General insurance is the insurance of non-living objects. General insurance policies are taken to cover goods or assets which, if damaged, cause financial loss to the owner. Besides covering assets, general insurance policies also cover financial costs incurred due to specific perils. For instance, fire insurance policies cover damages suffered due to fire. Similarly, health insurance policies cover the cost of medical expenses incurred in case of a medical contingency.
Every asset has a financial value attached to it. If the asset is damaged or lost, there would be a financial loss. Similarly, in the case of insurable perils, if the perils occur, they cause a financial loss. These financial losses can be substantial which might threaten your financial stability. General insurance policies compensate you for the financial losses which you suffer giving you financial relief. That is why these policies become important and are bought by people looking to secure their finances against possible risks.
General insurance deals in different types of coverage options. The types of plans which fall under the scope of general insurance include the following –
Each of these types of plans has further sub-variants. Let’s understand these variants in brief –
Health insurance policies cover medical contingencies. These plans cover the high costs associated with medical treatments and give policyholders financial relief in a medical crisis. Health insurance plans are available in different types which are mentioned below –
Indemnity plans can further be divided into the following types:
Fixed benefit health insurance plans come in the following variants –
Senior citizen health insurance plans are indemnity oriented health insurance plans which cover senior citizens. These plans are specifically designed for individuals aged 60 years and above. Senior citizens can get health insurance coverage even in their old age through senior citizen health plans.
Different types of disease specific plans that are available include the following –
Travel insurance plans are those which cover the financial contingencies suffered when you are travelling. If you fall sick on a trip and need medical treatments, if you lose your baggage or if you suffer from any other contingency, a travel insurance plan would cover the costs incurred. Travel insurance plans also offer different types of policies which are as follows –
Motor insurance policies are mandatory coverage requirements for vehicles which run in India. The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 states that every vehicle on Indian roads should have a third party cover on it. As such, motor insurance policies are bought by every vehicle owner. Motor insurance policies can come in the following variants –
Home insurance plans cover the financial loss suffered if the structure of the home and/or its contents are damaged or lost. Home insurance plans come in three variants which are as follows –
Commercial insurance policies are those which are bought by businesses, traders, retail outlets and other types of business establishments to protect against specific risks that they face. There are a lot of variants under commercial insurance.
However, some of the popular types of commercial insurance policies are as follows –
Now that you know the different types of general insurance policies, let’s check the list of companies offering these policies in India –
|Serial Number||Name of the insurer||Joint venture partners||Nature of ownership|
|1||Acko General Insurance Limited||Catamaran, Accel Partners and others||Privately owned company|
|2||Aditya Birla Health Insurance Company Limited||Aditya Birla Group||Privately owned company|
|3||Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company Limited||Apollo Hospitals Group and Munich Health||Privately owned company|
|4||Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Limited||Bajaj Finserv Limited and Allianz SE in the ratio 74%:26% respectively||Privately owned company|
|5||Bharti AXA General Insurance Company Limited||Bharti Enterprises and AXA in the ratio 51% and 49% respectively||Privately owned company|
|6||Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Limited||Murugappa Group and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company of Japan.||Privately owned company|
|7||Manipal Cigna Health Insurance Company Limited||Manipal Group and Cigna Corporation||Privately owned company|
|8||DHFL General Insurance Limited||Wadhawan Global Capital||Privately owned company|
|9||Edelweiss General Insurance Company Limited||Edelweiss Group||Privately owned company|
|10||Future Generali India Insurance Company Limited||Future Group and Generali Group||Privately owned company|
|11||Go Digit General Insurance Limited||Fairfax Group||Privately owned company|
|12||HDFC Ergo General Insurance Company Limited||HDFC Limited and ERGO International AG||Privately owned company|
|13||ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Limited||ICICI Bank Limited||Privately owned company|
|14||IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Company Limited||Indian Farmers Fertilizer Co-operative and Tokio Marine Group in the ratio 51%:49% respectively||Privately owned company|
|15||Kotak Mahindra General Insurance Company Limited||Subsidiary of Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited||Privately owned company|
|16||Liberty General Insurance Limited||Liberty Citystate holdings PTE Limited and Liberty Industries Limited||Privately owned company|
|17||Magma HDI General Insurance Company Limited||Magma Fincorp Limited and HDI Global SE from Germany||Privately owned company|
|18||Max Bupa Health Insurance Company Limited||Max India Limited and Bupa||Privately owned company|
|19||National Insurance Company Limited||Owned by the Government||Public company|
|20||Raheja QBE General Insurance Company Limited||Rajan Raheja Group and QBE||Privately owned company|
|21||Reliance General Insurance Company Limited||Reliance Group||Privately owned company|
|22||Religare Health Insurance Company Limited||Religare Enterprises Limited||Privately owned company|
|23||Royal Sundaram General Insurance Company Limited||Sundaram Finance, Ageas Insurance International N.V and other shareholders in the ratio 50%:40%:10% respectively||Privately owned company|
|24||SBI General Insurance Company Limited||State Bank of India and IAG (Insurance Australia Group)||Privately owned company|
|25||Shriram General Insurance Company Limited||Shriram Capital Limited||Privately owned company|
|26||Star Health & Allied Insurance Company Limited||ICICI Ventures, Oman Insurance Company, Sequoia Capital, Alpha TC Holdings and TATA Capital Growth Fund||Privately owned company|
|27||TATA AIG General Insurance Company Limited||TATA Group and AIG (American International Group)||Privately owned company|
|28||The New India Assurance Company Limited||Owned by the Government||Public company|
|29||The Oriental Insurance Company Limited||Owned by the Government||Public company|
|30||United India Insurance Company Limited||Owned by the Government||Public company|
|31||Universal Sompo General Insurance Company Limited||Indian Overseas Bank, Allahabad Bank, Dabur Investments, Karnataka Bank Limited and Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc.||Privately owned company|
The above-mentioned companies offer general insurance solutions for retail as well as commercial clients. Besides these companies, there are two specialized general insurance companies which deal in only specialized general insurance products. These companies and their product profile is as follows –
The Agriculture Insurance Company of India Limited is a Government owned general insurance company which deals only in agriculture insurance policies. The policies are designed to offer financial security to farmers and are specialised as per the needs of specific farmers.
ECGC Limited is also owned by the Government of India. The company offers specialised general insurance policies to protect the credit risks involved in the export of goods. The policies of the company are designed to cover export credit risks faced by exporters, banks, MSMEs and other financial institutions.
To estimate the profitability of a general insurance company, the Incurred Claim Ratio of the company is taken into consideration. The ratio is determined as the amount of claims paid by the insurance company against the total premiums received in a financial year. The higher the ratio, the higher the claim experience of the company.
Here is the Incurred Claim Ratio of different general insurance companies for the financial year 2017-18:
|Name of the insurer||Incurred Claim Ratio|
|Acko General Insurance Limited||65.02%|
|Aditya Birla Health Insurance Company Limited||89.05%|
|Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company Limited||62.47%|
|Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Limited||77.61%|
|Bharti AXA General Insurance Company Limited||98.50%|
|Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Limited||39.96%|
|Manipal Cigna Health Insurance Company Limited||46.29%|
|DHFL General Insurance Limited||7.89%|
|Edelweiss General Insurance Company Limited||70.01%|
|Future Generali India Insurance Company Limited||87.42%|
|Go Digit General Insurance Limited||60%|
|HDFC Ergo General Insurance Company Limited||52.58%|
|ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Limited||68.26%|
|IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Company Limited||90.69%|
|Kotak Mahindra General Insurance Company Limited||48.21%|
|Liberty General Insurance Limited||74.58%|
|Magma HDI General Insurance Company Limited||34.93%|
|Max Bupa Health Insurance Company Limited||50.19%|
|National Insurance Company Limited||115.55%|
|Raheja QBE General Insurance Company Limited||18.19%|
|Reliance General Insurance Company Limited||106.54%|
|Religare Health Insurance Company Limited||51.97%|
|Royal Sundaram General Insurance Company Limited||61.41%|
|SBI General Insurance Company Limited||52.93%|
|Shriram General Insurance Company Limited||50.83%|
|Star Health & Allied Insurance Company Limited||61.76%|
|TATA AIG General Insurance Company Limited||60.68%|
|The New India Assurance Company Limited||103.19%|
|The Oriental Insurance Company Limited||113.86%|
|United India Insurance Company Limited||110.95%|
|Universal Sompo General Insurance Company Limited||104.17%|
With more than 30 general insurance companies in the market, it becomes difficult to choose the best company to buy insurance from.
So, here are five useful tips using which you can choose the best general insurance company –
In all types of general insurance policies there are different variants. Though all companies offer different variants, the trick is in the variety of plans in each variant. The more the variety of plans offered by the company, the more flexibility you can have in choosing the coverage benefits that you require.
Coverage should be carefully compared between the different plans of general insurance companies. A plan which offers a wider scope of coverage would be better as you would be covered against higher eventualities. The company offering the best coverage features would be the best insurer to choose.
When comparing general insurance companies, always compare the premiums vis-à-vis the coverage offered by the company. The company offering the lowest rate of premium for similar coverage benefits would be the best company.
The purpose of insurance is to compensate you for the loss that you suffer in a contingency. However, at the time of compensation of the loss, if the insurance company takes too much time or does not settle your claims satisfactorily, the purpose of insurance would be defeated. So, when comparing general insurers, compare the ease with which they settle claims and their historical claim settlement record. A company which settles its claims easily and has a good track record of settling its claims would be the best.
In a bid to outdo their competitors, general insurance companies offer various value-added benefits in their insurance policies. For instance, in the case of motor insurance policies, companies can offer free roadside assistance cover to woo customers. Similarly, in health insurance plans, companies offer free doctor consultations, assessment of health, etc. These value-added benefits enhance your insurance experience and so the company offering the best and the most benefits would be the best.
When comparing general insurance companies you should keep these tips in mind. They would help you select the best insurer for your insurance needs.
Turtlemint also sells general insurance policies. You can buy a variety of general insurance policies online on Turtlemint. Turtlemint offers you a chance to compare the best policies offered by leading insurance companies and then buy a plan. Moreover, Turtlemint’s team give you personalised assistance in buying the product so that you can buy the policy after complete knowledge of its technical details.
Buying from Turtlemint is simple. All you have to do is visit www.turtlemint.com. There, on the home page you can get the options of different types of general insurance plans – Car, Two-wheeler and Health.
You can choose the type of policy you need, enter all the relevant details and then you can check the available plans. Turtlemint gives you the facility to compare the different plans available in the market. You can compare and choose the best policy.
Besides letting you buy general insurance plans, Turtlemint also helps you with your claims. You can inform Turtlemint and Turtlemint’s team would help you get the settlement of your claim easily.
Health insurance policies are the only type of general insurance plans which offer tax benefits. The premiums paid towards a health insurance policy can be claimed as a deduction under Section 80D. The limit of deduction available is INR 25,000 which increases to INR 50,000 if you are a senior citizen. Moreover, if you pay an additional premium for your senior citizen parents’ health cover, you can claim an additional deduction of INR 50,000 on such premium.
The principle of indemnity means that the actual loss suffered would be compensated by the insurance company. At the time of claim, the principle of indemnity ensures that the loss suffered by the policyholder is covered by the claim. Since the loss is covered by the insurance policy, the policyholder is not allowed to make a profit from his insurance policy.
Third party liability is the liability that you face if you harm any third party. If any individual, other than yourself, is killed or injured by your vehicle, you face a financial liability for the loss caused. Similarly, if your vehicle damages any individual’s property, you face a financial liability. Both these liabilities are called third party liability. Availing insurance coverage for this third party liability is mandatory as per the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
No, general insurance companies cannot sell life insurance policies.
You can buy general insurance policies online or offline. Online plans can be bought directly from the website of the company or from an insurance aggregators’ website. Offline plans can be bought through an agent of a company or by visiting the branches of the company.