Is your policy amount unclaimed if so it is your loss

You often blame the insurance company if there is any dispute regarding the settlement of your insurance claims. But what if you don’t avail claim settlement from the insurance company yourself? Whose fault is it then? Unclaimed policy amount represents the claims which the insurance company has incurred but for which the policyholder has not availed a settlement. As such, the claim amount remains with the insurance company and is called unclaimed policy amount. As of 31st March 2018, INR 15, 167 crores worth of claims is sitting unclaimed with 23 of life insurance companies in the market. LIC has the major share of this unclaimed amount at INR 10, 509 crores while the other private players have the remaining. A substantial amount, don’t you think?

Source: The Economic Times 

Some of the common reasons why the policy amount remains unclaimed are as follows –

The nominee is not aware of the insured’s policy. In case of death the nominee does not make a claim and the claim remains with the insurance company.

The policy documents are lost or misplaced due to which the policyholder does not know the benefit details and fails to make a claim

There has been a change in address which has not been notified to the insurance company. As such, the company’s correspondence doesn’t reach the policyholder

Check out our video below to know about life insurance claim procedure

How to avoid unclaimed claims

Any unclaimed amount is your loss as you do not get the rightful settlement of your insurance claims. That is why it is advised that you take measures to avoid your claim going unclaimed. These measures include the following –

      – Informing the nominee

The first step which you should take after buying the insurance policy is to inform your nominee. When the nominee knows about the policy details and the claim process, he/she can make a death claim in your absence and get successful settlement of the claim.

     – Preserving the policy documents

Life insurance policies are long term contracts. As such, the physical policy documents should be preserved properly to know the policy details. In case of loss or damage of the original policy bond, you should request the insurance company for a duplicate one so that you have the policy details with you.

     – Notifying of the changes to the insurer

If your address or contact details change you should get such changes endorsed in your insurance policy. Only when the insurance company knows about your updated details can it correspond with you regarding the policy claims. So, keep the company abreast of any changes in your contact details to get regular notifications.

Unclaimed policy amounts prevent you to reap the benefit of your insurance policy. You don’t get the rightful settlement of your claim and incur a loss. So, always take the corrective measures mentioned above to ensure that your policy claim is settled and your policy pays you what it promised.

Read more about cashless claims

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6 Government sponsored health insurance schemes which you should know

Given the rising cost of health care and the income demography of India, the Indian Government has launched various types of health insurance schemes. These schemes cater to a specific set of individuals and provide them with affordable health insurance cover. Currently, there are six Government sponsored health insurance schemes which you should know about. These include the following –

1. Rashtriya Swasthiya Bima Yojana (RSBY)

The RSBY scheme provides health insurance coverage to families which are categorised as BPL (Below Poverty Line) families. The features of the scheme include the following –

Coverage for hospitalisation expenses is provided up to INR 30, 000

Pre-existing illnesses are covered from the first day itself

There is no limit on entry age

A maximum of 5 family members can be covered which include self, spouse and three dependent members

Covered family has to pay only INR 30 for registration. The premium is paid by the Government.

2. Employment State Insurance Scheme (ESIS)

ESIS provides coverage to workers employed in non-seasonal factories which have employment strength of at least 10 employees.  Its features are as follows –

Coverage is provided for self and dependants

Coverage includes hospitalisation costs and cash benefits in case of sickness and disablements

Dependant benefit is paid to dependants of those workers who die in an accident in the course of employment. A regular pension is paid as benefit

3. Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS)

The scheme covers employees, pensioners and dependants of Central Government. CGHS is available in select Indian cities. Coverage is wide and includes hospitalisation, domiciliary care, consultation facilities, health education, etc.

4. Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana

AABY covers rural households that do not own a land and individuals engaged in 45 occupational groups recognised under the scheme. The features of the scheme are as follows –

Only one family member is covered. That member should either be the head of the family or an earning member

Premium is paid by the Government

Age limit under the scheme is 18 to 59 years

In case of natural death a benefit of INR 30, 000 is paid. In case of accidental death or total permanent disability, INR 75, 000 is paid. The benefit reduces to INR 37, 500 in case of permanent partial disability due to an accident.

Add-on benefit of scholarship for the children is also available

5. Universal Health Insurance Scheme (UHIS)

UHIS is a scheme offered by the four public sector health insurance companies. The scheme is designed for BPL families. Coverage is provided as under –

Hospitalisation – up to INR 30, 000

Accidental death – INR 25, 000

Loss of earning – INR 50 per day for up to 15 days

Premiums are low and subsidised. The existing subsidy in premium is INR 200 for individual plans, INR 300 for floater plan covering five members and INR 400 for floater plan covering seven members.

6. PM Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY)

This is the latest addition to Government health insurance schemes and is popularly called the Ayushman Bharat scheme. 10.74 crore families which are defined to be ‘poor and vulnerable’ are covered under the scheme. Hospitalisation expenses of the covered families are covered up to INR 5 lakhs. Premiums are borne by the Government.

These are the health insurance schemes which are being offered by the Indian Government for the welfare of its citizens. These schemes aim to provide better healthcare facilities to the downtrodden and are a right step towards making India a developed country.

If you want to know more about these schemes check the link below
(Source: https://www.nhp.gov.in/national-health-insurance-schemes_pg )

Read more about Ayushman Bharat Scheme

Read more about Pradhan Mantri insurance schemes

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All you need to know about the Ayushman Bharat Scheme

It’s been more than a month when our honourable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, launched the Ayushman Bharat scheme on 23rd September, 2018. The scheme has been renamed to PM Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) and it is the largest health scheme ever funded by a Government. Though the scheme has become operational, many of you are still unaware about the details of the scheme. So, here is a brief look into the main features of the scheme which you should know about –

Objective of the scheme

This health scheme aims to pay for the hospitalisation expenses of the poor population of India which is not able to avail basic healthcare due to lack of funds.

Who is covered?

The scheme covers those families who have been defined as ‘poor and vulnerable’ as per the Rural Development Ministry’s Socio Economic Caste Census which was published in 2011 and was later updated in 2015. About 10.74 crore named families are covered under the scheme covering approximately 50 crore Indians who comprise of about 40% of the total population.

What is covered under PMJAY?

Hospitalisation expenses are covered on a cashless basis for all types of secondary and tertiary treatments. The hospitals would not charge the patients any money and treat them on a cashless basis. OPD expenses, however, are not covered. The coverage amount is INR 5 lakhs per family on a floater basis and there is no restriction on the number of members who can be covered under a single floater plan.

How would the claim be settled?

The Central and State Government would bear the medical expenses on a ratio of 60:40. The costs incurred on treatments would be paid by the Central and State Government directly to the hospital. The scheme has fixed 1350 medical packages across 23 specialities and the hospitals are bound to adhere to these costs. They cannot charge more than the fixed costs on a particular treatment.

How does the scheme work?

The scheme first identified the families which were to be covered. Then, a letter was sent to such families which contained a unique QR code. To avail cashless treatments, the beneficiary of the named family should go to a hospital and approach a designated Aarogya Mitra appointed at the hospital. The QR code sent in the letter should then be matched with the scheme’s IT database. The member should also present an identification proof to authenticate his identity. Once the authentication is done, every covered member, named in the scheme, would get a ‘Golden card’ which would serve as a health card for cashless treatments.

Hospitals that are providing coverage under the scheme

The scheme would be applicable at all public hospitals and empanelled private ones. Private hospitals can be empanelled if they apply with the Government and have a minimum of 10 beds.

The Ayushman Bharat scheme is a step in the right direction for a country where a majority of the population lives below the poverty line. Though the scheme has become operational, it faces some hurdles and challenges which would smoothen with time. Till then, the backward section of India can look towards better health care facilities at their disposal.

To know more about the scheme you can visit https://www.abnhpm.gov.in/

Read more about types  of health insurance plans

Read more about things to keep in mind before buying health insurance

Read more about taxation facts about your insurance policies

Do you know all the tax benefits of your life insurance policy?

A life insurance policy has distinct tax advantages. The premiums you pay for the policy are tax-free under Section 80C up to a maximum limit of INR 1.5 lakhs. That is why insurance is a preferred mode of investment for many tax-payers who try and maximise their 80C contributions. What’s an added advantage is that the maturity or death benefit paid under the plan also qualifies for tax deduction. Yes, you heard it right! Not only do you get tax benefits on the premiums paid, the policy proceeds are also tax-free under Section 10 (10D). Policy proceeds are the benefits which you receive from your insurance policy. Moreover, there is no limit on the exemption allowed on policy benefits. The entire benefit received, whatever be the amount, would be tax-free. But is that all that you should know?

Though the policy benefits qualify for tax exemption under Section 10 (10D), there are some eligibility criteria which the policy should qualify on to get the tax exemption. These criteria are listed below –

  • If the policy is issued between 1st April 2003 and 31st March 2012

If the life insurance policy is issued after 1st April 2003 but on or before 31st March 2012, the premium for the policy should not be more than 20% of the sum assured. Only if the premium is up to 20% of the sum assured, the maturity or death benefit received under the plan, including sum assured and any bonus or additions declared, would be tax-free. If the premium of the plan is more than 20% of the sum assured, the entire benefit paid would be taxed.

For example, if the sum assured under the life insurance policy is INR 10 lakhs, the premium should not be more than INR 2 lakhs. If the premium is below the specified limit, the maturity or death benefit received would be completely tax-free. However, if the premium is INR 2.10 lakhs, the policy benefit would be taxable completely.

Exception to the rule

Even if the premium is more than 20% of the sum assured, if the insured dies during the policy tenure and a death benefit is paid, no tax would be applicable on the death benefit paid.

  • If the policy is issued on or after 1st April 2012

 If the policy has been issued on or after 1st April, 2012, the maximum premium should not be more than 10% of the sum assured. Only if the premium is limited to 10% of the sum assured is the plan benefit allowed as tax-free under Section 10 (10D)

Like the same example, if the premium of the plan is up to INR 1 lakh, the plan benefit would be allowed as tax-free income. If the premium is INR 1.10 lakhs or anywhere above INR 1 lakh, the entire proceeds paid under the policy would be taxable.

Exception to the rule

Just like in the above-mentioned instance, even if the premium is more than10% of the sum assured, the death benefit paid would be completely tax-free.

  • Section 80U and 80DDB

If the life insured suffers from a severe disability as defined under Section 80U or has a disease specified in Section 80DDB, the tax-free limit on premium is 15% of the sum assured. So, for such individuals, the premium could be up to 15% of the sum assured for the plan benefits to qualify for exemption under Section 10 (10D).

In the example where the sum assured is INR 10 lakhs, the maximum premium should be up to INR 1.5 lakhs so that the benefits received are tax-free.

  • TDS on life insurance proceeds

There is also a concept of TDS being deducted from the benefits payable under a life insurance policy. According to Section 194DA of the Income Tax Act, life insurance policy benefits are subject to a TDS @ 2%. However, this TDS is applicable only if the policy proceeds are not exempted under Section 10 (10D). If the policy proceeds are exempted under 10 (10D), no TDS would be charged. Another exemption from the TDS rule is that if the policy proceeds are not exempted under Section 10(10D), but are below INR 1 lakh, no TDS would be applicable.

Example – A policy is issued after 1st April, 2012 with a sum assured of INR 50, 000. The premium is INR 6000. Since the premium is more than 10% of the sum assured, the sum assured of INR 50, 000 would not be exempted under Section 10(10D) if it is paid as a maturity benefit. However, TDS would not be applicable on INR 50, 000 because the benefit is below INR 1 lakh.

The rate of TDS increases to 20% if the policyholder does not submit his PAN to the insurance company.

So, don’t take your life insurance policy proceeds for granted when it comes to tax exemption. Know the rules of tax exemption to find out whether your policies would provide tax-free benefits or not.

Read more about taxation facts about your life insurance policies

Read more about tax benefits of life insurance policy

Read more about know more about the benefits of life insurance policies before buying one

Read more about TDS on life insurance policies.
 
Do you have more than 1 life insurance policy and wondering what tax benefit you would get? Check our our video to know more

 

Pledge to secure your child’s future this Children’s Day

Children’s Day is around the corner and most of you might be planning to surprise your child with gifts or a fun day out. While you are making sure that your child enjoys this Children’s Day, have you ensured that your child enjoys his future too?

Contingencies come unannounced and when they do they cause a heavy financial strain. This financial strain wipes out your finances and threatens the fulfillment of your financial goals. A secured future for one’s child is one such financial goal which all parents have. But are they able to fulfill this goal? What about you? Can you guarantee that your child would have a secured financial future?

Securing your child’s future is not a difficult job if you know how. There are two important products which should feature in your financial portfolio for securing your child’s future. These are as follows –

Health insurance plan

A health insurance plan helps meet the medical expenses which incur if you face any medical emergency. Since your children are highly prone to accidental injuries and infectious ailments, having a health insurance plan in place is recommended. The plan would pay for the hospitalisation cost and other associated medical expenses if your child faces a medical emergency. Since the medical costs would be covered, you wouldn’t have to worry about your savings being drained. You can, therefore, ensure the best healthcare facilities for your child if you have a good health plan.

  • Tips for buying health plans

1. Choose a family floater plan to cover your dependent children at affordable premiums

2. Choose a plan which has good and comprehensive coverage features

3. Opt for a high sum insured as medical costs are quite considerable

4. Critical illness plans are also recommended for an enhanced scope of coverage

Child insurance plans

Child insurance plans are life insurance plans which promise to create a corpus for your child even if you are not around to do so yourself. These plans are savings-oriented plans which have an inbuilt premium waiver rider. In case of death of the parent, the premiums payable are waived off. The policy continues and the insurance company pays the premium on the parent’s behalf. When the plan’s term comes to an end, the promised maturity benefit is paid so that the child can use the benefit for his financial needs. The USP of child plans is the premium waiver benefit. This benefit makes the plan most suitable for securing your child’s future. You can choose a term depending on when your child would require a financial corpus. Thereafter you can relax knowing that even in case of your premature death the child plan would create the promised corpus when the plan matures giving your child the financial help he/she requires. No other insurance or investment plan offers this security.

  • Tips for buying child plans

1. The plan should be bought when your child is young. The term should then be selected to match the milestones in your child’s life when funds would be required. For instance, if your child is 5 years old, you can buy a plan with a term of 15 years knowing that when your child turns 20 funds might be required for higher education

2. The sum assured should be sufficient to pay for the child’s financial needs. You should work out your child’s future financial needs keeping inflation in mind and then choose the sum assured.

3. Child plans are also offered as unit linked plans. These plans are better than traditional savings oriented plans. So, ULIPs should be chosen as you get the benefit of market-linked returns which would help you in creating a good corpus for your child.

Make this Children’s Day fun for your children and don’t forget to secure their future too. Your child is your bundle of joy and you wouldn’t want any misfortune to fall on them, would you? Plan in advance so that your child remains financially unaffected even when life throws challenges. Invest in health insurance and child life insurance plans and fulfil your duty of a responsible parent.

Read more about life insurance in your 30s

Read more about 6 common myths about child insurance plans

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Know all the tax benefits of life insurance policies before buying one

Life insurance policies have distinct tax advantages due to which they are highly favoured among individuals. Besides providing life insurance coverage, life insurance policies also are an avenue to reduce your tax outgo. Premiums paid for life insurance plans qualify for tax deduction under Section 80C. The maximum exemption which you can avail from Section 80C is limited to INR 1.5 lakhs. However, is that all you need to know about your life insurance plan’s premium exemption?

No, it’s not. Though life insurance premiums are allowed as tax deduction, there are certain rules which you should know about this deduction benefit. Let’s see what these rules are –

Rules for Section 80C:
For your life insurance policy’s premium to be eligible for deduction under Section 80C, some rules are required to be followed. These include the following –

  • Life Insurance Policies bought before 31st March 2012:

If you had bought a policy any time before and up to 31st March, 2012, the premium amount you have paid should not be more than 20% of the sum assured of the plan. If, the premium is up to 20% of the sum assured, it would be allowed as a deduction under Section 80C.

However, if the premium is more than 20% of the sum assured, deduction would be available only on the amount of premium up to 20% of the sum assured.

For example, if you had bought a policy with a sum assured of INR 3 lakhs, the premium up to INR 60,000 would be eligible for deduction under Section 80C. However, if the premium is, say, INR 80,000, you would get deduction only on INR 60,000, i.e. 20% of the sum assured even though the maximum eligible amount for 80C is higher. The remaining amount of INR 20, 000, would not be eligible for a tax deduction.

  • Life Insurance Policies bought after 31st March 2012:
    If, on the other hand, you have bought a policy on or after 1st April, 2012, the amount of premium should be up to 10% of the sum assured to qualify for deduction under Section 80C.

In the same example, in a policy of INR 3 lakhs, the premium should be up to INR 30, 000 to be allowed as a tax-free investment. If the premium is higher, deduction would be available only on INR 30, 000. The excess premium would not be eligible for tax deduction U/S 80C.

So, if the premium is INR 80,000 as mentioned, the remaining INR 50, 000 would not be eligible for tax deduction U/S 80C.

  • Single Premium Plans:

In case of single premium plans also, the premium should be up to 10% of the sum assured to be allowed as a tax-free investment. If the premium is INR 1 lakh and the sum assured is INR 5 lakhs, only INR 50, 000 would be allowed as tax-free deduction. The remaining INR 50, 000 would not be eligible for tax deduction U/S 80C.

Rules for 80DDB:

There is another exemption rule which most people are not aware about. According to the rule, if the policy has been issued on or after 1st April, 2013, and the life insured suffers from a disability as specified under Section 80U or suffers from a serious ailment as specified under Section 80DDB, the deduction limit is higher. In such cases, premiums paid up to 15% of the sum assured qualify for deduction. So, if the policy has a sum assured of INR 5 lakhs, the allowed premium which qualifies for tax deduction would be up to INR 75, 000.

Minimum Holding Period:

There is also a minimum period for which the plans should be held. If they are surrendered or terminated before the minimum holding period, the tax deduction allowed on the premium paid would be reversed. The minimum holding period for the plans is as follows:

  • ULIP- 5 years
  • Single Premium Plans- 2 years
  • Other Life Insurance Policies- 3 years

 

So, these are the rules for premiums to qualify as tax-free investments under Section 80C. You can pay the life insurance premium for yourself, your spouse and your dependent children to claim Section 80C exemption. Moreover, members of a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) can also claim the same tax benefits stated earlier. If your premium includes premiums for a health insurance rider, like critical illness rider, hospital cash rider, major surgery rider, etc., the part of the premium which is paid for riders would qualify for deduction under Section 80D and the rest would be considered under Section 80C. The maximum deduction available under Section 80D is INR 25, 000 which increases to INR 50, 000 if you are a senior citizen.

Also, check out our video below to know the tax benefits of life insurance

So, while your life insurance plans provide tax relief on the premiums paid, know the rules of availing tax exemptions. The tax saving deduction might not be allowed for premiums which do not fulfil the above-mentioned rules. So, when buying a life insurance policy, make sure that the premiums you pay fulfil the above-mentioned rules and give you a tax-advantage.

Read more about tax in-case of surrender or termination of life insurance policy

Read more about taxation facts about your insurance policies

Read more about TDS on life insurance policies

Know all about tax in case you surrender or terminate your life insurance policy

A life insurance policy is a long term contract. You buy the policy with a term ranging anywhere from 5 years to 35 years. The policy is intangible and pays a benefit either in case of maturity or death during the term of the plan. However, many times than not, you want to give up your policy before its stipulated tenure. Though you can give up your policy, is there any tax implication which you should know? Yes, in case  you surrender or terminate your life insurance policy before its stipulated tenure, there might be a tax implication. Let’s understand what these implications are and how they work but first, a word on surrender of life insurance plans –

What is surrendering or terminating a life insurance plan?

Surrendering your life insurance policy means giving up the plan before the stipulated time and redeeming the benefits applicable as on that date. Say, if you have a plan for 10 years and you want to end the plan and avail any benefit after the first 5 years itself, it is called surrendering the policy. The value which you get on such surrender is called surrender value.

Taxation of surrender value

The surrender value of a life insurance policy is allowed as a tax-free benefit only if it fulfils the below-mentioned conditions –

  • If it is a traditional plan like endowment, money back, etc., the surrender value would be tax-free if the premiums of the first two years have been fully paid and then the plan is surrendered
  • If it is a single premium traditional plan, the surrender value would be tax-free if the plan is surrendered after the completion of the first two years
  • In case of unit linked insurance plans, the surrender value would be tax-free if the plan is surrendered after the completion of the first five years of the plan

Moreover, the period when the policy was issued also determines the taxability of surrender value. Here’s how –

  • If the policy was issued any time before 31st March 2003, the surrender value would be completely tax-free
  • If the policy was issued between 1st April, 2003 and 31st March 2012, the surrender value would be tax-free only if the sum assured is more than 5 times the amount of annual premium
  • If the policy was issued on or any time after 1st April 2012, the surrender value would be tax-free only if the sum assured is more than 10 times the annual premium amount
  • If the policy was issued on or after 1st April, 2013 and if the insured is disabled according to the definition provided under Section 80U or suffers from an ailment listed under Section 80DDB, the surrender value would be tax-free only if the sum assured is more than 6.67 times the annual premium

If the surrender value meets the above listed criteria, the amount received on surrendering the policy would be tax-free in the hands of the policyholder.

However, if the surrender value does not qualify on the above-listed parameters, there would be dual tax implications. These implications would be as follows –

  1. The premium exemption claimed under Section 80C in the years when the premiums were paid would be reversed. The tax exemptions claimed in the years when premiums were exempted would be not applicable any more. You would, therefore, have to pay additional tax on the exemptions claimed in earlier years
  2. The surrender value received would not be exempted under Section 10 (10D). The amount that you receive as surrender value would be treated as ‘Income from other sources’ and taxed at your existing tax bracket.

Surrender value in case of pension plans

If you have a pension plan and you surrender it, the surrender value would be completely taxable under the head ‘Income from other sources’. There are no conditions which make the surrender value tax-free. Moreover, the premium exemption claimed under Section 80CCC for pension plans would also be reversed. You would have to pay additional tax for tax exemptions availed on pension plan premiums if the plan is surrendered any time before the stipulated maturity date.

So, if you are thinking of surrendering your life insurance policy, first understand the tax implications associated with surrender. Only if your surrender value qualifies for tax exemption should you surrender the plan otherwise you would incur dual tax implications.

Read more about taxation facts about your insurance policy

Read more about tax benefits of life insurance policy

Read more about TDS on life insurance policies

Diwali and insurance – a perfect fit

Diwali is one of the biggest and the most widely celebrated festivals of India. It is a festival which is celebrated with lights, sweets, gifts, crackers and merriment. The festival is a week-long affair where every day has a special significance.

Dhanteras, Choti Diwali, Diwali, Bhai Dooj all these days are celebrated with family and close friends. There is merriment, fun, food and celebration all around.

However, we face few risks of our health and property which cannot be avoided during this fun-filled festival but surely can be reduced or controlled if we all put in our efforts individually. Let’s understand each of them and measures you can take the reduce these risks.

  • Air Pollution

The quality of air worsens over Diwali as crackers are burst. In fact, States in north India report very low visibility due to smog created by high air pollution levels during and after Diwali.However, Diwali is not just responsible for the low air quality alone but there are multiple reasons like agricultural stubble burning in Punjab, vehicle emissions, coal-fired power plants, etc. However, since the air quality dips around Diwali, it has been traditionally been blamed for the same.

What you can do to help?

Well, there are multiple things that can be done at an individual level and if everyone contributes their small bit, the overall air quality will surely improve:

1. No Smoking: Yes, it pollutes the air around as well as your lungs with NO benefit at all. So, yes reducing tobacco consumption can be of significant help to the society as well as your family and yourself.

2. Walk: If the distance isn’t too much instead of taking your vehicle out. It will help in bettering the air quality with lesser vehicle emissions and improve your overall health and reduce petrol bills as well!

3. Plant trees in your house and surroundings!

  • Noise Pollution

The loud crackers also create noise pollution and result in mental anxieties and neurological disorders among individuals.

What can you do to help?

1. Reduce usage of machines which make a lot of noise like the mixer-grinder, juicer, etc.

2. Do not burst crackers! Even though it might be a tradition, there is no benefit in burning them. Stick to diyas or candles to brighten up your Diwali!

  • Fire and burns

Crackers and diyas, which are a staple of Diwali, have fire hazards. They pose a threat of causing fire to your home, vehicles and other possessions. Similarly, your body is also exposed to the high risk of burns associated with bursting crackers.

What can you do to help?

1. Stick to diyas instead of crackers this Diwali

2. Do not wear silk or synthetic clothes which lighting the diyas. Stick to cotton clothes as they are lesser prone to getting burnt.

  • Increased road accidents

Accidental cases also increase during Diwali either due to crackers or air pollution levels which cause low visibility resulting in road accidents.

What can you do to help?

1. No drinking and driving under any circumstance!

2. Avoid travelling during the evenings when the visibility is low

These small steps will surely contribute to a healthier environment in the long run!

Lower your risks during Diwali and increase the Enjoyment!

These risks are very common and relevant to your Diwali celebrations. You don’t have to cut down on your festive spirit. After all, what is Diwali if not mirth and happiness? What you could do instead is be careful against them.

It’s also good to protect yourself your family member and your hard-earned assets with the following cover/insurance.

  1. Buy insurance – Insurance plans fit in perfectly if you want to observe precautions during Diwali. Though you might take other necessary precautions, accidents are uncertain and can happen even after observing the stringent of safety rules. When you have an insurance plan covering the expected contingencies, you, at least, don’t suffer from a financial strain. Here’s how different insurance plans help you in making your Diwali safe –
  •  Health insurance – health insurance plans take care of your medical bills if, God forbid, you do face health issues during Diwali. The plans cover burns, respiratory ailments, etc. which are associated with Diwali. You also get coverage for ambulance costs incurred in taking you to the hospital. Moreover, there are Dengue specific plans to cover dengue and its related costs.

 

  •  Motor insurance – your vehicle is prone to catching fire or causing accidents (due to low visibility) during Diwali. You should, therefore, buy a comprehensive motor insurance policy. The policy would cover any third party liability if poor visibility injures any individual or damages someone’s property. Moreover, if your vehicle catches fire and is damaged, the policy would pay for the financial loss you suffer.

 

  • Home insurance – home insurance plans help in protecting the financial loss suffered if your home or its contents are damaged by fire or related perils. In India, the penetration of home insurance is quite low. However, the policy provides a wide scope of coverage at very minimal premium costs. Since the possibility of fire is high, your house and its contents face a threat. If you buy a home insurance plan you can secure your home and its contents from the financial loss which would incur if there is a fire.

Taking the right measures with the protection of insurance plans will definitely make your Diwali safe, filled with happiness, joy and a memorable festival with your family and friends.

Read more about tips to take care of your health during and after diwali

Read more about all you need to know about car insurance

Read more about two wheeler insurance polices in India

Transfer of ownership and insurance when selling your used car

With newer car models being launched regularly, sticking with the same car for years is uncommon. Most of you use your cars for five to six years and then think of upgrading to a newer model. When you buy a new car, what do you do with your old one?

Thanks to the popularity of used cars, there is a huge market for selling your old car to someone else. People buy second-hand cars when they have a limited budget and also when they are still honing their driving skills. So, when you are buying a new car, you can sell your used car. Though the selling process has been simplified by the presence of online and offline used car dealers, there are two things which you should remember when selling your old car. Do you know what they are?

Selling your used car involves two aspects –

  • Transfer of ownership of the car
  • Transfer of the car insurance policy

Let’ understand how you can go about fulfilling each aspect of transfer –

Transfer of ownership

Transferring the ownership means changing the name of the car’s owner from your name to the name of the buyer. To transfer the ownership of your car, certain documents would be required. These documents include the following –

  • Certificate of Registration (RC) of the car
  • Certificate of Taxation (CT)
  • PUC Certificate.
  • Declaration of selling the car.
  • Copy of Existing Insurance Policy
  • An affidavit which represents the change in ownership
  • Address proof of the buyer of the car

Moreover, three RTO forms would also be required which should be filled and signed by both you (the seller) and the buyer. These forms are –

  • Completed Form 28: Form of No Objection Certificate.
  • Completed Form 29: Form of Transfer of Ownership.
  • Completed Form 30: Application for intimation or report of transfer of motor vehicle.

All the documents and RTO forms should be submitted with the local RTO along with a fee and the ownership of the vehicle would be changed. The RTO, with which the car has been registered, should be informed about the ownership transfer process. This information should be given to the RTO within 14 days of selling the car. When the RTO is intimated and the transfer process is undertaken, the RTO would indemnify you (the seller) of all legal, tax, traffic, criminal and other liabilities pertaining to the car.

City Address of the RTO RTO Helpline number
Mumbai Transport Commissioner Office

Administrative Bldg., 4th Floor, Govt. Colony,

Opp. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Garden,

Bandra (East), Mumbai – 400 051

022-26550932 / 33 / 34 Ext. 216
New Delhi Public Relations Officer,

Transport Department,

5/9 Under Hill Road, Delhi 110054

011- 42-400-400, 9311900800
Ahmedabad RTO Office, Subhash Bridge,

Sabarmati, Ahmedabad – 380027

079-27559696
Chennai First floor, Municipal Commercial Building,

New Street, Alandur,

Chennai , TN – 600016

044-22325555
Kolkata The Regional Transport Officer ( RTO ),

Beltala Road, Kolkata,

West Bengal – 700020

033-24751621, 033-24751622
Pune 38, Dr. Ambedkar Road,

Near Sangam Bridge, Pune 411 001

+91 20 26058080, 26058090/8282
Bangalore Commissioner for Transport, 5th floor,

M.S.Building, Dr.B.R.Ambedkar Veedhi,

Bangalore – 560 001

080-22210994, 9449863459
Jaipur Transport Department

Parivahan Bhawan, Sahkar Marg,

Jaipur-302 005

0141-2740021, 2740023, 5116111, 5108461-63
Hyderabad JTC, Hyderabad D.No.6-3-646,

Opp. Eenadu Office,

Khairtabad, Somajiguda

Hyderabad-500 082

040-24462727, 9848787505
Lucknow Transport Commissioner UP,

Tehri Kothi, MG Marg,

Lucknow – 226001

0522-2613978, 0522 – 2436445, 1800-1800-151
Agra Regional Transport Officer,

Agra, U.P. – 282002

0562- 2600793
Shimla Directorate of Transport,

Parivahan Bhawan, Cart Road,

Shimla -171004

0177-2658379
Chandigarh Registering and Licensing Authority,

Sector 17, Chandigarh

0172-2700341

(Source: https://blog.karconnect.com/contact-details-rto-offices-major-cities/)

In case your location is not mentioned in the above list, click on the button to find the RTO offices near you.

Transfer of insurance

The first aspect is pretty simple and straightforward. When you sell your old car you have to transfer the car’s ownership to the buyer. It is the second part which confuses many of you. Since insurance is considered to be a technical concept, many of you don’t know how to transfer the policy. If the policy is not transferred, both you and the buyer might face legal complications in case of any accident. So, here is a step-by-step guide to the transfer of car insurance policy when selling your used car.

Step 1 – Inform the insurance company and get a NCB certificate

The process to transfer insurance should start along with the process to transfer ownership. To do so, you should first inform the insurance company about your intention of selling the car and the initiation of transfer of ownership. Once the insurance company knows of the transfer of ownership, it can help you with the transfer of insurance also. Moreover, if you have any no claim bonus to your name, you can retain the bonus even though you are selling the car. To do that you should ask the insurance company to issue you a NCB retention certificate. The certificate would allow you to retain your no claim bonus and use it on another car insurance policy for your new car. To get the NCB retention certificate you would have to submit the following documents to your insurance company –

  • A letter requesting policy cancellation
  • Original policy document
  • Certificate of insurance
  • RTO Form 29 which is the form for transfer of ownership
  • RTO Form 30 which is the form for intimation or report of transfer of motor vehicle
  • Copy of the RC book containing the name of the buyer
  • Proof that the car was delivered to the buyer

Step 2 – Transfer the policy

After you have availed the NCB retention certificate, it’s time to get the policy transferred. To transfer the insurance policy you would need a set of documents which should be submitted to the insurance company. These include –

  • The changed and updated RC book containing the name of the new owner. If the RC book has not been updated as yet, Form 29 should be submitted
  • The policy document
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from you (the seller)
  • New policy application form
  • Inspection report of the vehicle which would be conducted by the insurance company
  • The difference between the actual premium and the premium paid after factoring in no claim bonus

These two steps would get your car insurance policy transferred to the new buyer.

Points to remember when transferring insurance

When you are transferring the insurance policy, here are some important points which you should remember –

  • The buyer is mandated by law to get the insurance policy transferred in his name. However, you should also share in the responsibility of transferring the policy to avoid any legal hassles which you might face.
  • Transfer of the policy should be done within 14 days of selling the car
  • For these 14 days, when the transfer is in process, the third party cover would automatically operate in the name of the buyer. However, if the transfer is not done within 14 days, the third party cover would cease to operate
  • If there is a claim when the insurance transfer is in process, the claim would not be rejected. It would be paid after the proof of transfer is provided to the insurance company.

So, bear these important points in mind on how to change the car’s ownership and transfer the car insurance policy in the name of the buyer when you sell your car second hand. If the policy is not transferred and there is an accident, you might be forced to pay the legal liabilities if you are still mentioned as the policyholder in the policy documents. So, try and get the policy transferred within the stipulated time to avoid any hassles in future.

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