have a two-wheeler you are mandated to have an insurance policy on it too.

Insurance, being a technical concept, escapes the knowledge of many individuals. If you are also clueless about your bike’s insurance policy, here is everything which you need to know. Let’s roll –

Types of policies available

Two-wheeler insurance policies come in two different variants and each variant has different coverage features. They are –

  • Third party liability only policy

A third party liability only policy is mandated by law. This policy covers you against any financial liability which you might incur if you cause bodily injury, death or property damage to a third party or property through your bike. The third party can be any individual or property apart from you and your bike.

  • Comprehensive package policy

Where the third party cover ignores damages suffered by you and your bike, a comprehensive package policy comes into the picture. The policy has two coverage areas. One, it covers the mandatory third party liability for any damages inflicted on a third party or property. Two, it also covers any damages suffered by your bike and you. If your bike is stolen or is damaged by any man-made or natural calamity, the policy pays for the repairs. Moreover, there is also a personal accident cover for the owner/driver of the bike which pays a benefit in case of accidental death.

Add-ons available

Comprehensive two wheeler insurance policies also have various additional optional coverage features. These are called add-ons and they widen the scope of cover. Some popular add-ons include the following:

  • Zero depreciation cover

In case of a claim where the bike’s parts are replaced, the insurance company pays the depreciated cost of the parts. The rest is payable by you. A zero depreciation add-on is useful as it nullifies the effect of depreciation. If the cover is selected, the company pays the full cost of the part repaired or replaced irrespective of depreciation.

  • NCB protect

Every year when you do not raise a claim in your insurance policy, you earn a premium discount called the No Claim Bonus. This discount is applied on the renewal premium and goes as high as 50%. However, in any year if you make a claim you lose the accumulated discount. If you have NCB protect add-on, this discount is not lost even in case of a claim.

  • Passenger cover

There is a personal accident cover in the policy only for the owner/driver of the vehicle. If you want a cover for the pillion passenger you can opt for this add-on. It would pay a benefit in case of accidental death or disability faced by the pillion rider.

Discounts in the policy

This would sound good to you that a bike insurance policy offers various discounts on the premium. You can avail a discount for –

  • Buying the policy online
  • Installing safety devices
  • Using the NCB accumulated
  • Buying a long-term policy

How to make a claim

The last thing which is also the most important one is to understand how to make a claim on your two-wheeler insurance plan. Many of you don’t know the claim settlement process.

Here are some simple and common steps –

  • Inform the insurance company immediately in case of an accident if are looking to make a claim.
  • Take your bike to the nearest preferred garage (garage tied-up with the insurer) for cashless claim settlement. In case of non-networked garages, you would have to pay for the repairs and get it reimbursed by the company
  • In case of theft of the bike or for a third party claim, file an FIR
  • A survey is required before the bike is repaired. This survey is done by the company’s appointed surveyor. When you inform the company of the accident the company arranges for the surveyor’s visit. Only after the survey is done do the repairs begin.
  • After repairs, the company settles the bill and you can take delivery of your bike.
  • In case of theft or total loss (when the bike is beyond repairs), the company pays the IDV as a claim.

A two-wheeler insurance policy is mandatory and you should know all about the plan before you buy one. So, go through the above-mentioned pointers and understand the concept of two wheeler insurance.

Are you out-of-pocket healthcare expenses high/

‘Health is wealth’ and so we are told but when it comes to maintaining it, we are none the wiser. Given the modern lifestyle and pollution, our health suffers the most. According to the Global Burden of Disease Study conducted by The Lancet, India ranks 154th amidst a list of 195 countries in healthcare index (Source: http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/global-burden-of-disease-study-india-at-154-lags-behind-bangladesh-117052000010_1.html ). This index depicts the capability of a country to face diseases and prevent death. Such a low position shows that Indians succumb to various diseases and ailments because of lack of awareness. It shows that India is not completely prepared to tackle diseases and so has a high death rate. Coupled with the high incidence of ailments, India’s out-of-pocket expenses on healthcare is very high. Indians spend a major proportion of their healthcare costs from their own pockets. As per WHO’s report for the year 2014, the out-of-pocket expenditure as a percentage of private expenditure on health in India is a whopping 89.2% Surprising, isn’t it?

(Source: http://www.who.int/gho/health_financing/out_pocket_expenditure/en/ )

There are about two dozen insurance companies in India offering more than 50 health insurance products. These health plans help individuals deal with the financial implications of an ailment. Yet, the out-of-pocket expenses on healthcare are high. Have you ever wondered why?

The reason is because the penetration of health insurance is low. Though illnesses have become frequent, very few people invest in a health insurance plan. Here are the reasons why –

  • Lack of awareness

The primary reason for not investing in a health insurance plan is a lack of awareness. Many individuals don’t understand the need and benefit of a health insurance policy. Their savings are directed to more lucrative investment avenues which bring in returns. As a result, health insurance is always given a miss.  But, the rising cost of treatments and high incidence of ailments together take a toll on your savings. You either don’t have enough money to pay for your healthcare costs or you deplete your available savings and face a financial crisis.

  • Burden of premium payments

Another major reason, beside lack of awareness, is the premium payable. Health insurance plans require policyholders to pay premiums to avail coverage benefits. Since these premiums do not earn returns, they are considered to be a burden by many. People do not like paying health insurance premiums and abstain from a health insurance plan.

  • Lack of trust at the time of claim

Health insurance claims specify a certain set of rules. You have to follow these rules to get your claim settled quickly and easily. These rules are considered technical by many. Policyholders do not read the fine print of their policies. They don’t find out the claim settlement process and make mistakes when raising a claim. As a result their claim settlement process is jeopardized. They blame the company for any hassle and lose trust on health insurance as a product.

  • Affordability

People have the notion that health insurance premiums are high and they cannot afford them. They do not like parting with a few thousand rupees to get health insurance coverage. Even when they do buy a health plan the sum insured chosen is very low in fear of the high incidence of premium and non-affordability.

What can be done?

While it is true that health insurance penetration is low, all in not lost. Through some efforts, the penetration can be increased. Insurance companies and even the regulator are devising ways to increase such penetration. Some of the ways include –

  • Increasing awareness

The barrier of lack of knowledge can be overcome through proper education programs. Individuals should be made aware of the various benefits a health insurance policy provides so that they can be motivated to buy a plan. The claim process should be communicated in clear language for people to understand so that making a claim becomes easy. They should be enlightened about how health insurance is a boon for their finances in medical emergencies.

  • Propagating the benefit structure of health insurance plans

The coverage features of a health insurance policy are quite technical in nature. Individuals do not have the required technical knowledge due to which they do not understand the importance of a health insurance plan. The plan benefits should, thus, be adequately propagated. Potential customers should be told how the various coverage features provide an all-round financial coverage against possible medical costs. They should be made aware of high inflation prevalent in medical costs. This inflation is a serious risk to their savings which can be safeguarded only through a health insurance plan. Not only would a health plan pay for the medical expenses, it would also protect your savings to be drained out.

  • Comparing premium payments vis-à-vis the benefit

For individuals who consider health insurance premiums to be a burden, the benefit payable should be highlighted. They should be shown how the quantum of coverage available under the plan outweighs the minimal premium which is payable against it. Everyone has miscellaneous expenses amounting to thousands. Can’t this money be invested for their health? For instance, Apollo Munich’s critical illness policy for Rs.5 lakhs sum insured covers 37 primary illnesses like heart attack, cancer, open heart bypass, stroke, etc. It pays Rs.5 lakhs immediately on diagnosis of any ailment. Against such lump sum benefit, the premium is only Rs.2213 for a 35-year old male. Is it expensive?

(Source: http://www.apollomunichinsurance.com/individual-optima-vital-premium-calculator.aspx )

Increasing the penetration of health insurance in India is a daunting task, a task which should be undertaken. However, as a consumer you should also be self-aware and invest in a good health insurance plan. The premiums would be affordable compared to the out-of-pocket expenses on health. Turtlemint believes in the importance of a health insurance plan and provides you a platform to compare and buy a plan easily. You can find the plans of all leading insurers on Turtlemint. Besides helping you with the buying process, Turtlemint also helps you at the time of claim with its dedicated claim handling department. So, understand the importance of a health insurance plan and invest in one today!

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How to claim for car theft and the total admissible amount for the same?

Car insurance – something which is mandatory when you buy a car.  A comprehensive car insurance policy covers you for the damages sustained by your car and even for any third party liability. It, thus, comes in handy when your car is damaged or stolen.

Car theft has become very common nowadays. In fact, according to police reports, in the first three months of 2016 in Delhi, 9741 vehicle were reported lost against the last year’s figure of 6724 during the same period. (Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/A-vehicle-is-stolen-every-13-mins-in-Delhi-rate-up-44-since-last-yr/articleshow/51836205.cms ).  Thankfully, if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy, you can get a claim if your car is stolen. Do you know the claim process?

The claim process of a stolen car is simple and, if, done properly, you can get your claim settled easily and quickly. Let’s find out how to claim for the theft of your car and the claim amount.

Step 1 – inform the insurance company immediately

This is the basic thumb rule when raising a car insurance claim. Your insurance company should be informed immediately of any damages or theft. When you discover that your car has been stolen, call up the insurance company’s claim assistance helpline and inform them. The company would tell you about the next steps which you should take to make a valid claim. You would also be given a claim reference number which you should note down for future references.

Read more to understand Car Insurance terminologies

Step 2 – Obtain a FIR

This is the most logical and important step which is required after the insurance company is informed. You should visit your local police station and file a First Information Report (FIR) of the car theft. This report contains the details of the car and the theft which has taken place. The FIR serves as the proof of theft and is required by the insurance company to process your claim.

Step 3 – Submit the RC book, FIR and both your car keys to the insurance company

The insurance company requires some important documents to authenticate your claim and process it. You would have to submit the RC book of the car, the FIR you have filed and the keys of your car. If your RC book was in the car, a photo copy of the same might be sufficient if insurer accepts it. You are provided two sets of keys and both sets are to be submitted to the insurance company. This is required to rule out possible gross negligence on your part. If you have both the keys on you it proves that you didn’t leave the keys inside the car which might have resulted in theft. If you did and the theft occurred due to the key in the car’s ignition, it is ruled to be an act of gross negligence on your part. In this case the insurance company has the authority to reject your claim. That is why both keys are insisted upon when you make a claim for car theft.

 Step 4 – Get your claim settled

If your car is not recovered by the police, the insurance company settles the claim for theft. The settlement usually gets completed within 2 months of making a claim. The claim amount would be the Insured Declared Value (IDV) of the car in the year when the theft took place. For instance, if your car insurance policy for the current year shows an IDV of Rs.4.8 lakhs, in case of theft, Rs.4.8 lakhs would be the admissible claim amount.

Wasn’t the process simple and easy? Just informing the insurance company, filing a FIR, submitting the FIR along with RC book and both sets of car keys and you can get the claim settled. There are a few pointers to keep in mind though. These include the following –

  • Make sure that your car insurance policy has not expired. No claim is paid on a lapsed policy.
  • Don’t carry the original insurance documents in your car. In case of theft you would lose the policy documents and might face difficulty in making a claim. Carry the copy of your Insurance Certificate in your car.
  • Never leave your car unattended with the keys still in the ignition. It increases the chances of theft and your claim might also get rejected.

Though losing a car to theft is a big deal, you might find yourself in this situation. If you do, utilize the benefits of your comprehensive car insurance policy. Know the steps of raising a claim and get your claim settled. Don’t expect the insurance company to reimburse you for the car’s cost though. You would get the IDV which is the fair market value of your car less applicable depreciation. So, be wise, be careful.

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