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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  • 5 Things you need to know before buying Health Insurance

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

    Medical costs have been increasing at an alarming rate in India. As per reports, healthcare inflation in our country is rising at double the overall retail inflation rate. At such times, not having adequate medical insurance cover for yourself and your family members can prove to be a significant financial drawback for you.

    In the absence of health insurance, even a single medical emergency in the family has the potential to wipe years' worth of savings. Health insurance policies provide a protective shield against the hefty medical expenses you may incur if you or your family member needs hospitalisation.

    However, with many insurance companies offering a wide array of mediclaim policies in India, selecting the right health insurance plan can sometimes become difficult. To tell you how to buy health insurance for yourself, we've collated some critical factors regarding health policies in this article.

    By being aware of these factors, you can make an informed decision while purchasing a medical insurance policy. Let's get started.

    Types of health insurance plans

    The first thing you need to know before buying a mediclaim policy is the types of health insurance plans available in the market. Typically, there are two types of health insurance policies:

    1. Individual health policy
    2. As the name suggests, this type of health insurance policy caters to an individual. The premium amount for these health plans is calculated based on an individual's age, medical history, present health condition and inherent risks. You can choose to purchase a standalone individual health policy for yourself or buy separate individual health policies for different family members.

    3. Family floater policy
    4. Also known as a group health insurance plan, this policy is designed to cover the entire family under a single medical insurance plan. The sum insured of a family floater policy is shared by all family members covered under the policy. A family floater plan usually covers the policyholder, his/her spouse, dependent children and parents.

    The sum insured

    The sum insured is the maximum amount of money the insurance company is liable to pay to the policyholder in a year. It means that if a health insurance policy offers a sum insured of Rs. 5 lakhs, it's the maximum claim amount that you'll get in a year. In case your claim amount exceeds the sum insured of the policy, you will have to bear the extra expenses out of your pocket.

    It would be best to opt for the right combination of premium and sum insured while buying a health insurance policy. A policy with a lesser sum insured can prove inadequate during a medical exigency whereas, a policy with a very high sum insured may lead to a higher premium.

    The waiting period clause

    Being aware of the waiting period clause can help you make the right decision while purchasing a health insurance policy. The waiting period refers to the period you have to wait for before the insurer can cover your existing health conditions. Usually, the waiting period ranges between two to four years, depending upon the insurer and policy type.

    This waiting period applies to all pre-existing illnesses, including thyroid, diabetes, blood pressure, etc., that the policyholder may have before buying the policy. Some policies may also extend the waiting period clause to certain specific treatments and illnesses such as cataract, arthritis, varicose veins, etc.

    Hence, you must check the policy document's waiting period clause while buying a health insurance plan. It's best to choose the policy with a minimum waiting period.

    Cashless treatment facility

    Generally, all health insurance plans offer cashless treatment facility to the policyholders. The policyholder is not required to pay anything out of his/her pocket during hospitalisation at a cashless facility. All he/she needs to do is show the policy document at the hospital, and the bills are settled directly between the insurance provider and the hospital.

    However, this facility may not always be available at a hospital of your choice. Health insurance companies have tie-ups with the network hospitals where the policyholders can avail this facility. Thus, while buying a health insurance policy with a cashless treatment facility, you should always check for the network hospitals in your vicinity.

    It goes without saying that you should opt for the insurer which has partnered with the maximum number of hospitals and all major hospitals in your city. For instance, you can go for health insurance, which offers cashless treatment at more than 6500 network hospitals across the country.

  • Common Winter Ailments and How You Can Avoid Them 2023

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

    By taking good care of your health and body, you can avoid serious ailments during the winters

    It's that time of the year when you sip hot cups of coffee or ginger tea while enjoying the foggy mornings and chilly evenings. While you look forward to being bundled up in your favourite winter outfits and relishing cosy nights under the blanket, you cannot ignore the fact that this season has a downside to it as well.

    If you fail to take proper care of your health and body, you can end up with severe ailments during the frigid winter months. A sudden drop in temperature can cause significant health issues such as bronchitis, pneumonia etc. What seems like a common cold or flu, in the beginning, can progress into a more severe illness if not taken care of properly.

    Read on to know about a few common winter ailments, their symptoms and prevention tips.

    Common cold

    This is one of the most common winter diseases, and most of us often ignore it, thinking it's due to the changing season. Though we are right to an extent, if this common cold or viral infection doesn't subside in two to four days, we need immediate medical help. Common cold can affect anyone, but children and senior citizens are more vulnerable to severe disease symptoms.

    Symptoms of the common cold:

    The common cold symptoms include headache, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, and coughing. However, if the condition worsens, you may also experience high fever, chest congestion and breathing difficulties.

    Prevention tips:
    • Drink plenty of water and other fluids
    • Get adequate rest and sleep
    • Wash your hands frequently to avoid infection
    • Avoid outside food as much as possible
    • Wear multiple layers of clothing
    • Gargle with hot water or inhale steam


    Flu

    Flu is often mistaken for the common cold by most people. However, that may not be the case every time. Flu, also known as influenza, is an infectious health disease that mainly affects the infected person's respiratory tract. The leading cause of flu is the contamination of the body with the influenza virus. It can last from 2 to 7 days, depending upon the severity.

    Symptoms of flu:

    Most of the symptoms of flu are similar to that of the common cold. A person suffering from flu may experience mild to high fever, sore throat, body ache, headache, nasal congestion, runny nose, cough, and cold. In some cases, patients may also experience pain in their ears and redness or itchiness in their eyes.

    Prevention tips:
    • Cover your nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing
    • Maintain a safe distance from people showing flu symptoms
    • Wash your hands frequently
    • Maintain respiratory hygiene
    • Exercise daily and consume immunity-boosting food


    Bronchitis

    Bronchitis is an infection in the person's respiratory tract, caused by Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). Children or toddlers below the age of two and people with weak immunity are mainly affected by this disease. Bronchitis causes inflammation of the small airways in the lungs, causing breathing difficulties. If the symptoms persist for more than ten days, medical intervention is required.

    Symptoms of bronchitis:

    As mentioned above, the person suffering from bronchitis experience difficulty breathing due to the inflammation of airway passage in the lungs. Other symptoms of bronchitis include mild fever, wheezing, coughing, nasal congestion and dehydration.

    Prevention tips:
    • Get adequate rest and sleep
    • Drink lots of fluids to keep yourself hydrated
    • Wash your hands frequently
    • Avoid smoking and exposure to smoke, firecrackers etc.


    Pneumonia

    Pneumonia is another common lung disease which can occur during the winter season. Unlike other winter diseases, pneumonia is caused by a bacterial infection. You can usually treat it at home, but hospitalisation is necessary if symptoms get severe. Pneumonia can prove to be a life-threatening disease for children below five years of age and senior citizens.

    Symptoms of pneumonia:

    A person suffering from pneumonia experiences constant cold and high fever for several days. Other pneumonia symptoms include excessive coughing, difficulty in breathing, chest pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, heavy sweating, and shortness of breath. Though pneumonia symptoms can vanish in one or two weeks, weakness and fatigue can last for a month or so.

    Prevention tips:
    • Wash your hands frequently
    • Eat lots of fruits and leafy vegetables
    • Avoid smoking and exposure to smoke
    • Exercise daily to boost your immunity
    • Visit your physician if the symptoms persist


    Norovirus

  • Decoding Colour Code in Health Insurance Plans

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

    Among the several bottlenecks that have slowed the adoption of health insurance, complexity of products deserves a special mention. This is because the common man, more often than not, is not aware of the jargons used in health insurance or understands their implications in the working of a plan.

    To bridge this knowledge gap, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) has issued a fresh instruction to insurers, asking them to colour code policies based on their level of complexity. The diktat is aimed to aid consumers to know how easy or difficult it is to understand the policy.

    What is the Colour Code?

    The colour code of health insurance plans will be akin to traffic signals – red, orange and green. While a green colour implies that the policy is easy to understand, orange represents moderate complexity. Red, on the other hand, reflects that the policy is complex. The colours are based on a score ranging from 0 to 6.

    Health insurance plans with a score of 2 or less will have green colour, while those having a score of more than 2 but less than 4 will be coloured orange. A health insurance policy with a score of more than 4 and up to 6 will be red.

    How do Insurers Calculate the Score?

    To calculate the score, insurers take into account seven parameters:

    • Number of optional covers
    • Waiting period
    • Percentage of co-pay
    • Number of treatments where sub-limits are applicable
    • Simplicity of terms
    • Deductibles
    • Number of permanent exclusions

    All the seven parameters mentioned above would get an equal weightage of 14.28%.

    Score for Optional Cover and Co-pay

    A score of 0.6 would be allocated to one optional cover. So, if a health insurance policy has 6 optional covers, this parameter would get a score of 3.6. For co-pay, which represents the percentage of payment that the policyholder has to pay from his pocket, a score of 0.3 is given for every 1% rise in co-payment beyond 5%.

    Score for Waiting Period

    Every one-month waiting period would get a score of 0.15%. So, if the maximum waiting period is 24 months, then the score on this parameter would be 3.6. Waiting period refers to the time where the insurer doesn’t entertain claims for pre-existing ailments.

    Sub-limit Score

    When it comes to sub-limit, a score of 0.6 is allotted for every disease under sub-limit. So, in case a health insurance policy has 8 diseases under sub-limit, then the score allotted for this parameter would be 4.8.

    Scores for Deductibles and Permanent Exclusions

    For deductibles, which is the amount a policyholder needs to pay before the insurer starts paying, a score of 0.3 is given for every 1% of deductible in a policy. Hence, if a health plan has a 5% deductible, this parameter's score would be 1.5.

    A score of 0.6 is given for every permanent exclusion. Therefore, if a policy has 10 exclusions, the score for this parameter would be 6.

    For the final of the score towards a policy, the weighted average score of all the seven parameters would be added.

    The insurance regulator has also said that health insurance companies need to indicate the colour code on their websites for products they are selling and do the same while advertising so that customers can make an informed choice.

  • Learn How To File A Car Insurance Claim With Our 5 Minute Guide!

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

    Want to make a motor insurance claim, but not sure how it works? We're here to help! To get your insurance benefits in case of accidental damages, you need to know the right process of filing a claim. It is a simple and straightforward affair if you have insured your car with us.

    Before we explain the insurance claim process, let's take a look at the two major types of motor insurance claims:

    • Third-party claim – If you damage any third party or their property with your car, then the damages will be covered under a third-party claim. In this case, your insurer will cover the losses to the third party.
    • Own damage claim – If your own vehicle is stolen or damaged in an accident, you can make an own damage claim. In this type of claim, your insurer will cover losses to your vehicle. Your car must be covered by a package policy (comprehensive policy covering both third party and own damage covers) to make this claim.

    Whether you're filing a third party insurance claim or an own damage claim, you need to contact your own insurer at the time of accident or theft. You'll then be directed correctly for the next steps – be it heading to a garage, furnishing specific documents, or filing an FIR at the police station.

    How to file a motor insurance claim

    When you've insured your vehicle with us, you'll find claiming is simple and hassle-free. We’ll assist you with the entire insurance claim process, so that you can rest easy.

    Let's take a look at the step-wise process for filing a motor insurance claim with us:

    Step 1: Call us on our toll-free number - 1800 2666 - immediately after the incident.

    Step 2: Share the circumstances of the event (accident, breakdown, theft, etc.) with our customer relationship team.

    Step 3: To help us survey the extent of damage to your vehicle, use the InstaSpect feature on our IL Take Care app. The app is available for download on the Play Store and App Store. You can also track your ICICI Lombard claim status on the app.

    Step 4: If your car needs repairs, we'll arrange to pick up to the nearest preferred partner garage.

    Step 5: Once your car is repaired, we settle the bill directly with the garage (in case of a cashless garage). You can pay your share of the amount and take possession of your vehicle.

    And that’s it! If you’ve opted for our car insurance with Garage Cash cover, we’ll also provide a daily allowance while your car is at the garage. You can use this allowance to pay for auto or taxi fare till your car is back.

    Apart from the toll-free number mentioned above, you can also contact us through several other modes:

    • Lodge a claim on our website or app
    • SMS "CLAIM" to 575758
    • Write to us at customersupport@icicilombard.com
  • Top 10 Car Driving Tips & Techniques For Beginners

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

    Driving brings a sense of exhilaration to most people, especially beginners. It is a life skill that every adult seeks to learn and is extremely useful in our everyday lives. However, carelessness and adventurism while driving can affect the safety of the driver and other vehicles and people on the road.

    To keep you safe, we have listed down 10 crucial car driving tips and techniques which every beginner must learn to ensure a smooth and safe driving experience.

    1. 1. Get familiar with your car
    2. You should be acquainted with your car's basic layout before you take it out on the road. While no one learns it in a day, you should at least have the theoretical knowledge. For example, knowing the basics; how to use the buttons on the steering wheel and dashboard, how to place the jack, fuel tank capacity - these are some things that every driver should know.

      You should also set your mind for driving your car's category; hatchback, sedan or SUV, as each class has some peculiarities associated with it. For instance, some people consider it challenging to manoeuvre and park SUVs. You should be aware of the vehicle's challenges to avoid any panic while driving.

    3. 2. Wear the seat belt
    4. All car drivers must wear their seat belts all the time while driving. Whether you're a beginner or a pro, you should follow the habit of wearing the seat belt right while driving a car.

      According to a study, almost 75% of car users in India do not wear seat belts while driving, resulting in 15 deaths every day. Not only is it mandatory, wearing a seat belt is an effective way to reduce the possibility of severe injuries in the unfortunate event of an accident or collision.

    5. 3. Check and make adjustments before driving
    6. Make sure to adjust your seat, mirrors and steering wheel in the right position before setting off on your drive. You may see people making such adjustments while driving, but as beginners, it is best to make these adjustments beforehand to ensure that you have a comfortable and safe drive.

    7. 4. Keep both your hands on the steering wheel
    8. As a beginner, you should not opt for driving with a single hand. It's best to keep your car in control by having a steady grip on the steering wheel with both hands in the' 10-and-2' position or '9-and-3' position.

      These are popular techniques for holding the steering wheel, which beginners find comfortable. However, these are not the only techniques and eventually, what matters is the hand-positioning which gives you the maximum ease and comfort.

    9. 5. Maintain moderate speed
    10. As a beginner, you should always maintain a moderate or slow speed. While high speed gives an adrenaline rush, remember that you may not be able to handle a car at high speeds in the beginning. You may face difficulty controlling the car if some object or person instantaneously appears before your vehicle, which may cause an accident.

    11. 6. Use signal indicators
    12. Car indicators help you communicate with other drivers while driving. Make it a habit to use turn indicators well before switching lanes, going past other vehicles, and making a halt on the main roads. It warns the other car drivers to adjust their speed and gives you the space to make a turn safely.

    13. 7. Avoid distractions
    14. You should avoid using your phone or paying attention to any other activity while driving. Mobile phone distractions are already a significant cause of road accidents and endanger you and other people on the road. If you have to take a phone call while driving, park your car at an appropriate spot and then speak. Also, avoid using earphones while driving.

    15. 8. Be confident and calm
    16. The most important driving tip is to be confident and calm while driving. It is natural to be a bit nervous while driving as a beginner, but that should not affect your morale while on the road. A panicked mind can prove to be dangerous for you as well as others. Drive only those distances you can safely cover initially. It would help if you gradually increased the travelling distance once you're confident about your driving skills.

  • How to Claim Under Bike Insurance?

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

    As per The Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, third-party two-wheeler insurance is mandatory for all bikes and scooters plying on Indian roads. It covers the third-party liabilities that may arise due to an accident or collision involving the insured two-wheeler. However, a third-party insurance policy will not cover the damages sustained by your bike.

    Therefore, it is recommended for every bike owner to buy a comprehensive two-wheeler insurance policy. Apart from covering the mandatory third-party liabilities, it will also cover the losses or damages sustained by the insured bike in case of a mishap, including theft, collision, earthquake, tsunami, riot, and vandalism.

    But do you know how to claim under bike insurance? Even if you don't, there is little reason to worry. In this article, you will get to know everything regarding two-wheeler insurance claims, including the steps to file a motor insurance claim. So, let's get started.

    What is a bike insurance claim?

    A comprehensive two-wheeler insurance policy essentially covers your bike against any loss or damage caused due to a covered peril. For example, suppose you're taking a sharp turn on your bike when you suddenly lose balance and meet with an accident, resulting in injuries and damages to you and your motorcycle both.

    In such a scenario, your two-wheeler insurance provider will be liable to pay you for the financial losses suffered by you. But you need to file a motor insurance claim for that. The process of informing the insurer about the mishap and asking it to pay compensation for the loss is known as the insurance claim.

    Before digging into the process of filing a bike insurance claim, let's first know about the two types of claims:

    Cashless claims: Some insurers allow policyholders to get their bikes repaired without paying upfront. The only condition for this is that the bike should be taken to a garage in their network. Such claims are called cashless claims where the insurer pays directly to the garage owner to get an insured bike repaired.

    Reimbursement claims: If a motor insurance policy doesn't offer cashless benefits, the policyholder must pay for repairs out of his/her own pocket. However, he/she can later file a claim with the insurance provider and get a reimbursement of the expenses. Such claims are called reimbursement claims, where the insurer pays the approved compensation to the policyholder.

    How to file a bike insurance claim?

    Now that you are well versed with the meaning and types of claims, let's learn about the steps to file a bike insurance claim. Usually, you may have to file a claim under any one of the following three scenarios:

    • Your bike damages someone else's property or injures someone. In this case, a third party liability claim will apply.
    • You meet with an accident and your bike is damaged. In such a scenario, you need to file an own damage claim.
    • Your bike is stolen. In such a scenario, you will have to file an own damage claim. The insurer will declare a 'total loss', and you'll be paid the Insured Declared Value (IDV) of the vehicle.

    If an insured person meets with an accident, which results in death or permanent disablement, he/she can file a claim under the Personal Accident cover for owner-driver.

    Below are the steps to file a bike insurance claim:

    Steps to file a third-party insurance claim

    Step 1 – Take the policy details from the opposite party and inform the insurer about the third-party claim.

    Step 2 – The insurance company will forward your case to the Motor Insurance Claims Tribunal for its verdict.

    Step 3 – After hearing from both the parties, the tribunal court will determine an amount that should be paid to you as compensation.

    Step 4 – The insurer will transfer the compensation amount to your bank account.

    Steps to file a claim under the OD cover

    Step 1 – Inform the insurance provider immediately.

    Step 2 – Submit the required documents to raise the claim. If needed, file an FIR with the local police station.

    Step 3 – A surveyor will be appointed by the insurer to verify the case and examine the damages.

    Step 4 – If the surveyor finds your claim to be authentic, he/she will send an approval to the garage to start with the repair work.

    Step 5 – In the case of a cashless claim, the expenses will be settled directly between the insurer and the garage. Whereas, in case of a reimbursement claim, the repair amount will be transferred to your bank account through National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT).

    Steps to file a claim in case of theft

    Step 1 – Inform the insurer immediately about the theft of your bike.

    Step 2 – File an FIR in your local police station. This step is mandatory in this case.

    Step 3 – Submit the relevant documents to the insurer to file the claim.

    Step 4 – Obtain a non-traceable certificate from the police and submit it to the insurer.

    Step 5 – The insurer will transfer your bike's IDV to your bank account.

    Documents required for bike insurance claim

    Below are the documents you need to submit to the insurer to file a claim on your bike insurance policy:

    • Policy document
    • Duly filled claim form
    • Registration Certificate (RC) of the vehicle
    • Driving license of the person driving at the time of the accident
    • Police FIR copy (mandatory in cases of theft)
    • Original repair invoices and bills (for reimbursement claims)
    • Form 28/29/30 duly signed by the vehicle owner (in case of total loss)
    • No Objection Certificate (if the vehicle is financed)

    For a full list of documents and claim instructions, visit our motor claims page.

  • What Happens to Your Car's Insurance When You Buy a Used Car?

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

    The used car market in India has seen exponential growth over time. In the last few decades, the stereotypes around buying a used car dissolved in practical reasoning. This gave way to the boom of the used car market, which is currently 1.3 times the size of the new car market in India. While buying a used car, one of the chief concerns a buyer has is surrounding the car insurance policy ownership. In this article, we've tried to address this topic by answering the possible questions you may have about used car insurance. Let's get started.

    Why do I need car insurance?

    According to the Motor Vehicles Act, every motor vehicle plying on Indian roads must have a third-party motor insurance policy. Driving any car – old or new – without a valid car insurance plan is illegal and punishable by law. Apart from the legal obligation, there are other vital reasons to procure car insurance.

    • Coverage against risks: A comprehensive car insurance policy for used cars acts in the same way it does for new cars. When you buy a second-hand car, you should get it insured to protect it from all sorts of risks and adversities. Not that it nullifies the chance of a mishap, but it covers the expenses you may incur afterwards.
    • Road accidents: Should a car ever meet with a road accident; car insurance covers damages to the vehicle and death/permanent disablement of the owner-driver. It also covers any third-party liability that may arise due to the collision.
    • Natural calamities: A comprehensive car insurance policy will cover any damage caused to your car by natural disasters like earthquake, storm, flood, volcanic eruptions etc.
    • Third-party liabilities: If your car collides or causes damage to a third-party due to negligent driving, you are required to pay for the damages out of your pocket unless you have a valid third-party car insurance policy. With third-party car insurance, the insurer will take care of all the expenses you owe to a third party.
    • Security against car theft: If you happen to lose your car or if someone steals it, you can claim cover under your car insurance policy. Your insurer will compensate you for the car's value, according to the Insured Declared Value (IDV) fixed at the time of policy purchase.

    So, what happens to my second-hand car's insurance?

    Suppose you have bought a used car with a valid car insurance policy. In that case, you need to transfer the insurance policy in your name when you transfer the used car's ownership. Some people transfer the policy in their names while some opt for a new car insurance policy altogether. Whatever the case is, there is only a 14-day window to transfer a car insurance policy ownership. To transfer the car insurance policy of a used car, you need these documents –

    • Original Registration Certificate (RC) with the new buyer's name
    • Forms 29 and 30 that bears the signature of the previous owner
    • Certificate of insurance
    • A copy of the car policy
    • The transfer fee and the transfer of registration certificate
    • New proposal form
    • New copy of the registration certificate
    • Old policy document
    • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the previous policyholder
    • No Claims Bonus (NCB) difference amount, if there is any

    Now, if you are not lucky enough to have an existing car insurance policy on the second-hand car, don't fret. You can always buy a new car insurance policy for your used car.

    How do I buy car insurance for a used car?

    The process of renewing car insurance or buying new car insurance online is pretty straightforward. First, you need to read about the policy and learn its inclusions/exclusions. You can head to our car insurance page on ICICI Lombard, one of India's reliable insurance providers.

    For getting used car insurance online, you need to visit the our car insurance page and –

    • Enter your mobile number
    • Enter your email address
    • Enter your used car's registration number
    • Click on the 'Get Quote' button

    Consider performing a proper car inspection before buying a car insurance policy. You may be required to furnish the report of the car inspection done by a professional. You should also check the previous insurance claim history.

    The No Claim Bonus (NCB) on a car insurance policy often creates confusion for the new owner of a used car. NCB is the insurer's reward to the policyholder, for not making any claim during the policy year. People often mistakenly think that they are entitled to the NCB benefits as the new policyholder of a used car insurance policy. However, the NCB benefit is for the previous policyholder only. The newest owner of the car is not entitled to any of the NCB benefits.

  • BS4 v BS6: Key Differences, Features and Norms

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

    According to the norms laid down by the Central Government of India, the automotive industry in the country transitioned from BS4 to BS6 from 1st April 2020. BS6 or Bharat Stage 6 (or BS-VI) is the 6th iteration of the emission norm standardised and monitored by the Ministry of Environment and Climate change.

    BS4 vs BS6: What is the BS6 norm?

    Bharat Stage standards are based on the European (Euro) emission norms, a globally revered standard of vehicular pollution control measures. BS6 or Bharat Stage 6 standard is at par with the Euro 6 emission norms.

    BS4 vs BS6: Why did we switch from BS4 to BS6?

    Six among the top ten most polluted cities in the world are from India. The severity of air pollution in the country has worsened over time, and greenhouse emission from the motor vehicles largely contribute to the cause. Realising that something has to be done, the Central Government introduced the emission norms back in 2001. Since then, the policies have only been made tighter.

    BS4 vs BS6: Key differences between BS4 and BS6

    The country shifted from BS4 (BS-IV) to more stringent BS6 (BS-VI) norms. But how do they differ from each other? Let’s take a look.

    • A new BS6 compliant engine now powers new cars and motorcycles
    • BS6 compliant motor vehicles run on more refined BS6 fuel
    • BS6 engines exhaust less volume of harmful gases (nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases)
    • The combination of hydrocarbon and NOx (nitrous oxide) has declined by 43% in the BS6 diesel engines exhausts
    • The BS6 engines running on BS6 fuel produce 50% less the volume of Particulate Matter (both PM2.5 and PM10)
    • The BS6 compliant diesel cars come equipped with Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) to filter the exhaust fume
    • The sulphur content in the BS6-grade fuel has significantly been reduced to 10 PPM (Parts Per Million) compared to the 50 PPM in the BS4-grade fuel; an 80% decline in the PPM volume
    • BS6 vehicles come with built-in Onboard Diagnostic (OD) feature

    BS4 vs BS6: How does BS6 norm help the environment?

    With the air quality worsening in some major Indian cities, it was necessary to take steps to cut down on the pollutants. BS6 or the Euro 6 emission norms address this very need, which is also a global concern. Here are the direct effects of BS6 norms:

    Less sulphur content is better for the environment: With more sulphur content, the motor vehicles emit toxic sulphur dioxide gas in the air. This sulphur dioxide reacts with the water vapour in the air and creates H2SO4 or the dangerous sulphuric acid. This reaction causes acid rain. The reduction in sulphur content in the BS6-grade fuel makes it possible to equip vehicles with better catalytic converters that filter the pollutants.

    Reduced volume of particulate matter: In the BS6-grade fuel, there is a steep decline (50% decline compared to BS4-grade fuel) in the volume of Particulate Matter (PM2.5 and PM10). PM2.5 is a dangerous pollutant that causes lung cancer.

    BS4 vs BS6: Do BS4 vehicles run on BS6 fuel?

    Since the BS6 fuel is more refined, the BS4 vehicles can run on it. At least the petrol vehicles don’t face any hiccup. Further, with BS4 diesel cars, companies have claimed that one may not notice any significant issue in the short run. However, experts have expressed their concern stating that using BS6-grade fuel in the BS4-diesel vehicles may show some early wear and tear signs in the long run.

    That being said, there are numerous active BS4 diesel vehicles on the Indian roads which are running smoothly on BS6-grade fuel.

    BS4 vs BS6: How have the BS6 norms impacted car/motorcycle’s performance?

    When the BS6 norms were implemented, the car and motorcycle manufacturers tuned their engines to comply with the norms. This resulted differently in different segments of vehicles. Some of the cars now produce less power than their BS4 variants, albeit the decline is not that significant. On the flipside, BS6 cars offer a better fuel economy. The result is pretty similar in the case of motorcycles and scooters.

    Also, the on-paper torque figures for both cars and motorcycles have remained unaltered and, in some cases, have even increased slightly.

    It is important to know that with the introduction of BS6 norms, many automobile companies have refrained from launching their diesel vehicles. Whereas, some of the manufacturers have even discontinued their old diesel cars.

  • Have You Purchased Health Insurance For Your Parents? Look At These Benefits

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

    A comprehensive health insurance plan will help cover your parents’ medical expenses as they age.

    As your parents grow older, they become more prone to illnesses and infections, and hence health insurance becomes a necessity.

    Your parents strive hard throughout their lives to provide a comfortable lifestyle and quality education to you. However, in their quest to provide for the family, they may end up ignoring their own needs. As a result, they may be left with minimal savings during the golden years of their lives.

    Therefore, as a responsible son/daughter, it becomes your duty to purchase a reliable health insurance policy for your parents. Many insurance companies in India offer dedicated health insurance plans for senior citizens, keeping in mind the unique medical needs of older people.

    So, if you haven't yet purchased health insurance for your parents, you should do so without any delay. Let's have a look at some of the benefits of procuring health insurance for parents.

    Tackle the increasing healthcare costs

    As the medical inflation rate goes up globally, healthcare costs are rising every year in India too. It means that in case your mother or father falls ill in the near future, you may incur greater expenses for their treatment that what you would assume as per today's treatment rates.

    However, a health insurance policy for your parents may help you tackle these costs. It typically covers healthcare expenses such as hospital room-rent, doctor's consultation fees, costs for buying medicines and other medical supplies, ambulance charges, etc.

    Medical coverage for elderly people

    Most standard health insurance policies provide medical coverage for people only up to the age of 65. It means that after this age, your elderly parents may be left without any medical coverage, which can be very risky.

    By buying a senior citizen health insurance policy, which offers coverage for senior citizens even after the age of 65, you can ensure optimal health coverage for your elderly parents. Some insurers even provide health insurance for senior citizens with an option of lifetime renewability.

    A high sum insured

    The healthcare needs of your parents might be very different from yours. They usually require some extra medical care since their bodies are more prone to infections and illnesses. Therefore, a sum insured sufficient for younger people might not be enough for their older counterparts.

    A senior citizen health insurance policy generally comes with a high sum insured, keeping in mind the additional healthcare needs of older adults. It allows the policyholders to get coverage of up to 25 to 30 lakhs. Some insurers even allow their customers to top-up their sum insured to ensure adequate coverage all the time.

  • Everything You Need To Know About Your Car's PUC Certificate

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

    In 2019, the central government declared a 'war on air pollution' and launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). The programme aims to reduce pollution by 20 to 30 per cent by 2024.

    What exactly is PUC?

    Every car that runs on petrol or diesel emits smoke. If periodic checks aren't conducted to keep this in control, it could lead to massive air pollution. This is where PUC certification comes in.

    Basically, the PUC Certificate is the legal record of a vehicle's pollution levels. The certification mark is provided to vehicles that successfully undergo the PUC test. It shows that the vehicle's emission is within permissible levels and follows all the standard norms. The Indian government's Central Motor Vehicle Act of 1989 has mandated the PUC Certification, which means every vehicle must have a valid PUC.

    Cost and validity

    • The cost of the PUC test is minimal. Based on the vehicle and fuel type, it varies from ₹60 to ₹100.
    • When you buy a new car, it comes with a PUC certificate, which is usually valid for one year.
    • Once this period is over, you have to take the vehicle for periodic checks. New certificates are issued each time, and the older one is then nullified.
    • A new certificate comes with six months' or one year's validity, if and only if the reading is within limits. If the reading fluctuates, the certificate's validity is decided based on that reading.

    Contents of the PUC certificate

    Following are the contents of the certificate:

    • A serial number that helps the testing centre monitor when your car went through the test.
    • The car's registration number.
    • The date on which the test was taken and the expiry date.
    • The actual PUC test reading.
  • How Does Family Size Impact My Health Insurance Cost?

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

    You must take your family size into consideration, to get a health insurance plan that suits best.

    Hectic professional schedules, lifestyle, pollution and accidents are few of the several grim factors that can affect your family's health. The continually rising medical inflation and skyrocketing healthcare prices have made health insurance a must-have for everyone.

    Family health insurance plans protect you from high medical expenses you may incur due to unforeseen hospitalisation of any of your covered family members. Such plans typically take care of hospital bills during medical emergencies or planned medical procedures.

    However, before buying a health insurance plan for your family, you must know the impact of a family's size on the cost of the medical insurance policy. Although a larger family size may escalate the health insurance cost, it does not necessarily mean you will spend more to secure your loved ones.

    How to secure your family's health

    Below are the ways through which you can get your family's health secured:

    Buy individual health insurance plans for different family members

    The first option is to buy separate individual health plans for different family members. Below are the features of such plans:

    • The medical coverage is steady and well-defined. It will not be affected by the claims made by other family members.
    • Coverage is based on the age, health and habits of each member of the family.
    • You can avail medical coverage for anyone in your family with individual policies.

    However, having a separate health insurance plan for each family member can break your bank. Here, your family size directly impacts the premium amount as the number of policies you need to buy increase.

    Buy a family floater plan

    The other and more prudent option is to buy a family floater plan for your entire family. Below are the features of a family floater plan:

    • The medical coverage of other members can change in a particular policy term if one member claims expenses.
    • Children above a certain age cannot be included in family floater plans.
    • The premium is based on all the members covered in the plan.
    • New members can be added to a floater plan with at the time of renewal.

    Impact of family size on the cost of health insurance

    Larger family size does not necessarily mean higher medical expenses. A family of six people may incur lesser medical costs than a family of two, depending on the individual's current health condition. It means a healthy family of six people may utilise its health insurance only once during a year, whereas, a family of two people with existing health issues may need to use their health insurance multiple times.

    However, the size of a family does indeed impact its health insurance premium. The cost of a family health insurance policy goes up every time a new member is added.

    For a better understanding of how family health insurance works, let's study an example.

    Mr X wants to take a health insurance policy that gives coverage to himself, his spouse and two minor children. He gets an insurance coverage of ₹50 lakhs for the four family members combined. The insurance premium is based on Mr X's age since he is the oldest member of his family. It also factors in the other three members he is adding to the plan.

    Suppose, during a policy term, Mr X's wife requires a gall bladder stone removal. She utilises the family medical insurance policy, and the insurance company pays the bill of ₹3 lakhs for it. For the rest of that particular policy term, all Mr X's family members will be eligible for medical claims of up to Rs. 47 lakhs.

    During the same policy term, say Mr X experiences a cardiac event and has to undergo an operation. The insurance company pays the hospital bill of Rs. 7 lakhs for it. So, for the rest of that particular policy term, Mr X's entire family remains eligible for medical claims up to ₹40 lakh.

    In this way, the remaining sum insured continues for the family on floater basis.

  • Avoid These Common Mistakes While Renewing Your Bike Insurance Policy

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

    As per the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, all two-wheelers must have valid third-party insurance to ply on Indian roads. A standard bike insurance policy usually comes with a single year tenure, after which vehicle owners have to renew the policy. If the policy is not renewed on time, the owner may face a fine of ₹2,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 3 months. For a repetitive violation, the bike owner may have to pay a fine of ₹4,000 along with imprisonment for the same term.

    Digitisation has made bike insurance renewal easier, by almost nullifying the paperwork requirements. You can now renew your bike insurance from the comfort of your home by simply entering a few details on the insurance company's website and paying the renewal premium through electronic means.

    However, many two-wheeler owners end up making a few mistakes while renewing their bike insurance policy. These mistakes may result losing benefits or claim-related disputes. Listed below are some such errors which you can easily avoid:

    1. Not claiming your NCB

    The No Claim Bonus (NCB) is the insurance provider's reward to the policyholder for not raising a claim during the policy tenure. Often, customers forget to get this benefit at the time of renewal.

    The NCB is essentially a discount, which you should claim without fail. It reduces the net premium amount that you have to pay for the renewal of your bike insurance policy. You can claim the NCB within 90 days after the policy expiry date. However, we always recommend renewing your bike insurance policy well before the expiry date to ensure optimum coverage.

    2. Overlooking the terms & conditions

    Insurance providers might regularly modify their terms and conditions to abide by the regulatory changes and maintain business proficiency. You should not assume that the policy terms will remain constant. Read all terms and conditions carefully while renewing your bike insurance to know the policy exclusions, and ensure it still covers your requirements

    Knowledge of the terms and conditions will keep you aware of structural changes in your bike insurance policy. Hence, you will be able to make an informed decision regarding the switch to a new insurer. Most importantly, it will keep you informed of what you can rightfully expect as compensation when you make a claim.

    3. Not intimating the insurer about modifications

    Some motorcycle enthusiasts love to customise their rides. If you also make certain modifications to your bike, you must provide the details of each modification to the insurance company at renewal. This will avoid any disputes in the event of a claim.

    Many owners may think it is not a big deal if they do not provide the modification details. However, such negligence may render their cover ineffective and give the company a ground to reject or significantly reduce their claim amount.

    4. Providing incorrect details

    The biggest mistake (which you can easily avoid!) is giving incorrect details while renewing your bike insurance policy. You should carefully type in the details such as registration number, previous policy number, owner's name etc. while applying for renewal of the policy.

    The insurance cover may become invalid if the name of the vehicle owner is found to be incorrect. Hence, you should keep your bike's registration certificate and previous policy document handy while renewing the policy so that you don't miss out on the exact details.

  • Everything You Wanted to Know About COVID-19 Vaccination

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

    India has started its COVID-19 vaccination drive on 16th January, with healthcare workers getting the first jabs.

    2021 started on a promising note with the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approving two vaccines for coronavirus for restricted emergency use. This news brought a sigh of relief, given the virus's toll on all of us last year. With India starting one of the biggest vaccination drives globally, here are some of the finer aspects that you should know.

    Who Will Get Priority in the COVID-19 Vaccination Drive?

    Given our country's vast population, administering the Covid vaccine to all is undoubtedly a challenging task. However, the Government had set its priorities as per the following vaccination sequence:

    Healthcare Workers

    As per the National Expert Group for Vaccine Administration on COVID-19, public and private healthcare workers will get the vaccine first. These workers have been further divided into several sub-categories such as frontline healthcare workers, nurses and supervisors, support staff, paramedical staff, medical officers and students.

    The Government has collected and fed data on all these workers on its CoWIN platform, which it seeks to scale up in the coronavirus vaccination drive.

    Workers Associated With Armed Forces

    Next in the vaccination line come the workers associated with armed forces, state and central police department, municipal workers, revenue officials, home guards, disaster management, and prison staff. Note that all these officials are associated with the containment of COVID-19 and its surveillance.

    Vaccine for coronavirus will also be administered to workers associated with ministries of home, defence, housing and urban affairs.

    Population Above 50 Years

    Next in the line for COVID-19 vaccination comes people above 50 years of age. This group has also been sub-divided into two categories – above 50 and 50-60 years. The Government will use electoral rolls for identifying people in this age group.

    High COVID-19 Infection Areas

    States and union territories will have the flexibility to administer vaccines among identified priority groups in geographical areas with high COVID-19 infection prevalence.

    Rest of the Population

    After covering the above categories, the rest of the population will be inoculated. To avoid overcrowding, everyone will receive the vaccine in a staggered manner.

    Registering for Coronavirus Vaccination

    In the later phase of the vaccination drive, mainly while covering the rest of the population, a self-registration module will be available. To self-register, you need to:

    • Register yourself on CoWIN app
    • Authenticate using any Government ID proof or Aadhaar
    • Once you register, you will get a time and date for vaccination

    Note that there will be no spot registration. Only, if you are a pre-registered beneficiary, can you proceed for vaccination.

    COVID-19 Vaccination Sites

    Depending on the priority groups, sites have been identified where you will receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The sites are:

    Fixed Session Site

    This is a health facility (Government or private) where a medical officer or doctor is present.

    Outreach Session Site

    Session sites other than health facilities, such as community halls, schools, etc., fall under this category.

    Mobile Teams

    Several locations in India are remote and hard to reach. Special mobile teams, planned by the district administration, will reach out to such areas.

    Three Rooms of Vaccination

    There are three dedicated rooms for COVID-19 vaccination. They are:

    Waiting room

    You need to wait your turn in this room.

    Vaccine room

    You will be given the vaccine in this room.

    Observation room

    After receiving the vaccine, you will be kept under observation in this room for half an hour, post which you can go home.

    5-Member COVID-19 Vaccination Team

    A five-member vaccination team will conduct the vaccination process. The team includes:

    • Officer 1: This officer will be in charge of pre-checking registration.
    • Officer 2: This officer will be responsible for authentication.
    • Officer 3: The third vaccination officer will be in charge of administering the vaccine.
    • Officer 4 and 5: These two officers will be in charge of managing the crowd and observation.
  • Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana: Benefits and steps to enrol

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

    With an aim to provide social security to the people belonging to the low-income groups, the Government of India launched AABY on 2nd October 2007.

    As per the Ministry of Labour and Employment data, approximately 93% of India's total workforce is employed in the unorganised sector. Workers belonging to these occupational groups often shy away from buying health insurance coverage due to their poor financial state. However, in case of accidental injuries, illnesses, or death, their families may have to face the excessive financial brunt.

    To provide social security to this section of the population, India launched "Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana (AABY)" on 2nd October 2007. The literal translation of the name is the common man's insurance scheme. It provides coverage against natural or accidental death and disability to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families' breadwinners.

    What is the AABY scheme?

    As specified above, the Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana (AABY) is a social security scheme, launched on 2nd October 2007. It provides health insurance coverage against contingencies such as death or disability. It is targeted towards the breadwinners of low-income families in India, and benefits those working in the unorganised sector, such as daily wage labourers, fishermen, cobblers, auto drivers, etc.

    The AABY scheme started operating successfully from 2013 under the supervision of the Finance Ministry of India.

    Features & benefits of the AABY scheme

    The scheme covers family heads or lone earning members of the families belonging to the low-income groups.

    The coverage amount remains fixed throughout the policy period. The policyholder gets a lump sum in case of a claim.

    In case of the insured person's natural death during the coverage tenure, the nominee or surviving family members will be paid ₹30,000.

    In case of accidental death or total permanent disability (loss of both eyes or both limbs), the policyholder or his/her nominee gets ₹75,000.

    In case of partial permanent disability (loss of one eye or one limb), the policyholder or his/her nominee gets ₹37,500.

    The scheme is designed to cover the members of 48 occupational groups identified by the Government.

    The premium amount that's charged to provide the benefits of AABY scheme is ₹200 per annum. While 50% of this premium will be subsidised from the Social Security Fund, the State Government or Nodal Agency will bear the remaining 50% amount.

    The AABY scheme also offers a free scholarship of ₹100 every month to the eligible children (maximum of two children per person) to ensure that they receive uninterrupted education. The children must be studying between class 9th to class 12th to avail of this benefit.

    By availing the AABY scheme's benefits, the insured person will also be eligible to claim certain tax benefits under Section 80(D) and Section 10(10D) of The Income Tax Act, 1961.

    Insured members can approach their nearest Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) branch to solve their queries or issues regarding this scheme.

    Eligibility criteria for AABY

    As mentioned above, the AABY scheme is meant to benefit the low-income families of India. Below is the basic eligibility requirement for an individual to avail the benefits of this scheme:

    • The applicant should be between 18 to 59 years of age.
    • The applicant should be the head of the family or its lone earning member, belonging to the EWS, i.e. Below the Poverty Line (BPL), or slightly above the poverty line.
    • The individual must belong to a rural landless household.
    • The individual must belong to one of the 48 vocational groups, identified as beneficiaries under this scheme.
    • Only one member per family can be covered under the scheme.
  • Some Common Car Problems You May Face During Winters

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

    It’s crucial to identify and address winter car problems at the earliest.

    A dip in the mercury doesn't affect just you, but also your car. During winters, your vehicle is likely to face several mechanical problems, as its metal tends to shrink. Therefore, you must take precautionary measures and be prepared to deal with problematic situations. Read on to know some common winter car problems and how to overcome them.

    Thickening of fluids

    In places where the temperature reaches sub-zero levels, car fluids such as oil, anti-freeze, etc., tend to become less viscous. As a result, they become less mobile, and their free flow is restricted. This can hamper your car's performance.

    To avoid this, it's advisable to leave your vehicle's engine running for at least 10 to 15 minutes for fluids to warm up. It's also a good idea to change fluids before winters' onset to maintain recommended fluid levels.

    Dead battery

    This is one of the most widely experienced winter car problems. A dip in temperature below the freezing point overworks the battery, causing it to falter. Also, since a lot of energy is soaked from the battery to power different systems such as car heater and fog headlights, the same is likely to diminish its performance.

    A vital step in winter car care involves buying a new battery before the onset of the cold if the current one is already 4 to 5 years old. If you don't intend to do so, do check if the present one can last through the season.

    Failure of wiper

    This problem happens because of the failure to clear the windshields before starting the wipers. During cold weather, wipers freeze to the windshield, and when they are turned on, the blades may tear. Also, as these blades are made from rubber, pressure from ice or snow can break them.

    During winters, one of the basic car maintenance tips is to turn your vehicle's fan controls and heater on. Also, if you live in a place where temperatures drop significantly, consider installing high-quality beam winter wiper blades.

    Freezing of fuel lines

    Another common winter car problem - your vehicle's fuel line may freeze because of condensation forming in the gas tank. The problem amplifies when you are running low on fuel, and cold temperature may prevent the fuel from reaching the car's engine.

    One of the most important winter car care tips to overcome a frozen fuel line is to park your vehicle in a warm area. If you can't find a warm garage, you can place an electric heater near the fuel lines to warm it up. Avoid using an open flame heater if you are using this method, as it can result in an accident.

    Failure of starter motor

    The starter motor helps start your car. During winters, the motor has to work hard to turn the engine on, which puts a lot of stress on it, causing it to fail. While there's nothing much you can do about it, you must continuously avoid cranking the engine.

    Give it a minimum of 25 to 30 seconds to get started. It's also advisable to check for corrosion on the starter terminals and ensure proper insulation from moisture. To prevent starter motor failure, keep the engine in top shape and check out for any unfamiliar sound while starting your vehicle.

    Fluctuation of tyre pressure

    A dip in temperature also results in the fluctuation of your car's tyre pressure. Pressure fluctuates because air when cooled contracts. With a drop in mercury levels, individual molecules take up less space within the tyre. As a result, they exert less force on the walls of the tyres.

    Therefore, you must always check the tyre pressure indicator before starting your car and ensure it's up to the mark. Note that low tyre pressure can also result in a complete blowout during driving, causing an accident.

    Cracking of alternator belt

    An alternator belt is responsible for charging the battery that powers all the electronics in your vehicle. During winters, the alternator belt cracks and a faulty alternator causes electrical and battery issues.

    As fluids thicken, it takes more time for the alternator to charge the battery, and this might cause it to crack. If you get to hear a high-pitched sound while starting your car, then it's an indication of a worn alternator. For a smooth ride, do inspect the alternator and get it replaced immediately if it's faulty.

    Corrosion of spark plugs

    A car's spark plugs ignite the air-fuel mixture. During winters these plugs, which are mostly made of ceramic, crack. Corroded spark plugs will reduce the efficiency of your vehicle, and they also cause starting problems.

    As part of your winter car care, check these plugs before the cold season and get them changed if they are faulty. If you find a drop in acceleration, then it's an indication of faulty plugs.

  • 7 New Year Resolutions to Take Care of Your Health

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

    The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to make some changes to your lifestyle. By making the right health resolutions and sticking to them, you can stay fit all year long.

    Finally, 2020 is gone, and 2021 is here. You must have welcomed the new year with lots of hope and vigour. Keeping behind the sufferings endured by the world due to the pandemic, it's time to be optimistic and think about the future. A new year signals a new beginning and provides an opportunity to take firm steps for a better tomorrow.

    One of the ordinary things that most of us do before starting a year is making new year resolutions. After all, each one of us wants to improve our lives in the upcoming year. However, it's essential to keep our new year resolutions manageable and strategic so that we can strictly follow them.

    According to Nielsen's survey, new year resolutions are mostly centred on staying fit and healthy. So, if you also want to improve your health in 2021, here are some practical new year's resolution ideas you can actually follow:

    Make exercising a daily routine

    There is no better way to stay fit than through daily exercise daily. It will not only help you in keeping your muscles active but in reducing your stress levels. It would help if you made it a habit to exercise daily for at least 40 minutes. What you can do is block a time in your daily calendar, possibly in the morning or evening, to tackle some fitness activities.

    You can start with a simple morning walk and evening walk and gradually move on to activities such as weight lifting, squats, push-ups, etc. If you find it difficult to do these exercises at home, you can join a gym near your residence.

    Start eating a healthy diet

    It's one of the most common new year resolutions that most of us take but often fail to follow. Eating a healthy diet is one of the simplest and sustainable methods to keep yourself fit. It significantly reduces the chances of developing heart diseases and keeps your blood sugar level in check. On the contrary, an improper diet can hamper your development and may cause irreparable damage to your body.

    You should strictly avoid eating junk foods such as chips, soft drinks, candies, etc. Instead, go for whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, milk and fish, as they are rich in nutrients required by your body to function at an optimal level. You can also consult a dietician to get a healthy diet chart for yourself.

    Quit smoking and minimise drinking

    You must be well aware of the ill effects of alcohol and tobacco on your health. They can cause some severe health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, bronchitis, and pulmonary diseases. Hence, if you have a habit of smoking and drinking frequently, you must try to quit it without any delay.

    It may seem like an uphill task in the beginning, but you can start with baby steps. It would help if you aimed to completely give up on smoking and minimise the intake the alcohol.

    Reduce your sitting time and start walking more

    According to health experts, sitting for a prolonged period is considered as bad for the body as smoking. Sitting or lying down for too long can increase the risk of chronic health problems such as heart diseases, diabetes and even cancer. Whether it's because of a sedentary job or inactiveness, most of us prefer to sit more than we should.

    Hence, it would be best if you made it a resolution to reduce your sitting time and instead, indulge in more physical activities. If your job requires you to sit for an extended period, take frequent 10-minute walking or standing breaks.

    Sleep for at least seven to eight hours a day

    Getting adequate sleep is vital for your overall health. Sleep deprivation or inadequate sleep may lead to serious health consequences such as obesity, heart diseases and depression. There can be many reasons for a person not to get enough sleep. It can be due to stress or a sedentary lifestyle. It's crucial to fix these issues and sleep for at least seven to eight hours a day.

  • BS6 Norms and Their Impact on the Two-Wheeler Industry

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    India is home to some of the most polluted cities in the world. As per the data published by the World Health Organisation in 2016, excessive air pollution is the fifth largest reason for deaths in India. In fact, among the top 100 most polluted global cities (in terms of Particulate Matter PM10), 30 cities are from India.

    One of the primary reasons behind India's imprudent air pollution is the harmful emissions from millions of vehicles plying daily on roads. In Delhi alone, vehicular emissions contribute to 59%, 50%, and 18% of the harmful carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrous oxides discharge into the air.

    To curb the perennially rising air pollution in India, the Central Government laid down stricter BS6 emission norms for vehicles in 2017. Further, the Government made it mandatory for all cars and two-wheeler manufacturers to sell and register only BS6 compliant vehicles from 1st April 2020.

    In case you're wondering how the Indian two-wheeler industry has been impacted due to this BS6 norm, this article is for you. Here, you will know everything about the implementation of BS6 emission standard in India and how it will impact the pricing, hardware, fuel, lubricant technology, and manufacturing of the new bikes and scooters. Read on.

    What is BS6 emission standard?

    BS6, or Bharat Stage 6, is the most advanced emission standard for automobiles in India. It is equivalent to Euro VI norms, which is currently in place in various European countries. Considering the constantly rising air pollution in our country, the Indian Government decided to leapfrog directly from BS-4 to BS-6 emission standards to control vehicular pollution.

    Accordingly, the entire automobile industry was asked to phase out all their BS-4 vehicles and sell only BS-6 cars and two-wheelers after the deadline of 1st April 2020.

    How has two-wheeler manufacturing changed due to the implementation of BS6 norms?

    Transitioning from BS4 to BS6 norms requires significant changes in engine technology for two-wheeler manufacturers in India. These changes include improvements in engine combustion and calibration, enhanced fuel injection and cylinder pressures, and after-treatment solutions for NOx and PM.

    The BS-6 norms make it mandatory for two-wheeler manufacturers to introduce a fuel injection system for the first time in India. As an aftereffect of this system, carbon emission from the petrol engines of two-wheelers has reduced significantly. Also, the BS6 engines are observed to be less powerful but more fuel-efficient.

  • Need for Buying Health Insurance in India for Senior Citizens

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    Healthcare costs are constantly rising in India. Reports say India's medical inflation is increasing at 15% every year; almost double the overall inflation rate. It means that a heart surgery that costs ₹2 lakh today will cost approximately ₹5 lakh after seven or eight years.

    Hence, a health insurance policy becomes a necessity for every individual. It protects the insured person from incurring exorbitant healthcare expenditures and ensures that he/she gets necessary medical treatment when required. For senior citizens, a health plan becomes even more crucial since their bodies are weak and more prone to illnesses, infections and injuries.

    If statistics are to be believed, around 47% of India's senior citizens suffer from at least one chronic disease, such as diabetes, depression, asthma, arthritis or angina. To protect the elderly from incurring hefty medical expenses, many insurance companies in India have started offering unique mediclaim policies known as senior citizen health insurance plans.

    These plans are designed to address the precise healthcare needs of senior citizens, i.e. people above the age of 60. Read on to know why health insurance for senior citizens is necessary.

    Tackle skyrocketing healthcare costs

    A medical emergency often comes unannounced. A single instance of hospitalisation can wipe out the entire life’s savings of a person. For example, bypass surgery can cost anywhere between ₹2 to ₹5 lakh, depending upon the hospital. Add to it, the charges for medicines, diagnostic tests, hospital’s room rent, and it can become a mountain of expenses.

    A senior citizen medical insurance policy helps the insured person to tackle unforeseen medical expenditures with ease. It ensures that the policyholder does not have to worry about skyrocketing healthcare expenses and focus only on his/her recovery at the time of a medical emergency.

    Medical coverage for elderly people

    As per the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) guidelines, all standard health insurance policies mandatorily provide medical coverage for people up to the age of 65. It means that after this age, senior citizens might be left without any medical coverage, which can be very dangerous.

    However, a senior citizen medical insurance policy provides coverage for older people up to 85. It means that by buying such policies, senior citizens can ensure optimal health coverage for themselves, even if the standard health plans refuse to cover them. Some insurers even provide health insurance for senior citizens with an option of lifetime renewability.

    Comprehensive medical coverage

    As specified above, a senior citizen health insurance policy is designed to cover the specific healthcare needs of older adults. It provides comprehensive medical coverage by covering various healthcare expenses, including hospital’s room-rent, doctor’s consultation fees, costs for buying medicines and other medical supplies, ambulance charges, etc.

    Additionally, health insurance for senior citizens also provides a cashless hospitalisation facility, which means that the insured person can avail of treatment at any network hospital without paying anything out of his/her pocket at the time of a medical emergency. This saves him/her or his/her children from the hassles of paying hefty hospital bills and then seek reimbursement from the insurer.

    Coverage for pre-existing ailments

    As people grow old, their bodies become frail and start losing their immunity power. Pre-existing diseases may be prevalent in senior citizens while buying a mediclaim policy. A senior citizen health insurance policy provides coverage for most pre-existing ailments in the elderly, albeit with a waiting period.

    It means that after the completion of this waiting period, which is usually two to four years from the policy inception date, the insured senior citizen will be financially covered for the treatment of pre-existing ailments, including diabetes, blood pressure, heart diseases, kidney problems etc.

    Coverage for critical illnesses

    Senior citizens are more susceptible to catching life-threatening diseases or illnesses such as cancer, kidney failure, heart attack, anaemia, liver failure, stroke etc. Treatment of such diseases is usually costly, which be sometimes beyond one’s financial capability.

    Health insurance for senior citizens provides financial coverage to them against treating critical illnesses mentioned in the policy document. Hence, it helps them save lakhs of rupees they may otherwise incur in the absence of a medical cover.

  • How to Get the Best Deal on Car Insurance?

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    Buying a new car fills your heart with joy. Imagine you drive down to your friend's porch to express your happiness and surprise him in your new car. After a short discussion, you find out that you paid an enormous sum on motor insurance compared to him.

    To avoid such a scenario and ensure you get a good deal on your car insurance, you first need to know what factors influence car insurance costs. Read on.

    What factors determine car insurance cost?

    Car insurance cost depends on your driving behaviour

    When renewing car insurance, the insurance providers emphasise your driving behaviour and consider your past claim records. Suppose there are frequent insurance claim requests on your claim history. It implies that the vehicle owner has poor driving behaviour and is likely to claim damages in the future too. In that case, the insurance provider may ask for a higher premium.

    Following traffic rules and careful driving helps to maintain a clean driving record. Additionally, you can avail of a No Claim Bonus (10% - 50% discount on premium) on your renewal premium if you don't make any claims during the policy term.

    Car insurance cost depends on the vehicle make and model

    The car insurance premium depends broadly on the type of car you buy. And it's pretty straightforward. Expensive cars have higher maintenance and repair costs; therefore, the insurance premium for such vehicles is relatively higher. In simpler words, cheaper car models may come with lower insurance premiums. Bear in mind that insurance for diesel cars may cost more than their petrol counterparts.

    On the other hand, you can save considerably on insurance costs if you install safety features (like anti-theft devices) in your car.

    Car insurance cost depends on your car’s age

    Buying comprehensive car insurance for a brand-new car may cost higher than an old model. However, it depends on the insurance provider's policy. Compared to new cars, old vehicles cost less to repair, but they are more susceptible to damage because of wear and tear.

    Now that you know the primary determiners for car insurance price, keep reading to understand how to save on car insurance.

    How do you get the best car insurance deal?

    Take a quote

    You can head here on our website and enter your vehicle details and personal information to take a quote. Once you see the quote, you can customise it with the coverage you need to check the price change. In this way, you can go for the lowest-priced premium on the coverage that suits your needs best.

  • Essential Tips to Renew Car Insurance Online

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    As per the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, it is mandatory for every vehicle plying on Indian roads to have a valid motor insurance policy. Non-renewal of motor insurance can land a vehicle owner in trouble, with a fine of ₹2,000 or imprisonment of up to 3 months, or both. Hence, it's essential to renew your car insurance policy promptly.

    However, before renewing your car insurance, there are certain factors you should keep in mind. For example, rather than physically visiting your insurer's office, you can choose to renew your car insurance policy online. This way, you can complete car insurance renewal quickly and conveniently from the comforts of your home.

    Read ahead to know some useful tips you should keep in your mind while renewing car insurance online.

    Do it yourself

    Rather than depending upon someone else or asking a broker to do it on your behalf, you can always renew your car insurance policy yourself. New-age insurance companies have simplified the process of online car insurance renewal. All you need to do is head here to our website, enter your renewal details and pay the premium online.

    When you renew your car insurance policy yourself, you are in a better situation to analyse your requirements, determine the extent of coverage, and make an informed decision.

    Renew well before the expiry date

    As mentioned before, driving an uninsured car is a punishable offence under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Hence, you should renew your car insurance policy well before its expiry date. Additionally, renewing your car insurance before its expiry date may save you from the hassles of getting your car re-inspected by the insurance provider.

    Also, suppose you fail to renew your car insurance policy even after 90 days of its expiry date. In that case, you will lose out on your accumulated NCB as it will automatically get reset to zero.

    Determine the type of cover

    While renewing your car insurance policy, you can add/modify your policy coverage and add-ons. There are two types of car insurance cover you can avail of – standalone third-party car insurance liability cover or a comprehensive cover (third party liability + own damage cover).

    As per the law, you should mandatorily renew your car insurance policy's third-party component before its expiry date. However, a wise decision is to opt for the comprehensive cover since it also keeps your car financially protected against the damages, should there be an accident or collision.

    Choose the right IDV

    When you opt for a comprehensive car insurance policy, you're required to set an Insured Declared Value (IDV) of your vehicle. This will be the maximum value the insurance provider is liable to pay in case of the total loss of your car.

    It's important to choose the right IDV for your car. In case you choose a lower IDV, you may not get enough compensation if your car gets damaged beyond repairs. On the other hand, if you choose unnecessarily high IDV, it may swell up the premium amount for your car insurance renewal.

    Don't forget to claim NCB

    NCB or No-Claim Bonus is the insurance provider's discount to the policy buyer after every claim-free year. So, if you haven't made any claim during the current policy period, do not forget to claim NCB at the time of renewal. By claiming the NCB, you can get up to a 50% discount on the car insurance premium calculated (for own damage cover), which you need to pay during your car insurance policy renewal.

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