Two-Wheeler Renewal is Not only Easy but is also the Right Thing to Do!

Two-wheelers are the most convenient modes of transport, especially in a country like India where traffic jams are the norm and the roads are not in the best shape. If you have not renewed your license on time and you are using your 2 wheeler, even for a short ride, then you are committing a punishable offense. Similarly, the implications of not renewing your 2 wheeler insurance plan are quite severe.

These insurance policies come with a grace period of 90 days, thereby enabling you to still renew the policy by retaining benefits such as a no-claim bonus. If you let the 90 days elapse, then you will have to avail a new policy, in such a scenario, the earlier accumulated benefits will not be brought forward.

In the event of availing of a new policy, you will have to submit the necessary documentation and the inspection of the vehicle becomes mandatory. There are a host of other hassles that you may have to undergo, in case you fail to reinstate your 2-wheeler insurance policy within the stipulated 90-day grace period after expiry.

 

Implications of not renewing your 2-wheeler policy on time:

  1. Illegal to ride an uninsured bike:
    There are multiple implications apart from the fact that it is illegal to ride a bike without 2 wheeler insurance in India. It is a punishable offense if you are caught by traffic police riding a bike that is not insured. The traffic policy can levy a penalty of up to Rs. 2000 or you could be liable for imprisonment up to 3 months. This is mandated in the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988.
  2. No cover during break-in period:
    Policy lapses when you fail to renew your policy by paying the premium after the expiry of your policy and also fail to reinstate it within the 90-day grace period. In such an event, you will have to void a new policy, and the period between the old policy expiration and the new policy coming into effect is termed as the break-in period. You will be unable to avail of any benefits during such period, further, your 2-wheeler will remain uninsured during such period. It is illegal to ride your bike during such a period in India.
  3. Loss of no-claim bonus:
    The no-claim bonus that you have accumulated over the years will lapse if you fail to reinstate your policy. No claim bonus is a reward that is extended to policyholders by insurance companies in the event of no claims done by the individual. This is typically a 50% discount on your bike insurance premium for not having made any claims during the policy year.
  4. Cumbersome and inconvenient:
    If you have not been able to reinstate the policy on time, then you will have to undergo the rigmarole of submitting new documents, taking the bike for inspection at the insurance office. On inspection, there is a possibility of an insurer refusing your insurance proposal, in which case you will have to submit a new proposal with a new insurer. This when compared to renewing your insurance with just a few clicks is cumbersome and time-consuming.

All this can be avoided by just renewing your policy on time! Renewing of policy can be done online and just requires a few clicks.

 

Renewing your 2-wheeler policy: It’s simple and easy!

The renewal of a two-wheeler insurance policy can be done online, thereby saving time and effort. The renewal can be done in 3 easy steps –

  1. Log in to https://www.turtlemint.com/two-wheeler-insurance/
  2. Put in your bike details here such as:
    • Make and model of the bike
    • Fuel type and variant
    • Choose the type of bike insurance policy you wish to opt for
    • Previous policy claim details such as:
      • Previous policy type
      • When is it expiring
      • Claims made in the previous year
      • No Claim Bonus %
      • Previous insurer details
  3. Choose your policy from the options shown. You can also compare the select the one which best suits your needs
  4. Then go ahead and fill in the necessary details and make an online payment
  5. The policy document would be emailed to your registered email id.

 

Porting your policy before renewing

While you must ensure that you renew your policy on time, to ensure that you do not have to face regulatory/legal implications. There may be a scenario where you may want to shift your bike insurer. In such a case, you should ideally set a reminder at least 45 days before starting to scout for a new policy. Check for the benefits, coverage, and premium before you choose the new insurer. It is also important to choose an insurer that offers good service, including reminders for renewal and hassle-free claim settlement.

Renewing your 2 wheeler policy on time is not only easy, but it is also the right thing to do! It is quite apparent that timely renewal of your two-wheeler policy will save cost, effort, and time.

Ways to Find Policy Number using Vehicle Number

A car insurance policy is mandatory under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. That is why if you are buying a car or have one, you are required to have a valid car insurance policy on the same. There are two types of car insurance policies generally offered by the insurance companies – third-party liability, which is mandatory under law, and comprehensive car insurance policy which covers third party liability and own damages.

The car insurance policy number is a unique number that is printed on the policy document. It is allotted by the insurance company to every policyholder. It helps the company identify the policy account. The policy number is a numerical digit that you get after the policy is issued. 

If you buy your car insurance policy online, the number can be found on the soft copy of the policy document sent to your email ID. For offline policies, however, you would find the number printed on the policy document when you get the hard copy of the same. 

What is a car registration number? 

Vehicle number means the registration number of your car. Your car registration number is a unique number allotted to the vehicle by the Regional Transport Office of your district. When you buy a car, you will have to register it with your local RTO within a period of 30 days of buying it. The respective RTO will give you a unique registration number which serves as an identification of your car and its owner, i.e. you.

The vehicle number, or the registration number of the car, consists of 10 digits in which the first two digits signify the state in which your car is registered, the next two digits are the district code and the last four digits are your car’s unique identification number. For example, if your car registration number is WB 28 ST 4509, WB stands for West Bengal, 28 refers to the district of the state in which the car has been registered and 4509 is the unique identification number of your car. 

When do you need your car insurance policy number? 

Your car insurance policy number is required in several instances. Therefore, you should keep the physical copy of your car insurance policy handy while driving a vehicle. Some of the instances when you need your car insurance policy number are as follows: 

  1. In case of making a claim

    The insurance company asks for your car insurance’s policy number when you are registering your claim. Additionally, when filing a police FIR in the case of a third party or theft claims, the police might also require your car insurance policy number to be mentioned on the FIR. Thus, when making claims, the policy number is needed.

  2. Renewing the insurance policy

    The car insurance policy number is essential at the time of renewing the policy. If you renew your existing policy, you would have to provide the car insurance policy number to retrieve your details. 

    You can also buy a new insurance policy on renewal and transfer the existing no claim bonus to the new policy. In such cases too, the policy number would be needed when filling up the form for the new plan.

  3. For checking car insurance details

    If you don’t have your car registration number handy and you need to check the details of your insurance policy, you can use your car insurance policy number to do the same. Similarly, you can also use your car registration number to check the policy details if you do not have a car insurance policy number handy. 

  4. For the purpose of verification

    The car insurance policy number is required when the traffic police stop your vehicle to check the validity of your insurance policy. In such a case, even if you do not have a physical copy of your policy document, you can provide your car insurance policy number which would allow the law authorities to check the validity of your insurance online.

  5. To apply for duplicate documents

    Though it is much easier to check or retrieve your car insurance policy online, you may require physical copies of the document for various purposes. Hence, if you have lost your car insurance policy document, you can apply for a duplicate one. You would require the policy number in order to apply for a duplicate car insurance policy. 

    Your car insurance policy number is, therefore, important and should be kept handy at all times.

Different ways to find your car insurance policy number using car number

If you have lost your policy document or have forgotten your car insurance policy number and need to access it, your vehicle number would come in handy. You can find your car insurance policy number through your vehicle or registration number. 

When you buy your car insurance policy, it gets linked with your car registration number making it easier to check the details of the policy with the help of the registration number. Below are some of the ways how to find insurance policy number by vehicle number:

Online 

There are different ways to check your car insurance policy number online. If you want to know how to find car insurance policy number online, here are your options: 

  1. You can visit the official website of the Regional Transport Office in which your car is registered and fill in your registration number to check your car insurance policy number
  2. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has developed a website known as the Insurance Information Bureau (https://iib.gov.in/). You can access the website for checking car insurance policy number online using your registration number
  3. You can visit the State Transport Department website and find the details of your car insurance policy using your registration number
  4. The website of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (https://parivahan.gov.in/parivahan/) also contains the details of the car insurance policy issued on your registration number. You can, thus, access the details of the insurance policy on the website by entering your registration number. 
  5. You can also visit the official website of the insurance company and use your registration number to log into your account to check your car insurance policy number. By logging into your account, you can also check various other details of your car insurance policy. 

Alternatively, if you do not remember your car registration number, some insurance companies provide a mobile application facility in which you can log in to your account through a mobile number. After you log in on the mobile app, all the details of your car insurance policy will be reflected including the policy number. You can, thus, access your car insurance policy number through the mobile application anytime anywhere. 

Offline

You can take the help of the insurance aggregator or the broker from whom you brought the insurance policy. Alternatively, you can also call the insurance company or visit the nearest branch of the insurance company and provide your car registration number along with certain personal details as may be required. The insurance aggregator or the executive of the branch will help you find your car insurance policy number. 

A car insurance policy number is the identification number of your car insurance. It should, therefore, be stored carefully. If you forget or misplace your car insurance policy number, you don’t have to worry. If you are looking for an answer to how to find my car insurance policy number online, the answer is your car registration number. Use the number and opt for any of the methods stated above to find your car insurance policy number.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does my car insurance policy number stay the same on renewal?

    If you renew the policy with the same insurance company, your car insurance policy number would stay the same. However, if you switch insurers, the policy number would change. You should, thus, keep the latest policy number handy at all times.

  2. Is the proposal number similar to the policy number?

    No, the proposal number is different from the policy number. The proposal number is the number that is applicable when you apply for a car insurance policy. Once the policy is issued, another formal number is issued which is called the policy number.

  3. Would I have to pay a fee for requesting a duplicate copy of the insurance policy?

    The requirement of the fee depends on your insurance company. Many companies charge an administrative fee for issuing a duplicate policy copy. Others don’t. So, check with your insurer if you need to pay a fee for a duplicate copy and pay the fee, if applicable, to get the copy at the earliest.

  4. What is an Insurance Certificate?

    The Insurance Certificate is a one-page document that contains the details of your car insurance policy, including the policy number. It is recommended to carry the certificate in the car so that you can produce it when required. 

  5. Does my RC book contain the car insurance policy number?

    No, the RC book does not contain the details of your insurance policy. As such, the car insurance policy number is not recorded in the RC Book.

All You Need To Know About Used Car Insurance

Buying a used car has its benefits. You can get a car within your budget and even test your driving skills with a used car. Moreover, if you are looking to own a premium or a luxury car and not want to invest a considerable amount of money in the same, you can own a used car.

When you buy a used car, you also have to get the car covered under a valid insurance policy. The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 mandates a liability only used car insurance policy on the car before you take it out for a ride. So, let’s understand the policy in details –

What is a used car insurance plan?

A used car insurance policy is coverage that is allowed on used cars. The policy comes in two variants of third party liability only cover and comprehensive package cover. You can opt for any of these second handcar insurance plans when buying a used car.

Why should you opt for second hand car insurance?

You need a used car insurance policy because of the following reasons –

  1. Legally mandatory 

    Third-party coverage is legally mandatory. So, you need at least a third party cover on the car before you drive it. If you are caught without a valid cover, you would suffer considerable fines and even imprisonment in severe cases.

  2. Comprehensive coverage 

    If you invest in a comprehensive old car insurance policy, you can get coverage for the damages suffered by your car. These damages might arise from natural or man-made calamities and can incur considerable repair costs. Under the comprehensive policy, however, the repair costs would be paid by the insurance company taking off a huge financial burden from your shoulders.

  3. Financial security 

    The third-party coverage provides financial protection against legal liabilities against third parties if your car causes them any harm. These liabilities can be considerable, especially in the case of the death of a third party. In the absence of a used car insurance policy, the liabilities can cause a financial strain on you.

  4. Security in case of thefts

    If your car is stolen, you would get a lump sum claim under the used car insurance policy. This would give you the financial means to replace the stolen car easily.

  5. Easy claim settlements

    You can enjoy cashless repairs at networked garages under comprehensive second hand car insurance plans. This allows you to get your car repaired without any financial hassles.

So, for fulfilling the legal mandate and to enjoy financial security, a used car insurance policy becomes a must.

Transfer of car ownership and insurance

When buying a used car, there are two steps that you need to follow. The first is to transfer the ownership of the car from the previous owner to your name. The second is to transfer the insurance policy from the last owner’s name to your name. Here’s how you can go about both these steps –

  1. Transferring car ownership

    The first thing to do is to transfer the ownership of the car before you can apply for a transfer of insurance. The ownership of the car can be transferred through the following steps –

    • You would have to inform the RTO of the change in ownership so that the RC book of the car is duly updated with the new buyer’s details.
    • To inform the RTO and file for a change of ownership, you would have to fill up and submit three RTO forms. These forms are as follows –
      1. Form 28 is the form for the No Objection Certificate
      2. Form 29 is the form for transfer of ownership
      3. Form 30 which is an intimation for transfer of the car

      Both the seller and the buyer of the used car would have to sign these RTO forms before they are submitted to the RTO.

    • You would also have to pay a fee for the transfer of ownership in the RC book. This fee would depend on the RTO where the car is registered. 
    • Other documents would also be needed to complete the transfer of ownership. These documents should be attached with the RTO forms and submitted to the RTO. The documents are as follows;
      1. Registration certificate (RC Book)
      2. PUC certificate
      3. Tax certificate for the road tax paid on the car
      4. A declaration by the car owner stating that he/she intends to sell the car
      5. Copy of the insurance policy
      6. An affidavit stating the change in ownership of the car
      7. Address proof of the car buyer

      Once the documents are submitted and the application is made, the RTO would change the ownership and issue an updated RC Book for the car.

  2. Transfer of insurance

    Once the ownership is transferred, you can transfer the insurance policy from the seller’s name to the buyer’s name. Here’s the process –

    • The seller needs to inform the insurance company of the change in ownership of the car. This information should be given in writing.
    • If the seller has any No Claim Bonus (NCB) to his name, the insurance company would issue an NCB certificate to the seller before transferring the insurance policy
    • You would have to submit some documents to transfer the policy. These documents include the following –
      1. The updated RC book. If the RC book is in the process of being updated, you can also submit Form 29
      2. NOC from the seller
      3. Existing policy bond
      4. New proposal form for insurance
      5. Vehicle inspection report
      6. The difference premium payable

    Once the application is submitted along with the documents, the insurance policy would be transferred in the name of the new buyer.

Buying new car insurance for a used car

Rather than getting the ownership transferred in the existing policy, you can also opt for a new car insurance policy. To do so, you can buy the policy online or offline. For buying offline, you would have to get in touch with an insurance agent or a broker. Alternatively, you can visit the branch of an insurance company and apply for a new policy.

The online mode, on the other hand, is much easier. You can simply visit the website of an insurance company or an insurance aggregator and buy a new used car insurance policy. Provide the details of the car and the premium would be shown. Compare the premium and the coverage benefits and buy the best second hand car insurance policy.

Why choose Turtlemint for used car insurance?

Turtlemint is an online platform that allows you to buy an old car insurance policy online without hassles. The reasons why Turtlemint can be the best mode of buying a car insurance plan are as follows –

  1. You can buy the policy instantly online by following a simple process
  2. Turtlemint is tied up with the leading car insurance providers of India. You can, thus, get the best coverage benefits through Turtlemint’s portal.
  3. Turtelmint allows you to compare and choose the most suitable used car insurance policy which offers the most comprehensive coverage benefits at the lowest used car insurance prices
  4. At the time of claim, Turtlemint gives you complete assistance to get your claims settled quickly and easily.

So, visit https://www.turtlemint.com/car-insurance/ and buy the best used car insurance policy.

Things to check before buying a second-hand car

If you are thinking of buying a second-hand car for your needs, here are some things that you should check –

  • Check the usage of the car. Buy a car that has useful life left. Try and avoid very old cars as their maintenance costs would be high
  • Opt for a model that fits your budget
  • Do a thorough inspection of the car to find if it is damaged anywhere and to assess its present condition
  • Try and buy a second-hand car from reputed dealers, online or offline
  • Make sure the ownership is successfully transferred after buying the car

Do your research and select the best car. Don’t forget to add the used car insurance policy when you buy a second-hand car.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Within what duration should I get the insurance policy transferred after I buy a used car?

    The transfer of the insurance policy should be done within 14 days from the date of sale of the car. During this period, the third party cover would continue to apply. However, if the tenure of 14 days expires, the third-party coverage would cease.

  2. Where can I get the RTO forms for change in ownership?

    RTO forms can be downloaded online from the Parivahan website. The link is https://parivahan.gov.in/parivahan//en/content/download-forms. You can also get the forms at the RTO itself. 

  3. Can I opt for only third party cover on the second-hand car?

    Yes, you can opt for only third party cover which is mandatory. However, if you do so, any damages suffered by your car would not be covered. Moreover, if your car is stolen, you would incur a considerable loss. So, it is always better to opt for a comprehensive policy.

  4. Would the used car insurance policy cover all types of damages?

    A comprehensive used car insurance policy covers most types of damages. However, there is a list of policy exclusions that you should check. This list states the damages which are not covered by the policy.

  5. What add-ons are offered under comprehensive old car insurance plans?

    A range of add-ons is available under comprehensive old car insurance plans. Some common ones include zero depreciation cover (provided the car is not more than 5 years old), roadside assistance cover, engine protection cover, NCB protection cover, etc.

All You Need To Know About Standalone Own damage Insurance

The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 mandates every vehicle to carry third party coverage before it runs on the road. The third-party coverage provides coverage against third party liabilities that might incur if the vehicle damages third party property or causes injury or death to another individual. The third-party cover, however, does not cover the damages suffered by the vehicle itself.

If you want coverage for the damages on your own vehicle, you need to opt for your own damage insurance plan. This cover is meant for the damages suffered by the vehicle, i.e. if your vehicle suffers damages or theft due to natural or man-made causes. While own damage insurance is available under comprehensive vehicle insurance policies, you can also opt for the standalone OD policy. Let’s understand how.

Standalone OD policy meaning – what the plan is all about

A standalone own damage insurance plan covers only the damages suffered by the car. This policy does not include coverage for third party liabilities. This policy is issued for one year and can be bought only if you already have an independent third party liability policy. This means that the policy is not available unless a third party policy is already bought by the policyholder.

Benefits of own damage insurance

Here are the benefits of availing of an own damage cover –

  1. All-round coverage

    Since the own damage policy covers accidental and natural contingencies that might damage your car, it provides all-around coverage. Damages to your car involve considerable expenses on repairs. These expenses can cause a major financial strain. However, if you have your own damage insurance, the repair costs are shouldered by the insurance company allowing you financial relief.

  2. Coverage against theft

    Theft of the car causes a considerable financial loss. By covering such financial loss, own damage insurance gives you financial security and compensation to replace the lost car with a new one.

  3. Add-on benefits

    Under your own damage insurance, you can find optional add-on coverage benefits that help in enhancing the scope of coverage. Benefits like zero depreciation cover, no claim bonus cover, roadside assistance, etc. expand your coverage considerably thereby enhancing the claim pay-out.

  4. Attractive discounts

    There are attractive premium discounts under your own damage insurance. You can claim a discount of up to 50% by not making claims in your policy. Then, there are discounts for installing safety devices in the car, for opting for voluntary deductibles, for being a member of an Automobile Association, etc.

Who is eligible to buy their own damage insurance?

An own damage cover can be taken by any individual who owns a vehicle. The cover can be bought through a comprehensive policy that also covers third-party liability. However, if you want only a standalone OD policy, you need to have third party coverage before opting for the plan. If you can furnish proof of a valid third party cover on your vehicle, you can opt for a standalone OD policy too.

Who should buy their own damage cover?

The own damage insurance cover is suitable for all vehicle owners because it provides a wider scope of coverage. The policy covers the damages suffered by the vehicle due to natural or man-made calamities. Moreover, if your vehicle is stolen, then also you get financial assistance from the insurance company for the financial loss suffered due to theft. Since the repair costs are considerable and a possible theft causes a considerable financial loss, the own damage cover is suitable for all.

If, however, you do not use your vehicle too much or if your vehicle is very old you can do away with your own damage cover. In that case, you can simply opt for a basic plan, i.e. a third party plan.

Inclusions in own damage insurance

The coverage extended under its own damage cover is quite extensive. The policy allows coverage against the following contingencies –

  1. Natural calamities like earthquake, storm, cyclone, flood, hurricane, landslide, subsidence, tempest, etc.
  2. Man-made calamities like fire, explosion, self-ignition, riots, strikes, malicious acts, etc.
  3. Theft of the car
  4. Damage to the car when it is being transported from one place to another via road, rail, air or water

Exclusions in own damage insurance

Despite the wide scope of coverage, the following contingencies are not covered under an own damage policy –

  • Deliberate damages
  • Damages suffered due to attempted suicide or self-inflicted injuries
  • Damages suffered when driving without a valid driving license
  • Damages suffered when driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol or other intoxicating substances
  • Damages suffered outside the Indian territorial boundaries
  • Consequential losses
  • Normal wear and tear or depreciation of the vehicle
  • Mechanical or electrical damages or breakdown of the car
  • Damages suffered when engaging in hazardous activities or in criminal acts

How to calculate your own damage premium?

The premium for an own damage insurance policy depends on a lot of factors. It also varies across insurance companies. So, to calculate the own damage premium, here are the factors that you must know about –

  1. Make, model and variant

    The make, model and variant of the car determines its market value. Depending on the market value, the coverage and the premium are determined. Premium cars have higher premiums compared to normal cars.

  2. IDV:

    IDV (Insured Declared Value) means the market value of the car after deducting depreciation based on the age of the car. IDV also represents the maximum coverage available under the own damage insurance policy. If the IDV is high, the premium would be higher and vice-versa.

  3. Registration details

    The registration date of the car reveals the age of the car based on which its value is depreciated. Thus, older cars have lower premiums and vice-versa. Similarly, the registration location also impacts the premium amount. Cars registered in metropolitan cities have higher premiums than cars registered in other places.

  4. Claim history

    If you have not made claims in the previous years, you are eligible for a no-claim discount. This discount reduces the renewal premium. Thus, depending on the claim history, the no claim bonus rate is determined which affects the premium rate.

  5. Renewal date

    If you opt for renewal within the due date, the premium would be low. However, if the policy has expired and then you renew it, the consequent premiums would be higher.

  6. Add-ons selected

    If you select the available add-ons, the premium would increase as each add-on comes with an additional premium amount.

  7. Discounts available 

    Besides the no claim bonus, if you are eligible for other discounts in the own damage cover, your premium would be reduced.

So, keep these points in mind to calculate the own damage premium when buying the policy.

How to renew your own damage insurance policy?

Own damage insurance renewal can be done online or offline. Here’s how –

  1. Offline renewal

    For renewing offline, you need to either contact an insurance agent or visit the branch of your insurance company. You would have to pay the renewal premium and the policy would be renewed after the renewal request is processed by the insurance company.

  2. Online renewal

    For instant renewals, you can choose the online option. To renew online, visit the website of your insurance company, enter your policy number, pay the renewal premium and renew online. Alternatively, you can visit https://www.turtlemint.com/car-insurance/ and compare different plans to find the best policy. Then, you can buy the plan online and get your coverage renewed instantly.

Remember, if you renew the policy within the due date, your policy would be renewed easily. However, if the due date has passed and your policy has expired, you would have to arrange for an inspection of your car and after the inspection is successfully done, the insurance company would allow the renewal of the policy. 

How to claim car insurance for your own damage in India?

If you incur a claim in your own damage insurance policy, you can initiate the claim process. The steps are as follows –

  1. Inform the insurance company immediately after you suffer a claim. This helps in registering the claim for the process to start.
  2. Once registered, the insurance company would also direct you to the nearest preferred workshop wherein you can get cashless claims
  3. Take your car to the workshop and the insurer’s surveyor would go to the workshop to check the damages
  4. Then the surveyor would submit the survey report based on which the claim would be approved
  5. After the approval is given, the garage would be instructed to start the repair work of the vehicle and the bills would be handled directly by the insurer
  6. Once the repairs are completed, fill and submit the claim form with other relevant documents for settlement
  7. After the claim is settled, you can take delivery of your car
  8. In case of theft, report the same to the police and file an FIR. If the police is not able to trace the vehicle, they would then issue a certificate of non-traceability. You need to submit the certificate for an insurance claim. 
  9. If you get your car repaired at a non-preferred garage, i.e. a garage not tied up with the insurance company, you would have to bear the repair costs yourself. After repairs, fill and submit the claim form along with the relevant documents and the claim would be reimbursed

If, however, you have bought your own damage insurance policy from Turtlemint, you can call Turtlemint for claim assistance. Call the toll-free number 1800 266 0101 or drop in a mail at support@turtlemint.com and Turtlemint would help you with the claim settlement process.

The own damage insurance cover is a valuable cover for your car which provides all-around financial protection. So, opt for the cover and get complete financial security against unforeseen financial contingencies.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What documents are needed for your own damage insurance claim settlement?

    For settlement of your own damage claim, the following documents should be submitted along with the filled and signed claim form –

    • Copy of your identity proof
    • Copy of the driving license
    • Copy of the RC book of the car
    • Police FIR in case of theft
    • Policy bond or Insurance Certificate
    • Any other document required by the insurance company.
  2. How to buy your own damage insurance policies?

    You can buy the policy online or offline. For buying offline you can get in touch with an insurance agent or visit the insurance company’s office. The online mode of buying is easier as you can buy the policy online instantly. Just visit the insurer’s website, provide your car’s details, pay the premium and buy the plan. You can also buy a suitable own damage insurance policy through Turtlemint’s platform which allows you to compare between the available plans and then buy the most suitable policy. Just visit https://www.turtlemint.com/car-insurance/, provide your car’s details and then get to check the quotes of different plans. Select a plan based on the coverage offered and the premium rate, fill up an online proposal form, pay the premium and the policy would be issued instantly.

  3. Is the premium for own damage higher than that of third party plans?

    Yes, it is because own damage plans provide a wider scope of coverage than third party plans. Premiums are, therefore, higher to compensate for the wider risk undertaken by the insurance company.

  4. How many add-ons can I choose under my own damage cover?

    You can choose as many add-ons that you want. However, remember that each add-on would include an additional premium. Moreover, you should assess the suitability of every add-on before you add it to your own damage plan.

  5. Would I lose the no claim bonus if I do not renew my own damage insurance policy on time?

    If your car insurance policy expires, the accumulated no claim bonus is retained for up to 90 days post the expiry date. If you renew the policy within this period, you can retain the no claim bonus and use it to claim a premium discount on renewal. However, if you do not renew the policy within 90 days of lapse, the no claim bonus would also lapse and become zero.

Covishield or Covaxin: Which One Should You Take?

With the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc in India, one of the most effective defence mechanisms is vaccination. Unless there is mass vaccination, the pandemic will continue to come in waves and create tremendous devastation. Thankfully, the third phase of the vaccination drive has been announced in India and everyone above the age of 18 years can now get vaccinated. There are primarily two vaccines being administered in India – Covishield and Covaxin. If you are wondering which one to choose, we have some helpful data for you. Take a look and then decide which one is better suited for you.

Covid Vaccines in India 

Currently, India has two vaccines. The first one is the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, Covishield. It is being manufactured in India by the Serum Institute of India. The other one is the indigenous Covaxin, manufactured by Bharat Biotech. Both vaccines have a high success rate and are given across the country. Both the vaccines are administered intramuscularly. 

Properties of the vaccines

While you may not be able to choose between the two vaccines once you arrive for your jab appointment, you can choose the one you wish to go for when booking your appointment on the COWIN portal. The properties of the vaccines are as explained:

  1. Covaxin
    According to the manufacturers, Covaxin implements the Whole-Virion Inactivated Vero Cell-derived technology. Here, an inactive virus is injected into the recipient’s body. While this virus is incapable of infecting the person, it is capable of training the immune system on how to fight an active virus, if it enters the body. Covaxin has an efficacy of over 78%, which is pretty impressive in a large country like India.
  2. Covishield
    The Covishield vaccine works on a different mechanism – the viral vector method. Here, an active, but harmless virus is injected into the body. It mimics the main illness and the body produces pathogens that keep the body prepared to fight the active, harmful COVID viruses in the future. It has an efficacy of around 82%.

vaccination

Source: The Hindu

The World Health Organisation states that any vaccine that has an efficacy of over 50% is a powerful measure to control a pandemic, and in this respect, both Covaxin, as well as Covishield, prove to be effective.

Dosage 

Both the Indian vaccines, Covishield as well as Covaxin, are given in double-doses. You can get the second dose of Covaxin after 28 of receiving the first dose. However, it is preferable to wait for 8-12 weeks between the two doses of Covishield.

Side effects

Mild to moderate side effects post-vaccination have been noted in recipients receiving both the COVID vaccines in India. These side-effects include fever, fatigue, soreness around the jab area, body ache and headache. The symptoms however are mild and subside within a day or two.

The WHO informs that experiencing a vaccine side-effect is normal and you should not panic if you notice these conditions after you get vaccinated. 

Production and manufacturers’ reputation

Currently, the vaccines are produced on a very large scale in India. Unfortunately, the numbers are still falling short, given the vast population of India. However, both Bharat BioTech and Serum Institute are working round the clock to ramp up the production. SII’s Adar Poonawala was recently quoted saying that SII received an order of 26 crore vaccine vials from the government. It has already delivered 15 crore vials and is working on producing the remaining 11 crore doses at the earliest. On the other hand, Bharat BioTech has received an order of 5 crore vaccine doses from the government. To fully vaccinate the entire population of the country, 60 crore doses would be needed.

The Serum Institute and Bharat BioTech are both highly reputed virology institutes in the country. They have successfully manufactured important vaccines in the past and this gives hope to the countrymen about the effectiveness of COVID vaccines too.

Table of comparison

 

COVAXIN

COVISHIELD

Developed by

Bharat Biotech ICMR

Serum Institute of India

Type

Whole-Virion Inactivated Vero Cell-derived technology

Viral-Vector Technology

Dose

2 doses, at a preferred interval of 4 weeks

2 doses, at a prefered interval of between 8 and 12 weeks.

Efficacy

78%

82%

Storage requirements

To be stored between 2 degrees and 8 degrees Celsius

To be stored between 2 degrees and 8 degrees Celsius

Administration 

Given on the left hand, intermuscular 

Given on the left hand, intermuscular 

Cost

Rs 150 for the Central Government, Rs 400 for State Government and Rs 1200 for a private hospital.

Rs 150 for the Central Government, Rs 300 for State Government and Rs 600 for a private hospital.

The takeaway 

Though launched with a lot of promise, the vaccination drive in India is struggling presently. There is a massive shortage of vaccines and getting an appointment is very difficult. It, therefore, is advisable for you to opt for the vaccine that is available at the earliest slot. Both the vaccines, Covisheild as well as Covaxin, have shown positive results, and since combating the pandemic is the main issue right now, getting vaccinated is the best option. 

FAQs about the vaccines in India

  1. Can I take one dose of Covaxin and another dose of Covishield? 

    No, you cannot take one dose of each vaccine. As stated, Covaxin and Covishield work on two different mechanisms, so you need to take the same vaccine on both occasions.

  2. How are the vaccines stored? Covaxin and Covishield? 

    Both Covaxin, as well as Covishield, need to be stored at temperatures between 2 degrees and 8 degrees celsius, which is equivalent to the temperature of a regular household fridge.

  3. Who shouldn’t take Covaxin/Covishield?

    While both the vaccines are very safe, you should speak to your doctor before taking it if you:

    • Are pregnant
    • A nursing mother
    • Have a severe allergic condition
  4. What is the price of each? 

    Covishield is charged at Rs 150 for the Central Government, Rs 300 for the State Government and Rs 600 for a private hospital while Covaxin is charged at Rs 150 for the Central Government, Rs 400 for the State Government and Rs 1200 for a private hospital.

  5. References:

Things to Know About Covid and Pregnancy

Being pregnant is one of the most important phases in a woman’s life. There are so many emotions that she goes through every minute of the day. There is happiness, there is nervousness, there is joy and there is doubt. Every pregnancy has its own set of challenges, heartburn, morning sickness, fatigue, anxiety and now a pandemic. So, here is all that one needs to know about Covid and Pregnancy. 

In these times, if someone is expecting, it is completely understandable that they might be worried about COVID-19. In India, the second wave is already creating havoc. With over 4 lakh cases being reported each day, the situation is scary. But there is no reason to panic, as complete care can be taken to avoid pregnancy-related complications!

Most women who are carrying may find it hard to distinguish if they have a fever or are running a little hot. Feeling flushed or experiencing hot flashes is said to be common among expecting mothers. In most cases, the reason for this is the hormonal changes going inside the body. Under such circumstances, it becomes all the more difficult for an expectant mom to understand whether she is under the weather or down with COVID-19. 

What are the Symptoms of COVID-19?

In confirmed COVID-19 cases, people generally experience the following symptoms:

  1. Fever 
  2. Shortness of Breath
  3. Cough
  4. Chills/ Shivering
  5. Muscle Pain
  6. Headache
  7. Loss of taste/ and smell
  8. Congestion/runny nose
  9. Diarrhoea
  10. Sore Throat
  11. Nausea/ Vomiting

In most cases, the symptoms can stay from 2 to 14 days. While some people experience mild illness, others may feel seriously unwell. There are also patients who are COVID positive but do not have any symptoms

What should someone do if she is pregnant and yet has Covid?

If you know of someone who has the above symptoms, it is recommended that she should monitor her body temperature and keep a tab of her overall health conditions keeping her gynaecologist in the loop. She should ideally isolate herself completely as best as possible and follow all guidelines of WHO. She should not take any medications without consulting her doctor.

Does COVID-19 cause a higher risk for Pregnant Women?

Women who are expecting, or women who have recently delivered or older women, overweight women and/or women who have had a medical history such as diabetes and hypertension may be at a higher risk of being Covid positive. As there are many respiratory and immunity changes in the body, pregnant women may get their lungs affected. In case a pregnant woman develops severe symptoms, she may require intensive care.

As per the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 7 types of coronavirus that are known to infect humans. Though many have a mild effect and cause a cold, some of the types can make one seriously ill. The CDC says the following about pregnancy and COVID-19: “Based on what we know at this time, pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people. Additionally, pregnant people with COVID-19 might be at increased risk for other adverse outcomes, such as preterm birth.”

Does pregnancy increase the risk for developing Covid-19?

When a woman becomes pregnant, her immune system undergoes certain changes. It may so happen that she is at more risk for developing Covid-19.

What precautions can a pregnant lady take during the nine months of pregnancy in the pandemic?

Being a new virus, scientists are still learning about how this virus can affect pregnancy. In the meantime, it is best recommended that soon-to-be moms practise all safety norms issued by the government such as:

  1. Practise social distancing wherever possible
  2. Wash your hands frequently
  3. Stay at home as much as you can
  4. Wear a double face mask in public
  5. Monitor your health
  6. Avoid touching your face
  7. Avoid being near people who are unwell
  8. Follow all public Healthline guidelines
  9. Staying active and fit by following the prenatal instructions

The gynaecologist would be the best person to offer prenatal care while ensuring that she stays safe. Thus, keeping the gynaecologist updated about all health conditions through phone calls or virtual appointments is necessary. 

What to keep in mind when in the hospital for delivery?

The second wave of COVID has led to an acute resource shortage in hospitals. The Gynaecologist/ Obstetrician should be made aware of the birth plan. Normal delivery is different from a planned caesarean. Hence proper planning would be needed with the gynaecologist so that the other doctors, nurses and paediatricians are informed accordingly.

When at the hospital, these basic protocols would be followed, which needs to be adhered to 

  1. Doctors, nurses and staff would be following the Covid-19 protocols and wear protective gear at all times
  2. The visitors need to be restricted
  3. If the condition allows, she may be discharged early as well

What protocols need to be maintained after getting the newborn home?

The excitement of holding a newborn baby would be high, but the necessary precautions need to be taken as the immunity of the baby would be low at birth. Hence the risk of infection would be high. The hospital would have taken care of the basic precautions at birth, and hence the rest of the safety protocols need to be followed when the newborn child is brought home for the first time.

  1. The mother and child need to be quarantined for a minimum of 14 days without any visitor from outside. They would be most susceptible to secondary infections at this time.
  2. All visitors like grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc. need to be quarantined for at least 14 days before the child can be handed over to them.
  3. All outsiders can visit the child after the initial period of 14 days but with the mask on, provided they are not sick at that point in time.
  4. All functions and events can happen online for the time being till the pandemic settles.

There is no harm in taking an extra precaution so that the newborn child is not infected even with any secondary infections as any doctor or hospital visit can be precarious at this point in time.

Keeping in mind the second wave, should home birth be done?

In this fast-moving situation, most information becomes outdated very soon. Homebirth with the help of the gynaecologist may sound like a good idea, but it needs to be discussed and planned well with the doctor. There are pros and cons of both hospital birth as well as home birth but emergencies can be better handled at the hospital. So, it needs to be decided by the parents and the doctor in consultation.

How will a Covid positive mother take care of her newborn child?

A covid positive mother needs to keep the following protocols in mind as she would be sharing the room with a newborn whose immunity would be practically nil!

  1. Washing hands carefully with the soap for a period of a minimum of 20 seconds right before holding the baby or using a hand sanitiser that has at least 60% of alcohol content
  2. Wearing a double mask whenever the mother is within 6 feet of the baby
  3. Trying as best to stay away from the newborn baby by at least 6 feet
  4. Using physical barriers such as an incubator while the mother is infected
  5. Taking the help of a healthy caregiver/nurse who is not at risk for severe illness.

If the mother is infected, can she pass on the Covid-19 virus to the unborn child?

Say a silent prayer! COVID-19 is reportedly uncommon in a baby born to an infected mother, even if she were infected during the time she was carrying the baby. However, a newborn baby may test positive or negative soon after birth.

But it is still not known if these babies got the virus before, during or after being born. Most of these infected babies had mild or no symptoms at all and recovered completely. Only a few were reported with severe COVID-19 illness.

Can a covid-19 positive mother breastfeed the child?

So far, there is no study that can stop a mother from enjoying this feeling of connection with the baby. There is still no evidence that this virus can infect the breastmilk. Rather, breastmilk can help to protect the baby against many illnesses. 

But there is a word of caution! If a nursing mother has tested positive, she needs to follow these safety protocols:

  1. Washing hands before touching the baby
  2. Using a double face mask while feeding 
  3. She can also opt for `expressed milk` by following appropriate ‘breast pump’ sanitization techniques
  4. Maintain proper respiratory hygiene for both the mother and child
  5. A healthy caregiver or nurse, who is not tested positive, could bottle feed the expressed milk to the child
  6. Keeping all surfaces clean and properly sanitized

Does a newborn child need to wear a face mask?

A newborn child’s face should not be covered with a mask. As per WHO guidelines, children less than two years MUST NOT wear face masks.

Precaution:

A face mask/shield can pose a threat of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It can cause accidental suffocation. Bodily movements of babies can cause the shield to block their air passage like nose or mouth. The strap of the shield can cause strangulation.

What signs to look out for infection in a newborn child?

Most babies who have been infected with the COVID-19 virus show mild or no symptoms at all. Severe illness in babies is rare, however, as coronavirus is a new virus, there aren’t too many studies to support it.

Babies with an underlying medical condition or babies who were born earlier than 37 weeks are more prone to severe illness from COVID-19. In case the baby shows symptoms or the baby has been exposed to this virus, then the paediatrician needs to be contacted at the earliest.

Conclusion

Everything that you do and everything that happens to you has an effect on you and the baby growing inside you. This consciousness can often make dealing with an illness all the more complicated, and the worry of bringing your baby into this virus-stricken world can be overwhelming.

The virus is new, a lot more research is required to understand its effects on expecting moms, new moms and their babies. There is very little data that can offer accurate guidance. Being pregnant in the pandemic has brought unique challenges, but not to worry much. Just take all the necessary precautions, surround the pregnant woman or the new mother with happy and positive thoughts, read good books and keep her happily engaged. Yes, the challenges would be there, but it would all be worth the effort! 

Ref:

What is the Official Line of Treatment for Covid Patients in India?

The way coronavirus has upended our lives, it is difficult to imagine if life would be normal again. The surge of this disastrous disease has been so massive, that it has made even the most developed nations’ healthcare come crumbling down. However, man continues to fight the pandemic with all his might. 

The challenges faced by the Indian government are many. The vast population, the lack of resources, the ignorance among people, the newness of the pandemic have been big hurdles in containing the adverse situation. In lieu of the emerging pieces of evidence, the government has been revising its treatment protocols from time to time.

Recently, new guidelines have been issued by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), to treat Covid-19 among adults. The course of treatment has been classified into three categories, on the basis of the seriousness of the patient:

  1. Mild Case
  2. Moderate Case
  3. Severe Case

In this article, we will discuss the official line of treatment in all three categories.

Treatment for Mild Cases of Covid-19

The patient who has mild covid-19 has upper respiratory tract symptoms such as cough, sore throat, tiredness, with or without fever. There is no shortness of breath or hypoxia in these patients. Such patients are recommended home isolation and care. Let us take a look at the Dos and Don’ts for these patients.

Do’s

For a patient who is a mild case of Covid-19:

  1. Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from all members at home, and pets
  2. Strict hand hygiene must be maintained
  3. Double/ N-95 mask must be worn at all times
  4. Be in regular contact with your doctor
  5. Keep a thermometer and oximeter to monitor your temperature and oxygen levels
  6. Follow the symptomatic treatment that includes antitussive, multivitamins, hydration, antipyretics, as recommended by your physician

Can Also Do:

  • Tab Ivermectin Dose 200 mcg/kg can be taken once a day for 3 days
  • Hydroxychloroquine Dose 400mg BD – for 1 day, which has to be followed by 200mg BD for 4 days
    These medicines should be taken only after consulting your physician
  • Metered-dose of Inhalational Budesonide can be given if fever or cough continues beyond 5 days, after consulting the doctor

Treatment for Moderate Cases of Covid-19

Confirmed cases of covid-19 who have a respiratory rate of more than 24 per minute have shortness of breath and their SpO2 is below 90% or are categorised as moderate cases of Covid-19. It is recommended that such patients are admitted to a hospital. 

Recommendations:
Oxygen Support

  • The targeted SpO2, i.e. the oxygen saturation is a minimum of 92% to about 96%. The higher the better. 
  • For COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) patients the oxygen saturation is considered normal for 88% to 92%
  • The preferred tool for oxygenation is a non-rebreathing face mask
  • Patients are to be encouraged to practise awake proning

Anti-inflammatory or Immunomodulatory Therapy

  • Injection Methylprednisolone to be given from 0.5 to 1 mg/kg in divided doses
  • If a patient is unstable, he/ she may be switched to oral route

Anticoagulation

  • Conventional dose prophylactic unfractionated heparin or Low Molecular Weight Heparin can be given if there is no risk of bleeding

Clinical Monitoring

  • Breathing, change in the requirement of oxygen, hemodynamic instability to be monitored
  • If in case the patient’s condition worsens, Serial CXR; HRCT chest may be done
  • CRP and D-dimer should be monitored every 48 to 72 hours 

Treatment for Severe Cases of Covid-19

The patients who show signs of a respiratory rate above 30 per minute, shortness of breath or a SpO2 that is less than 90% are regarded to be severe cases of Covid-19. It is recommended that such patients are admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a hospital.

Recommendations:

  • Respiratory Support
    • Depending on the availability, NIV (Face mask or helmet interface) should be used for patients who have an increasing requirement of oxygen or their breathing is low
    • If the patient cannot tolerate NIV, intubation can be carried out with high work breathing
    • Patients who have an increasing requirement of oxygen can also be given HFNC
    • For management of ventilator, conventional ARDSnet protocol should be used
  • Anti-inflammatory or Immunomodulatory Therapy
    • Injection of Methylprednisolone from 1 to 2mg/kg IV in divided doses, for 5 to 10 days
  • Anticoagulation
    • Intermediate dose prophylactic unfractionated heparin which should be weight-based
    • Heparin can be given if there is no risk of bleeding
  • Other Measures
    • Sepsis or septic shock should be managed according to the protocols and local antibiogram
    • Euvolemia should be maintained
  • Clinical Monitoring
    • In case the patient’s condition worsens, Serial CXR; HRCT chest may be done

Guidelines About Remdesivir

According to the recent guidelines issued by AIIMS, the use of Remdesivir should be done only in rare cases. The Emergency Use Authorisation, of the medicine, is on the basis of limited available evidence and only in specific circumstances”.

Remdesivir should be considered only for the following:

  1. Patients who fall under the category of Moderate to Severe cases
  2. Patients who do not have any renal or hepatic dysfunction
  3. Patients who experienced the initial Covid-19 symptoms less than 10 days ago
  4. Patients who are not on oxygen support or are in a home setting must NOT be given Remdesivir

Guidelines About Tocilizumab (Off-label) 

Tocilizumab (Off-label) should be given only when all the following criteria are fulfilled:

  1. The patient is severely ill
  2. There are significant inflammatory markers
  3. The patient’s condition does not improve even after steroids
  4. There is no fungal/ tubercular/ bacterial infection

Guidelines About Convalescent plasma (Off label)

Convalescent plasma (Off label) should be given when the following criteria are fulfilled:

  1. When the disease is within 7 days of the onset of symptoms
  2. There is high availability of high titre donor plasma 

Conclusion

With the health infrastructure on its knees, the government has been urging the public to stay at home, wear masks and maintain social distancing norms. The citizens need to empower themselves and prevent the further spreading of this deadly virus. While it is important that you stay updated about the covid-related information, it is also necessary to stay from negativity and rumours. Follow the government-issued guidelines and stay safe. 

References:

  1. https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/RevisedNationalClinicalManagementGuidelineforCOVID1931032020.pdf
  2. https://www.indiatoday.in/coronavirus-outbreak/story/aiims-new-treatment-guidelines-for-covid19-1794038-2021-04-22

What Factors Affect your Bike Insurance IDV?

When you buy a comprehensive bike insurance policy, the coverage amount of the policy is called the Insured Declared Value (IDV). This value is calculated after deducting the depreciation of the bike from its market value. Depreciation of the bike is based on its age. The depreciation rate has been specified for calculation of IDV and it is as follows –

Age of your bike

Applicable depreciation rate

IDV (as a % of the bike’s market value) 

Up to 6 months

5%

95%

More than 6 months but below one year

15%

85%

More than a year but below 2 years

20%

80%

More than 2 years but below 3 years

30%

70%

More than 3 years but below 4 years

40%

60%

More than 4 years but below 5 years

50%

50%

For bikes that are aged more than 5 years, the IDV is calculated on a mutual agreement between you and the insurance company.

So, if the value of your bike is INR 80, 000 and you just drive it out of the showroom, the value, for insurance purposes would reduce by 5%!

Factors affecting the IDV

The IDV of your bike is affected by various factors. Let’s find out what these factors are –

  1. Age of the bike

    This is an obvious factor. As your bike ages, its depreciation increases and, so, the IDV goes down. If you check the table, you would see the IDV gradually reducing with the age of the bike. So, for older bikes the IDV is lower compared to newer ones.

  2. The make, model and variant

    Your bike’s make, model and variant (MMV) determines its market value. Different bikes are priced differently and so, when you buy bike insurance, the make and model of the bike is required to determine the IDV. Based on the MMV, the market value of the bike is determined and then the applicable depreciation is deducted to arrive at the IDV.

  3. Accessories added

    If you add accessories to your bike, which are not factory fitted, the value of such accessories would be included in IDV calculation. In such cases, IDV would be calculated using the following formula –

    IDV = (market value of the bike – age-based depreciation of the bike) + (market value of the accessories – depreciation on such accessories)

    So, if you add accessories to the bike and intimate the insurance company about the same, the IDV would be increased.

  4. Underwriting policies of the insurer

    Though there is a formula for calculating the IDV of the bike, you would find different insurance companies offering different IDV values when you compare bike insurance plans available in the market. This variation is because of the underwriting principles of the insurance company. Based on its underwriting policies, some insurers might offer you a higher IDV while others might restrict the coverage. You should, therefore, compare different bike insurance plans to find the IDVs offered by different insurance companies.

Choosing the IDV

Thankfully, you have the option to customize your bike’s IDV as per your requirement. You are allowed a maximum and minimum range of IDV and you can select the IDV within this range. You can also negotiate with the insurer to offer you the most optimal IDV in your bike insurance policy.

The IDV also determines the premium payable for the bike insurance plan. Higher the IDV, higher would be the premium that you would have to pay. That is why many individuals prefer a lower IDV so that their premium outgo is reduced. This, however, is a mistake. The IDV is the maximum claim liability that the insurer bears. If your bike is totalled or stolen, the IDV would be paid as claim under the bike insurance policy. In such cases, if your IDV is low, you would suffer a considerable financial loss. 

So, for saving a few bucks on the premium payment, don’t compromise with the IDV. Do your IDV calculation using the above-mentioned factors and find out the most optimal IDV for your bike. Then, look for policies that offer the IDV closest to the optimal level and choose them. If there is a contingency, the claim payment would compensate you for the loss that you suffer.

Do a little homework when you buy bike insurance, especially when it comes to the policy’s IDV. Choose a suitable IDV so that your bike is insured at its actual value.

How Top-up Health Insurance plans give you more Coverage at a Lesser Premium?

Medical costs have become unaffordable, to say the least. Medical inflation is rising steadily and quickly in India over the last few years. According to reports, the average retail healthcare inflation in the financial year 2017-18 was 4.39%. This increased to 7.14% in 2018-19 (Source: India Today). A considerable rise, don’t you think?

Against the increasing healthcare costs, you need an optimal coverage under your health insurance plan. A low sum insured means out-of-pocket expenses if a severe emergency strikes. Moreover, under family floater plans, an optimal coverage, i.e. at least INR 10 lakhs and above, is needed for sufficient coverage against expensive medical treatments. Can you afford a high sum insured in your health plan?

Though recommended, a high sum insured involves a considerable amount of premium. Paying such premiums every year might prove to be challenging and so, the relevance of a top-up health insurance plan comes into the picture.

What is top-up health insurance?

A top-up health insurance plan is an indemnity oriented health insurance policy. It comes with a deductible and a sum insured. If the claim exceeds the deductible limit, the excess claim is paid by the top-up health plan.

For example, say you buy a top-up health plan with a sum insured of INR 10 lakhs and a deductible limit of INR 3 lakhs. Claims up to INR 3 lakhs would not be paid by the plan. However, if you incur a claim of INR 4 lakhs, the top-up policy would pay INR 1 lakh as claim.

Benefits of top-up plans

Top-up plans are the best way to increase your health insurance coverage. Here are the reasons why:

  1. They have low premiums allowing you to increase your health insurance coverage without hurting your pockets. Top-up plans are, in fact, the most cost-effective way of enhancing your health insurance coverage 
  2. They provide a wide scope of coverage right from pre-hospitalisation expenses to post-hospitalisation costs, ambulance charges, day care treatments etc.
  3. You can buy top-up plans on family floater basis too to cover all your family members
  4. The premium paid for the policy qualifies for a deduction under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961 up to INR 25, 000. For senior citizens, the limit increases to INR 50, 000. You can claim an additional deduction of up to INR 50, 000 if you buy a plan for your parents too.

Types of top-up plans

Top-up plans come in two variants – top-up and super top-up plans. Both the plans are similar to one another except one fundamental difference. In top-up plans, each instance of claim is measured against the deductible limit. If any claim exceeds the deductible, the top-up plan is triggered. 

In a super top-up plan, however, aggregate claims made in one policy year are considered. If the aggregate of all claims exceed the deductible, the excess claim is paid.

Here’s a quick example to make things clear –

Suppose, you buy a top-up and a super top-up plans each with a sum insured of INR 10 lakhs and a deductible of INR 3 lakhs. You incur three claims in a year – INR 2 lakhs, INR 3 lakhs and INR 4 lakhs. Here’s how the top-up and super top-up plans would work –

Claim details 

Top-up plan

Sum insured – INR 10 lakhs

Deductible – INR 3 lakhs

Super top-up plan

Sum insured – INR 10 lakhs

Deductible – INR 3 lakhs

Claim 1 –INR 2 lakhs

Since claim is below the deductible limit no claim would be paid

Since claim is below the deductible limit no claim would be paid

Claim 2 – INR 3 lakhs

Since claim is equal to the deductible limit no claim would be paid

Aggregate value of claims = INR 2 lakhs + INR 3 lakhs = INR 5 lakhs

Since the aggregate value exceeds the deductible, claim of INR 2 lakhs would be paid 

Claim 3 – INR 4 lakhs

Claim of INR 1 lakh would be paid since it exceeds the deductible of INR 3 lakhs

Since the aggregate claims have already exceeded the deductible limit, the full claim of INR 4 lakhs would be paid

Super top-up plans are better than top-up plans as they consider the aggregate claim amount. As such, the probability of claim settlements is higher in super top-up plans.

Choosing the right super top-up plan

When buying a super top-up plan for enhancing your health insurance coverage, here are some tips to buy the right plan –

  1. Match the deductible of the super top-up plan to the existing coverage under your health plan. This way, claims up to the deductible would be paid by your existing policy and if you have excess claims, they would be settled by the super top-up plan.
  2. Check the coverage benefits offered by super top-up plans and choose a plan that offers a comprehensive scope of coverage
  3. Look for sub-limits under the coverage benefits offered by super top-up plans, especially the room rent limit. Try and opt for plans which do not impose sub-limits for better coverage
  4. Opt for family floater super top-up plans to provide coverage to every family member
  5. There are dozens of super top-up plans available in the market. Compare the plans of different insurers to find one that offers the best coverage at the lowest premium

Review your health insurance coverage today. Ensure that the coverage is optimal. If not, you can opt for super top-up health plans and enhance your coverage without having to part with considerable premiums.