Bharti AXA General Insurance is now part of ICICI Lombard General Insurance.

Bharti AXA General Insurance is now part of ICICI Lombard General Insurance.

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  • Long-Term Car Insurance Policy: How to Go About Them

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    As per the new directive laid out by the Supreme Court and enforced by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), it is now compulsory for vehicle owners to buy a long-term third party Car Insurance policy. Earlier, you would get a one-year cover from your motor insurance policy but now, as per the order, the mandatory third party insurance cover for cars is three years and for two-wheelers it is five years.

    So, if you have purchased a car or two-wheeler post September 1, it is compulsory for you to buy three-year and five-year third party liability covers respectively. Companies have already started selling these products. But, before you purchase any policy make sure that you compare the premiums and discounts.

    A comprehensive motor insurance package consists of a third party liability cover, and an own damage component along with different, optional add-ons like zero depreciation and engine protection. Though initial costs of new vehicles would increase, a long-term policy brings several advantages.

    Increase in Initial Premium Payment

    For private cars, the long-term premium for three years will be approximately 3 times the one-year premium amount, whereas for two-wheelers the premium for the period of five years will be approximately 2.4 to 5.5 times that of the one-year premium amount.

    This translates to a one time insurance premium outgo of ₹24,000 compared to ₹7800 for a private car exceeding 1500cc. In the case of bikes with an engine capacity of more than 350cc, the premium would go up to ₹13,000 compared to ₹2300 that is the norm.

    Long-term motor insurance policies will be advantageous because as vehicles age and depreciation increases, many people tend to skip renewals or simply forget about renewing the policy. This initiative by the Supreme Court and IRDAI will help improve the penetration of insurance and bring more vehicles under the ambit of insurance.

    Don’t Forget Discounts on NCB

    Since the tenure of the motor insurance policy has increased to three years for cars and five years for two-wheelers, the annual benefit that NCB offered can no longer be passed onto the customer. The NCB benefit will only be available on expiration of policy tenure. Since the NCB discount is only applicable after the policy expires, insurers are offering upfront discounts on premiums to counter this loss to the customer.

    “Customers can get dual NCB benefits in long-term. First, upfront NCB discount in price and secondly, higher NCB discount benefit as against existing NCB grid during renewal after three years. We are awaiting for the regulator’s approval.” says Sanjay Datta, Chief, Underwriting, Claims and Reinsurance of ICICI Lombard General Insurance.

    Go For the Appropriate Combination

    As the risk of accidents are high in case of two-wheelers, it makes sense to go for a long-term comprehensive cover. The advantage here is that the renewal rates are also extremely low. On the other hand, car-owners should dive deeper to pick the right combination of motor insurance cover. The overall cost of a long-term package will be cheaper in this case, but you have to consider the large one-time outgo on purchase.

  • How Touchless Technology will change the way you file claims?

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    Recently an insurance company in the US settled an insurance claim within 3 seconds. A leading insurer in India - ICICI Lombard is on the verge of offering auto insurance policies based on photos clicked by the customer!...

    Digital technologies like artificial intelligence are disrupting the way insurance is purchased, claims are filed, processed and settled by insurers. The disruption is expected to bring tremendous advantages for you, the customer, as well as the insurance companies. Read on to know how.

    Touchless claim processing- the promised land

    At present, claim-settlement is a lengthy process, and claims are touched or handled by multiple agencies before the claim amount is approved and disbursed. The situation has remained the same over the years. Hence, In India, where there are 230 million vehicles and 1,200 accidents on a day to day basis, inspection and claim processing can be a tedious and time-consuming affair. Thus, you and your cars often have to remain off-road for days following a mishap.

    However, with the dawn of AI, all the manual intervention can be done away with. Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, telematics, Big Data and a host of other technologies help capture damage, perform audits, report claims and communicate with the customer. Thus, with AI, the claim processing time is expected to come down from days to a matter of minutes.

    Benefits that Touchless technology will bring about

    Touchless claim processing would offer a range of benefits. Once implemented, it would help you file for claims without having to face the red tape. For the insurers, it would result in measurable improvements in engagements. A recent survey reveals that the top 50 adapters of AI have experienced customer engagements to the tune of 70%. The insurance companies would reap benefits across several vital metrics as illustrated below-

    As evident from above, improvement in performance across these critical matrices would not only benefit the insurer but also bring immense benefits for the customers as well. In addition to a reduction in the processing time of approvals, AI would also help in better underwriting, thereby reducing the costs of premiums.

    Another benefit that the introduction of AI brings is a visible reduction in losses due to fraud. According to an estimate, fraudulent claims currently account for annual losses to the tune of Rs. 10,000 crore for the insurance industry. As AI helps in better detection of fraud, it will benefit in faster disbursal of insurance claims.

    For instance, a family, covered under the term life insurance, have to wait for several days now before the insurance company can start the process of claim disbursal. During this time, the insurance company accesses whether the claim is fraudulent or not. Now with AI coming in, millions of database searches can be performed within fraction of a second and claim disbursal will become a breeze.

    The big picture

    Over the last decade, the insurance industry in India has grown at a rate of 12.49% per annum. Currently, there are 63 insurance companies, out of which 39 operate in the non-life category and 24 operate in the life category. However, despite the growth achieved over the last ten years, the penetration of non-life insurance stands at 0.93% of GDP. As compared to its Asian neighbours, the country performs poorly in terms of density and penetration. Thus, a large section of the population does not have access to any insurance cover.

    As the industry moves towards embracing technologies like AI, Big Data, Telematics, etc., it would be able to offer more customised products. This would help bring in more customers under the fold of insurance. The insurance industry is approaching a future that is touchless and automated- a future that is almost instant and does not require human intervention.

    For instance, global tech giants are making progress towards a digitised future where the vehicle would file for the claim post-accident. The sensors in the vehicle would assess the damage and click off the supply chain, ensuring that it gets picked up and is repaired without the need for human intervention. In case of health insurance too, wearable devices can send the claim request post an accident thereby eliminating the need for human intervention.

    Going back to where we started, fintech start-ups in the US have demonstrated that through the use of AI claims can be settled in a matter of 3 seconds. During these 3 seconds, the AI- powered chatbot interacting with the customer reviews the claim, cross-checks it with the original policy document, runs multiple fraud detection algorithms before sending payment to the bank. The enormity of this achievement can be gauged from the fact that before AI, these steps would take several days----that is the power of AI!

    Indian insurers, too, are leveraging the power of AI to achieve customer satisfaction and bring efficiency into the process. From launching programmes for nurturing AI start-ups, partnering with AI service providers to developing in-house applications, domestic insurers are leaving no stone unturned to make the most of this new field of computing technology. The systems thus developed are diverse and infused with innovation. For example, a reputed car insurance provider in India has developed an AI-powered application to estimate the damage to a car through pictures.

    The life insurance sector is also not far behind. Here, we find the application of AI across the spectrum, from data analysis, robotics process automation, risk analytics to intelligent fraud detection. However, in both sectors, we find the predominant use of AI for developing smart chatbots and virtual assistants.

    While there is still sometime before AI and other technologies can completely revolutionise our insurance experience, the change has already begun. Digital technologies offer a world of infinite possibilities for the insurance industry. Till now, we have seen only a glimpse of what the future can, and only time will tell their full potential.


    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    The recent Kerala floods caused catastrophic damage not only to human and animal life but also to the buildings and cars. In fact, it was estimated that cars worth ₹1000 crores were submerged during the floods.

    While such natural disasters don’t come with a warning sign, we can do our best to stay prepared for the aftermath, like purchasing motor vehicle insurance to take care of any expense that may arise due to natural disasters. Water damage can destroy everything from your car’s interiors to your wheels. Read on to find what to do if your car is flooded with water.

    Step One: Call Your Vehicle Insurance Provider

    Much like any other accident, the first step in your checklist should be to call your vehicle insurance company in case your car is flooded.

    Step Two: Do not Try to Start the Engine

    While your first instinct when your car is flooded would be to try to restart the engine, resist this temptation. If water has already entered your car engine, trying to start your car can destroy the engine.

    Step Three: Assess the Damage

    Survey the extent of damage before you take the next step. Debris and mud create a waterline around the interior as well as exterior of your car.

    • Water level above the dashboard: Your motor vehicle insurance company will consider the car has been totalled and will require a professional assessment from a mechanic.
    • Water below the bottom of the doors: Move to Step Four

    Step Four: Open the Doors

    If your car is flooded, its interiors, if left unattended, can allow mould to grow. Once you open the doors and roll down the windows, do the following:

    • Place towels on the floor
    • Get the car to a higher ground

    Step Five: Disconnect the Battery

    Before you check the other parts of your vehicle, disconnecting the battery can protect you from electric shocks.

    Step Six: Look Under the Hood

    Do not start your engine if you see any of the following:

    • Water droplets on the dipstick
    • High oil level
    • Water in the air filter

    Step Seven: Change Oil and Air Filter

    The next step to take if your car is flooded is to change the fluids. You can either carry out these repairs yourself or wait for a mechanic:

    • Change the engine oil
    • Change the transmission fluid

    Step Eight: Check Other Signs of Damage

    If you have an older vehicle, chances are the fuel system is not sealed. In this case, you’ll need to check out the following fluids:

    • Braking fluid
    • Clutch fluid
    • Coolant
    • Power steering fluid
  • What Is Insured Declared Value and How It’s Calculated During Car Insurance Renewal

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    A comprehensive motor insurance cover prevents your financial situation from getting severely affected in the event of your car getting involved in an accident. An accident can result in your car getting severely damaged or destroyed. There are also times when the car is damaged beyond repair and has to be declared a total loss.

    When a car is declared a total loss or is stolen, then the motor insurance company pays the insured, the Insured Declared Value or IDV. In layman terms, IDV can also be called the current market value of your vehicle.

    The Definition of IDV

    IDV is the maximum amount that the insured can claim from the vehicle insurance company in the unfortunate event of his car being stolen or declared a total loss. The value is based on the manufacturer’s selling price and is arrived at by deducting the depreciation of the vehicle. Furthermore, the IDV is solely the value of the vehicle as well as the accessories fitted, and does not cover the cost of insurance or registration.

    How Is It Calculated?

    The vehicle insurance  company calculates the Insured Declared Value based on several data points. Most of these data points are found in the Registration Certificate of the vehicle. Information such as the city of registration, date of registration and type of registration can be found on this certificate; apart from other details of vehicle like the make, model, cubic capacity and ex-showroom price.

    Percentage of Depreciation

    As the age of the vehicle increases, the percentage of depreciation also increases. In fact, depreciation kicks in as soon as the vehicle leaves the showroom. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has stated that the maximum declared value of the vehicle cannot be more than 95% of its showroom price.

    This means that depreciation takes away 5% from the showroom value of the vehicle, the minute it leaves the showroom, and this percentage stays till the vehicle is 6 months old. After that, the motor insurance company calculates the depreciation based on the following chart.

    Age of the Vehicle
    Applicable Depreciation on Showroom Price (in %)
    Less than 6 Months 5%
    6 Months - 1 Year 15%
    1 Year - 2 Years 20%
    2 Years - 3 Years 30%
    3 Years - 4 Years 40%
    4 Years - 5 Years 50%
  • How to Avoid Common Motorcycle Accidents

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    Ride by the books and follow your instincts because your life is precious

    We all know that riding a motorcycle is fun. The joy of cruising on an empty road is a feeling only a true biker can understand. But, a motorcyclist also faces situations which are adverse and sometimes life-threatening. To be on the safe side, a biker needs to follow the rules by wearing proper gear, as well as following certain codes. Adhering to these can ensure the safety of others around you, as well as take you to your destination unharmed.

    When you are riding your favourite motorcycle, you ride like you mean it. You will not be pleased to see a single scratch on it and your loved ones will not be pleased to see a single scratch on you. Be it commuting to work or a bike tour, these following tips can save your life. Moreover, you should buy two wheeler insurance policies online, to secure yourself against any mishaps.

    Mind Your Surroundings

    Assuming that the roads are spotless, is idealistic but not realistic. There are bumps, ruts, holes and other obstructions that can prove harmful to a rider. Pay attention to all these while riding and also mind the traffic density and the movement of the pedestrians. Keep your eye on the rear-view mirror, to spot incoming vehicles. A speeding vehicle can startle and put you off road, unless you are aware of it.

    The Intersections

    Being aware of the intersections or turns, is a life saver. Most motorcyclists stumble while going through intersections because of other vehicles and their own inexperience. Whenever you come across any intersection, a sharp turn or a crossroad, keep your eyes on the indicators of other vehicles as well as the tyres. Doing this, will give you an idea of the direction other vehicles are taking.

    Maintain Safe Distance

    Whenever you go out on the road with your motorcycle, always choose a lane, preferably the left side of the road. Avoid commuting through the middle as other vehicles might be in a hurry. After you choose your lane, keep a safe distance from other vehicles. There can be scenarios where a vehicle overtakes and pulls over right in front of you or again changes its course without any indication. This can put you in real trouble and can be the cause of a nasty crash. So, it is recommended to maintain a safe distance to move by your own accord.

    Do Not Rush

    Rushing or speeding can take you to your destination before time. Rushing or speeding can also buy you a one way ticket to heaven. So, whenever you head out towards your destination, always adhere to traffic rules and maintain speed discipline. It is especially recommended not to speed while taking a sharp turn. Doing so can make you lose control of your motorcycle and cause a nasty pile up.

    Don’t Drink and Drive

    India is one of the notable countries, where every year, there are traffic incidents involving ‘drink and drive’. Going out for a revelrous night with friends is a good idea, but taking your motorcycle, while doing so, is not. If you have crossed your drinking limit, then opt for public transport or cabs. Above all, drink responsibly to ride responsibly.


    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    What is Telematics?

    Telematics is the latest buzzword that has piqued the interest of various industries. It covers all types of telecommunications, vehicular technologies, road transportation, road safety, electrical engineering (such as sensors) and computer science (such as multimedia and internet).


    • Auto Insurance Telematics
    • Telematics are increasingly being used in auto insurance, with the introduction of Usage Based Insurance (UBI). The idea behind this is a pay-as-you-go system. For example, a driver who is rash and reckless will be charged for future premiums more than a responsible driver. It also eases in direct customer interaction and validation of claims in case of an accident.

    • Intelligent Vehicle Technologies
    • The evolution of telematics has led us to Intelligent Vehicle Technologies. IVT comprises of electronic, electromechanical as well as electromagnetic devices. These devices are used in conjunction with computer controlled devices and radio receivers to aid in artificial intelligence. This helps car safety systems for making rides safer for the users.

    • Wireless Vehicle Safety Communications
    • This kind of telematics aid in car as well as road safety. Road hazards, location and speed of traffic are transmitted on short range radios. This keeps the drivers and home users updated about the most recent traffic conditions in your area, thereby greatly reducing the chance of accidents and traffic congestions.

    • Tracking of Shipments
    • Telematics is also used to track freight containers using Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) for increased security and safety. This feature is becoming increasingly important as more shipping companies are modernising their business infrastructure.
      Similarly, tracking the movement and position of trailers can also be carried using a mobile network or geo-satellite communication. This software directly updates the tracking details through a PC or web-based software.

    • Driverless Cars
    • Google was the first to present us with a working prototype of self-driving cars. Since then, there have been numerous driving tests that have been deployed. The future of this technology looks promising.
      However, there are few kinks that need to be adjusted. Companies garnered a lot of heat in the news due to minor accidents caused by driverless cars. Regardless of these trivial issues, we are looking towards a bright and innovative future.

  • 6 DIY car service & maintenance checks for a smoother ride

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Whether or not you’ve named your car, we know it’s very dear to you. However, in the busy nature of life, the task of periodic car repair and checks can be a little unrealistic. But your car still requires frequent maintenance checks for reducing future repair costs, extending its life and increasing its performance.

    With these five basic DIY car maintenance and car service tips, you can take good care of your prized possession without having to be a mechanic.

    • Change the Wiper Blades
      Wipers must be changed at least once a year. Old wipers trap dirt and rub it into the glass, which if allowed to go on for too long can be dangerous. Eventually this will lead to a haze effect that will scatter sunlight, blurring vision. This is a safety hazard as it will compromise your view of the road while driving. Most wiper blades are easy to change and come in a varied price range.

    • Maintain the Tyre Pressure
      Maintaining the right tyre pressure will not only keep you safe but it will also help you save some extra money. Both, overinflated and underinflated tyres, are a problem because they reduce the grip, work the engine harder and increase the chance of a blowout. Moreover, tyres with the right pressure will increase your car’s fuel efficiency and longevity.

    • Check the Oil Level
      It’s essential to check your car’s oil level as frequently as recommended by the manual. Oil lubricates all the moving parts in the engine so they don’t wear and tear to a point of dysfunction. A lack of oil, or the presence of dirty oil, increases the risk of overheating and shortens the life of the engine. A well-oiled engine will significantly increase the car’s efficiency and life. So get into the habit of regularly checking your car’s oil level and go for a oil change when required.

    • Keep it Clean
      Keep your car clean inside out. This may sound basic but it is very important. Your car is subject to sun, acid rain, grease, smog and insects. Initially their chemical compounds will eat away the paint and eventually they will attack the metal of your car. Give your car a good wash regularly, remove all the non-essential things cluttering your car and vacuum it on the inside on a frequent basis.
  • Insure your Car: Protect it Against Floods

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    In India, about 75% of the annual rainfall is concentrated in 3-4 months of the monsoon season. This results in heavy discharge from rivers causing widespread floods during this period. Floods are also the most commonly occurring disaster amongst natural calamities in India.

    Floods in India

    The Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna basins carry 60% of the total river flow of the country and are responsible for major floods. The National Flood Commission states that about 40 million hectares of land area in India is prone to floods. On an average, about 8 million hectares of area are affected by floods yearly.

    The major flood-prone regions in India include West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. In recent times, the central portion of the country has also become habitual to the dense rains and flash flood events.

    One recent example of such havoc is the Chennai floods that occurred in 2015. Chennai, which happens to be India’s fourth-largest city, witnessed a monolithic devastation due to flooding caused by record-breaking rainfall. Reported to be the heaviest rainfall in more than a hundred years, it cut off more than 3 million people from basic services for days. The disaster is marked as the eighth-most expensive natural disaster of the year, causing losses of about ₹ 20,034 crores.

    Losses That Could Occur Due To Flood Damage

    It is crucial to know the possible losses to automobiles in order to estimate the proper reimbursement that you can claim under car insurance. Conditions for loss can be classified as claimable and non-claimable cases.

    Claimable Conditions

    • Car engine
      The car's engine is its heart. Waterlogging in vehicles during floods could lead to severe damage of its engine, the replacement or repair of which is a costly affair. Insuring your car can save you from this loss by providing proper coverage against engine damage.

    • Interiors of the car
      Apart from the engine, floods can also affect upholstery and other car interiors. In case of cleaning required, you can be covered for the same under car insurance. You can also avail of coverage on replaced parts with zero deduction. However, in case of replacements, the value will be associated with the replacement value as per the report of the surveyor.
  • 7 Tips For Driving In Snow & Winter Road Conditions

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Winter driving can be tough with low visibility on greasy roads. Moreover, harsh climatic conditions in the winter season can test your driving skills, even if you’re a seasoned driver. Furthermore, foggy days bring in poor visibility, and hence you need to be extra vigilant and cautious while driving under under challenging winter road conditions.

    Inclement weather coupled with dangerous driving and flouting of traffic rules have added to the rising count of fatal road accidents in recent years. Here are the top tips that will help you stay safe on the road and avoid the possibility of any mishap while driving in snow and winter weather:

    • Lane Driving is Safe Driving

    • It’s always dangerous when a driver suddenly switches lanes and that too on a greasy, snowy road can be even more menacing. So, make sure you stick to a single lane while driving in snow or winter road conditions with limited visibility to reach your destination safely.

      A sudden change of lane can startle the other drivers, leaving very little reaction time and can easily lead to collisions, often fatal ones. Avoid accelerating aggressively to overtake on slippery roads during the winters and when it is snowing so that nothing unexpected occurs abruptly.

    • Blink Your Indicators

    • All those fancy lights on the exterior of your car are there for a reason and not only to jazz up your ride. When driving in winters, or snowy weather, make sure you always turn on the directional indicators before turning left or right.

      While driving in snow or very low temperatures, it is extremely important to give indicators as it isn’t just about safety but also a roadside courtesy that you’d also like to be extended.

      It is also advisable to let your indicators blink all the time when you are driving in these tough winter road conditions with low visibility. This will help the cars behind you gauge the appropriate distance to avoid collision on slippery winter roads with sharp turns.

    • Keep Your Windows & Windshield Defrosted

    • Clean your windows and windshield inside and out at regular intervals to ensure that you have the best visibility while driving. One of the perils of winter driving is the fogging up of the windshield and windows from the outside. This severely limits visibility and can lead to accidents.

      During the winter season, it is important to immediately get rid of the fogged-up windshields without ending up creating a mess of smudges. Go for fresh dry air intake by lowering down your windows for a while as the air in your car is already humid which further adds up to windshield fogging.

      Hence, periodic cleaning is a must to maintain a decent vision of the road ahead and the traffic around you.

    • Watch The Road

    • SIt gets difficult to control your car while driving in snow as it skids. So, enhance your winter driving tips to deal with the skids. Aim for where you want to go and not where your car wants to take you. This will help you keep your wheels pointed towards the path you want to take.

      When driving in winter road conditions, make sure that you are aware of your surroundings and maintain an adequate distance between your car and the one in front of you. Vigilance is the key and following this tip will also give you enough time to react in case of an emergency and avoid traffic accidents

    • Avoid Speedy Driving

    • Sure we all want to burn some rubber and feel the thrill of going over 100 km/h. But this stunt in winter driving is a strict NO! And also generally inadvisable... Winter is all about fog and low visibility on snowy or greasy roads and hence you should keep an eye on the speedometer.

      Driving at low-speed allows you to have a better reaction and stop time.

      There might be instances when you might think that there’s no vehicle ahead of you. However, take into account the low visibility and keep your speed in check to avoid any unfortunate surprises. Refrain from accelerating aggressively!

    • Keep Headlights on Low-Beam

    • While winter driving, make sure your headlights are on low beam, even in the daytime. While it might seem like a good idea to use high beams, it does just the opposite. High beams tend to reflect the fog and further diminish your visibility.

      Also, driving with high beams create a lot of discomfort for oncoming drivers and can prove extremely dangerous for them as they are nearly blinded by the high-intensity light. Driving in winter weather is not only about your personal safety but also the safety of fellow drivers.

  • No Claim Bonus - A Quick Overview

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Age of Policy

    No Claim Discount













    IRDAI norms for NCB


    It is mandatory for car owners in India to buy a car insurance that takes care of third party damages. However, a policy that takes care of own damages becomes a necessity. These package policies are expensive, but the no claim bonus feature offers attractive discounts on the premiums.

    What is a No Claim Bonus?

    A no claim bonus (NCB) is much like a reward for prudent use of the vehicle and adhering to the rules of the road. It allows the insured a discount on the premiums if no claims are drawn drawn from the car insurance or two wheeler insurance policy . This discount increases every year, provided, the claim has not been made yet. In other words, the safer you drive, the less you will have to pay in bike or car insurance premiums!

    However, this discount is applicable only on the Own Damage premium, and not on Liability premium.

    What are the NCB discount rates?

    The no claim bonus feature gets you discounts in the premium ranging from 20% - 50%. However, the discount rates are dependent on the age of the policy and when the last claim was made.

    Can the No Claim Bonus be waived?

    Yes, the no claim bonus can be waived on the following occasions:

    1. If a claim has been made
    Any claim made from the policy resets the bonus to zero. This is followed, regardless of the size of the claim, or even if the claim was made because of theft of the vehicle.

    2. Expiry of policy
    The no claim bonus will be cancelled if the policy has been expired for a span of over 90 days.

  • The Future of Car Insurance - Digital, Predictive and Usage Based

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Usage-based insurance has the potential to radically change the insurance industry

    Car insurance now sold by general insurance companies in India is one-size-fits-all product. It does not differentiate between driving patterns that range from high risk to low risk. The time has come for insurance companies to hop onto telematics-driven, usage-based insurance.

    You would have heard of investigators searching for the black box after every aircraft crash. The black box records all the technical and voice data while the aircraft is in flight. That piece of instrument is key to demystifying every crash or accident involving an aircraft.

    In usage-based insurance, a similar mechanism is installed in a car to record braking history, acceleration pattern, time of the day a vehicle is driven, the road taken etc. The big difference, when compared with the black box in an aircraft, is that the car driving history is not just recorded but through use of telematics is relayed live to the insurance company.

    In the near future, a car bought in India will come with a black box, on-board sensors, a dongle or a mobile phone app, and internet connectivity that would make it a connected car -- the car connected to other devices at home, office, other cars, and your insurance company.

    What is Usage-based Insurance?

    Usage-based car insurance made a debut about a decade ago in Europe and North America. Driving information is accessed online or on apps, which allows customers to monitor their driving patterns and improve their driving habits to earn discounts on insurance premium. Insurance companies offer mileage-based, and driving habits-related discounts.

    Usage-based insurance is alternatively called Pay As You Drive (PAYD) and Pay How You Drive (PHYD). All the data that telematics will transmit to insurance companies will power greater data analytics and offer driver’s insurance options such as Manage How You Drive (MHYD). The number of drivers in the US and Europe opting for usage-based insurance is estimated to touch 100 million by 2020.

    Car owners are likely to opt for usage-based insurance as it not only offers lower premium for low-risk driving, but it will also encourage safe driving and prevent high number of deaths due to road accidents.

  • Five Reasons Why Car Insurance Claims Get Rejected

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    A car accident is one of the worst nightmares of any car owner, as it brings with it monetary damages and a lot of stress. Thanks to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, car insurance is mandatory in India and most of the expenses are taken care of by the insurance companies. However, in many instances vehicle owners find their motor insurance claims rejected and are left high & dry, bearing huge expenses out of their own pockets.

    Auto insurance providers have often been criticised for rejecting claims to avoid a hefty payout. However, that’s not the case always! A lot of car insurance claims are rejected due to negligence and mistakes of the policy owners.

    Here are a few important oversights (intentional & unintentional) that can lead to motor insurance claim rejection:

    • Driving under the influence (DUI)

    • Driving Under the Influence or DUI can drag you into a world of trouble as it is not only a reason for car insurance claim rejection but also a prosecutable crime. Be it alcohol or banned/controlled substances, any indication of their use while driving leads to instant rejection of your motor insurance claim. Besides the claim rejection, you might even find yourself facing a lot of legal heat leading to fines, imprisonment or even both. Bottom line: “Don’t Drink & Drive!”

    • Driving without a valid driving licence

    • Driving without a valid license is a punishable offence and can lead car insurance claim rejection straightaway. In case of an accident, you won’t even be able to raise a claim with your insurance provider if you’re found without a proper driving license. Not only you will lose out on the motor insurance claim but also likely to be fined a minimum of ₹5,000.

    • Delay in reporting the accident

    • An intimation to the car insurance service provider at the earliest is the best thing to do when filing for claims. Most insurance companies offer a grace period for the reporting process, but it’s always better to intimate the company ASAP. Delay in the accident reporting leads to a more complicated car insurance claim settlement process and often results in 100% claim rejection as well.

    • Policy in someone else’s name

    • In numerous cases, drivers are often found with car insurance policy papers in someone else’s name. Although a few drivers turn out to have done so intentionally, many are found to be simply careless or forgetful.

      This primarily happens in the case of used or second-hand cars. Ensure that you transfer the existing car insurance policy as well as the registration certificate (RC) in case of second-hand cars. In the event of a car accident, the insurance provider reserves the right to reject your auto insurance claim if your name is different on the policy papers.

    • Use of vehicle beyond the geographical limitations

    • The Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority (IRDA) has divided the metro cities and other Indian regions into two separate zones to make it easy for policy owners to file for a claim.

      Zone A is for the metros and Zone B for the rest of the country. Depending upon the zone covered under your car insurance policy, you are entitled to make a motor insurance claim in that particular zone.

      However, if an accident takes place in the non-covered zone, then your insurance claim is liable for rejection. For example, if the accident occurs on foreign soil, such as the Maldives, Sri Lanka or Pakistan, then your auto insurance claim will be rejected.

    • General wear and tear

      Your vehicle is bound to experience wear and tear over time with continuous use. While this is inevitable, it’s still not covered by your car insurance.. Even if you have opted for a comprehensive car insurance policy, any motor insurance claim against wear and tear is bound to get rejected.

  • Maximise Your Car Mileage with These 7 Tips

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Driving a car in a highly-populated city teeming with traffic is not easy. But it does more than just waste time and cause inconvenience, it also affects your car’s mileage and efficiency, which in turn raises your fuel bills. Here are a few simple and effective tips to maximise your car’s mileage.

    Keep Your Tyres Inflated

    Not only do properly inflated tyres reduce fuel consumption, they also increase the efficiency by 5 percent. You should get your car tyres inflated regularly and once in fifteen days is an ideal interval. However, overinflated tyres are just as bad as under-inflated ones, and thus you should stick to the manufacturer recommended levels.

    Maintain the Speed Limit

    Maintaining a steady speed limit between 45–55km/h is recommended not only for your safety, but also for saving on fuel consumption. By maintaining a steady speed limit and going easy on the throttle, you will see a rise in the fuel efficiency of your car by around 20 percent.

    Lose the Weight

    The amount of things you store in your car has a direct effect on its mileage and fuel efficiency. So get rid of the child safety seat you don’t need anymore, that worn out spare tyre and all the junk you’ve stored in the trunk. Drive around baggage-free at least while within city limits.

    Roll Up the Windows

    At high speeds you should roll up your windows. Even partially open windows at high speeds can impact fuel efficiency by increasing the drag and resulting in rapid fuel consumption. Opposed to popular belief, rolling up your windows and switching on the air conditioner at higher speeds will help you save fuel.

    Plan a Smart Route

    Before you start your trip, take 2 minutes to check the maps and plan your route. This will not only be beneficial for your mileage but will also save you from the chaos of traffic and congestion; your left foot will thank you too.

    Turn the Engine Off

    When you keep your engine on while your car is static, you are just burning fuel. Whenever you have to stay in one place for over 3 minutes, whether it’s at a signal or waiting for someone, turn off your engine. However, if you think the wait is going to be short, don’t turn the engine off as starting it back on will only consume more fuel.

  • Monsoon car maintenance guide: Tips to keep car repairing expenses at bay

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    How many times has it happened that it began pouring and your car didn’t demand to see a mechanic for repairs? Come monsoon; cars tend to need some kind of repairing or the other, thereby, making you shell out quite a bit on them. But, did you know that timely car servicing coupled with some car maintenance tips can actually help you avoid some of these expenses? Take notes as we compile them below to get your car monsoon ready!

    1. Examine your car tyres

    Check them for any signs of wear out. Today, most of the car tyres come with tread-wear indicators, and if those on your car tyre wear out, it’s time for you to have them replaced. Tyres with good tread depths are important in avoiding oversteer. They let you have a firmer grip on roads, helping you stay secured against aquaplaning when you come across potholes or spilt oil mixed with water while driving.

    While you may keep a spare tyre handy, it is important to check the condition of the spare tyre as well. Look for any punctures and check the air pressure.

    2. Check the wipers and their washer tank

    Wiper blades do the crucial job of wiping the water away from the windshield during rains. But they are usually not used for most of the year, making dirt and grime to accumulate on them. Plus, the summer sun can be harsh on them, causing them to wear out. So check for their proper functioning, and give the blades a proper cleaning with soap water. If you find that the blades have worn out, get them replaced. Also, if the washer liquid has run down, refill using a washer liquid solution or soap water.

    3. Insulate the wires and check the electricals

    If there is one thing that reacts adversely to rain than mechanical parts, then it’s electricals. Make sure that all the wiring is well insulated and is in proper working condition. If you find any loose wires, connect them firmly together. Check for other electrical systems like fuses and lights. Replace the non-functioning ones. Also, it is utterly necessary that especially the battery is in peak working condition because during monsoons headlamps, wipers etc. are all being utilised to their full potential, causing it to drain out too soon.

    4. Test the brakes and check the brake fluids

    Brakes are very important in the rains because of the slippery nature of roads. Check the brake fluid to see that it is at the required level, if not, then you’ll have to top it up. Go to a workshop to get the brake pads and discs checked. If the pads are worn out, they won’t provide enough braking power.

    Same goes for the disc; a glance can tell you if it is okay or not. If the disc has a very shiny or glazed look, then it needs to be replaced, as the pads will not be able to slow down the car due to lack of friction.

    5. Clean the air filter

    Your car’s air filter aids your car’s engine to function uninterruptedly. But in the monsoon, due to high humidity level and more dust, the air filter has to put in extra effort in supplying your car engine with pure air. So make sure you clean the air filter in your car and check it for proper functioning beforehand.

    While the air filter is one way of protecting the car’s engine, yet another is to secure it with the Engine Protect add-on cover of our Car Insurance policy. It will have your back for any consequential loss to your car’s engine. It will also compensate for the loss arising out of water ingression, engine damage due to oil leakage and gearbox failure. Thus, going out of its way to protect your car’s engine and keeping you from spending on costly car engine repairs.

    Also read:  How to maintain your car’s health during the lockdown

  • Steps for Easy Breathing in Polluted Cities

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Very recently, a thick blanket of smog engulfed Delhi and shot up air pollution in the national capital to hazardous levels. Air quality readings in the city reached alarming figures, surpassing the 1,000 mark on the US embassy air quality index. The World Health Organisation considers anything above 25 to be unsafe.

    The above measure is based on the concentration of fine particulate matter, or PM2.5, per cubic metre. These particles are smaller than 2.5 micrometres in diameter and particularly harmful, as they can infiltrate deep into the lungs and spread into other organs to cause severe health dangers.

    The demands of daily life compels us to get out of our homes and expose our lungs to harmful pollutants. When their concentration reaches a critical level, it’s no longer safe to breathe outdoors. However, following few easy and affordable practices can help reduce the risk and beat toxic air in any city.

    Predictive Outdoor Pollution Apps

    Today, there are multiple sites and apps that give us predictive outdoor air quality reports. In early 2015, the Indian government had launched SAFAR-Air, country’s first mobile app to provide current and one to three-day forecast of air quality and related health advisories. The colour-coded system helps to easily comprehend the air quality, and decide on our outdoor plans.

    Other apps that help monitor air pollution levels include Plume Air Report and Air Quality: Real time AQI. SatAQ’s website is a useful portal that provides information on air quality, and sources and causes of pollution.

    The Right Respirator

    Comfort masks made from cloth do not fulfil the purpose of adequate respiratory protection. Proper respirator masks make a seal with the face and have a filter that prevents contaminated air from entering the mouth or the nose.

    When the levels of particulate matter touched disturbing levels in Delhi, it became crucial to get a respirator rated N95/N99/FFP3 or one which is ‘NIOSH Approved’, filtering out more than 95% of particles larger than 0.3 microns.

  • Know About Various Critical Illnesses and Their Cost of Treatment in India

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Critical illnesses are termed critical because they can significantly impact your lifestyle, impair your earning ability, and in the worst case, prove fatal. Factors that make critical illnesses even more dangerous are their potential to wipe out your entire savings, slide you and your family into a debt trap, and derail your life goals.

    India is fast witnessing a rise in the number of critical ailments, the treatment of which is pushing many into poverty. Here are some of the major critical ailments and an approximate cost of their treatment in India.


    Slowly becoming a mass killer in India, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) estimates more than 17.3 lakh cases of cancer in India with more than 8.8 lakh deaths by 2020. A disease involving abnormal growth of cells, treatment of cancer is emotionally and financially challenging. In case the family’s principal breadwinner is diagnosed with the disease, the suffering is endless.

    There are several types of cancer such as blood cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, etc. Treatment costs involve doctor visits, chemotherapy, medicine expenses and pre- and post-hospitalization expenses. A single drug can cost ₹75,000 to ₹1 lakh and a single chemotherapy cycle can cost anything between ₹1 to 2 lakh. Cumulatively, cancer treatment can go upwards of ₹10 lakh in India.

    Heart ailments

    Heart ailments have seen a significant rise in India in the last few years. According to a study, deaths due to cardiovascular disease rose by 34% between 1990-2016 in India. The study also found Ischemic heart disease and stroke to be the leading cause of death. Smoking, obesity, hypertension, stress, unhealthy food habits and high cholesterol levels are some of the primary reasons for heart ailments.

    Congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease, dilated cardiomyopathy, pulmonary stenosis and mitral valve prolapse are some of the common heart ailments. Just like cancer, treating these diseases is an expensive affair. Though the cost of treatment varies, expenses can easily reach ₹3-5 lakh or even more. Follow-up visits along with lab and CT scans further inflate the medical bill.

    Kidney diseases

    According to statistics, 1 in 10 persons in India is estimated to suffer from some form of chronic kidney disorder. Nearly 1.75 lakh new patients suffer from kidney failure every year and need dialysis or kidney transplant. However, dialysis and kidney transplant are quite expensive. It’s estimated that only 3-4% of people get kidney transplant while only 20-25% can afford dialysis.

    While a kidney transplant can cost anything upwards of ₹6.5 lakh, dialysis can set you back by ₹18,000-20,000 per month. Following a successful transplant, lifelong intake of steroids, supplements and immunosuppressants can further cost ₹5,000 per month. For a middle-class household, the expenses are quite high, and many may find it difficult to bear.

    Liver Cirrhosis

    Obesity-related disorders and intake of alcohol have boosted the cases of liver cirrhosis in India significantly. Around 10 lakh people are diagnosed with liver cirrhosis every year, which is the tenth most common cause of death in India according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Also, once diagnosed, there are very few chances of the disease reversal. Liver transplant is the only way to treat this disease, failing which the patient may succumb within 2-3 years.

    Just like the above-mentioned critical ailments, liver transplant is quite expensive and can range anywhere between ₹10-20 lakh. While finding a donor in itself is a critical affair, there are several regulatory issues like authenticating paperwork which delay the process. Following a successful transplant, around ₹8,000-10,000 per month is required for immunosuppressants.

    Alzheimer’s disease

    With the fast ageing Indian population, the danger of Alzheimer’s gripping the Indian elderly looms large. According to the India Ageing Report 2017, the elderly population in India is increasing at a faster rate of 3%. The cost of taking care of Alzheimer’s can be upwards of ₹40,000 per month.

  • Improve the Quality of Your Life with These Easy Steps

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    When tackling tensions of the everyday, it is easy to lose focus and forget about the only constant – life. Sometimes, you need to take a few moments in which you stop, contemplate and plan to take a turn to improve the quality of your life.

    Trying to improve the quality of your life doesn’t always include making a major life change or even by completely revamping yourself. It comes with making small choices every single day and realising the goal with every small step. Here are some ways in which you can improve the quality of your life.

    Sleep Right

    People do not stress enough upon the importance of a good night’s sleep. Ensuring that you get at least seven hours of sleep every night boosts mood and performance, helping you feel better equipped to handle the stresses of your day.

    Gratitude is Key

    Whether it is writing down your blessings at the end of every day or simply paying more attention to the positive aspects of your life; when you start focusing on the good things, you invite happiness into your life, beginning the process to improve the quality of your life.

    Get Organised

    A lot of confusion and chaos can be avoided if you take steps towards organising your life. Decluttering by putting your priorities right and taking action upon them can be of great help. Get a journal, plan ahead, try and stick to your plans and get the most out of your day.

    Invest in Yourself

    We spend thousands of rupees on things like clothes, shoes, gadgets, homeware, etc. While they provide instant gratification, they do little to improve how we feel about our lives and ourselves. If we spend that time, money and effort into acquiring a new skill, creating something or helping someone, it is sure to improve the quality of your life and those around you.

    Connect with Nature

    An effective way of getting perspective on things and putting your life back on track is by making nature a part of your every day. Go for walks in parks, drive out of the city and take regular breaks into the wild. You will feel rejuvenated and more willing to take on new challenges.

    Drop Negative Thoughts

    It is easy to stay stuck in a loop of negative thoughts that make situations appear worse than they actually are. When feeling stuck, it is important to reach out for help to improve the quality of your life. It can be in the form of a phone call to your friend, words jotted down in a diary or listening to empowering music.

    Learn Self-Worth

    Being acquainted with your strengths can help in building confidence and push you towards bigger opportunities. Analyse your strengths, hone your skills and align work-life with your skill set. For example, if you have a knack at organising and handling stressful situations; get educated to improve your organisational skills and get yourself a job that pays for organising.

    When you play at your strengths, you increase the feeling of self-worth and improve the quality of your life.

  • Why Cellphones Are Bad For Your Health and Tips to Use Your Phone Less

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    How mobile phone usage affects your health and steps you can take to reduce usage

    Mobile phone usage in India has increased from 524.9 million people in 2013 to 775.5 million people in 2018, and these numbers are expected to increase to 813.2 million in 2019. It can, therefore, safely be said that mobile phones are here to stay. These networked mini computers are extremely powerful, and have made the entire human population increasingly reliant on them.

    How Mobile Phones Affect Health

    However, this increasing mobile phone usage and dependence comes with a horde of health issues. Apart from causing dry and sore eyes, your cellphone is also home to a lot of germs. These germs come from carrying your phone everywhere. A study showed that your phone could be covered in traces of dangerous germs like MRSA, staphylococcus aureus (which causes staph infections and toxic shock syndrome), and E. coli.

    Moreover, mobile phones also cause headaches and stress. In fact, the stress/fear of not having your phone near you is a real thing: it’s called Nomophobia. Another mobile phone caused condition is the ‘text neck’. This is the pain caused in your shoulders and neck by constantly looking down at your phone.

    With all these health hazards, it might be better to stop using mobile phones altogether. Unfortunately though, that is not really an option in today’s world. The solution is, rather, to be responsible with its usage, and there are many steps you can take to do so.

    Steps to Control Mobile Phone Usage

    Here are a few easy steps you can take to reduce your mobile phone usage:

    • Keep your phone out of your reach while you are reading or watching TV. Focus on what you are doing instead of letting your phone distract you.
    • Turn off notifications that don’t require immediate action. For example, you can turn off notifications from Whatsapp groups that only share forwarded messages.
    • Clock the browsing you do on your phone. At night, fix a timing to stop browsing your phone and then put it away.
    • Do not be using your phone while you’re in bed. In fact, turn your phone off, or at least put it on airplane mode before you sleep.
    • Stop checking your phone while in line. Don’t be browsing just because you don’t have anything to do for a minute.
    • Don't repeatedly check your all social media apps. Check one at a time instead and put down your phone after. This may take a little self-training.
  • Know About Motion Sickness And Ways To Deal With It

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    If you feel uneasy and sick while travelling by road, railways, water or air, you might be suffering from ‘motion sickness’. It can be a debilitating experience that can ruin your travel day. You could arrive at your destination completely exhausted and fatigued due to the side effects of motion sickness. This article can help you out in diagnosing and dealing with the malady.


    A feeling of uneasiness followed by nausea and vomiting while travelling are the most common symptoms of motion sickness. It can also cause cold sweat, headache and body pain. You might feel extremely sleepy and your skin can get pale. You can also feel dizziness or malaise due to the disorder in your brain. Lots of yawning and irritation as soon as your journey starts can be the first sign of motion sickness.


    Motion sickness occurs when conflicting signals are sent to the brain by other parts of the body that detect motion. One part of the sensing system, like eyes and sensory nerves indicate that the body is moving, whereas other parts like the inner ear do not sense a motion. This leads to a conflict in the brain and results in motion sickness.

    The brain may detect such a situation as effect of a poison, which leads to vomiting as a natural reaction to get rid of the poison. Due to mixed signals, the brain cannot function properly and you feel dizzy, get headache and nausea.


    There are numerous medications that may be used for motion sickness treatment. These are useful when taken before the onset of symptoms.

    • Hyoscine: It is the most common medication used to treat motion sickness. It blocks some of the nerve signals to the brain and hence you feel sleepy and drowsy.
    • Antihistaminic: These alternative medicines are also used to treat symptoms of allergy and nausea. It needs to be taken two hours before the journey.
  • 8 Tips to Keep Your Child Safe This Holi

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Holi is a festival of colours and the origin of this festival dates to thousands of years. Over the decades, Holi has become quite popular among children. They rejoice playing with colours and the fiesta is a perfect platform for them to strengthen bonds with their friends, relatives, siblings, cousins and neighbours.

    However, Holi, despite its vibrance, is a little risky for children, as it can cause skin allergies, organ damages, fever or stomach ailments if proper protection isn’t taken. Thus, you as a parent or guardian must take precautions to ensure a safe Holi for your beloved child. Given below are 8 ways to do so.

    1. 1. Avoid Synthetic Colours

    2. Synthetic colours, though cheaper and easily available, contain harmful chemicals like mercury, lead and aluminium bromide. Children with sensitive skin can suffer from severe allergies and rashes if synthetic colours are splashed upon them. Try to avoid such colours and buy certified organic or herbal colours.

      Organic colours can easily be washed and are gentler on your child’s delicate skin. Also, while bathing your child post-Holi celebration(s), avoid harsh soaps. You can use besan ubtan or curd. The astringent characteristic of curd helps in taking off colours. In the past, organic colours were naturally prepared at homes. Today, you can purchase them online.

    3. 2. Appropriate health management tool

    4. We all know the importance of a healthy lifestyle. You might have adopted few fitness routines and daily exercises in order to reach your coveted health goals. The use of wearable devices can help you to know whether your workout activities are helping you in achieving your health goals, thereby acting as a crucial tool for your health management.

    5. 3. Ensure Colours are Not Ingested

    6. Many children sometimes mistakenly ingest colours while playing Holi. This can cause serious ailments as colours are not edible substances. Synthetic colours that contain harmful chemicals, which if ingested can lead to serious diseases.

      Thus, keep a close watch on your child and ensure he/she does not ingest colours. However, in case your child does so, it is better to go to the nearest medical centre for treatment at the earliest.

    7. 4. Teach Your Children Good Water Manners

    8. While Holi is a festival of joy and fun, some people avoid participating in it due to religious, personal and social reasons. During Holi, instruct your child not to force an unwilling person to celebrate with them.

      Also, ask them to avoid spraying watercolours on each other’s faces suddenly. Ensure that your child does not spray colours on wounds and carbuncles. Since water is a scarce resource, teach your child to use it judiciously.

    9. 5. Make Sure Your Child Wears Goggles

    10. Eyes are one of the most vital as well as vulnerable organs of our body. Make your child wear goggles to avoid optical injuries while playing Holi.

      Swimming goggles are preferable since they are made up of water-resistant materials. This is because some colours, when splashed, can cause eye irritation and in some extreme cases, blindness.

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