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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  • Is Two-Wheeler Insurance Compulsory for Electric Scooters?

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    With the global temperature on a steady climb, the last thing the world needs is more pollution. When we deplete fossil fuels, we will eventually have to bank on an alternate power source. Many enterprises have realised this need and, therefore, have started manufacturing EVs (electric vehicles). To contribute to a greener future, the Indian automotive industry is making a gradual shift to electric power.

    Although electric vehicles have not been widely accepted by the Indian market yet, they're certainly a part of the future. The government is trying to push it, offering substantial subsidies to customers buying electric scooters or EVs in India.

    What is an electric scooter?

    An electric scooter is a two-wheeler vehicle like any other motorbike or scooter; the only difference is that an electric scooter does not run on petrol or diesel. Instead, an electric motor and a battery power it. Electric scooters cause zero-emission and zero noise pollution – making this category of two-wheelers the most viable alternative to deal with pollution.

    Registration and license: electric scooters in India

    Many prominent automobile manufacturers have introduced their electric scooters in India. And most of them do not require the rider to hold a two-wheeler license to ride e-scooters. Moreover, some e-scooters do not even need registration, which is a mandate for conventional motorcycles.

    The primary reason behind such exclusion is the amount of power the motors produce. Most of the electric scooters in India come fitted with a 250watt motor and can go up to 25kmph. This relatively timid nature of electric scooters eliminates any possibility of over-speeding and, therefore, makes them less vulnerable to possibly fatal accidents.

    This low-power-low-speed is why some of the electric scooters in India don't even need to have insurance. But the high-powered ones have different rules to follow. Keep reading to learn more.

    Two-wheeler insurance for electric scooters

    When it comes to e-vehicles, Indians have widely accepted the e-rickshaws, but the market for electric two-wheelers and EVs is still small. Despite the monetary benefits from the government, customers are shying away from these vehicles. This may be one reason why the government had not laid out any definitive rule or guideline for electric scooters' insurance (especially for the low-speed ones).

    However, there are other electric scooters in India - mighty beasts with high-powered motors that generate huge torque and power. In terms of top speed, these electric scooters are equivalent to their petrol counterparts and can reach up to a rate of 80-90kmph.

    You must hold a valid two-wheeler license to ride one of these powerful electric scooters in India. They also require registration and a valid two-wheeler insurance policy.

    Types of two-wheeler insurance for electric scooters

    If an owner of a two-wheeler vehicle wants to buy a two-wheeler insurance policy, there are two main options to choose from:

    Third-party insurance policy for electric scooters: Third-party insurance is a two-wheeler insurance policy covering only the third-party liabilities. In case of an accident where you hurt someone or damage third party property, this policy will cover the expenses – medical expenses in case of an injury caused to a third-party as well as other damages caused to the victim's vehicle or property. This type of insurance policy does not cover damage to your own scooter.

    Comprehensive insurance policy for e-bikes or electric scooters: In simpler words, this is a more inclusive two-wheeler insurance policy. A comprehensive two-wheeler insurance policy provides optimum cover for the insured vehicle against any man-made or natural disaster. Apart from third party liabilities, this insurance policy covers your scooter's repair expenses in case of accidents, theft and malicious damage.

  • Why Will Vaccinated People Still Need To Wear A Mask?

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    India started one of the most extensive vaccination drives in the world on January 16, 2021.

    The COVID-19 pandemic gripped the world towards the end of 2019. People from all walks of life were affected by the disease, and medical experts worldwide worked relentlessly to discover a vaccine to curb the virus. While Pfizer and Moderna introduced new corona vaccines, India, too, was ahead in the race with its Bharat Biotech International Limited's Covaxin.

    On January 16, 2021, India conducted one of the world's largest vaccination drives with Covaxin and Oxford University-AstraZeneca's Covishield. Our fight against the virus continues, and India's corona vaccine is undoubtedly a ray of hope in this battle.

    To many of us, India's COVID vaccine may seem like returning to the old, everyday life without masks. But is this true? Does COVID vaccine translate to a mask-free life? The answer is no. Medical experts have stated that vaccinated people will still need to wear a mask.

    Here's why.

    The vaccine doesn't show instant effect.

    The corona vaccine has two doses. Don't expect to get immediate immunity from the disease right after the first shot of corona vaccine. The first shot itself will need two weeks for the body to develop antibodies to fight the virus. The second dose of corona vaccine, India (Covishield), is administered only after four weeks of the first dose. This means that your body will need a couple of weeks to develop immunity to the virus.

    There's no 100% protection from coronavirus.

    The corona vaccine has been a breakthrough in fighting the pandemic. However, the clinical trials of the vaccine have been conducted in a controlled environment. Vaccine efficacy can only be determined in the real world when it's administered to people. Whether it's the corona vaccine of India, Pfizer or Moderna, the vaccine's efficacy rate reaches around 90-95% only after the second dose.

    The vaccine doesn't provide 100% immunity from the disease. Besides, the vaccine storage also affects efficacy. It means that you may have a slight chance of contracting the illness despite being vaccinated.

    Vaccination may make you an asymptomatic carrier.

    Pizer and Moderna vaccine trials had found vaccinated people get the viral infection without the symptoms. This proves that vaccinated people can be asymptomatic carriers of the disease. Besides, the corona vaccine is injected into the muscle. If the virus enters your respiratory tract, the vaccine aids the body to develop antibodies to avoid the virus from entering your system.

    However, the virus may still exist in your nose or mouth, and thus you may spread the disease to others through sneezing or coughing.

    You may spread the virus to low-immunity people.

    Continuing the above point, despite vaccination, you may still pose a threat to those who have not been vaccinated. Pregnant and breastfeeding women may avoid the vaccine. People who develop allergic reactions to the vaccine ingredients will also be instructed not to take the second dose. Besides, the vaccine trials didn't include people with chronic illness such as cancer and heart disease.

    The efficacy of the vaccine on these people may not be certain. So, cancer patients and low-immunity people may get infected with the virus even from a vaccinated person. Hence, after vaccination, you should be wearing the mask to ensure you don't infect people who are not vaccinated or belong to the low-immunity category.

    We are not yet closer to herd immunity.

    The COVID-19 virus may eventually be curbed after we achieve the 'herd immunity'. This means a maximum number of people would require the corona vaccine for immunisation against the disease. However, we are still in the nascent stage of the vaccination drive. We still have miles to walk in terms of distributing and administering vaccines across the country.

    You need to protect yourself and others from the new COVID variant.

    A new variant of coronavirus has been identified and is claimed to be more contagious by the medical experts worldwide. If you are vaccinated but don't wear a mask, you may transmit the coronavirus's new variants to others. Hence, after vaccination, you need to wear a mask to avoid possible infections to yourself and others from the new strain of coronavirus.

    The above reasons justify the need for people to wear a mask even after getting the vaccine. However, despite Government warnings and reiteration of safety guidelines, many people avoid wearing masks in public places. If vaccinated people travel without face covers, it can make it difficult for the Government to control the pandemic.

    Hence, even if you take the corona vaccine in India, make sure you follow these safety measures:

    • Maintain six feet of social distance from everyone
    • Wear your mask when you step out of your home
    • Clean your hands frequently with soap or hand sanitiser
    • Avoid going to crowded places as much as possible

    Till we receive guideline changes from the medical experts, it's best to not consider the corona vaccine as the permanent protection from the disease.

  • Debunking 10 Common Cancer Myths

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    The term "cancer" strikes fear in the minds of most people. Cancer is a life-threatening health condition in which body cells starts to mutate and multiply uncontrollably, affecting standard cell mechanisms. As a result, the vilified cells start spreading to other body parts and damage the tissues, which may prove to be fatal in certain cases.

    It's crucial to spread awareness about cancer, and it is equally important to stay away from cancer myths and misconceptions. The internet is flooded with misinformation related to cancer that can stop people from getting diagnosed on time and availing proper treatment. It can also trigger panic and contribute to social stigma and taboo that usually surrounds this disease.

    In this article, we've tried to present cancer myths vs facts to make you more aware of this disease. So, here are some common cancer myths debunked by us:

    Cancer Myth #1: Cancer means a death sentence.

    One of the most common misconceptions regarding cancer is that it may prove to be fatal. However, this is not true in most cases. With modern medicines and advanced technology, cancer can be treated if detected during the early stages. According to the estimates, about 40% of cancer patients get cured and become disease-free within 5 years.

    Cancer Myth #2: Cancer is a contagious disease.

    This is another prevalent cancer myth among some people. However, the fact is that cancer is not at all a communicable disease. Unlike other contagious diseases, which are caused by the spread of virus or bacteria, cancer is caused by cellular changes in the body. It means that though cancer can spread within the infected person's body, it cannot be transmitted from one person to another.

    Cancer Myth #3: Cancer is hereditary.

    Many people believe that if someone in a family gets diagnosed with cancer, his/her off-springs will also develop the disease. However, it's not entirely true. Although there is a possibility of cancer transfer due to genetic mutation, its chances are very narrow. In fact, only 5 to 10 per cent of cancer cases occur due to genetic mutation.

    Cancer Myth #4: I won't get cancer as I have no family history of cancer.

    As mentioned above, a genetic mutation can cause cancer in the off-springs, albeit very rarely. However, this does not mean that you will never get this disease if you have no family history of cancer. Cancer is caused by cellular changes in the DNA, which may be due to specific environmental and lifestyle factors such as excessive air pollution, exposure to harmful radiations, smoking, drinking etc.

    Cancer Myth #5: Consuming sugar aggravates cancer.

    Although studies have shown that cancer cells absorb more sugar (or glucose) than normal cells, there is no scientific evidence to prove that consuming sugar or sweet foods can aggravate cancer. Nevertheless, it's best to avoid a high sugar diet, as it can lead to obesity, increasing the risk of developing several types of cancer.

    Cancer Myth #6: Surgery or biopsy may cause cancer to spread.

    Many cancer patients undergo surgery to remove the cancer-causing tumour or biopsy to collect a small tissue specimen for laboratory testing. Although it's theoretically possible that surgery can cause cancer to spread in the body, the chances of this eventuating are meagre. Modern-day doctors are equipped with sufficient technology and medical procedures to prevent this from happening.

    Cancer Myth #7: Negative attitude reduces the chances of recovery.

    Though negativity is never a good thing, it does not reduce the chances of recovery for a cancer patient. At least, there is no scientific evidence to validate such a statement. It's normal for a person who has cancer to experience myriad negative emotions, including anger, frustration, sadness etc. However, by keeping a positive attitude, he/she can avoid stress during the treatment.

    Cancer Myth #8: Cancer treatment will make you bankrupt.

    Though cancer treatments are very costly, they will certainly not make you bankrupt if you plan your finances. Many NGOs and Government schemes can provide financial assistance to cancer patients and help them through difficult times.

    You can also purchase a health insurance plan with a cancer cover to keep yourself financially secured. If you opt for an add-on cover, you may receive a lump sum amount, which can help tackle the astronomical treatment costs.

    Cancer Myth #9: If I feel a lump in my breast, it's cancer.

    If you feel a lump in your breast, it's not necessarily a tumour or cancer. The National Breast Cancer Foundation says, "Only a small percentage of breast lumps turn out to be cancer". However, it does not mean that you should ignore such conditions. In case you notice a lump in your breast, you should visit a doctor and get yourself checked.

  • Will the Future of Indian Car Industry Move to Electric Vehicle Technology?

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    Keeping in mind environmental concerns and the population’s reliance on fossil fuels, the Indian Government plans to move towards complete e-mobility by 2030. In the Climate Risk Index 2020 released by GermanWatch, India ranked fifth in the global vulnerability ladder. This makes it all the more critical for India to adopt electric vehicle technology.

    However, despite concerted efforts by the Government, sale of electric cars and two-wheelers in India hasn't reached its pinnacle yet. According to a study by Castrol, most new car buyers in India won't be purchasing electric vehicles until 2025. Many reasons can be attributed to this slow sale of electric cars in India, such as lack of infrastructure, high car pricing, and the time-taking battery charging process. We recommend you to buy a car insurance with your brand new electric car to ensure protection against any unforeseen circumstances.

    What exactly is an electric car?

    An electric vehicle or an e-car runs on an electric motor instead of conventional petrol, diesel or CNG engine. It gains its power by utilising the electricity stored in the motor's battery. Here, the electric motor does the job of a fuel engine. You can recharge the battery of an e-car again and again. Today, there are three kinds of electric cars available in India:

    • Solar-powered electric cars which can be recharged using solar energy
    • Hybrid electric cars, which can be powered by both internal combustion and battery
    • Electric cars which are entirely battery-operated

    What are the advantages of using electric cars?

    Apart from being environment-friendly, electric cars offer dramatically lower operating and maintenance costs as compared to conventional petrol and diesel cars. Let's look at some of the advantages of using an electric vehicle:

    • Puts the environment first

      Electric cars are environment-friendly. Since they derive their power from a battery instead of internal combustion engines, they do not produce any emissions. Thus, electric mobility can help a long way in reducing air pollution in urban Indian cities.

    • Lower operational costs

      On average, electric cars usage may help a person reduce up to 70 to 80 per cent of his/her fuel expenses. From the maintenance point of view, electric vehicles have 75 per cent fewer moving components than conventional cars, which translates into lower maintenance bills.

    • More savings

      The Government of India has taken several steps to increase e-mobility in the country. One of them is offering reductions in road tax charges and vehicle registration fees for electric vehicles. The Government also provides subsidies and incentives to the consumers purchasing electric cars.

    • Reduction in BoP deficit

      India needs to import oil from foreign countries to meet its citizens' demands. In the financial year 2019-20 alone, India imported crude oil worth 120 billion dollars, which increased its Balance of Payment (BoP) deficit with foreign countries. Switching to electric cars can help in reducing this deficit.

    Are electric cars gaining popularity in India?

    Though electric cars' sales were not too encouraging during the initial years, it's slowly gaining popularity among the Indian car buyers. Many top automobile manufacturers, including Hyundai, Tata Motors, Mahindra and Renault, have come up with some best electric cars for the Indian market. These cars are loaded with features and do not compromise on the power factor.

    As per Google trends, electric cars' interest among the common Indian consumers has risen during the last few years. According to industry leaders, the future of the automotive industry in India looks to be electric. There also comes a need of having a motor insurance with your future electric vehicle, because these revolutionary innovations still don't guarantee to safeguard your vehicle under some unforeseen incidents.

  • Top Fitness Tips for Working Women

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    Health is wealth - this is what we've grown up learning. However, many working women end up compromising their health due to stress at work or the constant effort to juggle home and office duties. As a result, many women are becoming victims of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension etc. That's why this International Women's Day, we thought of helping out by putting together a few helpful health tips.

    In this article, we've listed tips for working women, which can help improve overall fitness and enhance productivity at the workplace. If you're a working woman, you do not have to disturb your busy schedule to follow these tips. All you need to do is make small adjustments to your daily lifestyle and habits.

    1. Don't skip breakfast 

    Working women may be hard-pressed for time in the morning, which may lead to skipping breakfast at times. However, a healthy breakfast with ample inclusion of fibre, protein and carbs is imperative. Also, breakfast is the first thing you eat in the morning, and therefore, it should be healthy and nutritious.

    Ideally, your breakfast should include foods that can provide energy and also keep you full till lunch. For example, eggs, milk, oats, fruits, cereals, etc.

    2. Avoid junk food

    Working women may have very tight schedules with lesser free time. This means no time to prepare healthy snacks; ergo, eating junk food becomes common when hunger pangs strike. However, this can lead to health issues since they usually contain fewer nutrients and more unhealthy ingredients.

    Hence, you must remove oily or sugary snacks from your daily routine. Instead, it would help if you switched to healthy snacks like nuts and dry fruits, roasted makhana, fruits, or homemade energy bars. This will help you maintain optimum body weight, and minimise the risk of several diseases.

    3. Take breaks to stay active

    Sitting for prolonged hours can have a detrimental effect on your body. Besides being bad for your mental health, it increases the risk of chronic health problems such as diabetes, and heart diseases. Hence, it's crucial to take breaks between your working hours and involve yourself in some physical activities to stay active.

    For example, you can stand up during meetings or try a stand-up desk while working. You can take short walks with your colleagues at break time. Such activities will not only help you stay fit and healthy but also increase your energy levels leading to better productivity.

    4. Drink lots of water throughout the day

    Dehydration is common among office goers, who may forget to refill their bottles or sip on water throughout the day while working. However, dehydration can lead to headaches, poor digestion and other issues. Hence, drinking enough water is essential.

    If possible, keep a bottle on your desk at work. You can also have other fluids like buttermilk, coconut water or energy drinks to increase your liquid intake. If you forget to drink water, you can try using a mobile app that gives you reminders.

    5. Minimise your intake of empty carbs

    Cookies, cakes, chocolates, chips, etc., are not suitable for regular consumption. This is because they don't contain much fibre or protein, just empty carbs. They will increase your blood sugar level by producing more insulin in the body, which may lead to obesity and diabetes.

    Therefore, you should refrain from including excessive carb-rich foods in your daily diet. Instead, your daily diet should contain food items rich in proteins, calcium, vitamins, and minerals.

    6. Follow an effective exercise routine

    Exercising daily is a must if you want to stay fit. More so, if you're a working woman, you must never undermine the importance of exercising daily. It will keep you healthy, improve your overall stamina, and reduce the risk of developing several diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular problems. More importantly, it will improve the quality of your life.

    Therefore, you must create an effective daily exercise routine for yourself and follow it without fail. Your daily exercise routine must include warm-up exercises along with strength training. If you feel comfortable with time, you can also include high-intensity interval training in your daily fitness regime.

  • Essential Parts of Your Two Wheeler You Should Know About

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    Two-wheelers are one of the most convenient and cheapest modes of commuting in India. Not only do they help you cover short distances in no time but they are also fuel efficient. Few things in this world can match the thrill and excitement of riding a two-wheeler. If you happen to be a bike enthusiast, you must be well-versed with the different parts of your all-weather companion on the road.

    However, not many people have deep knowledge about the essential parts that are common to every two-wheeler. If you're also among one such person, this article is for you. Here, we have listed and described some basic two-wheeler spare parts, including engine, gear, clutch, accelerator, brakes, tires, fuel tank, and exhaust pipe. We've also listed some two-wheeler maintenance tips. Read on.

    1. Engine

    The engine of a bike or scooter is often called its heart. This is what powers a two-wheeler and is responsible for its performance. The combustion of the fuel takes place in an engine and after that, other parts of the vehicle start moving. For bikes, the engine is usually located on the front, whereas, for scooters, the engine is on the rear side.

    Regular inspection and servicing are essential for the longevity of the engine. Hence, you must take your two-wheeler for servicing every four to six months to keep its engine fresh and efficient. You should also add an Engine Protect Cover to your two-wheeler insurance policy, which will cover the repair expenses for regular wear and tear of your bike's engine. Our Private Car Package Policy comes with an Enginel Protect Plus add-on, which you can purchase at a nominal extra premium.

    2. Brakes

    Brakes are one of the most important components of a two-wheeler. They are used to decrease the speed of the vehicle. There are two types of brakes – disc brakes and drum brakes. You need to apply the brakes when you halt your moving vehicle.

    In the case of motorcycles, the front-tyre brake is located on the right-hand side of the handlebar whereas the rear-tyre brake is presented in the form of a lever that the rider can press with his/her right leg. In the case of scooters or mopeds, both the brakes are located on the handlebar.

    3. Tyres

    The tyres separate a vehicle from the road. As the name suggests, every "two-wheeler" is equipped with two tyre – one at the front and one at the rear. There are two types of tyre – tubeless tyre and tube tyre. Different thread patterns are designed on a tyre's surface to ensure adequate grip and friction with the road.

    Note that you should maintain an optimum tyre pressure all the time. It will help you maintain the balance of your bike, and also increase the fuel efficiency of your two-wheeler. Also, when the thread patterns of your bike's tires start flattening, you should change them.

    4. Clutch and gear

    Clutch and gear are a set of components that are exclusive to motorcycles or bikes. While the gear is used to control motion and torque, the clutch is used to apply brakes and change gears during the ride. Gears are usually presented as a lever that the rider can press with his/her left leg, whereas the clutch is located on the left-hand side of the handlebar.

    Like other mechanical parts, the clutch and gears of a motorcycle should be serviced regularly. The clutch should be adjusted to allow an optimum level of free play. An over-tightened clutch could cause difficulty in riding and also reduce the fuel efficiency of the motorcycle.

    5. Accelerator

    Accelerator is another important component, which is present in both bikes and scooters. It is present in the form of a throttle on the right-hand side of the handlebar of every two-wheeler. The accelerator is used to increase the speed of the vehicle while riding. When a rider revs up the accelerator in a clockwise direction, the speed of his/her two-wheeler increases.

    6. Exhaust pipe

    Exhaust pipe of a two-wheeler acts as a funnel, diverting high-pressure exhaust gases and releasing them into the atmosphere. It is also known as a silencer or front pipe in India. The exhaust pipe is usually made up of mild steel that may or may not be coated with grades of stainless steel.

    It's very dangerous to ride a two-wheeler with a choked exhaust pipe. This can cause harmful gases to accumulate within the gas chamber, leading to a blast in a worst-case scenario. Therefore, you should regularly clean your bike's exhaust pipe and ensure that there's no rusting at its surface.

    7. Fuel tank

    As the name suggests, the purpose of a fuel tank is to store fuel. The capacity of the fuel tank varies from vehicle to vehicle and it can range between 5 to 15 litres for a two-wheeler. There is a cap on the top of the fuel tank which is used to suffuse petrol into it. The fuel tank is usually located above the engine.

  • Why You Must Review Your Health Insurance Every Year

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    Benjamin Franklin said, "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." These wise words have improved our lives in many ways. But we can all agree that adhering to such wisdom and routine has become a lot more difficult in this fast-paced time. Despite getting exercise and following a healthy diet, people fall sick sometimes. Even in the absence of illness, sometimes a minor accident can also land someone in the hospital. And with the rising healthcare expenses, having health insurance becomes more important than ever in such scenarios.

    In our ever-changing lives, nothing is permanent. We grow up, meet new people, events in our lives change, and with that, our needs change, demands change. When change is the only constant, why should the health insurance policy be the same? Should it not undergo a review? It should!

    Now, if you have any doubts in mind regarding why you must review your health insurance plans annually, we will clear them out. Please keep reading.

    1. Changing lifestyle

    Over the last few decades, our lives have gradually become tech-dependent. However, the changes are happening at a tremendous pace in recent times. A global pandemic has disrupted our lives, forcing us to adapt to a sedentary lifestyle. A year-old health insurance policy may not suffice to deal with the present necessities in such a scenario. Therefore, reviewing your health insurance before the time of renewal becomes crucial.

    2. Pre-existing diseases

    When buying a health insurance policy, you must have noticed that there are waiting periods for some diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, etc. These are called pre-existing diseases (PEDs), and the waiting period for these generally lasts 2-4 years. Within this period, the incumbent or the policyholder doesn't get insurance cover for that disease.

    When you review your health insurance plan, it helps you learn and understand the pre-existing waiting period better. If you have been diagnosed with any such disease, you can notify your insurer about the same.

    3. Changing life events

    As time passed by, some of us grew up, and some grew old. You can probably look back in time and realize how much things have changed in your life. Major life events like getting married, becoming a parent, changing jobs, and changing cities, etc., demand a lot more than there is. For example, after marriage, the number of family members may increase.

    The case is quite similar to your health insurance policy; it was probably enough a year ago, but now it's not. Therefore, before the renewal time, you should review your health insurance plan. You can add new members, such as a spouse or child, into your policy at the time of renewal.

    4. Ensure adequate cover

    As science progressed, the Indian healthcare system witnessed a rise in the use of advanced machinery. Rigorous research in medical science has invented technologies that can diagnose diseases at an early stage. However, such advanced treatments don't come cheap. Review your health insurance policy to ensure that it provides adequate cover, should you ever need them. For instance, you can look at the family health insurance, which covers modern treatments.

    Not only advanced treatment, but the overall healthcare service has also become a lot expensive these days. Consider reviewing your health insurance policy before you renew it. It is vital to learn if your health insurance covers most diseases, whether the waiting period is less, or if the premiums are justified.

    5. Grab the additional sum insured

    Suppose you haven't made a single claim during your insurance cover period. In that case, you are more likely to get an additional sum insured (ASI) upon renewal of your health insurance policy. Every reputed insurance company follows this practice to incentivize the insurance buyer. Every year, you must review your health insurance policy to rip the benefit of ASI, which can go as high as 100% - 150%.

    Failing to review your health insurance policy, you will not only lose out on your ASI benefits but may also end up going for a medical check up again.

    6. New add-ons and covers

    Insurance companies are launching new products and services every year to outperform their competitors. It means you can get improved services, new riders, better cover, etc., by paying the same or a little higher premium. For e.g. ICICI Lombard Complete Health Insurance recently got upgraded with lots of new add-ons, including Air Ambulance, Worldwide Cover, etc. Only an annual review of your health insurance can get you the best deal.

    Standing at this point in the article, we hope you have learnt the importance of reviewing your health insurance plans. Nonetheless, to help you further in the cause, here are some quick tips that you should keep in mind:

    • Review the health insurance plan your employer provides you and ensure it offers adequate health coverage.
    • Check the cost of critical medical care, e.g., treatment for cancer, heart diseases, fractures, childbirth, accidental cover, etc.
    • Review the co-payment clauses.
    • Check whether the insurance provider has a good claim settlement ratio for the last 5 years.
    • Enquire about the network of cashless healthcare facilities, i.e., hospitals, diagnostic centres, etc.
    • If you are going to live in another city, consider the cost of healthcare in the new city.
  • Illegal Car Modifications You Need to Avoid

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    We all love our cars, no matter what their make and model may be. Many of us want to make our vehicle stand out from others on the road. That is why we sometimes opt to modify our cars with aftermarket products or accessories. Car modification may include as little as putting a tint film on window glasses, to as much as changing the entire look of the car with spoilers, alloy wheels, etc.

    However, did you know that not all car modifications are legal in India? Any illegal changes to your car may land you in trouble. It can either lead to your car getting seized or you being penalised by the traffic cops. Hence, before you take your car out for any modification, you must know about the illegal car modifications not allowed in India.

    In this article, we've listed some of India's most common illegal car modifications, as described under the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988. Read on.

    1. Tinted window glass with less than 50% visibility

    This is one of the most common illegal car modifications many people make to their car. Unless you're a VIP or VVIP, applying tint film on your car's window glasses which reduces visibility by more than 50% is illegal in India. You cannot even use sunshades on your car's windowpanes as per the latest laws.

    As per rule 100 of the Central Motor Vehicles Act (CMVA) of 1988, the glass of the windscreen and rear windows of all cars in India should have minimum visibility of 70%. Also, as per the Motor Vehicle Act, motor insurance is mandatory while driving a vehicle. Whereas, for glasses of cars' side-windows, a minimum visibility of 50% is compulsory. Anything less than that, and you would be on the wrong side of the law.

    2. Using fancy and loud horns

    This is another common traffic law that many car owners flout in India. Changing a car's horn with a different sound or enhanced loudness is something many people prefer in our country. However, the Government of India has laid down a prescribed set of guidelines for the horns of cars running in the country.

    As per these guidelines, horns louder than 100 decibels are not allowed for general cars or four-wheelers. It means that if you install fancy aftermarket horns in your car – such as sirens or pressure horns – you could be penalised as per the existing motor vehicle laws.

    3. Installing loud exhaust pipes or silencers

    Exhaust pipes are located at the back-bottom of a car and act as a passage for the exit of high-pressure exhaust gases into the atmosphere. They are also known as silencers in India. The company-fitted exhaust pipes in cars have catalytic converters and hence, they not only regulate the amount of emissions that are released into the air but also controls the overall sound levels.

    Installing aftermarket exhaust pipes that are fancy and loud are illegal in India under rule 120 of the CMVA. It's because they can cause more air as well as noise pollution. Further, such exhaust pipes may not be fit to conduct a Pollution Under Control (PUC) test, which is mandatory to drive a car in India.

    4. Use of fancy registration plates

    Many people in India wish to install designer registration/number plates on their cars. These fancy number plates come in various shapes and sizes. If you also have the same wish, remember that not all fancy registration plates are legal in India.

    As per the Motor Vehicle laws, all new cars are required to have IND embossed high-security registration plates (HSRPs) only. In the case of old cars, the car owner needs to make sure that the letters on the number plate are in a legible font and not something fancy. In case a traffic police officer catches a car driver with an illegal number plate, he/she might have to shell out hefty fines.

  • Here's How You Can Claim Third-Party Two Wheeler Insurance

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    As per the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, third-party motor insurance is mandatory for all types of vehicles running on Indian roads. If someone is caught driving without a valid third-party insurance policy, he/she may have to pay a fine of up to ₹2,000 or face imprisonment for up to three months, or both.

    Hence, buying a third-party bike insurance policy is not a choice for two-wheeler owners in India but a mandatory obligation by law. But, do you know what exactly is third-party insurance, what are its benefits, and how to claim third-party insurance?

    In case you don't, this article is for you. Continue reading.

    What is third-party two-wheeler insurance?

    Third-party two-wheeler insurance protects the owner-driver of the insured vehicle against any legal liabilities that may arise in case his/her vehicle causes death, bodily injuries, or property damages to an unknown third party. It means that in case an insured vehicle gets involved in an accident and causes financial loss or damage to a third party, the insurance provider takes care of the legal expenses.

    As stated previously, a third-party insurance  policy is mandatory for all bikes and scooters running on Indian roads. A rider must carry the policy document all the time while riding his/her two-wheeler. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) fixes the premium amount for third-party insurance for different vehicles.

    What is covered by third-party insurance?

    The mandatory third-party insurance covers legal liabilities that can be claimed by a third party only when the owner or driver of the insured vehicle is at fault. It provides coverage for the following conditions:

    • Cover for third-party death or bodily injuries
    • When an insured two-wheeler causes bodily injuries to a third party, with the rider of the two-wheeler at fault, the third-party insurance will cover the hospitalisation or treatment costs of the injured person(s). In case the insured two-wheeler causes the death of a third party, the insurer will pay a compensation amount (as decided by the tribunal court) to the victim's kin.

    • Cover for third-party property damage
    • When an insured two-wheeler gets involved in an accident and causes damage to the surrounding property, the third-party insurance provider pays for financial losses to the victim. There is no limit on the maximum coverage amount for death or injury, but for compensation against property damage, the maximum coverage is capped at ₹7.5 lakhs.

    • Personal accident cover
    • Along with the basic liability cover, you can also include a personal accident cover of up to ₹15 lakh for the owner-driver of the vehicle. It means that in case the owner of the two-wheeler gets injured during an accident, the vehicle's insurance will cover the costs required for his/her treatment or hospitalisation.

    How to file a third-party insurance claim?

    The claim process for third-party two-wheeler insurance is a bit complex. You need to remember that the claim is entertained only if the victim or claimant can prove that the owner or driver of the insured vehicle was at fault, due to which the accident took place. A special tribunal court decides whether the insurer should pay the compensation to the victim and how much amount should be paid to him/her.

    Below are the steps in which you can register a third-party insurance claim:

    Click photographs or record visuals of the damages suffered by you.

    Note down the registration details of the vehicle which caused the damage. If possible, also note the contact number and details of the third-party insurance policy.

    Check if someone witnessed the accident and note their contact details. These eye-witnesses will be of great importance later.

    Register an FIR at the police station under whose jurisdiction the accident took place. You need to mention the exact details of the accident in your FIR.

    Register a case with the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal court with the help of a lawyer. You need to prove in the court that the vehicle owner was guilty by furnishing relevant documents, photos and videos, and eye-witnesses.

    The tribunal court will decide the compensation amount (if at all) the insurance provider needs to pay to you.

    Things to keep in mind while filing the claim

    Chances are that the tribunal court might reject your claim if it does not find it valid. Below are the things you should keep in mind while the third-party insurance claim:

    • Avoid running from the accident spot.
    • Try to take as many photos and videos before letting the vehicle(s) move.
    • Be honest. Don't exaggerate the accident to get your claim passed.
    • Seek immediate medical help in case of serious injuries.
    • Avoid any monetary settlement at the accident spot. Take the legal route.
    • Collect as much evidence as you can to substantiate your claim.
    • Be patient with the process. Don't get panic or angry.
    • Co-operate with different authorities at different stages.
    • Ensure proper documentation through the claim settlement process
  • Explained - How the Second Wave of Coronavirus in India is More Severe & Different

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    A record 2,16,828 new Covid-19 cases were recorded in India on 15th April, 2021. As a result, many states went into complete lockdown.

    The spread of coronavirus during the start of 2020 wreaked havoc in the entire world. More than 100 million people got infected with the virus, resulting in the death of more than 2 million people. India was no different, with more than 10 million cases and around 1 lakh deaths due to coronavirus. India ranked third among the worst affected countries after the USA and Brazil.

    When the coronavirus vaccine in India was launched on 16th January 2021, we all thought the pandemic days are gone and started to breathe freely. However, the joy was short-lived. The disease hit the country even harder in the form of the second wave of coronavirus. As a result, the number of coronavirus cases in India started going up rapidly, and this time the symptoms were even more severe.

    As per the official records, as many as 2,16,828 new Covid-19 cases were recorded in India on 15th April 2021. This was the highest number of cases recorded in our country in a single day till date. As a result, many state governments, including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Delhi, and West Bengal, announced either complete lockdowns or night curfews.

    A negative Covid-19 report obtained within 72 hours was also made mandatory by many state governments for air travellers from other states of India. This article explains how this second wave of coronavirus in India is different and more severe than the first wave. Continue reading.

    First wave vs. second wave

    The recent surge in Covid-19 cases in India is more rapid than the first wave during August to October last year. The cases have been rising at double the pace in the second wave of coronavirus in India. While it took 32 days for cases to rise from 18,000 to 50,000 during the first wave, it took only 17 days to rise from 18,377 to 50,000 during March 2021.

    The total number of cases being recorded in a single day is also much higher during the second wave. During the first wave, the highest number of cases recorded in a single day stood a little over 1 lakh. However, the number of cases in a single day during the second wave has already reached the figure of 2 lakh, while many fear the worst is yet to come.

    India becomes the second worst-hit country in the world

    After the onset of the second wave of coronavirus, India overtook Brazil to become the second worst-hit country in the world. So far, the country has recorded around 1.4 crore Covid-19 cases, which keeps it only behind the USA (3.27 crore cases). India surpassed Brazil in terms of the total number of Covid-19 cases only in April 2021 after staying in the third position for several months.

    When it comes to the total caseload, Maharashtra remains the worst-hit state during the second wave as well, followed by Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Kerala. Along with the number of active cases, the fatality rate has also gone up during the second wave of coronavirus in India. The death count on 14th April stood at 1,72,085 with 1027 new fatalities, the highest since 18th October 2020.

    What's different during the second wave?

    According to the experts, the rapid spread of coronavirus in India during the second wave is mainly because of two reasons – first is the presence of new homegrown variants and second is the absence of a lockdown. The laxity in preventive measures coupled with several mass gatherings across the country has resulted in a nationwide crisis.

    Also, unlike the first wave, the surge in cases is restricted to only a few states during the second wave. According to the Ministry of Health, five of the worst-hit states cumulatively account for 80% of the fresh coronavirus cases in India. These states have started to witness a shortage of hospital beds, oxygen cylinders, medicines, and even spaces in morgues and crematoriums.

    Moreover, unlike the previous wave when the vaccine was in its initial stages of development, India now has two coronavirus vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin. Even though we are far from achieving herd immunity against this disease, the ongoing vaccination drive can make a big difference in the fight against the Covid-19.

    Are more young people getting infected?

    Since December 2020, those below the age of 45 accounted for almost 60% of the new covid-19 infection cases in India. In Maharashtra, which the worst-hit state, people below the age of 40 accounted for approximately 48% of the cases recorded between January to March this year. Whereas, in Karnataka, 47% of those who tested positive between this period were aged between 15 to 45 years.

    However, the death rate due to coronavirus is still the lowest among this age group. Almost 55% of those who died of this virus were aged 60 or above. There are also concerns about the children getting affected at a higher rate during the second wave. Experts believe that this may be because most people above the age of 45 have received vaccines by now and hence, may have become immune to the disease.

  • Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana: Eligibility, Tax Benefits, Interest Rates

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    An SSY account can be opened by the parents or legal guardians of a girl child who is below the age of 10.

    With an aim to address the declining sex ratio and increasing cases of sexual discrimination, the Government of India launched a social campaign known as "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao" on January 22, 2015. The literal meaning of this campaign translates to, "Save daughters, educate daughters".

    The main objective of this campaign was to achieve three main concerns:

    • Stop gender discrimination and abolish the practice of female foeticide
    • Ensure survival and optimum protection of girls in India
    • Provide proper education and work opportunities to girls

    Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY) was one of the Government's pet schemes launched under the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign. The main aim of this scheme was to help parents or legal guardians of girl children to raise corpus for their wedding and higher education. Keep reading to know more details of this scheme.

    What is Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY)?

    As stated above, the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is aimed at tackling two main issues associated with a girl child in India – her education and marriage. This scheme focuses on ensuring a bright future for girls in India by helping their parents build sufficient funds for meeting the expenses required for their higher education and marriage.

    For this purpose, the Government of India introduced a particular deposit account known as Sukanya Samriddhi Account.

    Who can open a Sukanya Samriddhi Account?

    A Sukanya Samriddhi Account can be opened by a parent or legal guardian of a girl child, below the age of 10. The beneficiaries can approach a post office or a bank (which offers this scheme) to open a Sukanya Samriddhi Account. However, do keep in mind that only one Sukanya Samriddhi Account can be opened for a single girl child.

    It means that both the parents cannot open a Sukanya Samriddhi Account under the name of the same girl child. Also, these accounts can be opened for only two girls in a family as per the scheme rules. However, in the case of twins or triplet girls, more than two accounts can be opened by the parents or guardians.

    Who can invest in a Sukanya Samriddhi Account?

    The parents or guardians of the girl child can deposit in her Sukanya Samriddhi Account on her behalf till she attains the age of 10. After the age of 10, either the parents or the girl child herself can deposit the amount and operate the account. After the girl attains the age of 18, her Sukanya Samriddhi Account has to be mandatorily operated by herself only.

    What is the minimum and maximum amount that can be deposited?

    At the time of opening the account, a minimum of ₹250 has to be deposited in it. Once the account is opened, the beneficiary has to make a minimum deposit of ₹250 every financial year. Above that, he/she can deposit any amount in the multiples of ₹50. The maximum amount that one can deposit in a Sukanya Samriddhi Account during a financial year is ₹1.5 lakh.

    These deposits can be made till the completion of 15 years from the date of opening the account. In case the beneficiary fails to deposit the minimum amount of ₹250 in any financial year, the given Sukanya Samriddhi Account will be treated as a default account, except if default is due to death of the parent or guardian who opened the account.

    What is the interest rate on a Sukanya Samriddhi Account?

    As with other Government schemes, the interest rate for the Sukanya Samriddhi Account is decided by the Government and is revised every quarter. Since April 2020, the interest rate for these accounts is fixed at 7.6% per annum (compounded annually). Earlier, it was 8.4% since July 2019.

    Still, the rate of interest offered on this account is higher than other fixed-benefit savings instruments such as Fixed Deposits, Recurring Deposits etc.

    The interest on a Sukanya Samriddhi Account is calculated on a yearly compounding basis on the lowest available balance in the account between the fifth day and last day of the month. The actual interest earning is credited into the account after the end of every financial year.

    What is the duration of this account?

    The deposits under the Sukanya Samriddhi Account have to be made until the completion of 15 years from the opening date. The account gets matured after the completion of 21 years from the date of its opening. Post which, the maturity amount (accumulated corpus + interest amount) will be paid to the girl on whose name the account is opened.

    Premature closure of a Sukanya Samriddhi Account is permitted under the following conditions:

    • Death of the parent or guardian
    • The girl child is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and needs medical treatment

    What are the tax benefits available under the Sukanya Samriddhi scheme?

    A Sukanya Samriddhi Account is eligible for EEE or Exempt-Exempt-Exempt status under the Income Tax Act of 1961. It means that the deposits made under the Sukanya Samriddhi scheme, interest earned on these deposits, and the maturity amount are exempted from the income tax under section 80C of The IT Act.

    Documents required to open a Sukanya Samriddhi Account

    To open a Sukanya Samriddhi Account, an applicant can approach a post office or the Reserve Bank of India or a public or private sector bank such as ICICI Bank. Below are the documents that he/she needs to carry:

    • Duly filled SSY account opening form
    • Birth certificate of the girl child
    • PAN card of the guardian/parent
    • Aadhar card of the guardian/parent
  • 5 Facts You Must Know About Voluntary Deductible In Your Car Insurance Policy

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    Although only third-party car insurance is mandatory as per Motor Vehicle laws in India, we recommend every car owner procure comprehensive car insurance. Unlike third-party insurance, a comprehensive plan like our Private Car Package Policy protects you against damages to third parties as well as damages to your own vehicle.

    However, since a comprehensive car insurance policy provides greater coverage, it comes with a higher price tag. And that is why many car owners may refrain from buying such a policy. But, by doing so, they expose their vehicle to the risks of theft and damages.

    If you don't want to spend more on your car insurance, you can reduce your premium by opting for a voluntary deductible while buying the policy. In this article, we'll explain what voluntary deductible means, how it can help reduce your premium, and whether it's beneficial to opt for it or not. Keep reading.

    What is a voluntary deductible in a car insurance policy?

    A voluntary deductible in a car insurance policy refers to a fixed amount that the policyholder agrees to pay out of his/her pocket while buying car insurance. Unlike compulsory deductible, the voluntary deductible component is purely the car owner's choice and is not imposed by the insurance provider.

    Let's understand voluntary deductible with the help of an example. Suppose you've purchased comprehensive car insurance with a voluntary deductible of ₹2,500. Now, let's assume that your car got damaged in an accident, drawing a bill of ₹20,000 for repairs.

    In such a case, your insurer will deduct a compulsory deductible (which is fixed by the regulatory authority based on your vehicle engine capacity) along with your chosen voluntary deductible from the claim amount. Assume the compulsory deductible is ₹1000. In this case, you pay ₹1000 + ₹2,500 = ₹3,500, and the insurer pays ₹16,500.

    How does voluntary deductibles help in reducing premium?

    When you opt for the voluntary deductible under your car insurance policy, you reduce the liability of your insurer by promising to bear a part of the claim amount. As a result, your insurance provider sees a reduced payout on claims, therefore choosing to reduce your premium to a certain extent.

    The amount of voluntary deductible chosen by you is inversely proportional to the premium amount you need to pay. It means higher the voluntary deductible, lower the car insurance premium. However, you should note that a voluntary deductible is not available for third party car insurance policies.

    The maximum discount that you can avail on your motor insurance premium by opting for a voluntary deductible is listed in the table below:

    Voluntary Deductible

    Discount Given By Insurer

    ₹ 2,500

    20% discount on OD premium up to a maximum of ₹750

    ₹ 5,000

    25% discount on OD premium up to a maximum of ₹1,500

    ₹ 7,500

    30% discount on OD premium up to a maximum of ₹2,000

    ₹ 15,000

    35% discount on OD premium up to a maximum of ₹2,500

  • Guidelines for 18-45 Year Olds Registering for The Covid-19 Vaccine

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    The Covid-19 pandemic hit India in March last year. As a result, the nation went into a lockdown for months with strict social distancing norms in place. As the year moved towards its end, the situation began to improve, and the number of active cases started going down gradually. Finally, in December 2020, the Government of India introduced the vaccine for coronavirus, and in January 2021, it started the biggest vaccination drive to make its citizens immune to the virus.

    During the first phase of the vaccination, healthcare workers and other frontline warriors, who helped fight the pandemic, got the vaccine shot. During the second phase, citizens above 60 and those above 45 with co-morbidities were eligible to get the vaccine. During the third phase, the Government extended the vaccination drive for all citizens between 45 to 59 years of age.

    On April 22, the Government of India announced the fourth phase of its vaccination drive, in which people aged between 18 to 45 years would be eligible for the vaccine. As per Government guidelines, pre-registration on the CoWIN app or web portal is mandatory for everyone willing to get the coronavirus vaccine shot.

    The registration for the fourth phase of vaccination started on April 28, and from May 1 2021, the eligible citizens can take the vaccine shot. So, in case you fall within the age group of 18 to 45 and haven't yet registered for coronavirus vaccination, you should do it without further delay. In this article, we will tell you how you can do so.

    We've also listed valuable tips along with dos and don'ts for successful registration and vaccination. Continue reading.

    How to register yourself for the vaccine?

    You can register yourself to get your first dose of vaccine through the CoWIN app/website or through the Arogya Setu app. You can then choose a vaccination slot at a centre/hospital near you.

    Steps to register yourself on the CoWIN app or website:

    • Step 1 – Download the CoWIN app on your smartphone via Google Play Store or Apple's App Store
    • Step 2 – Alternatively, visit the CoWIN website and click on "Register/Sign In Yourself"
    • Step 2 – Enter your mobile number to receive OTP
    • Step 3 – Enter the OTP your received on your mobile number and click on "Verify"
    • Step 4 – Fill in your personal details such as name, age, gender etc. on the registration page
    • Step 5 – Enter your AADHAR card number and verify it using UIDAI OTP
    • Step 6 – Select your vaccination centre and schedule an appointment for any available date

    Steps to register yourself Aarogya Setu app:

    • Step 1 – Download the "Aarogya Setu" app on your smartphone. In case you've already downloaded the app, make sure it's updated to the latest version.
    • Step 2 – Register yourself on the app using your mobile number and OTP
    • Step 3 – Click on "Vaccination" tab
    • Step 4 – Register yourself for the vaccine by proving your Aadhar card number and verifying it.
    • Step 5 – Select your vaccination centre and schedule an appointment for any available date

    Tips to follow while registering yourself for the vaccine

    Be patient and do not panic

    It was reported that due to heavy traffic, the CoWIN app crashed on the first date of the registration. You need to be patient in such circumstances and avoid panicking. Also, to maintain social distancing norms, only a limited number of appointment slots are available at a vaccination centre for each date. Hence, if you're not getting an appointment, don't fret. Wait for your turn, and you'll get it.

    Avoid going to the vaccination centre without registration

    As we have already mentioned before, online pre-registration is mandatory for all those willing to get vaccinated during the fourth phase of the Covid-19 vaccination drive in India. Hence, if you have not done your registration, avoid going to the vaccination centre. Understand that this is for your safety; unnecessary crowding at such places can become dangerous.

    Keep multiple options in your hand

    When it comes to your preferred vaccination centre, you should not be adamant about a fixed hospital. If you are not getting an appointment at your preferred venue, you can check out at other centres in your vicinity. To know the list of vaccination centres in your locality, you can visit the CoWIN portal, select "Vaccination Centres", and enter your state and district, or simply enter your PIN code.

    Don't fret if you miss your appointment date

    In case you miss your appointment date for the vaccination due to some unforeseen circumstances, don't think that it's the end of the road for you. You can always reschedule your appointment by logging into the CoWIN app or web portal and clicking on the "Edit" icon below the Action column against registered individuals.

    In case you need to move to another city, you can select an appointment at a vaccination centre located in that city as well. Do check the CoWIN portal before going to the vaccination centre. All relevant details regarding a vaccination centre, such as availability of the stock, price per dose, and compliance management, are mentioned on the CoWIN platform. Hence, before you go to the centre for taking your vaccine shot, it's advisable to check the CoWIN portal and make sure the centre is functional, and doses are available there.

  • How to Protect Your Car’s Engine This Monsoon

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    The monsoons are the time of the year when car insurance claims witness the most significant surge. Water-logged streets, slippery road surfaces with more potholes and poor visibility are only a few factors that make any vehicle more prone to damage.

    Water and mud penetration can further cause damage to the engine of your car, repairing of which can be financially and mentally cumbersome. It is, therefore, prudent to understand what precautions to take and the insurance cover needed to protect your car’s engine, when the rains are around the corner.

    Water Ingression – How Bad Is It For The Engine?

    At the time of monsoons, water logging is the primary reason why your car can halt in the middle of the road, leaving you stranded. It happens when water enters (ingresses) into the engine of your car, resulting in its breakdown. This is accelerated when you try to restart the engine in a water-logged street. The phenomenon is known as Hydrostatic Lock, essentially meaning the seizure or freezing of your car’s engine.

    Water enters your car’s engine through the air filter. For ignition, the car needs its piston to function smoothly. But when water ingresses into the cylinder, it replaces the air-fuel mixture required for combustion with water. As water is non-compressible, the piston is not able to complete its reciprocating movement. The engine, therefore, is not able to function and your car does not start.

    Possible Effects of Hydrostatic Lock

    Your car is not vulnerable to damage because of a Hydrostatic Lock; it rather results in severe damage because of the action taken out of it. The water ingression does not let your vehicle start. However, normally in such situations the driver attempts to continuously crank the engine, posing a threat to its other parts and exacerbating the effect. The functioning of the cylinder wall, piston and the connecting rod can be considerably affected.

    The extent of damage due to Hydrostatic Lock varies from engine to engine, also depending upon the degree of water ingression and cranking. Certain spare parts of a car’s engine, if affected, are difficult to be replaced and the whole engine or the particular damaged half would need replacement.

  • 3 Problems only Indian motorists can understand

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

     However, in the Indian scenario, this seems true for anyone who lays his hands, or for that matter legs on a vehicle.

    Deep potholes, malfunctioning signals, unruly fellow drivers, erroneous pedestrians, persistent roadside hawkers and beggars, all this and much more add to the daily daredevilry of Indian motorists. Here are some common problems only an Indian motorist can empathize:

    Inadequate road systems

    India's road network is among the most extensive in the world, stretching across 48,65,000 km and 1324 km expressways (2014 statistics). Unfortunately, it is also among the toughest to navigate. Improper planning and poor execution leave well-publicized roads and highways unable to cope with more than a modicum of use. Sketchy repairs and poor maintenance add to the woes.

    Adequate planning precedes any modern town or city. Unfortunately and significantly, various factors are at play leading to unplanned haphazard development, with even major cities being connected only by 2-3 arterial roads. The huge increase in the number of motor vehicle owners compounds the issue. The resultant gap between expectation and reality leaves the end-user, the motorist, facing truly testing times.

    Indiscipline on roads

    Motorists make it worse for themselves and others by not adhering to rules, with the argument that in today's world there is no room for latecomers, as a lame justification to compromise on safety. This warped logic only adds to other motorists' problems.

    A damaging statistic shows that most road accidents in India occur during the so-called rush hour, when people are in a hurry or fatigue and limited attention spans distract them. For the pedestrian, who has to rely on public transport and battered footpaths, the chance to thumb already sketchy road-rules is a natural temptation. In addition, the footpaths are often encroached by street vendors - another aggressive institution peculiar to India. At the receiving end of such 'inter-turf wars' is the Indian motorist.M

  • Planning to Purchase an Electric Car? Read This First!

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    Get to know the pros and cons of an electric car

    Whether you’re thinking of purchasing an electric car because you want to keep up with the technological advancements, go green or save on fuel costs, here are six things you should know before you make this decision.

    The Pros of an Electric Car

    • Energy Efficient
      The energy efficiency of a car means the amount of energy from the fuel source that is converted to energy that actually propels the car. An electric car is far more energy efficient than a conventional car. Gas powered cars only convert around 20 percent of the energy into car movement, while electric cars convert about 60 percent.

    • Environmentally Friendly
      Electric cars rely on rechargeable batteries and don’t release any tailpipe emissions, which are a major source of air pollution. Electric cars also lead to reduction of overall emission and fuel usage. The fuel that is used can be derived through renewable resources like solar energy.

    • High Performance
      An electric car is a high performance vehicle with a motor that’s not just smooth and quiet but also requires less maintenance. The electric car motor reacts quickly, making the car more responsive and make driving a more enjoyable experience.
  • Choosing Motor Insurance

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    If you just want to be on the right side of the law and want to avail the mandatory Third Party Liability (TPL) cover, then choosing motor insurance is easy. If you are choosing motor insurance to cover maximum financial losses arising out of unfortunate events, then it requires meticulous research.

    Understanding Motor Insurance

    Motor insurance can be broken down into two verticals, Car Insurance and Two Wheeler Insurance. Whether you use your registered vehicle for personal, recreational or commercial purpose, as per law it must be insured.

    TPL cover is mandatory and non-compliance leads to penalties. A comprehensive motor insurance cover includes TPL, other plans that cover financial losses due to accidents affecting you and add-ons. The entire Policy Life Cycle (PLC) comprising of purchasing, claiming and renewing an insurance policy can be executed via a simple online process.

    Types of Motor Insurance

    Third Part Liability

    Third Party Car Insurance is an Act Only insurance policy and is compulsory for all motor owners according to the Motor Vehicles Act. This policy does not cover financial losses pertaining to you or your vehicle; it is a cover for the third party. Here, the first party is the insured, second party is the insurance company and the third party is the third person who is affected by your car. The third person can raise a claim against you and your insurer regarding compensation for injury and property damage, in case of death the family of the deceased can raise a claim.

    Own Damage Cover

    Own damage cover safeguards you against financial losses regarding your vehicle. This can be claimed against accidents and theft. Although this is not mandatory it is suggested to opt for the cover to reduce out-of-pocket expenditure in case of unfortunate events like accident and theft. Damages caused by events such as vandalism, burglary, terrorist attack, riots, etc. are covered under this policy.

    Personal Accident Cover

    This cover comes in handy as it lends financial security in case of an accident leading to permanent disability. In case of death the policy holder's family will receive the monetary compensation.


    Apart from these types of covers, one can also opt for specific car insurance add-ons to strengthen one's policy. With an additional premium, one can avail add-ons like Zero Depreciation Cover, Garage Cash, Roadside Assistance and others.

    Points not covered under Motor Insurance

    If the policyholder causes an accident under the influence of alcohol and drugs or is driving without a valid driving license, the losses won't be covered. Similarly, losses due to deliberate accidents, mechanical and electrical breakdown, consequential losses, wear and tear etc. shall not be compensated. Thus, it is suggested to read the policy document carefully and make an informed choice while choosing an auto insurance policy.

    Factors to consider while choosing a motor insurance policy

    Claim settlement

    While you are choosing a motor insurance policy, you are also choosing a motor insurance company. You might avail a policy that is tailor-made for you but in the end your claim should be honoured. Thus, choosing a car insurance company with a good claim settlement ratio is a must. One should also go through online reviews and speak to existing policyholders to verify the car insurance company's credentials.

    Comprehensive or bare minimum

    As mentioned earlier, TPL is mandatory however a comprehensive cover can protect you against financial losses. Thus, to opt for the bare minimum or for a comprehensive policy, is a choice that you have to make early on.

    Customer Service

    The insurance company's customer service mechanism needs to be checked. It must be noted if they provide detailed information regarding their products on their website, their efforts regarding consumer education through informative articles and 24 x 7 support on call, chat and email.

    Garage network

    Your two-wheeler and car are ultimately going to go to a garage for healing. Therefore it is necessary to opt for an auto insurance policy from an insurance provider who has a vast network of garages. You can opt for your nearest garage and opt for a cashless settlement for a hassle-free claim.


    Your motor's Insured Declared Value (IDV), the insurance company's underwriting policy, your cover and other factors like your vehicle's model, technical specifications, safety devices, insurance zones and depreciation are taken into account while determining the car insurance premium of your vehicle.

    The insurance premium is a crucial factor in choosing the right motor insurance policy; however, it shouldn't be the only factor. Above mentioned factors also must be given adequate weightage before zeroing-in on your insurance policy.

    Policy Life Cycle (PLC)

    Motor insurance policies need to be renewed periodically. Thus, they follow a life cycle comprising of Purchase, Claim and Renewal.


    Insurance has gone digital and this has enabled easy purchasing of insurance policies. Whether you live in a metro or a Tier-II city, you can avail desired motor insurance via the insurance provider's website by filling basic details and making an online payment. You will receive your insurance document instantly in your email.


    Make sure you have the right documents in place to support your claim. In some cases an FIR filed with the police department might be essential. Apart from these necessary documents, one must also furnish truthful information in the motor insurance claim form. Be it claim for TPL, Own damage, theft or personal accident, insurance companies follow a transparent claims procedure.

    Your claim may not be honoured if it is not supported by the right documents or falls in the category that is not covered under your insurance policy. The general claims process followed by ICICI Lombard is as follows.


    Car insurance needs to be renewed annually whereas you can insure your two-wheeler for a period of three years, provided your insurer offers that facility. Insurance companies often send reminders to its customers when their policy is about to expiry. You can renew car insurance online it by simply logging on to the insurance provider's website, filling in your policy details and making the online payment.

    ICICI Lombard customers can purchase a motor insurance policy, make a claim, track their claim and renew the insurance policy via a smartphone as well by downloading the IL Take Care App.

  • Items That You Should Include in Your Car Emergency Kit

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    Who doesn’t love to go on long drives? The journey along with friends, family is almost always a memorable affair. Unless, you encounter a car breakdown. A breakdown can happen without warning and at any time. There is no assurance that your car won’t fail even if it has been properly maintained, thus it is always better to be prepared for any eventuality than to regret later. Here are some of the things that should be there in every car emergency kit.

    Spare Tyre

    One of the most important components here. Most of us think that the spare tyre in the boot is in flawless and ready-to-use condition. But, that is not always the case. Over time, the spare tyre kept in the boot loses air, resulting in lower tyre pressure. It is advisable to check the tyre pressure before embarking on long journeys.

    A spare tyre is the only thing that can help you, when you encounter a puncture/flat tyre on the road. Take care of it, and it will take care of you.

    Tyre Jack

    That spare tyre is worthless when you don’t have a tyre jack to lift the car up. A jack is a mechanical device designed to lift heavy loads. With a maximum lifting capacity of 3 tonnes, it can easily lift your car up so that you can get to working on the real problem: replacing the punctured tyre.

    Jumper Cable

    The jumper cable is required when the battery of a car goes dead, or runs out of charge. This problem is more common than you think. Turning off the engine and continuing to use electrical equipment requires electricity from the battery. Some people overdo this, and end up exhausting the car’s batteries.

    Jumper cable is a great way to solve this issue, but you’ll need another car with a healthy battery to do a jumpstart. If the journey passes through a remote area, it is better to go equipped with an emergency battery booster.

  • Top High-Tech Car Safety Technologies

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    A report published by Transport Research Wing under Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has revealed that 17 deaths occur in road accidents every hour in India. As per the data cited in the report, 4,80,652 road accidents were recorded in the country, which led to 1,50,785 deaths last year.

    Indian roads are among the most unsafe in the world. While there is no substitute to responsible and attentive driving, here are some high-tech safety features that ensure a safe and smooth drive.

    Adaptive Cruise Control

    The modern day cruise control can, not only maintain a constant speed, but it can adjust the throttle and brakes to keep a safe distance from any object or vehicle in front of your car. If the system senses a potential collision by using sensors and radar, it will tighten the seat belts and apply the brakes.

    Periphery Sensors

    The technology is designed to notify you about the objects or vehicles in your blind spot during driving or parking. It will alert you with a light, sound or steering vibration if you are about to collide with a car or an object. This high-tech feature may even give you the luxury of reversing the car without even turning back.

    Heads-Up Display

    You might be forced to look into the navigation screen or your dashboard which means to take your eyes off the road. This is not only annoying but also dangerous while driving the car. Heads-up display puts the navigation and other information right there on the windshield in front of you. It means you don’t have to take your eyes off the road even for a second.

    Lane Keeping Assist

    The system assists you in driving in your lane. It uses cameras to detect the lane marking and determine if a car has drifted across its marked lane, giving a visual or audible notification. The system turns itself off when you use directional indicators to take a turn. More advanced technology can even steer you back in your lane if you are moving far away from it.

  • Important Points about Car Insurance Policy Cancellation

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    Want to cancel your car insurance policy? Relax, the process is quick and easy

    There may be situations where you might want to cancel your car insurance policy. In such cases, there might be a certain amount of money that you might have to pay to your insurance company as fees. Whether or not the fee is charged will depend upon the time when you cancel your plan.

    For instance if you cancel your policy during the term of the insurance, a fee will be charged. If the annual premium has been paid and there is still time left on the policy, then the insurer will be responsible for reimbursement of your premium amount on cancellation.

    Reasons for Car Insurance Policy Cancellation

    There may be various reasons why you would want to cancel your insurance policy. For instance, if you want to sell your car, the old insurance will serve no purpose and you will have to get it cancelled.

    There could be other reasons too, such as theft of your vehicle, disposal of your car due to the age of the vehicle and dissatisfaction with your insurance company due to various reasons such as a high premium, stringent policy clauses, lower sum assured or some similar reason.

    The Process of Cancellation of Your Car Insurance Policy

    Having an auto insurance policy is imperative for everyone who owns a car. If you choose to apply for a cancellation, you must buy another policy. To begin the process of cancellation, intimate your insurance company about your decision to cancel the policy in writing. This will set the process of cancellation in motion, with the entire process taking not more than 15 days.

    Once the cancellation process is completed, the insured will receive a letter confirming that the policy has been cancelled; any pending dues that are to be refunded by the insurer will also be mentioned in this letter. That’s not all. You will also need to follow-up with your insurer to collect the Certificate of Insurance. This certificate will come in handy when you go for a new insurance policy.

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