The tragic train accident in Odisha has put the spotlight on safety and financial protection for passengers. Experts suggest that travelers may look at the option of taking travel insurance covers considering the potential financial consequences in case of an accident.
IRCTC travel insurance
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) provides optional travel insurance for Indian citizens booking e-tickets. The premium is 35 paise per passenger inclusive of all taxes. The Travel Insurance Scheme offers death cover of ₹10 lakh. It also provides ₹10 lakh for permanent total disability and ₹7.5 lakh for permanent partial disability.
IRCTC says it only provides linkage to transact with Insurance Company through its website to take insurance cover and the Insurance company is responsible for policy issuance and claims settlement.
The Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) provides a one-year accidental insurance scheme renewable from year to year offering coverage for death or disability due to accident. It provides an accidental death cum disability cover of ₹2 lakh (₹1 lakh in case of partial disability) for death or disability due to an accident against a premium of ₹20/- per annum.
Depending on variants, the debit and credit cards also offer complementary accidental insurance cover.
“Accidental policies come at nominal prices and yet provide a wholesome coverage. So, it is advised that anyone who gets exposed to risky scenarios on a daily basis should buy one, or at least have a health insurance policy to cover basic hospitalisation costs,” said Naval Goel, founder and CEO, PolicyX.com.
Personal accident health insurance policies provide for medical care in case of these mishaps or pay the pre-decided sum insured to the nominee in case of death, which is known as a death cover, he said.
Term insurance policy
One can consider buying a term insurance policy too with an accidental death rider where the term insurance policy will pay the sum assured upon your demise to family, Mr. Goel said.
Accidental policies adhere to simple guidelines. There should not be any kind of breach of law involved in the accident. Personal accident policies only cover unintentional accidents, he said.
While buying a personal accident policy, one should calculate the risk that they might have of getting into any kind of accident. If one travels frequently, the coverage amount should be sufficient for the skyrocketing medical expenses or it should be ten times their annual income, Mr. Goel said.
What to consider
Rakesh Goyal, director, Probus Insurance Broker, a digital insurance broker, said one should consider the premium amount and frequency of payment and ensure that it is affordable. One must also understand the coverage provided by the policy and the exclusions, he said.
Customers should compare the IRCTC Accidental Insurance Policy with other similar policies available in the market. Assess their features, coverage, premiums, claim settlement track records, and customer reviews, he said.
Customers should also familiarise with the claim process including the necessary documents, timelines, and procedures for filing a claim, Mr. Goyal said. Some debit and credit cards may require you to make certain transactions or fulfill specific conditions to activate the coverage, he pointed out.
The complimentary accidental insurance cover provided by the debit and credit cards, provide at least a basic safety net, if you do not have a health insurance policy. However, it is advisable to have a health insurance policy as the sum insured provided in the complimentary schemes may not be sufficient to cover the hospitalization costs, Mr. Goel said.