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

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  • Tax Benefits on Preventive Health Check-ups

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Feb 01, 2023

    Life, today, is only getting faster and faster. Long working hours, a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, and stress are harming your health far more than you realise. Hypertension, thyroid problems, diabetes, and high cholesterol are among common health issues among young and middle-aged people. While you must try to develop healthy habits to steer clear of these and similar conditions, you should not ignore the importance of regular preventive health check-ups.

    Preventive check-ups not only help you monitor your health status, but they also allow early detection of major illnesses. To top it all, they come with tax benefits, thus, offering an edge to your financial planning.

    Preventive health checkup income tax benefits can help you reduce your tax liability significantly. Section 80D of the Income Tax Act allows preventive health checkup deduction from your income tax liability even if you do not have a health insurance policy.

    Read on to know all about preventive health checkup income tax relief under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act.

    What is preventive healthcare?

    Several factors contribute to maintaining a fit and healthy body and mind. These include proper nutrition, a balanced diet, regular exercise, good and proper sleep, and healthy recreational activities, among others. Although these things help you in living a healthy life, they offer no assurance that you will never fall sick. Therefore, it is essential to monitor your health closely and take all sorts of preventive measures to avoid any health complications. These measures include:

    • Periodic health check-ups, shots and immunisation.
    • Go for periodic blood tests for common conditions such as diabetes, thyroid, and high cholesterol.
    • Going for other sets of preventive healthcare tests such as cancer screening, HIV tests and more.

    The need for preventive healthcare becomes even more important after the age of 40 years. This is when the body’s immune strength starts decreasing.

    Nowadays, almost all insurance providers offer preventive healthcare check-up coverage. In case your insurer does not cover health check-up costs, you can always buy a separate add-on or a preventive healthcare insurance package. There are different types of preventive healthcare insurance packages such as the family package, cancer package, dental package, package for children and likewise.

    What is Section 80D of the Income Tax Act?

    Under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, you can get preventive health checkup income tax benefits. Section 80D allows tax benefits against the medical insurance premium that you pay for yourself, your spouse, children and your parents. The benefit can go up to Rs 25,000-Rs 50,000 depending on the age of the insured person. In addition, you get tax deductions up to a certain limit on the expenses incurred over preventive healthcare checkups. The preventive health checkup ITR benefit amounts to Rs 5000 under the overall limit of Rs 25,000-Rs 50,000.

    You can avail of tax deductions for preventive health checkups for yourself, your spouse, children and dependent parents. This benefit applies even if the payment for preventive health check-ups is paid in cash.

    Features and benefits of preventive health check-ups

    These features of preventive health check-ups make them highly beneficial:

    • Early detection of diseases: Preventive health checkup allows early detection of disease, thus, helping you against major financial and mental stress.
    • Assists in the diagnosis of other medical conditions: It is possible to have some underlying medical condition that has no symptoms to show. Preventive health check-up allows the identification and diagnosis of the same.
    • Better chance at prevention of health risks: With early detection of a dormant medical condition, you can do the needful on time.
    • Reduces healthcare costs: Pursuing treatment for a medical condition becomes easier and cheaper if the disease is diagnosed at an early stage.
    • Control the risk of complications: Diagnosis of a medical condition at an early stage reduces the risk of complications as you can take necessary steps on time.
    • Tax benefits: A part of the expenses incurred for preventive healthcare checkup limit is eligible for tax deduction under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act. Therefore, health check-ups help not only in monitoring your health but also support your financial planning.

    Deduction under Section 80D for health insurance premiums paid for parents

    Section 80D allows tax relief for the insurance premium paid for yourself, your spouse, children, and parents. Read the table below to understand how tax deduction works for each category:

    For the insurance premium paid for

    Deduction on premium for self and family (in Rs)

    Deduction on premium for parents (in Rs)

    Maximum deduction under Section 80D (in Rs)

    Self, family, and parents where parents are less than 60 years of age

    25,000

    25,000

    50,000

    Self, family, and parents where the individual and family members are less than 60 years of age, but parents are more than 60 years of age

    25,000

    50,000

    75,000

    Self, family, and parents where the individual, family members, and parents are above 60 years of age

    50,000

    50,000

    1,00,000

  • How to Get Fancy Registration Numbers for Car and Bike

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Feb 01, 2023

    For many people, their cars and bikes are an extension of themselves. They go to extremes to customise their vehicles so that it reflects their personality. Another way people like personalising their cars and bikes is by opting for a fancy bike number plate at the time of vehicle registration at the local RTO.

    Usually, RTO randomly assigns the next available registration number to a vehicle during the documentation process. However, if you wish for fancy bike number plates with a particular number of your choice, you can get them (provided the number is not taken by somebody else) by paying a fee. Read on to know what you need to do to have your car or bike feature in the 4-digit fancy number list.

    How to get a fancy registration number for your car in India?

    You can get a VIP or fancy bike number plate in India by paying a higher fee. However, that is not all. To acquire a fancy registration number, you will have to bid for the same through an e-auction of the VIP car number. Follow the steps given below if you are wondering how to get a fancy number plate for your car or bike in India:

    Step 1: Visit the official website of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and register online as a public user.

    Step 2: Log into your account and choose an available fancy number.

    Step 3: Next, pay the registration fees and reserve the fancy number.

    Step 4: The number is kept open for reservation for some time. If within that period more than one person reserves the fancy number, then it is opened for bidding. If not, the number is given to the person who reserved it.

    Step 5: If someone else has reserved the number of your choice, then bid for the VIP car number. The number will be given to whoever bids a higher amount for the number.

    Step 6: When the result is declared, based on the result you can either pay the balance amount or apply for a refund.

    Step 7: If you get the fancy number then for your reference and future use, print the letter of allotment.

    Fees and registration charges for car and bike fancy number

    The registration charges for a fancy bike number plate or that of a car vary from state to state. The rules of payment and refund are also not the same for every state. For instance, in Delhi, the registration fees for a fancy number for a bike or VIP car number are non-refundable, irrespective of whether you get the fancy number or not. Given below is the reserve charge list for fancy numbers in Delhi.

    Type of Number

    Series/Registration Marks

    Amount in Rs

    Super Elite

    0001

    5 lakh

    Single Digit

    0002, 0003, 0004, 0005, 0006, 0007, 0008, 0009

    3 lakh

    Others

    0786, 1111, 7777, 9999, and numbers between 0010 to 0099

    2 lakh

    Semi-fancy Numbers

    0100, 0111, 0200, 0222, 0300, 0333, 0400, 0444, 0500, 0555 0600, 0666, 0700, 0777, 0800, 0888, 0900, 0999, 2000, 2222 3000, 3333, 4000, 4444, 5000, 5555, 6000, 6666, 7000, 8000, 8888, 9000, 0101, 0108, 1008, 1313

    1 lakh

     

    Any registration mark not mentioned in the above four categories.

     

    If a person seeks a registration mark of his/her choice that breaks the chronological order of the available number series of the list of the registration mark or series

    25,000

  • Everything You Should Know About a CNG Kit—Prices, Advantages, and Uses

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Feb 01, 2023

    Fuel costs are soaring high. To add to the woes of spending on fuel, the burning of fossil fuels is among the leading causes of environmental damage. The carbon emissions from the combustion of fuels such as petrol and diesel are very high. Amidst all this, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) has surfaced as one of the best alternatives to traditional fuels. Low budget, lower maintenance costs, and significantly reduced carbon emission are some of the key reasons for the growing popularity of vehicles fitted with CNG kits.

    Today, CNG kit-fitted vehicles are becoming increasingly common. When buying a new vehicle, you may choose one with a pre-fitted CNG kit. But, what if you already own a traditional vehicle that utilises an internal combustion engine (ICE)? Would you have to wait until you decide to change your car or two-wheeler to switch to a CNG vehicle?

    The answer is, no. You can easily install a CNG kit in a petrol or diesel-run vehicle. Read on to know how to convert a petrol car to a CNG car.

    What is a CNG kit?

    As mentioned above, you can either buy a CNG car or two-wheeler or install a CNG kit in your existing petrol or diesel-run vehicle. A CNG kit turns your internal combustion engine-fitted vehicle into a CNG-compatible vehicle.

    A CNG kit comprises a refill valve, pressure gauge, and an Electric Control Unit, along with some other fittings such as hoses, clamps, high-pressure tubes etc. However, before you schedule the CNG fitting of your combustion engine vehicle, you must check if your car or bike is compatible with the CNG fitting or not.

    If your vehicle is compatible with the fittings, then you may proceed with the CNG kit installation process. However, remember to get approval from your RTO for the conversion of a petrol or diesel-based car or scooter into a CNG-run one.

    What is the use of a CNG kit?

    Now that you know what a CNG kit is and what it does, let us look at the uses of various components of the kit.

    • CNG fittings come with a fuel switch for the driver to switch from petrol or diesel mode to CNG mode as and when needed.
    • The CNG kit has a CNG cylinder, which is called the fuel tank. This is where the compressed natural gas is stored. Usually, this cylinder is installed at the back of the vehicle.
    • The high-pressure compressed gas is released from the fuel tank through the extensive set-up of fuel lines or channels.
    • There is a regulator to manage the pressure. It functions in sync with the engine fuel injection system.
    • Once the pressure is regulated, the CNG passes to the combustion or manifold chamber. Here, CNG comes into contact with air.
    • A spark plug ignites the CNG as soon as it mixes with air, and the engine starts.

    Is a CNG kit compatible with your vehicle?

    Given its growing popularity, more and more people are seeking to understand how to convert petrol cars to CNG cars. However, not all vehicles can be fitted with a CNG kit. For example:

    • Older vehicles are not suitable for such technological customisations
    • CNG is not the right fit for bikes with mid to high CC. Such bikes need higher acceleration power. However, most scooters are compatible with CNG.

    The best and the most authentic way to know if your petrol or diesel car can be converted to a CNG-run vehicle or not is to contact or visit the nearest Regional Transport Office (RTO). RTOs have an exhaustive list of cars that are suitable for CNG fitting.

    If your car’s make and model are listed among the RTO’s CNG-compatible prescribed list of cars, then you may proceed with the CNG kit installation. Note, the list of cars varies from place to place. Therefore, check the list outlined by the RTO of your area only.

  • Difference between a Vehicle’s Ex-Showroom and On-Road Price

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Feb 01, 2023

    Are you planning to buy a new car? While you may have shortlisted the car of your choice and arranged for funds, have you looked up the difference between what has been quoted to you as the price of the car by the dealer, and what you will be actually paying? You must know what ex-showroom price means and what is the on-road price of the car you wish to buy before closing the deal.

    What is the ex-showroom price?

    In simple terms, the ex-showroom price is the price at which dealers buy or procure a vehicle from the manufacturer. This price does not include the cost of vehicle registration, which must be done at the local RTO. Also, the ex-showroom price does not include road tax and insurance costs. Here’s all you need to know to understand what ex-showroom price means:

    • Registration, road tax, and insurance are non-negotiable for driving or riding a motor vehicle in India. Not adhering to these three compliances can attract heavy fines and even imprisonment. The ex-showroom price does not include the cost of these.
    • The ex-showroom price includes the factory cost of the vehicle, Goods and Services Tax (GST), and the profit margin of the vehicle dealer. However, you will have to pay extra for optional accessories.

    The ex-showroom price of a vehicle is the advertised price.

    What is the on-road price?

    The on-road price is the price that you actually pay when buying a vehicle from a dealer. The on-road price is the final amount you pay to receive a ready-for-road vehicle from your dealer. The points mentioned below will help you understand what is the on-road price:

    • The on-road price is inclusive of the ex-showroom price, the cost of vehicle registration, road tax, and the cost of insurance.
    • In case you want additional features and accessories, then the same is included in the on-road price of the vehicle.

    You can check the difference between the ex-showroom price and the on-road price using online calculators or by reaching out to the dealer.

    Difference between a vehicle’s ex-showroom price and on-road price

    Here are the major difference between the ex-showroom price and the on-road price:

    Ex-showroom Price

    On-road Price

    This is not the final price of the vehicle

    This is the final price of the vehicle

    This is the price dealers pay to the manufacturers

    This is the price you will pay to buy, own and use the vehicle

    This price does not factor in the cost of registration, road tax, and insurance

    This is the price that you arrive at after including the cost of registration, road tax, and insurance.

    This price is lesser than the on-road price. It is inclusive of the factory cost, GST, and the dealer’s profit margin

    The final price is higher than the ex-showroom price

    On-road price for new vehicles

    Several factors affect the on-road price of a vehicle. While some of these factors are obligatory, others are optional. It is crucial to know these factors, or else you may find yourself confused between the difference in your estimated purchase price and the actual vehicle price.

    • Charges of vehicle registration

    Whether you buy a bike or a car, it must be registered at the Regional Transport Office (RTO). Usually, the dealer from whom you are buying the vehicle gets this done. Correspondingly, the dealer includes this expense in the final price of the vehicle that is the on-road price. Note, vehicle registration charges differ from state to state. Also, the vehicle registration charges increase if you want a specific registration number.

    • Road tax

    When you use a motor vehicle on Indian roads, you must pay the road tax. While this is a component of the on-road price, it is calculated based on the ex-showroom price. Usually, it is a percentage levied on the ex-showroom price, which ranges between 2% and 3%. The road tax paid once remains valid for 10-15 years.

    • The tax collected at the source

    The dealer levies a tax of 1% of the ex-showroom price of the vehicle. This tax is called tax collected at source.

    • Annual maintenance charges

    Many vehicle dealers offer an annual maintenance package that includes services like cleaning the vehicle, polishing, roadside assistance, and more. If you take up this package, then the on-road price will increase further.

    • Cost of essential accessories

    Some accessories such as floor mats and seat covers are essential. You can buy these essential accessories from your vehicle dealer or you can opt to buy them separately. If you buy them from your vehicle dealer, then the cost of the same will be included in the on-road price.

    • Cost of extra accessories

    There are some accessories that you choose to add to your car or bike to enhance its features and/or efficiency. For example, you may want to buy a trendy helmet for your bike or install a GPS navigation tool in your car. Adding these extra accessories to your purchase list will increase the final that is the on-road price of your vehicle.

    • Extended warranty

    All vehicles come with a fixed warranty provided by the manufacturer. It is available only up to a certain time or distance travelled. However, you can extend this warranty by paying some additional charges. Remember, this additional charge is included in the on-road price of the vehicle.

    • Green cess

    Post the ban on diesel vehicles in Delhi and NCR, the Supreme Court of India issued an obligatory cess called green cess, which is charged on the ex-showroom price of the vehicle. The cess differs from state to state and is decided by the government. It is subject to change as per the government’s policy decision.

    • Handling charges

    Your vehicle dealer must get your vehicle from the manufacturer’s factory outlet or warehouse. The transfer of vehicles from one place to another consists of transportation and handling charges. These charges are added to the on-road price of the vehicle. These costs are included in the profit margin of the dealer. Note, this particular component is not added to the on-road price separately. Rather, this is a component of the ex-showroom price.

    • Insurance

    As per the Motors Vehicle Act, you cannot drive your vehicle on the roads without valid motor insurance. You must have at least third-party insurance. Usually, dealers have tie-ups with insurance providers and they arrange it for you. Or, you can get your insurance on your own. However, if you get your motor insurance from your dealer, it is only obvious that the cost of it will be added to the on-road price of the vehicle.

  • Convert Your Petrol and Diesel Car into an Electric Car

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 31, 2023

    In the wake of rapidly changing environmental conditions, switching to sustainable alternatives is no more an option, but a necessity. Increased adoption of electric vehicles is one way to tackle the issue. However, small a solution it may look, the collective effort can yield significant results.

    A new vehicle buyer can always choose an electric vehicle over a traditional combustion engine vehicle. But, what about those who already have a petrol or diesel vehicle? If you are one of them, then this article is for you. You can still do your part in preserving the environment by choosing to convert petrol cars to electric cars. You can get a car insurance for your electric car. Here’s all you need to know about diesel or petrol to electric car conversion.

    Types of electric vehicles

    There are primarily three types of electric vehicles (EVs):

    1. Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV):

    These electric vehicles are charged using DC level 3 chargers. These are one of the most environmentally friendly vehicles. A prime example of BEV is Tesla X.

    2. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV):

    These electric vehicles get power from both the plugging-to-power method as well as Regenerative Braking. Prime examples are Porsche, BMW, and Mercedes.

    3. Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV):

    These types of electric vehicles initially start using electric power and then shift to gas as and when speed increases. There are many international fleets of HEVs manufactured by popular brands such as Toyota and Honda.

    Retrofitting a car with an electric kit

    While the need and significance of electric vehicles are well known, it is also true that electric vehicles are not easy on the pocket. However, today, we do have a sustainable alternative. Something which was not feasible a decade ago has become one of the most popular hacks of the vehicle industry—converting traditional fuel cars into electric cars.

    Are you wondering—is this possible? Is it legal? If yes, how do you go about conversion of a petrol car to an electric car in India? Let us deal with these questions one by one.

    • Yes, it is possible to convert your petrol or diesel-run vehicle into an electric vehicle.
    • It is legal as authorities have made due changes in the Central Vehicle Motors Rule, 1989 to allow you to convert diesel cars to electric vehicles.
    • The rule allows retrofitting traditional combustion engine vehicles with an electric core.
    • Cars with retrofitted electric cores have an electric car conversion kit as well. This is to ensure the smooth functioning of the vehicle.
    • With an electric core, erstwhile petrol or diesel-run vehicles can choose to power their vehicles using electric battery-operated systems.
    • Retrofitting a petrol or diesel-run car with an electric kit will not only help restrict environmental pollution but also phase out or remodel old and unfit cars.
    • As per the norms of the Central Vehicle Motors Rule, retrofitting can be graded into three categories—conversion into an electric vehicle for all types of vehicles, hybrid conversion for those weighing 3.5 tonnes, and for vehicles that weigh more than 3.5 tonnes.

    Benefits of electric vehicles

    Some benefits of electric vehicles include:

    • No use of fuel: Fuel prices have been rising and do not appear to be going down any time soon. With an electric vehicle, you may stop buying petrol or diesel to refuel your vehicle, thus saving money.
    • Environment-friendly: Air quality remains unaffected and air pollution is reduced by electric cars. These vehicles generate less noise pollution as well.
    • Easy maintenance: An electric four-wheeler has fewer parts than a fuel-powered vehicle. The structure is relatively much simpler. As a result, maintaining such a vehicle is also less expensive.
    • Regenerative braking: Most electric vehicles come equipped with this technology. In this, every time the vehicle applies a brake, the electric generator of the vehicle generates electricity and recharges the battery.
    • Safe: In the event of an accident, electric cars are less likely to sustain significant damage. This can be ascribed to their lightweight design.
    • Sustainable: Electric vehicles are the future of the automobile industry. Getting used to electric vehicles is advantageous compared to using traditional fuel-run vehicles

    Drawbacks of electric vehicles

    • Covers less distance: The mileage offered by electric vehicles is relatively lower than that of those cars that run on petrol or diesel.
    • Expensive: This is one of the most evident concerns with electric vehicles that are available in the market today. All of them are high in cost.
    • Lack of infrastructure: Sustainable and smooth use of electric vehicles requires significant and expansive infrastructure, in the sense, that roads should have ample recharge stations. Such infrastructural backup is not yet available in India.
    • Long recharge time: Electric vehicles need some prep time and in some cases, they can take significant time to get fully recharged.

    How are hybrid vehicles different from electric vehicles?

    Here are some major differences between hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles:

    Features

    Hybrid Cars

    Electric Cars

    Source of power

    Electricity as well as Petrol and Diesel

    DC Electricity using Battery Pack

    Engine type

    Electric Motor and Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)

    Electric Motor

    Efficiency of fuel

    Dependent on ICE and Battery Range

    Dependent Lon Battery Range

    Level of emissions

    Higher than Electric Cars

    Lower than ICE cars and hybrid cars

    Charging requirement

    Not needed

    Needed

    Price

    Similar to usual ICE cars

    Higher than both ICE vehicles and hybrid vehicles

  • What is IDV in bike insurance?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 30, 2023

    Many a time, insurance terminologies are difficult to grasp. However, some jargon, if not understood well, can cause trouble during claim settlement. One such term is IDV or Insured Declared Value. In simple terms, IDV is the maximum claim you are entitled to from your insurer in the event of total loss or theft. IDV also plays an important part in determining your bike insurance premium. Let's go over it in detail.

    The rate of depreciation of bike

    A bike is a depreciable asset that loses value over time. It is not only a vital factor in determining insurance premiums, but it also influences the reimbursement value during claim settlement. According to the Indian Motor Tariff, the depreciation rates are as follows:

    Age of the bike

    Depreciation Percentage 

    Less than 6 months

    5%

    Between 6-12 months 

    15%

    Between 1-2 years

    20%

    Between 2-3 years

    30%

    Between 3-4 years

    40%

    Between 4-5 years

    50%

    Factors affecting the Insured Declared Value (IDV)

    IDV depends upon the following variables:

    • Bike's age
    • Registration date of the bike
    • Place of registration
    • Make & model and variant
    • Fuel type
    • Insurance policy tenure

    IDV for two-wheelers aged five years and above

    The rate of depreciation increases with the bike's age. As a result, older bikes are less worthy than two-wheelers in their early years. If your bike is more than five years old, depreciation will be calculated making spare parts and serviceable condition a base.

    In case you own an obsolete two-wheeler, the insurer will arrive at an IDV after reaching a mutual agreement with you.

  • How to Claim Bike Insurance in India?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 30, 2023

    In India, bike-related mishaps are common. Several factors such as potholes, pedestrian carelessness, and rash driving by vehicle owners contribute to this. If any of these events cause damage to your bike, the garage owner's repair bills will dig into your pockets. However, you do not have to worry about the bills if you have insurance.

    Bike insurance claim settlement process in India

    Raising a bike insurance claim online is a cakewalk. You just need to inform your insurer about the accident immediately and submit the basic documents. The insurers give you two options—cashless and reimbursement claims. The former offers free-of-cost repairs, whereas; the latter allows you to choose your garage, pay bills and then claim reimbursement.

    Cashless claim settlement

    Every insurer has partnered with well-known garages in every city. After reviewing the garage's service quality and the mechanics' collective experience, they reach an agreement. When you purchase motor insurance, you are given a list of network garages where you can receive free repairs and services as per the terms of your policy. The insurer settles the bills directly with the garage under a cashless claim. 

    Reimbursement claim settlement

    Reimbursement claims necessitate that you pay for the repairs out of your pocket. After the damage has been repaired, you must submit an invoice to your insurer. The main advantage of this settlement process is that you do not have to worry if there is no network garage nearby because you can get repairs done at any garage and get bills reimbursed directly to your account.

    Documents required for filing a bike insurance claim

    There are multiple scenarios in which you may need to file an insurance claim. If your bike is stolen or damaged in an accident, your insurer will provide you with financial support. However, the documentation process for various situations differs greatly. Let's learn about them:

    In case of accidental damages

    • Active two-wheeler insurance policy document
    • Copy of road tax receipt and registration certificate; the insurer may also request the original documents for cross-verification
    • Copy of police FIR
    • Driving licence of the policyholder/driver on the steering wheel at the time of the road mishap
    • Repair estimates prepared by the garage where you intend to have the damage fixed
    • Payment receipt or original repairs invoice
    • Discharge voucher from the garage with your signature on it

    In case of bike theft claims

    • Duly filled claim application
    • Original registration certificate
    • Original bike insurance document
    • If you previously had insurance with another motor insurer, provide the complete details of that policy
    • Service record book
    • Warranty certificate 
    • Police FIR's original copy
    • Subrogation letter
    • Copy of acknowledgment of your request to the RTO to declare your bike as 'Non-Use'
    • Duly filled and signed Form No. 28/29/30
    • Form 35 and NOC (from a lender) in case of a bike bought on a loan
    • Claim discharge voucher having your sign across the revenue stamp
    • Your insurer may request a 'Vakalatnama' or other documents as they see fit

    In case of third-party claims

    • Claim form with your details and signature on it
    • Police FIR copy
    • Policy document
    • Driver's licence of the person driving the car during the incident 
    • Car's registration copy
    • A stamp is necessary for commercial four-wheelers
  • How to download a car insurance policy?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 30, 2023

    For car owners, among the many traffic laws is the requirement to have car insurance and the documentation to prove it. Failure to meet this requirement carries a hefty penalty. Your four-wheeler policy is a legal document that includes your personal information and the amount of coverage. It also contains the terms and conditions under which the insurer will accept the claim following a mishap involving your insured car. But, what if you misplace this crucial document? Do not worry. Today, we will discuss ways to obtain a duplicate copy.

    Steps to download car insurance policy online

    • Visit insurer's website

    Go to your insurer's official website and navigate to the car insurance section.

    • Log in

    Log in using your name, policy number, and contact number.

    • Download

    You will see a download option on your screen. Soon after clicking on it, you may receive an OTP or a link to your registered email address. You can download the duplicate copy after entering and verifying the OTP. Print a copy of the same, as you may need it in many situations.

    If you want to learn about how to obtain a duplicate copy offline, here is what you should do.

    • Notify your insurer

    Inform your insurer as soon as you realise you cannot find the document. You can do so by visiting the branch in person or calling the toll-free number.

    • File an FIR

    File an FIR at your nearest police station and keep a copy of the complaint for future reference.

  • How Can I claim insurance for car scratches in India?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 30, 2023

    Driving in India comes with countless challenges. Poor road conditions, open manholes, and complete disregard for traffic rules by some motorists are among the leading causes of road accidents in the country. No matter how cautiously you drive, you have no control over several unfortunate incidents including scratches. 

    Dents or scratches are minor incidents, and fixing them does not require big money. But, the question is—if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy, does it cover minor damages such as dents and scratches? If yes, then what are the implications of filing such claims? Let's look at it in detail.

    Are car scratches covered in a car insurance policy?

    Car insurance coverage varies depending on the insurer and the policy terms. It is critical to read the fine print of the policy document to understand inclusions and exclusions and avoid any possible claim rejections. Mostly, popular insurers cover scratches. However, if you have only a third-party liability insurance policy for your car, without a standalone own damage cover, the insurer will deny your claim.

    Incidents of scratches or any significant events such as theft, irreparable damage, and loss due to fire are typically covered by comprehensive and standalone own-damage insurance.

    Will a car scratch affect your NCB?

    The NCB, or No Claim Bonus in car insurance, is a percentage reward for not filing a claim during the policy year. It is given as a discount on the premium amount at the time of policy renewal. It starts at 20% for the first claim-free year and can go up to 50% if you complete five consecutive claim-free years.

    A scratch on your four-wheeler requires the least amount of money to repair. It would not cost you more than a few hundred or thousands of rupees. Using your policy for this minor expense would result in the loss of your accumulated NCB discount.

  • How to claim car insurance for own damage policy?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 30, 2023

    Driving a four-wheeler comes with numerous risks, and insurance exists to protect you from them. Indian law mandates third-party liability insurance for all car owners. It means you cannot drive your dream car if it is not covered by third-party insurance. However, this is a bare minimum coverage and does not protect you against damage to your own vehicle. If you want to protect your car, then you must opt for either your own damage or comprehensive car insurance. Today, we will look at our own damage insurance and its claim settlement process in detail.

    What is own damage car insurance?

    Based on the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India's (IRDAI) directive, a standalone own-damage policy was introduced in September 2019. It is a separate cover that protects your vehicle financially against damage caused by fire, accident, theft, or natural disaster. However, the policy is only available if your car has active third-party coverage. Own damage cover allows you to purchase riders to boost the scope of policy coverage.

    Steps to claim car insurance for own damage

    • Notify your insurer

    Inform your insurer immediately about the mishap that caused damage to your car. Doing that within the stipulated time is important. 

    • File an FIR

    You must immediately file an FIR if your car is damaged in a road accident or stolen.

    • Damage assessment

    Following your intimation to the insurer, a surveyor from your insurer's side will visit the incident scene and assess the extent and nature of the damage.

    • Report evaluation

    Your insurer will review the surveyor's report and process your claim accordingly.

    • Settlement

    If you are submitting a cashless claim, the bills will be settled directly with the garage. In the event of a reimbursement claim, the insurer will review the estimated cost, provided by the surveyor, and actual bills and pay the amount into your account within 2-3 working days.

  • Why Claim Settlement Ratio is Important?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 27, 2023

    Claim settlement ratio (CSR) is one of the most important factors that you should consider when buying an insurance policy. It is one of the best parameters to check the credibility and integrity of the insurance company that you are planning to buy your insurance from.

    What is a claim settlement ratio?

    The claim settlement ratio is a percentage figure that shows how many claims have been settled by the insurance company in a financial year against the total number of claims received in that financial year. Every year, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) publishes the claim settlement ratio of all the registered insurance companies.

    You can easily check an insurance company’s credibility by checking its claim settlement ratio using the IRDA Claim Settlement Ratio 2022 annual report.

    Importance of the claim settlement ratio

    Your insurance company’s claim settlement ratio is important for two reasons:

    • Insurer’s credibility:

    A higher claim settlement ratio implies that the insurance company has honored a higher number of claims. This is an indicator that the company is committed to settling the claims raised by its policyholders. This shows their credibility.

    • Security for you:

    The purpose of buying insurance is to be financially protected in times of crisis. If you cannot get the required financial cushion when you need it the most, the whole purpose of investing in an insurance plan gets defeated. A good and healthy credit settlement ratio ensures financial security for you and your family.

  • What is the Procedure Regarding the Settlement of Claims?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 27, 2023

    Irrespective of the type of insurance product—life insurance or general insurance—you must consider the claim settlement ratio of the insurer before putting your faith in them. After all, a tedious and complicated claim settlement process is the last thing you want to deal with, especially in the face of a crisis.

    The procedure of claim settlement

    While the exact procedure may vary from company to company, some steps are common to all insurance providers. These are:

    • Intimating or notifying the insurance company:

    • Whether it is life, health, or vehicle insurance, the moment the loss or the need for a claim arises, you must intimate the insurance company. Give a written application with all necessary details such as the name of the policyholder, policy number, and mishap/event details depending on the type of insurance.

    • Submitting the necessary documents:

    • Next, as a claimant, you must submit your statement, the original policy document, health certificate or declaration in case of health insurance, death certificate in case of life insurance, FIR in case of loss of property or vehicle, and likewise. Contact your insurance provider in case they need any additional documents.

    • Verification of the submitted documents:

    • Once you have submitted all the necessary documents, the insurance provider will corroborate your claim with the policy outline. This is to ensure that you are raising a legitimate claim and it is not outside the range of your insurance policy coverage.
  • What is the Claim Settlement Ratio?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 27, 2023

    The claim settlement ratio (CSR) of the insurance company is one of the most important factors to be considered when investing in an insurance product. A good CSR is an assurance of your claim being honoured in the time of your need.

    What is the claim settlement ratio?

    Simply put, the claim settlement ratio is the percentage of claims that an insurance company settles against the number of claims it has received. Every year, insurance companies declare their claim settlement ratio. This ratio is calculated annually based on the number of claims received and settled during a particular fiscal year. This is inclusive of life insurance claims as well as other insurance products such as the claim settlement ratio of travel insurance and health insurance claim settlement ratio.

    You can find the CSR of all the registered insured companies on the official website of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).

    What does the claim settlement ratio show?

    The claim settlement ratio shows the credibility of the insurance company. The higher the CSR, the higher the credibility of the insurance company. It means a higher chance of your claim being settled without any hassles. There is no point in investing in an insurance product if you cannot trust your insurer to support you when you need to utilise your policy. A trustworthy insurer honours your claim if you have done everything on your part honestly. You must choose an insurer with a credible track record of settling the claims of its policyholders.

  • What is Cashless Claim Settlement?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 27, 2023

    When you claim insurance—be it health or motor insurance—in the face of an emergency, your choice of claim settlement method plays a key role in determining how you feel about your policy. You invest in insurance for the assurance of financial support in your time of need. Cashless claim settlement takes the relief a notch higher by letting you focus on the crisis at hand rather than worrying about arranging for funds at the moment. Confused? Don’t be. Here’s all you need to know.

    What is cashless claim settlement?

    As a policyholder, there are two ways you can make a claim—cashless claim settlement and reimbursement claim settlement.

    • Cashless claim settlement

    Remember, you can avail of this benefit only at a network hospital or garage for health and motor insurance, respectively. Based on your policy terms, with cashless treatment, you can seek treatment at a network hospital or get your vehicle repaired at a network garage without paying anything out of your pocket. All you need is your insurance card and policy details. Your bills will be settled by the insurer with the hospital or garage directly.

    • Reimbursement claim settlement

    Reimbursement claim settlement is primarily used in cases where the insured either cannot access or wish to seek service at a network hospital or garage. Most insurance policies allow you to utilize the services of a network hospital or garage of your choice. However, in such situations, you must pay the bills upfront and later claim reimbursement from the insurer. To claim reimbursement, you will have to submit the original documents, bills, reports etc. along with the duly filled-up claim request form. Once your documents are verified, the reimbursed amount is transferred to your bank account by the insurer.

  • How to Calculate Insurance Claim Settlement?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 25, 2023

     

    A claim settlement ratio or CSR is a percentage figure showing how many insurance claims were settled by an insurance company compared to the total number of claims raised by the policyholders during a financial year.

    Calculation of the claim settlement ratio (CSR)

    The claim settlement ratio of an insurance company is calculated using the following formula:

    CSR = (Total number of claims settled in a year) / (Total number of claims in a year) x 100

    The CSR of an insurance company serves as an indicator of the overall financial health and credibility of the company. The higher the claim settlement ratio, the higher the chances of your claim being settled smoothly.

    Every year, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) publishes the claim settlement ratio of all the registered insurance providers. You can easily check the credibility of an insurance company by going through the list of IRDA Claim Settlement Ratio 2022.

    Calculation of actual claim amount

    While CSR reflects your chances of getting your claim settled without effort, it also speaks volumes about an insurance company’s financial credibility and customer-centricity. In addition, as a policyholder, you must know how your claim amount is actually calculated. For this, you must understand the extent of your coverage, especially if you are a businessperson or have undervalued your insurance needs.

    There is a provision called “Average Clause” which the insurance companies apply to ensure policyholders do not under-insure. Let us use an example to understand it better.

    Say, a businesswoman buys insurance and the insured value of the stocks is less than the total value of the stocks of the business. Now, if the business incurs a loss, as per the average clause, the loss coverage by the insurance company will be up to an extent in the proportion of the insured value of the stocks to the total value of the cost.

    So, the claim amount will be calculated in the following way:

    Claim Amount = (Loss value) x (Insured value / Total cost)

    Suppose, a policy cover of Rs 100,000 is taken for business stocks amounting to Rs 120,000. There is an under-insurance of Rs 20,000. Now, if out of this Rs 20,000 there is a loss of amount Rs 10,000, then the insurance provider will pay Rs 8,333. This amount is calculated in the following way:

    Claim amount = 20,000 x (100,000/120,000) = 8333.3333

    It is of paramount importance for policyholders to understand how the claim amount is determined. A lack of these insights, may create confusion and lead you to take a cover that does not match your coverage needs.

    As a generic rule, it is best to opt for reputed insurance companies such as ICICI Lombard. Doing that will ensure transparent conduct and assured support in the time of your need. You can check the ICICI Lombard Claim Settlement Ratio in case you want to know more about their financial health.

  • Vitamin D Rich Food Sources—Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 24, 2023

    Vitamins are essential to keep the body going. For the normal functioning of the body and a top-notch immune system, you must include vitamins and minerals in your diet. Vitamin deficiency can cause several health issues and trigger bigger health problems with serious consequences. Most body functions need direct and indirect vitamin support for execution. For example, vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption in the body. It means not having enough vitamin D can lead to issues related to calcium deficiency as well. Today, we will look at how vitamin D helps in maintaining good health and run you through a detailed list of Vitamin D food for vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

    What is vitamin D?

    Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient that helps the body to absorb as well as retain calcium, phosphate, and magnesium—minerals essential for a healthy skeletal system. Vitamin D also controls cancer cells, checks infections, reduces inflammation, and boosts immunity. The daily amount needed to sustain healthy calcium metabolism and strong bones is referred to as the Recommended Dietary Allowance for vitamin D. They are:

    • UL: The Tolerable Upper Intake Level (TUIL) is the largest daily intake that is unlikely to have a deleterious impact on health (UL). The UL for vitamin D in children aged 9 years and above is 4,000 IU (100 mcg).
    • RDA: For people aged 19 years and above, the recommended daily allowance is 600 IU (15 mcg). For those over 70 years, it is 800 IU (20 mcg).

    Benefits of vitamin D

    Vitamin D can reduce inflammation, restrict the growth of malignant cells, and assist in preventing infections. Besides supporting bone health, vitamin D is a major requirement in the normal functioning of many organs and tissues. Some benefits of vitamin D include:

    • Fights bone diseases: Vitamin D is an essential component for calcium absorption. Without vitamin D, you cannot have calcium in your body in active form. Absorption of calcium allows the body to maintain the required amount of phosphate in the body which is again essential for bone health and development.

     

    • Helps maintain good mental health: While it is not clear how essential vitamin D is in checking clinical depression, it is highly effective in managing seasonal depression. Since there is less sunlight in winter, the body absorbs relatively much lesser vitamin D. This adversely affects the neurotransmitter serotonin.

     

    • Fights respiratory infections: If you have a significantly low vitamin D level, chances are high that you may suffer from more respiratory issues such as cold and flu. Research shows that deficiency of Vitamin D can worsen the post-COVID consequences.

     

    • Protects against heart ailments and diseases: Adequate amount of vitamin D reduces the risks of heart failure, stroke, and several heart diseases. Medically, it is not clear if Vitamin D is solely responsible for the prevention of heart diseases, but it definitely helps.

     

    • Keeps the risks of diabetes in check: Cell-based observational studies show that vitamin D augments insulin sensitivity, improves beta cell function, and reduces inflammation. All these factors are extremely important in controlling Type 2 Diabetes.

     

    • Reduces cancer risk: More and more scientific sample studies are reinforcing the role of vitamin D in managing and reducing the threat of cancer. The potential correlation between vitamin D and colon cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer is evident. Vitamin D helps in controlling the growth of cancer cells.

     

    • Guards against autoimmune conditions: Vitamin D plays a very important role in regulating the immune system, thus preventing autoimmune disorders. Studies show that people who intake or absorb sufficient vitamin D are less prone to autoimmune disorders such as arthritis, thyroid etc.

     

    • Helps check cognitive inefficiency and dementia: Our brain tissues have vitamin D receptors. This indicates the role of vitamin D in cognitive development and health. Since vitamin D enhances cognitive function, it also helps in preventing conditions such as dementia.

     

    Top vitamin D-rich food items for vegetarians

    Now that you are well aware of the importance of including vitamin D in your diet, it is only obvious that you would want to know about vitamin D foods. Given below is a list of vitamin D food for vegetarians. To ensure an adequate amount of vitamin D in your body, include these vitamin D-rich foods:

    • Fortified orange juice: Most store-bought fortified orange juice is supplemented with calcium and vitamin D, making it a reliable source of nutrition for lactose-intolerant people. One cup of enhanced orange juice has 100 IU of vitamin D.

     

    • Mushrooms: Similar to humans, mushrooms can produce Vitamin D when exposed to sunshine. With 2300 IU of vitamin D2 per 100g, they are rich in vitamin D. However, professionally raised mushrooms have very little vitamin D2. Although, some varieties receive UV light treatment, making them a good source of vitamin D. These mushrooms contain 130 to 450 IU of vitamin D2.

     

    • Fortified soymilk: For vegans and vegetarians, soymilk is a nutritious meal alternative because it contains the same nutrients as cow's milk. Each cup of soy milk contains 120 IU of vitamin D. However, before purchasing soy milk, read the label to determine whether it contains vitamin D. Little vitamin D is present in non-fortified brands.

     

    • Cheese: Cheese makes one of the best vitamin D-rich food for vegetarians. Cottage cheese has particularly higher amounts of vitamin D. Other cheeses with vitamin D include Cheddar, Fontina, and Monterey. Any type of cheese has about 24 IU of vitamin D per 100g serving.

     

    • Yoghurt: Because yoghurt is fortified with vitamin D, dairy and non-dairy yoghurts have high levels of this vitamin. It contains around 120 IU of vitamin D per cup.

     

    • Fortified almond milk: Each serving of fortified almond milk has 2.4 mcg (96 IU) of vitamin D. Numerous almond milk brands also add calcium to enhance its nutritional value.

     

  • Difference between a Vehicle’s Ex-Showroom Price and On-Road Price

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 24, 2023

    Are you planning to buy a new car? While you may have shortlisted the car of your choice and arranged for funds, have you looked up the difference between what has been quoted to you as the price of the car by the dealer, and what you will be actually paying? You must know what ex-showroom price means and what is the on-road price of the car you wish to buy before closing the deal.

    What is the ex-showroom price?

    In simple terms, the ex-showroom price is the price at which dealers buy or procure a vehicle from the manufacturer. This price does not include the cost of vehicle registration, which must be done at the local RTO. Also, the ex-showroom price does not include road tax and insurance costs. Here’s all you need to know to understand what ex-showroom price means:

    • Registration, road tax, and insurance are non-negotiable for driving or riding a motor vehicle in India. Not adhering to these three compliances can attract heavy fines and even imprisonment. The ex-showroom price does not include the cost of these.
    • The ex-showroom price includes the factory cost of the vehicle, Goods and Services Tax (GST), and the profit margin of the vehicle dealer. However, you will have to pay extra for optional accessories.
    • The ex-showroom price of a vehicle is the advertised price.

    What is the on-road price?

    The on-road price is the final amount you pay to receive a ready-for-road vehicle from your dealer. The points mentioned below will help you understand what is the on-road price:

    • The on-road price is inclusive of the ex-showroom price, the cost of vehicle registration, road tax, and the cost of insurance.
    • In case you want additional features and accessories, then the same is included in the on-road price of the vehicle.
    • You can check the difference between the ex-showroom price and the on-road price using online calculators or by reaching out to the dealer.

    Difference between a vehicle’s ex-showroom price and on-road price

    Here are the major difference between the ex-showroom price and the on-road price:

    Ex-showroom Price On-road Price
    This is not the final price of the vehicle This is the final price of the vehicle
    This is the price dealers pay to the manufacturers This is the price you will pay to buy, own and use the vehicle
    This price does not factor in the cost of registration, road tax, and insurance This is the price that you arrive at after including the cost of registration, road tax, and insurance.
    This price is lesser than the on-road price. It is inclusive of the factory cost, GST, and the dealer’s profit margin The final price is higher than the ex-showroom price

    On-road price for new vehicles

    Several factors affect the on-road price of a vehicle. While some of these factors are obligatory, others are optional. It is crucial to know these factors, or else you may find yourself confused between the difference in your estimated purchase price and the actual vehicle price.

    • Charges of vehicle registration

    Whether you buy a bike or a car, it must be registered at the Regional Transport Office (RTO). Usually, the dealer from whom you are buying the vehicle gets this done. Correspondingly, the dealer includes this expense in the final price of the vehicle that is the on-road price. Note, vehicle registration charges differ from state to state. Also, the vehicle registration charges increase if you want a specific registration number.

    • Road tax

    When you use a motor vehicle on Indian roads, you must pay the road tax. While this is a component of the on-road price, it is calculated based on the ex-showroom price. Usually, it is a percentage levied on the ex-showroom price, which ranges between 2% and 3%. The road tax paid once remains valid for 10-15 years.

    • The tax collected at the source

    The dealer levies a tax of 1% of the ex-showroom price of the vehicle. This tax is called tax collected at source.

    • Annual maintenance charges

    Many vehicle dealers offer an annual maintenance package that includes services like cleaning the vehicle, polishing, roadside assistance, and more. If you take up this package, then the on-road price will increase further.

    • Cost of essential accessories

    Some accessories such as floor mats and seat covers are essential. You can buy these essential accessories from your vehicle dealer or you can opt to buy them separately. If you buy them from your vehicle dealer, then the cost of the same will be included in the on-road price.

    • Cost of extra accessories

    There are some accessories that you choose to add to your car or bike to enhance its features and/or efficiency. For example, you may want to buy a trendy helmet for your bike or install a GPS navigation tool in your car. Adding these extra accessories to your purchase list will increase the final that is the on-road price of your vehicle.

    • Extended warranty

    All vehicles come with a fixed warranty provided by the manufacturer. It is available only up to a certain time or distance travelled. However, you can extend this warranty by paying some additional charges. Remember, this additional charge is included in the on-road price of the vehicle.

    • Green cess

    Post the ban on diesel vehicles in Delhi and NCR, the Supreme Court of India issued an obligatory cess called green cess, which is charged on the ex-showroom price of the vehicle. The cess differs from state to state and is decided by the government. It is subject to change as per the government’s policy decision.

    • Handling charges

    Your vehicle dealer must get your vehicle from the manufacturer’s factory outlet or warehouse. The transfer of vehicles from one place to another consists of transportation and handling charges. These charges are added to the on-road price of the vehicle. These costs are included in the profit margin of the dealer. Note, this particular component is not added to the on-road price separately. Rather, this is a component of the ex-showroom price.

    • Insurance

    As per the Motors Vehicle Act, you cannot drive your vehicle on the roads without valid motor insurance. You must have at least third-party car insurance. Usually, dealers have tie-ups with insurance providers and they arrange it for you. Or, you can get your insurance on your own. However, if you get your motor insurance from your dealer, it is only obvious that the cost of it will be added to the on-road price of the vehicle.

  • Convert Your Petrol and Diesel Car into an Electric Vehicle

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 24, 2023

     

    In the wake of rapidly changing environmental conditions, switching to sustainable alternatives is no more an option, but a necessity. Increased adoption of electric vehicles is one way to tackle the issue. However, small a solution it may look, the collective effort can yield significant results.

    A new vehicle buyer can always choose an electric vehicle over a traditional combustion engine vehicle. But, what about those who already have a petrol or diesel vehicle? If you are one of them, then this article is for you. You can still do your part in preserving the environment by choosing to convert petrol cars to electric cars. Here’s all you need to know about diesel or petrol to electric car conversion.

    Types of electric vehicles

    There are primarily three types of electric vehicles (EVs):

    • Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV): These electric vehicles are charged using DC level 3 chargers. These are one of the most environmentally friendly vehicles. A prime example of BEV is Tesla X.
    • Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV): These electric vehicles get power from both the plugging-to-power method as well as Regenerative Braking. Prime examples are Porsche, BMW, and Mercedes.
    • Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV): These types of electric vehicles initially start using electric power and then shift to gas as and when speed increases. There are many international fleets of HEVs manufactured by popular brands such as Toyota and Honda.

    Retrofitting a car with an electric kit

    While the need and significance of electric vehicles are well known, it is also true that electric vehicles are not easy on the pocket. However, today, we do have a sustainable alternative. Something which was not feasible a decade ago has become one of the most popular hacks of the vehicle industry—converting traditional fuel cars into electric cars.

    Are you wondering—is this possible? Is it legal? If yes, how do you go about conversion of a petrol car to an electric car in India? Let us deal with these questions one by one.

    • Yes, it is possible to convert your petrol or diesel-run vehicle into an electric vehicle.
    • It is legal as authorities have made due changes in the Central Vehicle Motors Rule, 1989 to allow you to convert diesel cars to electric
    • The rule allows retrofitting traditional combustion engine vehicles with an electric core.
    • Cars with retrofitted electric cores have an electric car conversion kit as well. This is to ensure the smooth functioning of the vehicle.
    • With an electric core, erstwhile petrol or diesel-run vehicles can choose to power their vehicles using electric battery-operated systems.
    • Retrofitting a petrol or diesel-run car with an electric kit will not only help restrict environmental pollution but also phase out or remodel old and unfit cars.
    • As per the norms of the Central Vehicle Motors Rule, retrofitting can be graded into three categories—conversion into an electric vehicle for all types of vehicles, hybrid conversion for those weighing 3.5 tonnes, and for vehicles that weigh more than 3.5 tonnes.
  • What are the Principles of Claim Settlement?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 24, 2023

    Like any other market, the insurance market also runs on the dynamics of demand and supply. People need insurance companies to offer them insurance products that protect them from various financial losses. At the same time, the insurance providers are also required to meet the expectations of their customers—the policyholders. The most crucial expectation that people have from these insurance providers is that their claim will be settled easily, that is, they would be reimbursed with the insured sum as and when needed.

    Principles of claim settlement

    In their pursuit to meet the insurance market demands, the suppliers or the insurance providers must adhere to a certain set of principles surrounding claim settlement. There are primarily three major pillars of claim settlement:

    Verification of the loss

    It is the responsibility of the insurance provider to verify the claim. They must ensure that the authentic claims do not get rejected or delayed, and the inauthentic ones do not make it to the final claim disbursal. This involves estimating correctly the instance of loss and corroborating the same with the policy coverage.

    Prompt payment

    The second principle for settling a claim is to clear the claim amount at the earliest—that is as soon as the information collection and verification are completed. Once the claim is found to be valid, the payment of the insured sum should not be delayed by any means.

    Assistance to the insured

    The insurance company must provide systematic and consistent assistance to the policyholder during claim settlement. While the need for insurance is widely understood, its processing is still a long shot for many policyholders. It is the responsibility of the insurance provider to ensure that their customer has access to correct information about the claim settlement process.

    Some key points for policyholders

    While insurance providers are expected to stick to the principles mentioned above, insurance buyers are suggested to take note of certain factors surrounding claim settlement. These are:

    • Before buying an insurance policy, you should research well to ensure that the company you opt for is credible. Always check the claim settlement ratio of your preferred company. The higher the claim settlement ratio, the better the chances of your claim being settled without any hassles.
    • You can find the claim settlement ratio of all the IRDA-registered companies on the IRDA Claim Settlement Ratio 2022
    • Say, you zero in on an insurance provider with a high claim settlement ratio. But, that is not enough. You should also check the overall financial health of the company.
  • What are the IRDA Rules for Health Insurance Claim Settlement?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 24, 2023

    The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) is the insurance sector regulatory body in India. The IRDA’s objective is to optimise the existing insurance industry and make sure the operations and conduct of the sector are fair. The insurance market is undergoing constant changes, upgradation, and high competition. Consequently, the role of the IRDA is essential.

    IRDA rules for health insurance

    The IRDA has laid down some rules for health insurance claim settlement for all insurance providers registered under it. These rules are laid down to help both the insurer and the insured. Listed below are some of the rules for health insurance claims laid down by the IRDA:

    • A health insurance policy may not have an exit age if the policyholder renews it on schedule without any interruptions in renewal.
    • A Group Health Insurance policy comes with a validity of a maximum of one year.
    • The insurer is responsible for providing the policyholder with information regarding the terms and conditions of the policy concerning receiving care at a hospital in India.
    • The insurance provider must give the policyholder the choice to switch to another plan after meeting the exit conditions for their health insurance policy. Additionally, insurers must award appropriate credits if the policy was renewed without any gaps.
    • The insurance provider must give the applicant a fair, justifiable, and open explanation in writing if their request to purchase health insurance is declined.
    • A policyholder will receive rewards if they renew their coverage on time, purchase it early in life, or have a positive claims experience with an insurance provider. The prospectus and policy document should include explicit references to the benefits as agreed by the board.
    • Before issuing the policy, the insurance company should give the policyholder a list of medical facilities, government or otherwise, from whom the firm will accept the medical reports.
    • Particularly for senior individuals, the premium amount should be reasonable, equitable, and clear. Additionally, the total sum should be made clear to the potential policyholder.

    IRDA new rules for claim settlement

    IRDA has rules for claim rejection and settlement as well. Some of them are:

    For claim rejection

    • If the policyholder maintains the coverage for 8 years without a break, the health insurance provider cannot deny a claim. These 8 years are called the moratorium period.
    • Except in cases of fraud and/or a claim brought against the exclusion of the health policy after the moratorium period, the insurance company cannot appeal to the IRDA against the settlement of such a claim.
    • A claim cannot be denied by the insurance company due to misrepresentation or non-disclosure.
    • A claim cannot be denied on that basis since IRDA has allowed the insurance company an 8-year window for validating the information provided by the policyholder.

    For claim settlement

    • The insurance company is responsible for paying interest on the claim amount at a rate that is 2% higher than the bank rate if the insurer's claim payment is delayed.
    • The claim should be resolved within 30 to 45 days of the date the policyholder received the last necessary document.

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