Does Your Life Insurance Provide Coverage Against Corona?

Covid-19 is a novel coronavirus that has brought the world to a standstill. The world is reeling under its adverse effects. Economies are hard hit, with people losing their livelihood. This highly contagious viral disease has disrupted lives and has become a major health concern for all governments all around the globe. 

People suffering from coronavirus infection show different symptoms. Some have mild cough, cold and fever and can be easily treated while others may exhibit serious respiratory problems and require immediate hospitalisation. Covid-19 primarily turns out to be fatal for those above 60 years of age or those having pre-medical complications. In either case, the person who tests positive for Covid-19 needs emotional and financial support. 

This is where insurance plans come in handy. Health insurance plans provide financial backup to cover the expenditure on treatment and life insurance plans help to ease the financial burden of the insured’s family in the unfortunate case of death due to Covid-19.

The pandemic has brought the need to be financially secure, to the forefront. While India fights the second wave of Covid, more and more lives are endangered. Having the protection of appropriate life insurance is imperative today, more than ever. While people are well-aware of the importance of a good insurance policy they still have so many questions in mind regarding the new virus and available insurance plans. 

Need of Insurance during the Pandemic

Coronavirus has put us on the verge of health as well as a financial emergency. Surviving this disease financially may be out of reach for many. Not to mention, if the primary bread earner of the family passes away, the grieved family would struggle to make their ends meet. All this makes buying a Covid life insurance plan all the more necessary, as an eventuality does not come with any prior notification. If you are someone who is still contemplating investing in a life insurance policy, it is high time that you stop procrastinating and find a plan for yourself that would help your family survive your passing away due to this deadly disease.

What is meant by Coronavirus Life Insurance?

In the ongoing pandemic, a coronavirus term life insurance policy will secure you and your loved ones. As we know by now that this virus spares no one, it spreads to one and all alike. A corona life insurance policy can ease the financial burden if infected.

What does this mean for the existing Policyholders?

If any life insurance policyholder passes away due to Covid-19, then the appointed nominee/ beneficiary will receive the benefits as per the sum assured amount. A life insurance policy including term insurance generally covers death due to a health-related issue. This means the nominee of the policy is eligible to get the death benefits in case of the demise of the policyholder due to any eventuality including Covid-19, during the tenure of the insurance policy.

However, some insurance plan providers have an exclusion of some specific cause of death. Still, death by Covid-19 is covered and the beneficiary will be eligible to receive the death benefits.

As per the mandate by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, irrespective of the policy you own, all the insurance providing companies have to offer Covid cover under their health insurance policy.

Coronavirus Insurance Policy

Theworld is wobbling under the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Having an insurance plan that covers Covid-19 has become the need of the hour for all of us. As directed by the IRDAI, the insurance providing companies have to prioritise and accelerate the claims pertaining to the Covid-19. Insurance is an affordable way of preparing for any unforeseen contingency and securing the future of your loved ones. 

It does not seem likely that this pandemic is going away anytime soon. Life insurance plans come with a wide array of benefits and thus having a coronavirus life insurance plan can be very beneficial, as it is specially designed to take care of the financial struggles your family may have to face if this highly contagious disease grabs you in its clutches. 

What If The Existing Life Insurance Policy Covers Coronavirus Under Critical Illness?

Generally, the nominee is eligible to receive the death benefits if the death of the policyholder is due to some health-related issues. These benefits are normally, not denied by the policy providers. However, the policyholder needs to examine the term of the life insurance riders, as the term needs to be fulfilled to receive the benefits. Terms and conditions of the riders will be taken into consideration even if the Covid-19 is covered under the life insurance plan. 

One must bear in mind that in the case of a life insurance policy with critical illness benefits, the claims may or may not be entertained. It is therefore important that you read all the offer documents carefully.

Coronavirus Specific Health Insurance Plans Available in India:

Having coronavirus insurance is imperative, however, it is also prudent to be under the protection of a health insurance policy as per your needs. You can either go for a regular health insurance plan that gives complete coverage of all medical expenses, including the expenses made towards the treatment of Coronavirus. Or you can opt for Covid-specific health insurance policies. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has already launched two short-term health policies, specially designed to cover the expenses of only coronavirus treatment.

  1. Corona Kavach Policy for Covid-19

    It is a standard health plan that is a single premium policy and covers the expenses that you incur due to hospitalisation because of Covid. This insurance policy has an affordable premium, is indemnity-based and covers you on an individual or a family floater basis. The policy would offer a cover for you, your spouse, your dependent children, your parents and even your parents-in-law under this policy.

    The term of the policy can be 3.5 months, 6.5 months and 9.5 months. It is offered by all private as well as general insurance providers and offers coverage against homecare treatment expenses, AYUSH treatment expenses, pre-hospitalization expenses, post-hospitalization expenses and also road ambulance expenses. The leading feature of this Corona Kavach is that it has a very short period of waiting that is only 15 days. By paying a slightly higher premium, you can avail daily cash benefits as well.

  2. Corona Rakshak Policy for Covid-19

    Corona Rakshak Policy is also a health plan launched under the guidance of IRDAI. A standard health insurance plan specially designed to cover the expenses incurred for the treatment of Covid-19, just like Corona Kavach Policy. However, Corona Rakshak is a fixed benefit health insurance plan that pays the policyholder a lump sum benefit. This sum is equal to 100% of the sum insured. The insured must test Covid-19 positive at a government recognised centre and should be hospitalised for more than 72 hours at a stretch to receive the benefits.

    The policy offers coverage on an individual basis for the sum insured options, which can range between Rs 50,000 – Rs 2.5 lakhs in the multiples of Rs 50,000. People between the age group of 18 years – 65 years can buy this policy.

    It is a short-term insurance plan that can be availed for 3.5 months, 6.5 months and 9.5 months. The policy is self terminated once the benefits are paid. The policyholder will be eligible for the benefits of the policy only if infected with the coronavirus. The policy has a waiting period of 15 days only. As it is a benefit based policy, it does not offer a lifetime renewability offer.

The covid-19 health insurance policies cover the in-patient hospitalization expenses, pre and post hospitalisation expenses and thus, takes off the financial pressure from you. As these are short-term plans the policyholder does not have to bear the burden of paying the health insurance premiums for a lifetime. So one must avoid procrastinating and buy a Corona health insurance plan at the earliest.

How Difficult Is It To Buy Term Life Insurance Policy During The Time Of Covid-19?

Coronavirus has indeed made us all aware of the need to have the security of life insurance plans in case of any eventuality. But it has become a challenge in today’s time to buy a life cover. In case you suffer from certain medical conditions or have already been affected, the life insurance company can hold or even deny your application. You may even have to pay a much higher premium. 

Therefore, to buy a coronavirus insurance plan you need to be fully prepared to answer the array of queries by the insurance providers, regarding your chances of getting infected with coronavirus before you can own an insurance policy. In case you suffer from any symptoms of Covid-19, buying the term insurance policy can prove to be very challenging.

You must answer all the questions asked, with utmost honesty. Avoid giving any false information or hiding any crucial information from your insurance provider. 

Conclusion

The world has been engulfed under the spell of coronavirus. In spite of all the efforts made by the government, the country is still reeling under Covid-19. The lives of numerous people have been affected by this virus. Thisnovel and a deadly virus have wreaked havoc everywhere. People have lost their livelihood and loved ones.

Masks, social distancing, and sanitisation have become the ‘new normals’. This virus can infect anybody, anytime. So in such a time where nothing is predictable, you should keep yourself and your loved ones safe under the protection of a life insurance policy. An insurance policy will ease the financial burden in the case of any eventuality. It will give emotional support and confidence to the infected member of the family instead of worrying about the future and finances. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can I know the Covid-19 Term Insurance Claim status?

    Answer: To know the status you can either visit the website of the insurance providing company or you can get in touch with their customer support team. You can also send an email to their email ID, available on their website.

  2. Can I buy corona life insurance online?

    Answer: Yes, you can. Most insurance companies offer life insurance plans online. Once you have finalised which plan you need to buy you can visit the company website and buy it online. You can pay the premium through net banking, digital wallet or card payment etc.

  3. If I buy an insurance policy now, will it cover Coronavirus?

    Answer: If you plan to buy an insurance policy now, the insurance provider will determine the premium on the basis of your medical history and current health status. Thus, it can be concluded that the ongoing pandemic would have an impact on the policy acceptance or premium to be paid, especially if your policy is still at the application stage.

  4. I have recently recovered from Covid-19, can I buy a life plan?

    Buying a life insurance policy after a recent recovery may be a little difficult. You may have to undergo more pre-policy medical tests and may have a longer waiting period as well. It is recommended that you get in touch with the company and find their eligibility criteria.

Hypothecation in car insurance

A car has become a need in today’s age as it gives you the convenience of travelling from one place to another. You can buy a new car or a used one depending on your needs. However, paying for a car is no mean feat. You need considerable funds at your disposal to buy a car, either new or second-hand. If you have saved up enough, you can pay the outright amount and own the car. If not, a car loan can come in handy.

Various banks and NBFCs offer car loans for used and new cars. These loans finance the car and allow you to become its owner. Car loans are convenient as you can repay them, affordably, over a chosen tenure. They allow you to afford a car and are, therefore, quite popular among car buyers.

When you avail of a car loan to buy a car, the concept of ‘hypothecation’ comes into play. Let’s understand what hypothecation means and how it impacts your ownership.

What is the hypothecation of vehicle?

If you finance any vehicle through a loan, you need to hypothecate the vehicle to the lender. Hypothecation of vehicle means that the vehicle would be owned by the lender until the loan is paid off. If you default on repayment, the lender can sell off the vehicle to realize the outstanding loan amount.

Procedure for car loan hypothecation

When you buy a car, you would have to register your car with the Regional Transport Office (RTO). The RTO would issue a Registration Certificate (RC) mentioning your name as the owner of the car. However, if you have availed of a car loan to finance the car, the details of hypothecation would also be mentioned in the RC book.

The RC book would contain the details of the lender from whom the loan has been availed. It would also mention that the car would be hypothecated to the lender and the date of such hypothecation. When you buy a car insurance policy, the policy would also acknowledge the carhypothecation and mention the same on the policy document.

How to add hypothecation to the car insurance plan?

Usually, the details of car hypothecation are included by the insurance company automatically when you insure your car. At the time of buying a car insurance plan, the insurance company requires you to submit the RC book of the car. Since the hypothecation details are mentioned in the RC book, the insurance company records the details in the car insurance policy too.

At the time of renewals, you are asked whether the loan is running or has been paid off. The insurance company might also check your RC book to check the details of the car hypothecation. If your loan is running, the renewed policy would also contain the hypothecation details and if the loan has been paid off, you can apply for removal of the hypothecation details from your insurance policy.

Documents for car hypothecation

For adding the details of hypothecation to your car when registering it at the RTO, you would have to furnish the following documents –

  • The Registration Certificate of the car, in original
  • Application for hypothecation in Form 34
  • PUC certificate
  • Valid third party insurance covers the car and is details
  • Receipt of the fee that you paid to get the hypothecation endorsed by the RTO
  • Your address proof
  • Self-attested copy of your PAN Card

How to remove car hypothecation?

Once you have paid off the car loan, it is recommended that you get the car hypothecation removed. Removal of hypothecation is a two-part process. First, you would have to get the hypothecation removed from the RC book through your RTO. Second, you would have to get the hypothecation removed from your car insurance policy. Let’s understand removal in both parts in details –

Removing hypothecation from the RC book

  • After you have cleared off the car loan, get a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the lender. The certificate shows that the loan is paid off and that the lender has no issues with the cancellation of car hypothecation.
  • You would, then, have to visit the RTO and make an application for the removal of hypothecation. To do so, you would have to apply in Form 35 which is for hypothecation removal.
  • Fill up Form 35 and submit it to the RTO along with the following documents –
    • NOC issued by the lender
    • Loan closure letter or the loan statement from the lender showing the loan has been paid in full
    • Copy of a valid third party liability insurance policy on the car
    • A valid PUC certificate
  • Once you submit the documents, you would also have to pay a fee for the cancellation of the hypothecation. This fee depends on the state in which your vehicle is registered. You can check the fee on the transport department’s website.
  • Pay the fee and submit the documents. The RTO would verify the documents and if everything is found to be in order, your car hypothecation would be cancelled.
  • Once cancelled, the RTO would issue a fresh Registration Certificate (RC) where the details of hypothecation would not be mentioned. When receiving a new RC, you can also apply for a Smart Card RC. This would require you to pay an additional fee and the RTO would issue the new RC in the form of a smart card.

Removing hypothecation from the insurance policy

Once you have received the new RC from the RTO, you can apply for the removal of hypothecation details from your car insurance policy. For this, you should request the insurance company for removing the hypothecation from your car insurance policy. Submit the NOC, a copy of your existing policy and a copy of your new RC book. The insurance company would verify the details and remove the details of hypothecation from your car insurance policy.

How to check hypothecation removal status?

You can check the status of vehicle online to find out whether the hypothecation has been removed or not. After you submit the hypothecation removal request to the RTO, it takes some time before the RTO issues a new RC book. During this time, if you want to check the hypothecation status of vehicle online, you can do so through the Parivahan website of the Government. The process is as follows –

Importance of hypothecation and its removal

Hypothecation gives the lender collateral against repayment defaults. The lender remains the rightful owner of the car during the loan repayment. This gives the lender the right to sell off the vehicle to realize the outstanding loan amount if you fail to repay the loan on time. Thus, if you don’t pay off the loan in full, the lender’s loss is averted.

Once you have repaid the loan, however, removal of hypothecation is equally important. By removing the hypothecation from your car, you become the legal owner and have the right to sell the car when you want. 

So, know what car hypothecation is all about, how to add it and how to remove it when you buy your dream car.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I want to sell my car second hand. Can I do so if it is still hypothecated to the bank?

    As long as the loan is not repaid and you don’t avail of the NOC, selling your car second hand can create a problem. So, it is better to pay off the loan and then put up your car for sale

  2. I want to buy a second-hand car. How to check hypothecation status of the car?

    You can check the RC book of the car that you intend to buy. If the car is hypothecated, the RC book would state the same. Alternatively, you can visit the Parivahan website of the Government, enter the car’s registration number and check its hypothecation status online.

  3. My car is hypothecated and it has been stolen. Who would get the claim?

    Since the car is hypothecated, it is the property of the lender. Moreover, in case of theft, the lender suffers a loss since the lender paid for the car. Thus, the insurance claim would be paid to the lender if your car is stolen.

  4. Can I opt for the removal of hypothecation online?

    Yes, you can request the removal of hypothecation online on the Parivahan website of the Government. However, for submitting Form 35 and the relevant documents for the removal of hypothecation, you would have to visit the local RTO. 

  5. I forgot to get the hypothecation removed on renewal. Can I do it now?

    Yes, you can remove the hypothecation even after renewal. Just submit a written request to the insurance company as well as the documents required for removal, i.e. the NOC from the lender and a new and updated RC book. The insurance company would verify the details and remove the hypothecation.

Own Damage Car Insurance

A car insurance policy is mandated by the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The Act states that every car in India should carry valid third party coverage. This coverage protects third party interests. It pays the liability that the car owner suffers if the car hurts or kills any third party or damages third party property. However, if the car itself suffers any damage, there is no coverage granted by the third party cover. 

This is where own damage car insurance cover comes into the picture. Let’s understand what this cover is all about.

Own damage car insurance meaning

The own damage insurance for car is one that covers the damages suffered by the car itself. If the car is damaged due to natural or man-made causes or if it is stolen, the car own damage insurance cover would cover the financial loss suffered by the car owner and pay a claim.

Does basic insurance cover your own damage?

A basic insurance policy means a third party insurance policy that is mandated by the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. As mentioned earlier, this basic insurance policy does not cover the damages suffered by the car. That is why, while third party cover is essential, you should also opt for your own damage car insurance for a comprehensive scope of coverage on the car.

Benefits of own damage car insurance

A policy of own damage insurance for car is recommended because of the various benefits that the policy provides. These benefits are as follows –

  1. Coverage against minor or major damages

    If the car suffers any minor or major damages due to an accident, natural calamity or man-made reasons, the own damage car insurance cover would compensate for the financial loss. The policy would pay the repair costs incurred in repairing the car if there is any minor or major damage. This would spare you considerable financial outgo as the repair costs can prove expensive, especially if you have a premium luxury car or if your car suffers major damages.

  2. Coverage against theft

    No matter how secure you keep your car, it might get stolen. When there is a theft, you stand to lose a considerable amount of money if the car is not traced back. The car own damage insurance policy covers theft cases too. If your car is stolen and not recovered, the policy pays a lump sum amount in the claim. This claim reduces the financial loss suffered and also allows you to buy a new car to replace the lost one.

  3. Affordable annual coverage

    The own damage car insurance coverage is allowed for one year after which it can be renewed for continued coverage. The annual policy has an affordable premium that you can easily play and enjoy a comprehensive scope of coverage.

  4. Easily available

    You can buy your own damage car insurance policy online in a few simple steps. Moreover, if you choose to buy the policy through Turtlemint, you can also compare the different plans available in the market and choose a policy that offers the maximum coverage at the lowest cost.

  5. Choice of add-ons

    The own damage car insurance policy comes with a range of optional coverage benefits called add-ons. These add-ons help in enhancing the scope of coverage of the policy at minimal premiums. You can opt for suitable add-ons and increase the coverage and the claim amount. Moreover, the add-ons take care of all possible contingencies that you might face when using your car.

  6. No claim bonus

    If you do not make any claim in your policy, you are entitled to receive a no claim bonus upon renewal. This bonus gives you a discount on the renewal premium. It starts at 20% for the first claim-free year and then continues to increase after every successive claim-free year. You can claim up to a 50% discount if you don’t make any claims for five successive years. 

  7. Attractive premium discounts

    When you choose coverage for own damage, you can also get attractive premium discounts to reduce the premium. Discounts are allowed for installing safety devices, being a member of an automobile association, choosing a voluntary deductible, etc. besides the no claim bonus allowed by the plan.

Inclusions under own damage car insurance

The coverage offered by car own damage insurance is quite comprehensive. The policy covers the following cases of contingencies –

  1. Damages to the car due to natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, storms, hurricanes, landslides, etc.
  2. Damages to the car due to man-made calamities like riots, fire, strike, malicious activities, etc.
  3. Theft of the car
  4. Damages to the car when it is being transported by rail, road, sea or air

Exclusions under own damage car insurance

Despite offering a good scope of coverage, the following instances are not covered in car own damage insurance –

  • Damages suffered when driving the car outside the boundaries of India
  • Damages suffered when driving the car under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
  • Damages suffered when driving the car without a valid driving license
  • Deliberate or self-inflicted damages
  • Electrical or mechanical breakdown
  • Depreciation and wear and tear suffered due to use
  • Damages suffered when violating the limitations of using the car
  • Damages suffered when using the car for carrying out illegal acts

How to calculate your own damage car insurance premium?

The premium of the own damage car insurance cover depends on various factors. When you consider these factors, you can calculate the premium using online premium calculation tools. The factors affecting the own damage car insurance premium are as follows –

  1. The Insured Declared Value (IDV)

    The IDV represents the coverage amount of the own damage car insurance cover. It is calculated by deducting the depreciation based on the age of the car from the market value of the car. The higher the IDV the higher would be the premium and vice-versa.

  2. Age of the car

    Since age affects the IDV, it is inversely related to the premium. If the car is old, the IDV would be low and so would be the premium. Thus, the premium for new cars is higher than the premium for older ones.

  3. Registration details

    The registration year and location determine the premium amount. The registration date shows the age of the car. A car registered recently would, therefore, be new and have a higher premium than an older registered car.

    Similarly, the registration location is also considered for premium calculation. Cars registered in metropolitan cities have higher premiums than cars registered elsewhere. It is because the probability of claims and the expected repair costs are higher in metros.

  4. Make, model and variant (MMV) of the car

    The MMV of the car determines its market value. Depending on the market value, the premium is determined. Cars having high market values have high premiums compared to cars with lower values.

  5. Add-ons selected

    If you opt for the available add-ons, the premiums would increase because each add-on comes with an additional premium. 

  6. No claim discount

    If you are renewing your own damage car insurance policy and there have been no claims in the previous years, you can claim a no claim discount. The higher the discount you have accumulated the lower would be the premium and vice-versa.

  7. Other discounts

    As mentioned earlier, you can claim a host of discounts under your own damage car insurance policy. So, depending on the discounts that you can claim, the premium would be calculated. Higher the discounts lower would be the premium and vice-versa.

  8. Lapse of the policy

    If you are renewing a lapsed car insurance policy, the renewal premium might be higher compared to renewing a policy within the due date.

    When you enter these details in the premium calculator, the premium for the own damage car insurance cover would be calculated and displayed.

Standalone own damage car insurance policy

To opt for own damage cover, you have two options. These are as follows –

  1. Comprehensive policy

    A comprehensive car insurance policy includes coverage for the mandatory third-party liability as well as own damage cover. Thus, with a single policy, you can avail of both the coverage benefits.

  2. Standalone own damage car insurance

    As the name suggests, this policy covers only the damages suffered by the car. Coverage for third party liability is not allowed under this plan. The standalone own damage car insurance policy is available only if you have valid third party insurance coverage on the car. Usually, this policy is designed for new cars where five-year third party coverage is mandatory. In such cases, you can opt for a long term third party cover and an annual standalone own damage cover.

Own damage car insurance renewal

The own damage insurance for car is allowed for one year and you have to renew the policy annually for non-stop coverage. Own damage car insurance renewal can be done online or offline. Let’s understand how –

  1. Offline own damage car insurance renewal

    To renew your car own damage insurance offline you can either visit the branch of the insurance company or contact an insurance agent of the company. Provide your policy number to know the existing policy details. Pay the renewal premium online and do any changes in the policy if you want. Once the premium is received, the policy would be renewed.

  2. Online own damage car insurance renewal

    The online mode of own damage car insurance renewal is quick, easy and instantaneous. You can renew online from the website of the insurance company. Just visit the company’s official website, choose the renewal option and provide your policy details. You can check your existing coverage and also make changes if needed. The renewal premium would be displayed which you can pay online using any digital payment modes. Once the premium is successfully paid, the policy would be renewed instantly.

    Alternatively, if you have bought your own damage car insurance policy online through Turtlemint, you can log into your account and renew through Turtlemint’s platform. Turtlemint also allows you to compare your existing policy with other available policies and then choose the best plan. Just pay the renewal premium online and your policy would be instantly renewed.

How to claim car insurance for own damage in India?

In case you suffer any contingency that is covered by the policy, here’s how to claim car insurance for own damage in India –

  1. Inform the insurance company immediately of the claim. The company would register your claim and issue you a Claim Reference Number. This reference number would come in handy for tracking your claims and for claim filing.
  2. When you inform the insurance company, it would direct you to take your car to the nearest networked garage. You can also get the list of networked garages in your area when intimating the claim.
  3. At the garage, the surveyor would visit and assess the damages suffered
  4. The surveyor would, then, prepare a claim estimate and submit it to the insurance company.
  5. Based on the surveyor’s estimate, the company would approve cashless repairs
  6. Once the approval is received, the garage would start the repair work. The bills would be settled directly by the insurance company
  7. For any inadmissible costs and deductibles you should pay the remaining cost of the repairs
  8. The claim form and other relevant documents should be submitted to the insurance company for claim settlement.
  9. Then you can take the delivery of your car
  10. If, however, you take your car to a non-networked garage, you would have to bear the repair costs initially. Then, once the repair bills and the claim documents are submitted, the insurance company would reimburse you for the costs incurred.
  11. In case of theft, inform the police and file an FIR
  12. The police would try and locate your car. If they fail to do so, they would issue a non-traceable certificate.
  13. Submit this certificate along with the other claim related documents for claim settlement.
  14. The insurance company would pay the IDV and the claim would be settled

You can also take Turtlemint’s help in case of your car insurance claims. Turtlemint has a dedicated claim handling team that would take the claim steps on your behalf and help you in getting a quick claim settlement. Just inform Turtlemint of your claim by calling 1800 266 0101 or by sending an email to support@turtlemint.com and then Turtlemint’s team would do the work to get your claim settled.

So, understand the concept of own damage car insurance and then buy suitable coverage for your car for all-around protection.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What would happen if I failed to do my own damage car insurance renewal on time?

    If you do not renew your own damage car insurance policy on time, the policy would lapse and the coverage would stop. Thereafter, if there is any damage, you would have to bear the financial losses. You can renew a lapsed policy too but such a renewal would require inspection and the policy would be renewed only after a successful inspection is completed. The premium might also be hiked on such own damage car insurance renewals. If, however, you do not renew your policy within 90 days from the date of lapse, the accumulated no claim bonus would be lost.

  2. What is the rate of depreciation for IDV calculation?

    The rate of depreciation for calculating the IDV depends on the age of the car. It is as follows –

    Age of the car

    Rate of depreciation applicable 

    Up to 6 months

    5%

    More than 6 months but less than a year

    15%

    More than a year but less than 2 years

    20%

    More than 2 years but less than 3 years

    30%

    More than 3 years but less than 4 years

    40%

    More than 4 years but less than 5 years

    50%

    For vehicles aged 5 years and more, the IDV is decided mutually between the insurance company and the policyholder. 

  3. Can my own damage car insurance claim get rejected?

    Yes, your claim insurance claim might get rejected for several reasons. For example, if the claim is made for an excluded cost, it would be rejected. Similarly, if there is a chance of fraud or if the claim process is not followed correctly, the claim would get rejected. Claims are also rejected if your policy has lapsed.

  4. Is own damage car insurance cover more expensive than third party cover?

    Yes, it is. The reason is that the own damage cover allows a wider scope of coverage than a third party cover. Moreover, the premium for own damage car insurance cover is determined by the insurance company and varies across insured while third party premiums are fixed by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority and are the same across insurers.

  5. What are deductibles?

    Deductibles are a portion of claims that are not payable by the insurance company but by you. In own damage car insurance policies, there is a compulsory deductible which is to be paid in case of every claim. Moreover, there is a voluntary deductible too which is optional. If you choose this deductible and opt to pay a part of the claim out of pocket, you can earn a premium discount.

What is the Black Fungus all about?

While India struggles hard to deal with the ravaging second wave of Covid-19, there are reports of a spate in cases of black fungus-a rare infection, among the people who have recovered or are recovering from Covid-19. Dr VP Pandey, head of the hospital’s department of medicine, recently told BBC that the “Black Fungus infection is becoming almost as challenging as the pandemic. Unless patients get immediate and proper treatment, the mortality rate can go as high as 94%.” 

What is Black Fungus and how is it caused?

Black Fungus, Mucormycosis, is an infection that is caused due to exposure to fungi known as micromycetes. Micromycetes occur commonly in the environment, such as in soil, leaves, decaying fruits and vegetables, animal dung and compost. They enter the human body while breathing or through exposed skin wounds and can affect the sinuses, the lungs and the brain. 

Black Fungus or Mucormycosis is not a contagious disease, many people who come in the fungi’s contact may not even develop the infection. Nevertheless, people who have a weak immune system are at more risk of this disease. It can be life-threatening for people who are Covid positive, diabetic or are cancer patients or people with HIV/Aids. 

Who is at risk of developing Black Fungus?

Black Fungus is a rare disease, however, there are certain groups of people who are more at risk of this deadly disease than others. People with medical problems or those who take medicines that can lower the body’s strength to battle with germs are considered to be more vulnerable This includes people who have:

  • Cancer
  • Covid -19 patients, or those who have recently recovered (treated with steroids/ anti-inflammatory medicines)
  • Diabetes
  • Skin injuries
  • HIV
  • Organ transplant
  • Have recently had a surgery

Can Black Fungus be prevented?

Following the below-mentioned guidelines can help in preventing black fungus:

  1. Try to stay indoors as much as possible
  2. Exercise regularly, stay active
  3. Keep your home/ surroundings free from dust and dampness
  4. Maintain good oral and nasal hygiene
  5. When going out of your home wear an N-95 mask
  6. Wear a mask when visiting dusty areas/construction sites/ open grounds
  7. Wear shoes, pants, long sleeves shirts and gloves when working in the garden or gardening or working with soil, manure or moss
  8. Take scrub baths, maintain personal hygiene
  9. Control your diabetes
  10. After treatment Covid-19 treatment, keep monitoring your blood glucose
  11. Try and decrease the use of steroids
  12. Discontinue the use of immunomodulating drugs
  13. Stay well hydrated 

Post recovery of Covid, if a patient has facial pain, stuffy nose, facial pain, bloody nasal discharge or any other symptoms (mentioned below), medical help should be taken immediately. 

What are the conditions that appear due to Black Fungus?

Patients who suffer from black fungus mostly have a stuffy or bleeding nose along with swelling and pain in and around the eyes followed by drooping of eyelids and blurred vision which is followed by loss by loss of vision.

There are certain warning signs such as Mucormycosis: 

  1. Pain along with redness around the nose, eyes
  2. Fever
  3. Cough and cold
  4. Headache
  5. Bloody vomits
  6. A change in the mental status
  7. Shortness of breath

Apart from these, Mucormycosis also has the following symptoms:

  1. Nasal blockage or congestion
  2. Toothache
  3. Blurred or double vision with pain 
  4. Blackish/ bloody discharge from the nose
  5. Pain in the cheekbone, facial pain on one side of the nose
  6. Discolouration over the bridge of the nose
  7. Tooth becoming loose
  8. Necrosis, skin lesion
  9. Pain in the chest
  10. A deterioration in the respiratory and lung function

Doctors say most of the patients arrive late when they are on the verge of losing their eyesight. At this stage, their eyes have to be removed surgically so that the infection can be stopped from reaching the brain. Some people have also lost vision in both their eyes. In some cases, the jaw bone of the patients had to be removed to stop the spread of infection. 

What is the relationship between Covid-19 and Black Fungus?

Mucormycosis can happen post-Covid infection. It could be days after hospital discharge or even during the stay at the hospital. Due to Covid, there is damage caused to the patient’s blood vessels and airway mucosa, which can bring an increase in the serum iron that facilitates the fungus to grow. Steroid medicines raise blood sugar levels. Antibiotics that are broad-spectrum wipe out the pathogenic bacteria and protective commensals. 

Sometimes long-term on the ventilator can reduce the patient’s immunity as it has been speculated that the fungus is transmitted by water in the humidifier that is given with the oxygen. All these conditions make it an easy ground for a mucormycosis infection.

How can Black Fungus be treated?

It may be possible to treat black fungus with antifungals. However, a patient could also require surgery at any point in time. Dr Pandey also said that more than 80% of the patients need surgery immediately. 

According to doctors, it is very important to keep diabetes under control, reduce the use of steroids and stop the use of immunomodulating drugs. For maintaining an adequate system of hydration in the lungs, the treatment may start with an infusion of regular saline. This may eventually lead to an infusion of drugs such as amphotericin B as well as antifungal therapy, for a period of a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks.

Doctors have also emphasised the need of controlling hyperglycemia and monitoring the glucose level in the blood especially after taking Covid-19 treatment. Judicious use of steroids, at the right time and inadequate doses, is essential. 

What is White Fungus?

Cases of white fungus are also being reported. Considered to be as fatal as black fungus, the white fungus spreads to different parts of the body and causes severe damage to the lungs, brain, skin and mouth. It generally develops in the private parts or the tongue and then spreads to the different body parts such as the lungs, food pipes and brain. Here is a look at the common symptoms:

  1. Cough
  2. Fever
  3. Diarrhoea
  4. Dark spots on the lungs
  5. Decrease in oxygen level
  6. Skin lesions
  7. White patches in the mouth

Following the tips given below can help in preventing white fungus:

  1. Maintaining a healthy immune system enables the body to fight such infections
  2. Keep your surroundings clean and dust-free

So far, the white fungus was regarded to be an infection that could be cured by common medicines. However, in the recently reported cases, this kind of fungal infection has shown damage that was not seen earlier. Delay in the treatment can make matters worse. 

What is Yellow Fungus?

Also called mucor septic, the yellow fungus causes infection. The main cause behind the growth of the yellow fungus is poor hygiene. Stale food is also a reason behind the growth of fungus. Yellow fungus is different from white and black fungus as it starts internally. It causes leakage of pus and causes delayed healing of wounds. Yellow fungus arises within the body and thus, the diagnosis and treatment often get delayed. This delay can even lead to an organ failure in some patients.
The symptoms of yellow fungus are as follows:

  1. Feeling lethargic
  2. Low appetite
  3. Sunken eyes
  4. Sudden weight loss

Protection from yellow fungus may be possible through the following measures:

  1. It is important to follow good hygiene habits
  2. Keep your surroundings clean
  3. Each fresh and home-cooked food
  4. Do not keep stale food inside the house
  5. Maintaining low humidity can also help prevent fungus formation

The Bottom Line

Black, White and Yellow Fungi are rare but serious fungal infections. The infection is lethal, and it is imperative that early diagnosis and prompt treatment is made available to the patient. People must keep themselves aware and seek only trusted information and healthcare services. Only together can we improve the situation and win this battle against Covid and these deadly fungi. 

References:

How safe is the Covid Vaccine? Can you spread Covid if you are vaccinated?

With the availability of the COVID 19 vaccines, there is a general sense of relief. Though still a very long way to go, people have begun to see a faint light at the end of the dark tunnel. The vaccines promise to offer protection from the deadly virus which has claimed thousands and thousands of lives all across the world, with India being one of the worst-hit countries. India has two very effective COVID vaccines currently – Covishield and Covaxin. While Covishield is the globally used AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, Covaxin is an Indian product that is created in India by an Indian company. Both the vaccines are considered to be very safe and have the WHO approval. 

Safety worries related to the COVID vaccines

A vast majority of the people have come forward to get themselves vaccinated. However, a silent fear lurks in the mind of many people regarding the safety of the COVID vaccines. Thankfully though, these worries are baseless as the WHO has ensured that every vaccine being used is safe and tested extensively to ensure maximum protection. According to the WHO, every vaccine has been tested several times, on a large group of people of different age groups, ethnicities, genders and with health conditions. Covishield and Covaxin both have WHO’s approval, so it can be said that they are very safe to use.

Who should not take the COVID vaccines? 

While the WHO clearly states that the vaccines are safe for practically everyone, it does mention that certain people must take certain precautions before taking the jab. These include pregnant women, nursing mothers, people with severe allergies and HIV positive people.

Social interactions after getting vaccinated

But how safe and effective is the vaccine from preventing the spread of the coronavirus? As per the experts, the vaccine cannot exactly stop the virus from entering the body. The role of the vaccine is to strengthen the immunity system to an extent where the vaccinated person will not get affected by the virus. In other words, the severity of COVID, if injected, will be very low or marginal and the patient will not require hospitalisation or any other form of emergency care. 

This is why you should limit social gatherings even after receiving your vaccine if you are unsure of the vaccination status of all the other people around you.

Can I spread the vaccine to fully vaccinated people? 

But what happens if you are fully vaccinated and you interact with a small batch of people who too are fully vaccinated? In that case, the safety is much higher. It may be possible for you to interact with those people without wearing your mask. However, to do so, you must be one hundred per cent sure about what is meant by “fully vaccinated”. A person is deemed fully vaccinated two weeks after he receives his second vaccine dose. Remember, you won’t be considered to be fully vaccinated the moment you take your second shot!

Silent attack

A very important point to remember here is that you can silently get affected by COVID 19 after you get vaccinated. As stated, the virus is still capable of entering your body and infecting you. You may be completely non-symptomatic and unaware of the presence of the illness. However, the virus will keep spreading as you will be an active patient, shedding the virus. The virus, even if it spreads and circulates in vaccinated people, will retain the capacity to mutate. This is tremendously dangerous, as vaccines may not be powerful against the mutant COVID viruses. So in order to ensure you don’t play a role in this, you need to wear your mask, sanitize your hands and maintain social distancing till the time the WHO confirms the end of the pandemic.

Efficacy of the COVID vaccines in India

Another safety concern that many people have is regarding the efficacy levels of the COVID vaccines available in India. Covishield, which is the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, has an efficacy of 82% after the administration of both doses. It has an efficacy of 76% after the administration of a single dose. Covaxin, on the other hand, has an efficacy of 78% after the administration of both doses.

The bottom line

After keeping all the points mentioned above in mind, it can be said that the COVID vaccines are very safe. You should therefore not hold yourself back from getting vaccinated. However, even after getting vaccinated, you won’t be 100 per cent protected against the virus. You may still get a mild version of the infection, and more importantly, you may spread the virus to others. It is thus a good idea to practice the usual pandemic norms of masking up, sanitizing hands and surfaces and maintaining social distancing and stay as safe as possible from COVID 19.

References: 

  1. Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines (who.int)
  2. Fully vaccinated against COVID-19? So, what can you safely do? – Harvard Health Blog – Harvard Health Publishing
  3. After COVID-19 vaccination: Is it OK to visit with friends and loved ones? – Mayo Clinic
  4. Can a covid-vaccinated person still spread the coronavirus? (livemint.com)
  5. COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca confirms 100% protection against severe disease, hospitalisation and death in the primary analysis of Phase III trials
  6. Bharat Biotech Says Covaxin Shows 78% Efficacy Against Mild To Severe COVID-19 (ndtv.com)

What are the Possible Complications of Covid-19?

In the past few months, millions of people have been affected by a coronavirus, all over the globe. So far saving themselves from this virus was the only concern of the majority of people all across the world. But the situation and its dynamics have changed drastically over the past eight months. Doctors and other health experts are now realising that this virus can cause havoc even after the patient has ‘recovered’.

It has become extremely important to understand how this virus transmits and what effect it has on the body. Along with many factors which have turned it into a pandemic.

COVID-19 is a member of the coronavirus family. The other members of this family with whom we are familiar are SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Symptoms) virus. The strains of coronavirus cause common cold and flu as well.

Primarily, COVID-19 infects the respiratory tract in humans. The effect can be as simple as mild flu or no symptoms at all. But it can lead to severe symptoms which can turn out to be fatal.

The Complications

COVID-19 and ARDS are directly related. The severity of covid-19 infection normally leads to ARDS and pneumonia. These problems can prove to be fatal for the patient. Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) can lead to breathing difficulties, dry cough and an increase in heart rate. Covid-19 shows mild symptoms in a person who is otherwise healthy and doesn’t have any underlying medical conditions. These signs and symptoms can be taken care of with medication till the patient recovers.

But in cases where the person has low immunity due to underlying health issues, the infection from coronavirus can progress to ARDS, which ultimately causes pneumonia.

Besides the lungs, this virus impacts the functioning of the heart as well as the brain of the infected person. This can further increase the risk of long term medical issues and can prove to be life-threatening.

The most common symptoms of this virus are-

  • Fatigue
  • Breathlessness or shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Increased heartbeat rate
  • Sleep-related issues
  • Loss of taste and smell

Organs that are Affected by COVID-19

  1. Lungs
    When infected, the air sacs inside the lungs of the patients can get damaged, which can cause breathing-related issues.

  2. Heart
    Certain patients who experienced only mild symptoms have also shown damage to the heart muscle, months after recovering. This may pose a threat to the heart and can cause heart-related complications.
  3. Brain
    The virus can cause seizures and strokes can even cause temporary paralysis in the infected person. Development of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s has also been reported in some cases.
  4. Blood
    Covid can make blood cells gather in dense groups. When such clots are formed in the blood, it can cause strokes, heart attack or other damage to the heart. Big and small blood clots can affect organs like the legs, kidney, liver and lungs.
  5. Mood Disorders
    Having survived this infection, a person is likely to develop depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Does Every Patient Face the Side Effects?

Though the effects of Covid seem to be rather grim, it is not all bad news. The silver lining is that many people who were infected with this new coronavirus have recovered completely within a short period of time. As discussed earlier, some people, including the ones who exhibited mild symptoms of the infection, experience symptoms even after they have experienced initial recovery. Nevertheless, it should be kept in mind that asymptomatic patients are not immune to the long term effects of this disease. 

It becomes important here to understand the factors which make this virus fatal. These factors include underlying medical conditions like diabetes, respiratory complications, cardiac problems and hypertension. Individuals who are advised of immune-suppressing medication need to be more vigilant about their health parameters.

Though mostly it is the senior citizens or people with comorbidities who may suffer from long term effects of this virus, few children and young adults with mild versions of this virus have reported a few of the above-mentioned symptoms

Different Categories of COVID-19 Infection

To understand the other complications that may arise from Covid, it is also important to understand how it affects different people, who have been affected: 

  1. Asymptomatic Cases
    The individuals who have been infected but may not exhibit any symptoms. They act as a carrier of this disease without even realising it because they themselves may be oblivious of their infection. They are at great risk of spreading this virus.
  2. Mild Cases

    Individuals who suffer from mild symptoms like fever, headache, cough or even conjunctivitis, as these are infections of the upper respiratory tract.

  3. Moderate Cases
    Here the symptoms suffered by the individual are more pronounced. Such individuals might need medical assistance and hospitalisation. Timely medical help can prevent the risk of fatality.
  4. Severe Cases
    People in this category may have severe conditions. Their infection may lead to ARDS and pneumonia. If a person reaches this stage, Covid-19 becomes life-threatening and fatal.

Covid-19 and the Side Effects of the Vaccine

Just like for covid-19, all vaccines are introduced only after their safety is proven. But side effects of vaccines cannot be ruled out altogether. In most cases, side effects are found to vary from person to person. The most common complaints of Covid vaccines so far have been mild fever and pain at the site of injection. Let us take a look at the side effects in detail.

Covishield may have some mild symptoms like:

  • Fatigue
  • Mild fever
  • Chills
  • Injection site pain or tenderness,
  • Nausea
  • Malaise or uneasiness
  • Myalgia or muscle pain
  • In very few cases, demyelinating disorders have been seen where the myelin of the nerve tissue is destroyed.

Covaxin also has its own set of mild symptoms such as:

  • Pain in the Injection site 
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Body ache
  • Giddiness
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Trembling
  • Cough and cold
  • Excessive sweating 
  • Swelling at the injection site

No other vaccine-related severe complication has been reported so far

Conclusion 

While the studies and experiments are ongoing for finding a life-saving vaccine for coronavirus, which is tested and certified by medical associations, the most judicious way to be safe from this virus is to stay safe, avoid public places and get vaccinated. Simple precautions like wearing masks, maintaining hygiene and maintaining a social distance would surely go a long way in curbing the spread of this COVID-19 virus.

References

What is the normal reading for Pulse Oximeter and what does it indicate?

With cases of covid-19 setting new records daily, the healthcare system of the country is bending backwards. Doctors and health experts have been appealing to people to keep themselves safe and seek medical people in case their symptoms worsen. A drop in the oxygen level in a patient is a severe symptom. Over the past few days, there have been numerous reports where patients have been seriously ill due to lack of oxygen. In such a scenario, it has become extremely important to keep your health parameters under check.

Till a few months ago, the device ‘pulse oximeter’ was new to many. People with lung or heart conditions may have used it periodically to monitor their condition. Others may have seen it on their visit to a hospital. Regardless of one’s familiarity with them in the past, one must have lately heard of it in news or in social circles, in conversation with family and friends, all due to Covid-19.

What is an Oximeter and How Does it Work?

A pulse oximeter is a reliable and painless way to monitor a person’s blood oxygen levels. It is a small device that is quite similar to a cloth clip. The oximeter is put on a person’s finger (nail side up) and within a few seconds, it displays the numbers which indicate the person’s oxygen saturation level in the body.

When a person breathes, the oxygen enters the lungs and eventually enters the blood. The blood cells then carry this oxygen to various organs of the body. An oximeter helps in measuring the amount of oxygen that is sent to different parts of the body from the heart. It uses infrared light refraction to measure how well the oxygen is being mixed with your red blood cells. It indicates the amount by flashing different wavelengths of light through the stream of blood that flows inside the finger on which the oximeter is placed.

Why do I Need an Oximeter?

The fear of pandemic has made everyone overly conscious about their health. It is important to keep a regular check on our temperature because a fever is one of the first indicators of COVID-19. However, a new study by medical scholars has suggested the use of pulse oximeters instead. One of the concerning symptoms of Covid-19 is a drop in the oxygen levels in the patient’s body. An oximeter helps by alerting the person about such a situation, early.

So, it is advisable to keep a pulse oximeter at home. It will help to keep a tab on your oxygen levels regularly. In case the oxygen levels fall below normal, you should seek medical help without delay.

What is the normal reading for Pulse Oximeter and what does it indicate? 

As explained earlier, the blood oxygen level is a measurement done to check how much oxygen, O2, is being carried by the blood cells. A SpO2 displays the percentage of Oxygen concentration in the patient’s blood. As per experts, 92% or higher is a normal level of oxygen. An oximeter thus becomes very helpful in alerting the patient/ the caregiver about such a situation.

Below Normal 

A SpO2 reading when below 92%, is considered to be alarming. When the blood oxygen level is below the normal level it is called hypoxemia. Hypoxemia is indeed a matter of concern as it can lead to complications in the tissues and organs of the patient’s body. This can prevent the lungs from inhaling adequate oxygen from the air and exhaling carbon-di-oxide. The next effect would be disorders and problems in the circulatory system, preventing the blood to pick oxygen and transport it across the body. 

The patient may experience the following symptoms:

  1. Shortness of breath
  2. Pain/ Pressure in the chest
  3. Mental Confusion
  4. Headache
  5. Fast heartbeat
  6. Blue discolouration of nails, lips, skin

Keep in mind that if someone’s SpO2 falls to 90 or lower and/or experiences any of the above symptoms, it is best to consult a doctor at the earliest. 

Things to Remember Before Using an Oximeter:

The way our hospitals are crowded, doctors are advising the infected people to keep a regular check on their oxygen level and visit the hospital only if there is a fall in the level below 92-93%. Doctors are also claiming that a lot of people can be cured if they follow the medical advice appropriately while in self-isolation at home.

Pulse oximeters can prove to be very helpful in monitoring the oxygen levels without any medical assistance by the patient himself or a caregiver. But before using it, one should keep in mind a few things. 

  1. Before taking the reading, it is important that the patient rests or relaxes for 10 to 15 minutes
  2. If you are laying down, keep a hand (left or right would not make a difference) on your chest and keep it still

    If you are sitting keep your hand on the armrest and take the reading while keeping it still

    Place and set the oximeter either on the middle finger or the index finger of your hand

    Don’t change the position of your hand till the reading on the device becomes stable

    Record the highest result after the reading on the device has stabilised

    Record the reading correctly

    Start to record the reading from the baseline. Record it thrice or four times a day unless you notice a difference in health

    Call your medical care provider and seek help in case there is shortness of breath or a fall in the oxygen level to 92% or less.

How to correctly use Pulse Oximeters?

SpO2 oximeters indicate the percentage of oxygen level in the blood of the patient. There are a few tips to consider before one starts using the device.

  • Ensure that your finger is not covered with Heena 
  • As your finger is inserted into the oximeter nail side up, make sure that your nail does not have nail paint on it.
  • Rest and relax for a few minutes before you put your finger into the device
  • Once the oximeter is placed on the finger, the movement of the hand should be restricted
  • The pulse oximeter should be worn on the finger for at least a minute, till the reading on it stabilizes.
  • Make sure that the device fits well onto the finger. Too loose a probe, it may fall off. It should not be too tight as it would then constrict the blood circulation.

In these covid-stricken times, it is essential to keep a check on your oxygen levels and a pulse oximeter is a useful and convenient way to do so. The margin of error is slight, and most oximeters are accurate enough. Remember that when in doubt relying on the oximeter alone, is not enough. If you or any family member is experiencing any Hypoxia symptoms, they need emergency treatment as hypoxia can worsen very rapidly. 

References:

  1. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/in-older-adults-use-oximeter-rather-than-temperature-to-screen-for-covid-scientists-7302279/
  2. https://www.news18.com/news/lifestyle/covid-19-all-you-need-to-know-about-oximeters-3656129.html
  3. https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/india-news-covid-how-to-use-pulse-oximeter-correctly-step-by-step-guide/381901
  4. https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/covid-19-how-to-use-pulse-oximeter-correctly-to-monitor-oxygen-saturation-7296682/
  5. https://www.news18.com/news/lifestyle/covid-19-all-you-need-to-know-about-oximeters-3656129.html

Why an e-Insurance Account is a Must in Today’s Age?

The wave of technological development has been sweeping the nation far and wide. Fat wallets have slimmed down due to mobile wallets and e-payment gateways, physical shopping has given way to e-commerce and the world has shrunk down to your computer and mobile screens.

Even when it comes to insurance, buying it has been simplified through online insurance marketplaces. Moreover, storing the insurance policy has also become easier with e-insurance accounts.

What is an e-insurance account?

An e-insurance account is a short for electronic insurance account. It is an electronic or digital account wherein you can store all your insurance policies. Thus, an e-insurance account is like an online locker or safe for your insurance policies, both life and general.

Why is the e-insurance account important?

There are various reasons which make an e-insurance account a must have in today’s age. Let’s have a look –

  1. Convenience and safety

    First and foremost, the e-insurance account provides you complete convenience in keeping a track of all your insurance policies. Since the policies are stored in the account, you can access them whenever you need. As the account is online, you don’t face the threat of misplacing or losing your insurance policies. They are protected from physical damage and theft and, so, the e-insurance account provides convenience with the added advantage of safety of your policy documents.

  2. Ease of servicing

    If you want to service your existing insurance policies, you can do so through the e-insurance account. Payment of renewal premiums, updating your details on an existing policy, porting, etc. can be done from one central database which is the e-insurance account. So, you don’t have to search for your policy papers, look through them and check what is needed to be done with each policy. You can simply log into your e-insurance account and get every details right at your fingertips.

  3. Ease of opening

    The e-insurance account is free of cost. You don’t need to pay any money for opening or maintaining the account. You can open an e-insurance account with any insurance company whose policy you have or you can pick any insurance repository, like CAMSRep, NIR-NSDL, Karvy, etc. and open the account. The account can be opened online and you just need to submit your KYC documents for verification. 

How to convert your existing insurance policies into e-policies?

After you have successfully opened and registered your e-Insurance Account, you can request all your insurance companies to convert your existing policies to e-policies so that the policies get stored in the e-insurance account. To convert your existing policies you would have to fill up a conversion form available with the insurance repository with whom you have opened the account or with the insurance company. Fill up the conversion form stating your name, e-insurance account number, policy number, insurer’s name, etc. Submit the form with the repository or the insurance company and your physical policy would be converted to an e-policy and sent to your e-insurance account.

The pandemic and the need of the e-insurance account

The concept of e-insurance account is slowly gaining popularity as policyholders are opting to collate their policies in an e-insurance account for its ease and convenience. Moreover, the COVID pandemic has heightened the importance of having an e-insurance account. As the pandemic is wreaking havoc and causing increased lockdowns and reduced office hours, it becomes easier to service your policy through an e-insurance account. If you have an e-insurance account you would not have to step out of your home to pay renewal premiums, make claims, or make changes in your policy. Moreover, you would not have to visit the offices of the insurance companies to check your policy details if you have misplaced your policy bond. You can check your details online where your policies would be stored.

As the e-insurance account is a central account for both life and general insurance policies, you can check all the plans without having the need to go through your records or physical documents.

So, if you have not yet opted for the e-insurance account, don’t delay. Open the account free of cost and convert your physical policies to digital ones. The process is online and you can track your insurance plans from the safety and comfort of your home.

State Wise Helpline Numbers (Covid-19)

The second wave of COVID-19 has been all the more devastating for India. The surge that began in the mid of March, has rapidly reached a point where almost 4 lakh cases are being recorded every day. The weekly fluctuations in the number of cases are regarded as signs of the peak still being distant. Though an accurate assessment of the virus’s extent is possible only with extensive testing. 

After being calamitous in the big cities, where hospitals and burial grounds have run out of space, the virus is now spreading to the small towns. With a firm grip over the small Indian cities, the devastation is still under-reported. 

The national helpline number 1075, 1930, 1944 are toll-free and are active 24X7. The previous helpline number +91 11 23978046 is also available. 

A helpline email ID has also been launched by the Union Ministry: ncov2019@gmail.com

To raise awareness as well as curb the spread of any misinformation, a WhatsApp chatbot has been introduced. You can reach out to the health ministry at +91-9013151515. When you send a ‘Hi’ message to this number you would receive an automated message. After this, you can receive relevant answers to any Covid related query.

STATE HELPLINE NUMBERS

State/ Union Territory 

Helpline Number

Andaman & Nicobar

03192-232102

Andhra Pradesh

0866-2410978

Arunachal Pradesh

9436055743

Assam

6913347770

Bihar

104

Chandigarh

9779558282

Chhattisgarh

104

Dadra Nagar Haveli

104

Delhi

011-22307145

Goa

104

Gujarat

104

Haryana

8558893911

Himachal Pradesh

104

Jammu

01912520982

Jharkhand

104

Karnataka

104

Kashmir

01942440283

Kerala

0471-2552056

Ladakh

01982256462

Lakshadweep

104

Madhya Pradesh

104

Maharashtra

020-26127394

Manipur

3852411668

Meghalaya

108

Mizoram

102

Nagaland

7005539653

Odisha

9439994859

Puducherry

104

Punjab

104

Rajasthan

0141-2225624

Sikkim

104

Tamil Nadu

044-29510500

Telangana

104

Tripura

0381-2315879

Uttarakhand

104

Uttar Pradesh

1800 180 5145

West Bengal

1800 313 444 222

033-23412600

A 24×7 control room has also been set up to deal with COIVID-19 related queries: 

011-22307145, 22300012 and 22300036

  • North Delhi: 011-27708768
  • South Delhi: 011-29531277
  • West Delhi: 011-25195529
  • North-West Delhi: 011-25951182
  • South-West Delhi: 011-25066674
  • South-East Delhi: 011-26476410
  • North-East Delhi: 011-22115289
  • New Delhi: 011-23385743
  • Central Delhi: 011-23270151
  • Shahdara: 011-22111077

With the activation of these helpline numbers and portals, the Government is trying to:

  1. Help the citizens gather accurate information about COVID-19 and also clarify their doubts about the disease
  2. People in distress can call these numbers to get information about the nearest COVID-19 prevention centres, their address and contact details
  3. One can also get in touch with the district surveillance units to report cases of COVID-19.

With heartbreaking stories coming from the length and breadth of the country, the second Covid wave is wreaking havoc. Amid the unabated rise in the cases, our healthcare system seems to crumble by the day. The launch of these helplines is another endeavour of the authorities to make the information as well as prevention of this deadly disease more accessible.