How to get tax benefits beyond the 80C limit for Life Insurance Premium in 2021?

Life insurance plans are known for their tax benefits apart from the financial protection that they provide. The premiums paid for the policy qualify as a tax-free deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961. However, Section 80C allows various other investments and expenses as deductions and the maximum limit of deduction is INR 1.5 lakhs. For example, investment into an ELSS scheme, NSC, PPF, EPF, etc. also qualify for deduction under Section 80C. Thus, most often than not, you might end up exhausting the limit of INR 1.5 lakhs on other investments. 

To provide you additional tax relief on your life insurance premiums, the Government has introduced an alternative avenue. In 2021, you can claim tax deduction on life insurance premium under the LTC scheme. Let’s understand what the scheme is all about and what tax benefit does it offer.

The LTC scheme 

A Leave Travel Concession (LTC) is allowed to salaried employees as a part of their salary component. Under the LTC benefit, the expenses incurred on travelling can be claimed as a deduction from your taxable income. Thus, the LTC scheme provides tax benefits on travel related expenses. 

What are the changes in the scheme?

Given the pandemic situation, many individuals did not take vacations or travel anywhere in 2020. Thus, salaried employees were not able to utilize the LTC benefit to reduce their tax liability. Considering this fact, the Government has allowed the LTC scheme to be widened to include other expenses for claiming tax benefits. If you buy goods and services, on which a GST of 12% or more is charged, 

Life insurance premiums have been included under the purview of the LTC benefit and you can claim a deduction under the LTC scheme for premiums paid. In other words, life insurance premiums can be claimed as a tax-free deduction even under the LTC scheme if your 80C limit has been exhausted.

Details of the changed LTC scheme

Here are some conditions which should be fulfilled to claim tax benefit on life insurance premiums under the LTC scheme –

  • You should be a salaried employee and have the LTC component in your salary structure
  • A new life insurance policy should be bought between 12th October 2020 and 31st March 2021 to claim this benefit
  • If you are already claiming a deduction under Section 80C on the premium paid, deduction under LTC scheme would not be allowed
  • If, however, you have not claimed deduction under Section 80C on the premium paid, you can choose to claim under Section 80C or under the LTC scheme

Limit of deduction

If you are claiming the deduction for life insurance premium under the LTC scheme, the maximum limit of deduction would be up to the amount of LTC allowed by your employer. This means that the maximum LTC component of your salary would be allowed as the maximum limit of deduction. You can claim a deduction on the actual premium paid or the LTC amount allowed in your salary, whichever is lower. 

The premium would include the premium inclusive of GST. Moreover, in case of single premium plans, you can claim deduction on the entire amount of premium paid while under regular premium plans, the deduction would be available only on the premium paid up to 31st March 2021.

The GST applicable on life insurance premiums depends on the type of policy that you buy. Thus, the amount of deduction that you can claim also varies depending on the policy type. Let’s understand with the help of an example.

Suppose you pay a premium of INR 50, 000, the deduction available would be as follows considering your LTC benefit amount is INR 1 lakh –

Type of life insurance policy

Premium amount

Applicable GST

Deduction that you can claim under the LTC scheme

Term insurance plan

INR 50,000

18% of the premium 

= INR 9000

INR 59,000

Unit Linked Insurance Plan

INR 50,000

GST is only levied on ULIP charges. Thus, no GST is charged on the premium 

INR 50,000

Immediate annuity policy

INR 50,000

18% on 10% of the premium paid 

= INR 900

INR 50,900

Endowment or money back insurance plan

INR 50,000

18% on 25% on the first year premium 

= INR 2250

INR 52,250

Even though the LTC benefit is INR 1 lakh, the actual premium paid would be considered for claiming deduction. If, however, the LTC benefit would have been INR 50, 000, the maximum deduction available would have been limited to INR 50, 000 even if the premium is higher in some cases.

What it means for you?

If you are looking to save additional taxes this year, you can utilize the benefit of the LTC scheme to reduce your tax liability. You can use Section 80C to claim deductions for other types of investments and expenses while the deduction for life insurance premium can be availed under the LTC scheme. Thus, you get a higher scope of deduction which would help you bring down your tax liability considerably, especially when you are in the higher tax brackets.

This is a limited period offer which would expire at the end of this financial year. So, what are you waiting for? Buy a new life insurance policy and make the most of the scheme.

Violating Traffic Rules? You might end up Paying a Higher Motor Insurance premium

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) continuously makes changes in insurance plans to make them relevant to the changing dynamics of the market. Recently, with respect to motor insurance plans, IRDAI appointed a working committee to draft a proposal which would link your driving history to your motor insurance premium. Let’s have a look at what the committee has proposed.

Proposals of the working committee

  • A new section called the ‘Traffic Violation Premium’ (TVP) would be inserted into a motor insurance policy’s premium break-up. This section would record additional premium payable depending on your history of traffic violation
  • The TVP section would be included in both comprehensive and third party liability plans
  • The history of traffic violations over the last two years would be considered 
  • In case of new vehicles, the TVP would be applicable from renewal
  • In case of second-hand vehicles, the TVP would be calculated after the vehicle has been sold to another individual. It would be applicable at the time of renewals
  • Even if you give your vehicle to another individual, any offence committed by another driver would reflect on your policy premium

How would be the TVP calculated?

To calculate the Traffic Violation Premium payable by you, a point system would be devised. There would be specific points for a specific violation. For example, according to the draft designed by the committee, 100 points would be allotted for drunk driving while wrong parking attracts only 10 points. The points would keep on accumulating over the policy year for the violations that you make. On renewal, the points would be aggregated. If you have up to 20 points, additional premium would not be charged. However, if your points are 21 or more you would have to pay the additional Traffic Violation Premium.

For two-wheelers, the additional Traffic Violation Premium ranges between INR 100 and INR 750 while for four-wheelers, both private and commercial, the premium can range between INR 300 and INR 1500.

How would the system work?

The committee stated that the Insurance Information Bureau (IIB) would co-ordinate with the traffic police of different States as well as the National Informatics Centre. The IIB would collect the data of traffic violation and calculate the violation points of every vehicle. This information would, then, be shared with general insurance companies offering motor insurance policies so that they can charge the Traffic Violation Premium when they issue the policy for the respective vehicle. 

Objective behind this move

The main objective behind implementing the concept of Traffic Violation Premium is to make individuals aware about traffic rules. This move is expected to reduce traffic violations and make Indian roads safer. The additional premium would discourage traffic offenders who manage to dodge traffic penalties as their insurance policy would become expensive for their habits. 

In many foreign countries, the motor insurance premium is linked to the driver’s driving history and by bringing this system in India, IRDAI is trying to match motor insurance policies with international standards.

What it means for you, the customer?

As a customer, you can benefit from a reduction in premium if you have a clean record. Though the committee has not mentioned it in their proposal, experts believe that insurance companies would give good drivers a discount in their premium while penalizing offenders. So, if you clear your driving history, you can benefit from reduced motor insurance premiums.

Though the proposal is still in the development stages, it is expected to be rolled out, on a pilot basis, in National Capital Territory Delhi. So, let’s see when and how the proposal unfolds but for now, try and avoid traffic violations as much as you can. If the proposal is implemented, your traffic history would increase your premium. 

2020 – The year of Digitization and Standardization in Insurance

The year 2020 was in the news for the Coronavirus pandemic, an unprecedented event which rocked the whole world. While the world was reeling from lockdowns, infections and deaths, the insurance industry reinvented itself. The pandemic revolutionized both the products and practices of the insurance industry. Whether it was life insurance or health insurance, the industry witnessed standardization in products and digitization of operations. Let’s have a look at how the industry reinvented itself in 2020 – 

Health insurance segment

The health insurance segment saw the launch of standardized insurance plans and policy clauses. Here’s a look at the major developments in the health insurance segment –

  • The launch of the Arogya Sanjeevani policy

    To offer uniform coverage benefits under a single plan, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) asked insurers to launch a standard Arogya Sanjeevani policy. The policy allows coverage of up to INR 5 lakhs and has uniform coverage benefits across insurers. Only the premium differs based on the company’s pricing policies. The Arogya Sanjeevani policy, therefore, offers standardized coverage for someone looking for a basic health cover.

  • Launch of COVID specific health plans

    Understanding the need of coverage against COVID, the IRDAI introduced two standard COVID-oriented plans – Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak. While the former is an indemnity oriented policy without deductibles or limits, the latter is a fixed benefit plan that pays the sum insured in lump sum in case of hospitalisation for 72 hours or more due to COVID. Both these plans are short-term plans that have standard coverage features. Like Arogya Sanjeevani, the premium for these policies differs across insurers.

  • Inclusion of telemedicine

    To ease up OPD consultations during the pandemic, IRDAI asked insurers to include coverage for telemedicine if the plan allowed OPD coverage. This made health plans more inclusive in their scope and also allowed policyholders to avail of digitized treatments without the risk of infection.

  • Introduction of instalment premiums

    To increase health insurance penetration and to make health plans affordable, the concept of instalment premium was launched. Now, policyholders can opt to pay premiums in monthly, quarterly or half-yearly instalments if the annual premium is too heavy on their pockets.

  • Standardization of policy clauses 

    To ensure that policyholders understand the technical nature of their health insurance plans easily, IRDAI standardized various clauses. The concept of pre-existing illnesses, policy exclusions and proportionate deductible in room rent was simplified. An indisputability clause was added which limited the power of insurers to reject claims after 8 years of coverage. Moreover, the health insurance policy was made more comprehensive by the inclusion of mental illnesses and modern treatments under the purview of the plan. 

These changes have made health insurance plans more customer-friendly which have also driven up the demand of these plans.

Life insurance segment

In the life insurance segment too, standardization and digitization were observed in insurance policies. The life insurance segment saw two major changes which are as follows –

  • Elimination of wet signatures

    In the time of social distancing and lockdowns, the need of physical signatures was replaced by digital signatures in proposal forms. Life insurance plans, thus, became digitized allowing customers to buy the policies without having to step out from their homes. Insurance companies resorted to video calls and email verification links to sell insurance policies entirely digitally so that the consumer’s needs could be met remotely.

  • Introduction of a standard term plan

    Following in the footsteps of the health insurance industry, the IRDAI introduced the concept of a standard term insurance plan called Saral Jeevan Bima. The idea of the plan was launched in 2020 though the plan itself was offered for sale from 1st January 2021. Saral Jeevan Bima, thus, became the first standard term plan, with uniform coverage benefits across insurers.

The year 2020 was, therefore, the year of standardization and digitization in the life and health insurance industry. It has paved the way for a more developed and consumer-friendly market so that insurance penetration in India increases over the coming years.

The Concept and Benefits of e-Insurance

The digital age is moving at a tremendous speed and almost everything is now available online. When it comes to your important documents too, there is an online locker, called Digi Locker, wherein you can store all your important documents. Even for your insurance policies, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) introduced the e-Insurance Account, called eIA in short some years back. However, the concept of the e-Insurance policy has not become so popular as there is a lack of awareness. So, let’s understand what e-Insurance is all about and how it can benefit you –

What is e-Insurance?

The concept of e-Insurance means storing your insurance policies in a digital format. Your insurance policies are stored in an account called the e-Insurance Account (eIA) in soft copies. The account is accessible through a user ID and password and these login credentials are issued to you once you open the account.

Opening of an e-Insurance Account

Four insurance repositories have been given the authority to open eIA for interested policyholders. These repositories are as follows –

  • CAMS Repository Services Limited
  • Central Insurance Repository Limited
  • NSDL Database Management Limited
  • Karvy Insurance Repository Limited

You can pick any one repository and open your e-Insurance Account online through its website. Alternatively, when buying the insurance policy, you can fill up the eIA account opening form and submit it with your documents to the insurance company. The company would, then, forward your documents to the insurance repository and your account would be opened. The documents needed to open an e-Insurance Account include the following –

  • Address proof
  • PAN card
  • Date of birth proof
  • Identity proof
  • Aadhaar card

Opening of the eIA is completely free of cost and voluntary. Once you open an account, all your insurance policies would be stored in the account. Moreover, when you buy a new policy, you can simply provide the number of your e-Insurance Account and the digital copy of the policy would be stored automatically in your account after the policy is issued.

Benefits of an e-Insurance Account

There are many benefits of opening and operating an e-Insurance Account. These benefits include the following –

  • Centralized database

    The best part of having an e-Insurance Account is that all your insurance policies are stored at one place. Whether it is life insurance or general insurance, all the policies that you have bought in the past and would buy in the future would be stored in a centralized account. You would be able to access all the policies conveniently, whenever you want. Moreover, you would also be able to check the details of your policies, coverage start and end date, premium amount, renewal date, etc., through the e-Insurance Account.

  • Safety

    Since your insurance policies are in a digitized format, there would be no scope of damage, misplacement or theft. Your policies would be stored safely for years and you can find them whenever you want. Moreover, the e-Insurance Account is accessible through a unique user ID and password that you hold with you. This makes it impossible for others to access your account and misuse your insurance details.

  • Ease of servicing 

    If you want to make changes to your existing insurance policies, you can do so at once using the e-Insurance Account. You just have to change the details on the account and the details in all the policies would be changed automatically. For instance, say you want to change your contact number on your policies. Instead of changing the number individually in all plans, you can simply make the change on your eIA and the contact number would be updated in all your policies automatically. 

  • No need of KYC for new purchases

    When you buy a new insurance policy, you don’t have to submit your KYC details again. You can just mention your eIA number and the KYC formalities would be done. Since your eIA is KYC verified, the insurance company would retrieve your KYC details from your account and use it to fulfil the KYC norms of the new policy.

  • Tracking your plans

    With a single e-Insurance Account you can track, monitor and review all your insurance policies easily. This also helps you assess your existing coverage and make changes in your policies if you want.

Moreover, since your insurance policies are stored digitally, it eliminates the need of physical copies and proves to be eco-friendly too.

So, understand what the e-Insurance Account is all about and open an account for storing your insurance policies. Convert your existing insurance plans to digital plans, free of cost, and store them in the e-Insurance Account. When you buy new plans, provide your eIA number and get the plans directly stored in your online account. Use the account for keeping a track of your insurance portfolio and manage your policies with ease and simplicity.

5 reasons why your Health Insurance Premiums doubled Since Last Year

Health insurance plans have become necessary in these uncertain times. As the pandemic is causing more and more hospitalisations, people are suffering financial losses. Moreover, with no end in sight for the pandemic, the demand for health insurance has increased in 2020. Despite the increased demand, health insurance premiums have seen a considerable spike in 2020 compared to 2019. Many policyholders have found their premiums increased by 30% to 40% upon renewals and, in some cases, the premium increase has also touched 100%. What are the possible reasons to blame for the surge in health insurance premiums? Let’s explore – 

  1. Increased claims due to COVID

    Health insurance companies have been registering high claim volumes due to the pandemic. As of 30th October 2020, insurance companies recorded an aggregate claim bill of INR 7700 crores under their COVID health insurance policies as per data compiled by the General Insurance Council (GIC). The pandemic has also pushed the demand for health insurance policies by 15.8% by October 2020. 

    (Source: Indian Express

    Due to high claim volumes, health insurers are forced to increase their premium rates to ensure profitability and solvency.

  2. High medical inflation

    Medical inflation keeps on increasing year after year as the cost of medicine and treatments rise. According to the Economic Survey 2019, in financial year 2017-18, healthcare inflation was 4.39% which increased to 7.14% in 2018-19. Comparing these two financial years, inflation in hospital and nursing charges jumped to 9.4% in 2018-19 compared to 6.5% in 2017-18. 

  3. High medical inflation

    (Source: India Today)

    This rising inflation has caused health insurance companies to witness larger quantum of claims which, in turn, has increased the premium rates.

  4. Wider coverage 

    IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) issued mandates for health insurance companies to widen their scope of coverage. Illnesses and treatments like mental disorders, modern treatments, COVID-related treatments, etc. are now a common coverage benefit in health insurance plans. As the scope of the policies has widened, insurers are exposed to the probability of higher claims. Thus, to compensate for the wider coverage offered, insurers have hiked their premiums.

  5. Increased risk of COVID for people with co-morbidities

    Knowing that people having diabetes, hypertension or other co-morbidities are exposed to sever COVID-related complication, insurers face a higher risk. That is why premium hike has been focused more on policyholders with co-morbidities or for those who smoke as they face a higher health risk against COVID.

  6. The concept of level premiums in age brackets

    Many insurance companies charge similar premiums from individuals within a particular age bracket. This age bracket is usually for a period of 5 years, i.e. 25 to 30 years, 31 to 35 years, etc. So, if you are in one age bracket, your premium might not change for as long as you remain the same bracket. However, insurers might have to adjust their premiums depending on their claim experience and his adjustment is usually done when the age bracket changes. So, when you move to the next age bracket, the change in premium might be higher to account for the insurer’s claim experience. 

While COVID has definitely impacted the premium rates of health insurance companies, the above-mentioned factors also have a bearing on the tremendous increase in the premium rates. So, the next time that you renew your health insurance plan and find an unusually high amount of premium being charged, know the reasons why the company is asking for a higher premium amount. 

What happens to Insurance Policies if the Policyholder Dies?

Insurance plans cover the different types of financial risks that you might face and compensate you for the financial loss that you suffer. You buy different types of insurance policies to avail a comprehensive scope of coverage against possible risks that you might face. Life insurance, health insurance and motor insurance plans are the most basic and important coverages needed for financial security. But what happens under these plans when the policyholder dies?

Each type of plan is affected differently on the death of the policyholder. So, let’s assess the plans independently for a clearer picture.

Life insurance plans

Life insurance plans cover the risk of premature death. Under these plans, the policyholder and the life insured can be two different individuals. For example, if you buy a life insurance policy on your life and you pay the premium, you would be the policyholder as well as the life insured. However, if you buy a life insurance policy on your wife’s or children’s life, you would be the policyholder but your wife and/or children would be the life insured.

Life insurance plans pay the death benefit if the life insured dies. If the life insured and the policyholder are the same person, the death benefit is paid on death of the policyholder and the plan is terminated. However, if the life insured and policyholder are different individuals and the policyholder dies, the insurance policy would not be affected. The policy would continue till the life insured is alive and the due premiums should be paid under the plan for receiving full benefits. If the life insured dies, the plan would pay the death benefit and terminate.

Let’s understand with an example –

Suppose, Mr. Verma buys three life insurance policies as follows –

  • Policy 1 for himself
  • Policy 2 for his wife
  • Policy 3 for his child Rahul

Here’s what would happen to the policies when Mr. Verma, the policyholder, dies –

Policy details Policyholder  Life insured Benefit payable
Policy 1 Mr. Verma Mr. Verma Death benefit would be paid and the policy would be terminated
Policy 2 Mr. Verma Mrs. Verma No effect on the policy. The policy would continue since Mrs. Verma is alive. The premiums should be paid for complete coverage
Policy 3 Mr. Verma Rahul No effect on the policy. The policy would continue since Rahul is alive. The premiums should be paid for complete coverage. If this is a child plan, the premiums would be waived and the plan would continue unaffected

If the death benefit is payable on the policyholder’s death, the benefit would be paid to the appointed nominee, beneficiary or legal heir of the insured.

Health insurance plans

Health insurance plans cover medical expenses incurred if the insured is hospitalised. They also have the concept of policyholder and insured members. If you buy the policy for yourself, you would be the insured and the policyholder. If, however, you buy a family floater plan or a senior citizen policy for your dependent parents, you would be the policyholder while your family members would be covered under the plan.

Whether you are the insured or not, if you die, no benefit would be paid by the health insurance policy since death is not covered under such plans. However, if the policyholder dies during treatments or after incurring a claim under the health plan, the claim process would have to be handled by the nominee. In case of cashless claims there would be no problems as the insurance company would settle the medical bills directly with the hospital. However, for reimbursement claims, the nominee should complete the claim formalities and the claim amount would be reimbursed to the nominee’s account.

If, after the death of the policyholder, the spouse wants to continue the family floater policy, he/she can submit a written request to the insurance company to change the policyholder at the time of renewals. The death certificate of the policyholder should be submitted along with original policy document for the change. The insurance company would recalculate the premium for the family and renew the family floater policy with the spouse acting as the policyholder.

Motor insurance plans

Under motor insurance plans, since the vehicle is insured, in case of death of the policyholder, no claim is payable. However, death of the policyholder results in change in ownership of the policy as well as the vehicle. For doing that, the legal heir should, first, get the ownership of the vehicle changed in the local RTO. An application should be made to the RTO for a change in ownership of the vehicle. The applicable RTO form, original RC book, death certificate of the policyholder, succession certificate and the identity proof of the legal heir would be needed for such change. Once the RC Book is updated with the name of the legal heir as the new owner, the insurance policy can be transferred too. The legal heir should inform the insurance company and submit the original policy document, updated RC book, death certificate of the policyholder, succession certificate and identity proof to get the motor insurance policy transferred in his/her name. The insurance company would do the needful and the legal heir would become the new policyholder.

Even if the vehicle is sold after the death of the policyholder, the insurance policy and the RC book need to be updated with the name of the legal heir to complete the sales. The legal heir would be allowed to sell the vehicle and transfer the ownership of the vehicle as well as its insurance policy to the new buyer subsequently.

You should understand the impact of the death of the policyholder under these common and important insurance plans. If you are the policyholder of your policies, educate your family on how they can claim the policy benefits in case of your unfortunate demise.

IRDAI makes Corona Kavach more customer-friendly. Let’s find out how

With the Coronavirus pandemic becoming a major concern, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) introduced two COVID-specific health insurance plans of Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak. These plans were aimed to provide individuals the much-needed health insurance coverage against COVID-related hospitalisation expenses. While Corona Kavach was launched as an indemnity health plan, Corona Rakshak was a launched as a fixed benefit plan paying a lump sum benefit on hospitalisation due to COVID. After their launch, these plans became the ideal solution for individuals seeking short term coverage against COVID infections. However, since the pandemic is still a severe threat, IRDAI has asked insurance companies to provide continuity benefits in Corona Kavach policy. Let’s have a look at what IRDAI has proposed –

IRDAI’s changes in the context of Corona Kavach and Rakshak

IRDAI has allowed three new benefits in the Corona Kavach and Rakshak plans. These benefits are as follows –

  1. Renewal 
  2. Portability 
  3. Migration 

Let’s have a look at these three changes in details and what these changes mean for you.

Change#1 – Renewal benefit

Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak were both launched as short-term health insurance plans having a tenure of 3.5, 6.5 and 9.5 months. However, since the pandemic is not under control and there has been no development of a successful vaccine, IRDAI has asked insurance companies to allow extended coverage under these policies. Policyholders are allowed to renew their existing Corona Kavach or Rakshak plans if the coverage tenure expires. You can renew the policy before the existing cover expires and also opt for enhancement of the sum insured. On renewal, the waiting period of 15 days would not apply. However, if you increase the sum insured, the waiting period would be applicable on the increased amount. Renewal would be allowed up to 31st March 2021.

What it means for you?

The Corona Kavach policy provides a comprehensive scope of coverage against COVID compared to normal health insurance plans. It covers the cost of consumables incurred on hospitalisation as well as home hospitalisation expenses which are not covered under normal health plans. Moreover, Corona Rakshak gives you a lump sum benefit to meet other financial expenses that you might incur. The facility of renewal is beneficial for you as you can extend your coverage till the vaccine is developed and you don’t fear the threat of infection.

Change #2 – Portability benefit

IRDAI has also allowed policyholders to port their existing Corona Kavach and Rakshak plans from one insurance company to another if they are dissatisfied with their current insurance company. Porting is also allowed from an existing Corona Kavach or Rakshak policy to a standard indemnity oriented health insurance plan. When the policy is ported, the new insurance company should allow a reduction in the waiting period in the new plan for the waiting period already applied in the existing policy. Policyholders are also allowed to increase their sum insured at the time of porting.

What it means for you?

With the option of portability, you can switch to another insurance company if you are not satisfied with the current company. You can also find a lower premium offered by another company for the same policy since insurers price their Corona Kavach and Rakshak policies differently. So, porting allows you the option of choosing the best insurance company for your coverage.

Change #3 – Migration 

Through migration facility, you can convert your Corona Kavach or Rakshak plan to a standard indemnity health insurance plan which covers other illnesses besides COVID. Migration, therefore, allows policyholders to change their COVID specific plans to normal health insurance plans and expand the scope of coverage. When you migrate, you can carry forward the waiting period of the existing plan to the new plan. The premium would change when you migrate as the scope of coverage increases. Moreover, the new policy might have sub-limits on room rent and pre-existing waiting periods which you should factor in before you choose to migrate. You would be allowed to enhance the sum insured on migration but if the sum insured is increased, the waiting period would apply again on the increased amount of coverage.

What it means for you?

This is a beneficial change as it allows you to convert your COVID policy to a more comprehensive plan when your COVID coverage need is fulfilled. Thus, you can enjoy wider coverage and also enjoy the continuity benefit of the existing policy. 

These changes by the IRDAI have widened the scope of both Corona Kavach and Rakshak health insurance policies and made them more customer-friendly. These plans now offer better benefits and you can insure yourself and your family under these policies to protect against COVID and its related expenses.

Now get reward points in your Health Insurance plan for staying fit

The trend of healthy living has gone viral. Many of you opt for organic food, go for walks, practice Yoga, Zumba or Pilates and/or opt for a balanced and nutritious diet. While healthy living helps you stay fit, now, you can also get rewards in your health insurance plans for your heathy efforts.

Earlier, some health insurance policies were rewarding you for practicing healthy habits. For instance, HDFC Ergo Health’s Optima Restore and Easy Health Plans have a Stay Active Benefit which gives you a premium discount if you take a specified number of steps in a policy year. Now, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has asked all health insurance providers to design health plans with wellness benefits. IRDAI has asked companies to reward their customers for practicing a healthy lifestyle. Let’s have a look at what the IRDAI guidelines state –

Health rewards being promoted by IRDAI guidelines

IRDAI has asked insurance companies to provide one or more of the following benefits to policyholders –

  • Cover for preventive healthcareCosts included in preventive healthcare are usually incurred on an outpatient basis. They include doctor’s consultations, health check-ups, pharmaceuticals, diagnostic tests as well as outpatient treatments. IRDAI has asked insurance companies to offer coverage for these OPD costs so that customers can track their health regularly. Insurers might offer such coverage at networked or empanelled hospitals. Alternatively, rather than covering such costs insurers can also allow discounts on the expenses if the same are incurred at specific hospitals.
  • Wellness benefitsHealth insurance companies can issue vouchers to customers that can be redeemed on health supplements or on buying memberships of fitness clubs and centres. Moreover, if the insured member practices a wellness program during the policy tenure, a premium discount might also be allowed at the time of renewals.
  • Coverage for excluded costsSome medical costs are not covered under inpatient hospitalisation which incurs out-of-pocket expenses for customers. IRDAI has urged insurance companies to cover such excluded costs as a part of a wellness program which they might start in their plans.

Insurance companies are free to choose the wellness benefit which they want to offer their customers. IRDAI has asked companies to mention the details of their wellness programs in plan brochures so that customers can find out the wellness rewards when buying the policy. These wellness benefits can also be offered either as an inbuilt benefit or as an add-on depending on the insurer’s practices.

Objective behind the new guidelines

In these new guidelines being pushed by the IRDAI, there are two main objectives. The first one is to promote the concept of healthy living among individuals. With the incentive of the reward program, IRDAI believes that policyholders would become mindful of their health to avail wellness benefits from their health insurance plans.

The second objective is to improve the claim experience of the insurance company. As individuals start practicing healthy living and take care of their health, the probability of claims due to illnesses would reduce. This would help insurance companies reduce their claim liabilities and improve their profitability. This improved profitability would, in turn, allow insurance companies to offer cheaper premium rates and more benefits to policyholders.

Thus, IRDAI’s benefits are beneficial for you, the customer, as well as the insurance company. In fact, you would become more health-conscious and start taking care of your health as health plans promote wellness benefits. Your lifestyle would improve and you would also get additional benefits from your health insurance plan. So, while the new guidelines are good for the insurance company, they are better for you, the customer, as they give you better benefits and might also reduce your health insurance premiums.

Chassis Number: Check & Find Chassis Number, VIN & Engine Number in 2021

If you have a vehicle, you would have probably heard about “chassis”, “vehicle identification number “etc. However, are you aware of what exactly they are or where you can find them on your vehicle? Read on to know more about it.

What is a VIN or a Chassis Number?

A Vehicle Identification Number or a VIN or the Chassis number is an exclusive identification number allotted to all the vehicles and it is through this number the relevant authorities check registration by chassis number in India. Each and every motor vehicle has a 17 digits VIN number which is treated as the only identity of the vehicle. 

There are quite a few reasons why you may want to know your vehicle’s VIN Chassis number. The VIN number implies the place of manufacture of the vehicle, manufacturing year and other important statistics and information about the vehicle. You may also want to know the VIN number if you want to place an order for certain parts of the vehicle and is eager to see the precise built and the model of the respective vehicle. 

Why is a VIN or a Chassis Number important?

A Vehicle Identification Number is a globally acknowledged and recognized standard to classify different categories of motor vehicles as well as commercial vehicles and also private vehicles like cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles. Interesting to note here is that a Vehicle Identification Number has a sequence of letters and numbers where each and every character implies a definite data and information about the motor vehicle. The VIN is critical as it is the finest and a safe way of tracking the exact distinctiveness or identity of the vehicle. Usually, the vehicle registration establishments and the car manufacturers have the necessary records with VIN numbers since it empowers them to authenticate the identity of the vehicle appropriately and accurately by merely plugging in the VIN number. Hence, to check registration by chassis number in India, VIN or the chassis number is very crucial

Different Ways to Find your Vehicle’s Chassis Number:

VIN, engine number and chassis number are like the DNA of your vehicle that distinguishes it from other vehicles. It could be challenging to find these unique numbers of your vehicle. But there are various ways to know your vehicle’s chassis number. Let’s take a look at those different ways through which you can find the chassis number of your vehicle.

  • Registration certificate: 

    When you purchase your vehicle, registration would be done at the local Regional Transport Office (RTO). You would also receive a registration certificate (mandatory document for the vehicle owner) in return. Please note that the RTO prints your vehicle’s chassis number on the registration certificate, which can be referred to anytime.

  • Insurance policy document:

    The insurance policy document is also one of the mandatory legal documents that every vehicle owner must keep. The policy document that you receive from the insurance company after getting your vehicle insured carries your vehicle identification number (VIN). It would be easy to find the chassis number or VIN when you have a handy digital copy of an insurance document.

  • Vehicle Dashboard:

    One of the easiest ways to look for your vehicle’s chassis number is on the dashboard. However, it may depend on the car manufacturer, as not all car manufacturers do not print the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the dashboard.

  • Hood:

    The Hood of the vehicle, which can be located beside the engine can also have a vehicle registration number (VIN) under it.

  • Door:

    The chassis number is often printed on the driver’s side door. If you open the door, you can find the number printed on the metal strip found on the B-pillar of the car. 

  • Rear-wheel:

    Some of the car manufacturers print the chassis number above the rear wheel. However, it could be challenging and difficult to locate the chassis number printed above the rear wheel.

  • Boot:

    Do you know you can find your vehicle’s chassis number just by lifting the spare wheel? VIN or the chassis number is often printed in the boot under the spare wheel. 

  • Front Grille:

    Few car manufacturers will print the chassis number or the vehicle identification number (VIN) under the front grille of the vehicle. All car models may not carry this.

  • Car Dealership:

    Approaching your car dealer would be one of the most convenient and easiest ways to find your vehicle’s chassis number. 

How to Find your Vehicle’s Engine Number?

Just like the vehicle identification number (VIN) or the chassis number, an engine number is also a unique number that distinguishes your vehicle from the other. Here are the ways to find your vehicle’s engine number:

  • Registration Certificate:

    The most convenient and simplest way to find the engine number is to refer to your vehicle’s registration certificate. You can see the engine number printed on the registration certificate.

  • Engine: 

    Car manufacturers will print the engine number on the car’s engine. You can clearly and easily find the engine as soon as you open the hood.

  • Owner’s Manual:

    Though the engine number can be found on the engine of your car, where it is exactly imprinted by the vehicle manufacturer may differ depending on the model. You can refer to the owner’s manual to find the same.

  • Car Dealership:

    You can always approach your car dealer to get your vehicle’s engine number.

  • Insurance Policy Document:

    Your vehicle’s insurance policy document also mentions the engine number along with the vehicle identification number or chassis number. You can have a digital copy of your vehicle insurance handy to refer to anytime.

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Different ways on how to check your vehicle’s Chassis number:

Now the obvious question is how to check your vehicle’s Chassis number. You may be able to see the VIN number on the plates occupied to the chassis or the frame of the motor vehicle. A VIN is usually stamped on the chassis or can be seen on the vehicle compliance fixed plate or at the bottom angle of the windscreen. VIN or the Chassis number is also revealed in the receipt and the Registration Certificate of the motor vehicle. In case of any problems in tracing the VIN number, a vehicle expert mechanic will be able to find the same. You might ponder as to how to find chassis number from registration number In-Vehicle Identification Numbers or VIN. Well, the answer is very simple; the chassis number is defined as the last 6 digits and needless to say that it is important to find the VIN to know the chassis number. The VIN is placed differently in cars and motorcycles and hence tracing the VIN is dependent on the category of vehicle one has. An engine number is a specific number which is imprinted on the motor vehicle’s engine. 

Let’s have a look at the few common places to check your vehicle’s Chassis number.

  • From the documents related to a vehicle like registration card, insurance documents, reports of body repair, the title of the vehicle etc.
  • From the Dashboard -This is the simplest way to track the VIN is right on the down left corner of the dashboard. You should be in a position to read the VIN number by watching through the windshield which is on the driver’s side of the car
  • Door on the driver’s side- The VIN can also be sited in the driver’s side door. If you open the door on the driver’s side and look at the ends of the door jamb for a small white label, you will be able to see the VIN
  • Open the hood- You can just open the hood and have a look at the front of the engine to view the VIN number
  • Front Frame- VIN is also written in the front side of the motor vehicle’s frame near the windshield gasket fluid container
  • Spare Tyre-You may look in the area where the spare tyre is generally kept to see the VIN

Why is it important to check the VIN before purchasing or selling a car?

Let us now understand the reason as to why VIN check is important before purchasing or selling a car. Like it is important to check the date when we buy packaged food from any departmental store to ensure that it’s not very old and also to know till when we can use it with other important information as well. 

Likewise, a VIN is not just a casual grouping of several characters which gives details of the vehicle or used to check registration by chassis number in India but also acts as an evidence to any illegal or criminal records or any robbery cases of the vehicle together with all the details related to insurance of the vehicle. Vehicle history information guarantees the authenticities and realness of the vehicle. Within a few seconds one can know the microscopic details of the vehicle starting from the history of ownership till the last step. If you are interested in selling off the car, you can check whether all as stated in the VIN check report is reasonable or not. After the validation, if all is found, to be honest then you might move ahead and can use it to your benefit for selling the motor vehicle to the respective customer with genuineness and faith while selling the car.

Components of the 17 characters VIN Number

It is interesting to know about the components of VIN Number and also you must know about the same. As mentioned above, a Vehicle Identification Number has 17 characters. This prearrangement of numbers was initiated from the ISO Standard 3779 in the year 1977 and the same was updated in the year 1983. 

However, different vehicle manufacturers in different locations have different interpretations of the VIN, which are compatible with the ISO Standard ones and have been adopted by the United States of America and the European Union respectively. Hence the VIN of different places may have certain different attributes but the most common components have been listed in details below.

For example a sample Chassis Number is 

sample Chassis Number

It has the below following significant sections:

  1. World Manufacturer Identifier or WMI: The 1st 3 characters in VIN number are the symbols for the original country and the manufacturer.
    The first digit is where the vehicle was built and the next 2 letters denote the vehicle manufacturer. In the above example, ‘1’ denotes that the vehicle was built in the US and HG is a Honda Vehicle.

    So, if the chassis number was 2HG or 3HG then it would have denoted a Honda vehicle manufactured in Canada or Mexico.

    Thus, the first 3 alphanumeric characters are called the World Manufacturer Identifier to understand who had actually manufactured the vehicle and in which country it was originally manufactured. There is a complete list to identify the same.

    For example WAU= An Audi(AU) manufactured in Germany (W)

  2. Vehicle Description Section or VDS: The next alpha-numeric 6 characters in VIN number signify other significant details of a vehicle:
    • 4th character: The 4th character characterizes the class of the vehicle.
      Example Suzuki has the below codes to spot vehicle type like C for a scooter, G for manifold cylinder sports/street etc.
    • 5th character: The 5th character in the VIN number gives the engine movement. All manufacturers might have diverse codes to recognize the engine dislocation of the vehicle.
      Example Suzuki follows B means 50 CC to 69 CC, E means 90 CC to 99 CC etc.
    • 6th character: The 6th character signifies the type of the engine.
      Example Suzuki follows the various numerical codes signifying the type of the engine. Example 2 – 2 means stroke twin-engine, 4 – 4 means stroke single engine etc.
    • 7th Character: The 7th character in the Vehicle Identification Number displays the sequence of the design for any vehicle
    • 8th Character: The 8th character denotes the vehicle version
    • 9th Character: The 9th character is the VIN accurateness check digit
    • 10th character: A 10th character is a number that says the year of the vehicle manufacturer
    • 11th character: The 11th character in a VIN symbolizes the code of the plant where the motor vehicle was manufactured
  3. Vehicle’s Serial Number: The 12th to 17th characters in the VIN is the serial number allotted to a particular vehicle and that is usually numbers.

    It is definitely an added bonus for you to know about your VIN Chassis number. You can help your friends and relatives as well in finding the same if you know where to find. Though each vehicle has a different structure and hence the VIN Chassis number also varies from one vehicle to the other, however, some common places always remain the same in most of the vehicles.

FAQs

  1. Can you tell me whether VIN and chassis numbers are the same?

    A vehicle’s VIN number is at times called a chassis number. Vehicle Identification Number is usually stamped to the chassis of the vehicle and so it is fixed to that model.

  2. How can l find the engine number on my vehicle Nissan Legrand 2000?

    You can find the engine number on a Nissan Legrand under the hood right next to the wiper system’s pipes.

  3. How do I check my motorbike’s VIN?

    Your motorcycle’s Chassis number is embossed to the frame of your vehicle and is also available in the vehicle’s Registration Certificate. The Chassis number will have the following parts:

    • WMI or the World Manufacturer Identifier
    • VDS or the Vehicle Description Section
    • Other 9 characters which indicate the vehicle type, the displacement, type of engine, sequence of the design, version of the vehicle, manufacturing year, and the code of the plant
    • Vehicle’s serial number
  4. How can I have the manufacturing date from my vehicle’s VIN number?

    The VIN of your vehicle can only tell you in what is the sequence of your vehicle that was manufactured, and not the date when your vehicle was built.

  5. Will the VIN number tell you the options are there in your vehicle?

    The VIN does not state what the options are there in your vehicle which is outside of the size of the engine and other components. Other aspects like leather, stereos and sunroofs, are not shown by the VIN number on most of all vehicles.