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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  • GST on Health Insurance

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Dec 27, 2022


    The Government introduced the Goods & Services Tax, popularly known as GST, in 2017. GST consolidates multiple indirect taxes such as excise duty, VAT, and service tax under a single umbrella. It also helps business owners to understand the tax implications better and allows them to conduct business transactions more smoothly.

    GST applies to almost all goods and services, including health insurance products, sold across the country. When you buy health insurance plan, you must pay an 18% GST. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how GST affects your medical insurance. However, before that let us first understand what GST is and how it works.

    What is GST?

    GST is a single indirect tax that you—the consumer, must pay when purchasing household goods such as clothing and food. Furthermore, this tax is applicable if you avail of any services such as dining, transportation, or insurance.

    Types of GST on Health Insurance

    • Central GST (CGST)

    This portion of GST goes to the Central government's account.

    • State GST (SGST)

    The component of GST is collected by the state government on intra-state transactions.

    • Integrated GST (IGST)

    IGST is split evenly between the Central and the state government. Here, the concerned state is where the goods or services are consumed.

    • Union Territory GST (UGST)

    You must pay UGST if you have consumed goods or services in a union territory such as Chandigarh and Andaman & Nicobar. 

    In India, there are five GST slabs—0%, 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%. The Government has clearly defined which services or goods will be subject to which tax bracket.

    Impact of GST on health insurance

    Health insurance has become expensive since the implementation of GST. Earlier, when purchasing health insurance, the policyholder was charged a 15% service tax. The components of the service tax are:

    • Basic service tax – 14%
    • Swach Bharat cess – 0.5%
    • Krishi Kalyan Cess – 0.5%

    Since the tax rates were revised, you must now pay an additional 3% in taxes when purchasing or renewing medical insurance

    Tax savings under section 80D

    Investing in health insurance not only protects you financially in the event of a medical emergency but also allows you to save a significant amount of money on taxes. Section 80D of the income tax allows you to bring down the tax payable amount by up to Rs 1,00,000. Here is the table detailing the tax benefits under section 80D

    Covered Individual Maximum Deduction
    Insurance premiums paid for self, spouse, or dependent children, all under the age of 60 years. Rs 25,000
    Insurance premiums paid for self, spouse, dependent children, and parents, all under the age of 60 years. Rs 25,000 + Rs 25,000
    Insurance premiums paid for self, spouse, dependent children, and senior citizen parents. Rs 25,000 + Rs 50,000
    Insurance premiums paid for self, spouse, dependent children, and parents, all over the age of 60 years. Rs 50,000 + Rs 50,000

    In addition to the insurance premium, you can also claim a deduction for the amount spent on the preventive health check-up. The maximum exemption limit, in this case, is Rs 5,000.

  • Understanding the ICICI Lombard Health Insurance Policy Upgrade

    by Amit Moolya | Dec 27, 2022


    The New Features of ICICI Lombard Health Insurance

    We have upgraded our health insurance policy to make it more comprehensive and inclusive. With this new version, you can avail a host of new benefits:

    • Zone-based pricing - premium advantage in line with the treatment costs in your zone
    • Pneumococcal Vaccine discount
    • Guaranteed No-Claim Bonus of 20% of sum insured for every claim-free year (with a maximum of 100% bonus)
    • Unlimited reset up to 100% of sum insured for unrelated illness and once for same illness
    • Medical procedure expenses for organ donor up to the sum insured
    • Home care cover up to 5% of sum insured (max up to `25,000)
    • Limit for Cataract cover up to 10% of sum insured (maximum up to `1 Lakh per eye)

    The company has also introduced a variety of complimentary services on the IL TakeCare app to help its customer stay healthy, safe and informed about their health

    📲 Face Scan 👩‍⚕️ Hello Doctor 💻 Online Health Assistance
    An online tool to check health vitals such as blood pressure, oxygen saturation, heart rate, stress level, etc Access to a doctor for tele-consultation, 24X7 Medical advice from the safety and comfort of home

    Click here to download IL Take Care App

    Zone-based pricing

    With our new zone-based pricing, you can get premium advantage in line with the treatment cost prevailing in a particular zone.

    Zone definition

    Zone A Mumbai, Haryana, Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Ahmedabad, Surat , Delhi, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad & Rest of NCR (excluding Faridabad, Gautam Budh Nagar (excl Noida city), Bulandshahr, Alwar, Bagpat, Bharatpur, Jhajjar, Jind, Nuh, Panipat, Rewari)
    Zone B Pune, Kolkata, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat (excl. Ahmedabad and Surat), Bengaluru, Chennai, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana (Incl. Hyderabad), Pondicherry, Uttarakand, Chhattisgarh
    Zone C Rest of India (Punjab, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Lakshadweep, Kerala, Tamil Nadu (excl. Chennai, Pondicherry), Odisha, North Eastern States, Andaman & Nicobar, Rest of Karnataka, Rest of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rest of Maharashtra, Rest of UP)
    Zone D Faridabad, Gautam Budh Nagar (excl Noida city), Bulandshahr, Alwar, Bagpat, Bharatpur, Jhajjar, Jind, Nuh, Panipat, Rewari


    Based on your pincode, if you fall in zone A, you will continue to have the freedom to get treatment across India without zone based co-pay (Co-pay is a share of claim amount that you’d have to bear). For other zones, you will need to share a part of the claim amount for treatments at a hospital in higher zone.

  • How to Check E Challan Status Online

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Dec 26, 2022

    You probably drive as carefully as you can to avoid accidents and refrain from violating traffic rules. But mistakes happen by the best of us. You may drive on high alert but there will always be some mistakes you make and end up getting a challan. A traffic challan can be issued for flouting any traffic rules like jumping a signal, driving over the speed limit, or driving without valid motor insurance. Earlier the process of getting a challan till actually clearing the fine in the system used to be an arduous task. But in order to simplify this process and ensure that traffic rules are followed even in the absence of traffic police, the authorities have employed the e-challan system.

    What is E-challan?

    An E-challan is a challan or fine that is generated through electronic and digital means. The idea behind employing e-challans is to reduce dependency on physical papers. An E-challan is accessible through an authorized digital source. These e-challans, add a great deal of convenience to the different processes surrounding them.

    What is a traffic e-challan?

    In India, if you are pulled over by the traffic police for breaking a traffic rule, you will be given a ticket. This ticket is called a challan. It lists the rule you broke and the fine for it. However, there are a lot of problems that arise from doing things this way. First, maintaining a record of all the challans issued even in a single day becomes a tough challenge. Second, just issuing a challan doesn’t mean the fine will be collected. Moreover, in the case of a physical challan, you have to go to an authorized traffic police station or the RTO office to make a payment. 

    To tackle all of these challenges, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has started executing on the concept of e-challan. At its base concept, an e-challan is just an electronically generated challan. However, the benefits it has for drivers as well traffic authorities are exceptional. E-challans work on an integrated platform to enforce traffic laws through information technology. Traffic personnel can issue challans to noncompliant drivers digitally and charge them fines as per the rules set by Motor Vehicles Act of 2019 with or without even being present at the scene.

    How does traffic e-challan work?

    The main goal of traffic e-challan is to create a more seamless approach of penalizing traffic violations like traffic signal violation, not wearing a helmet, over-speeding, etc. E-challans achieve this goal in two ways:

    • Traffic police can generate an e-challan after pulling a driver over upon catching them on violating a traffic rule.
    • E-challan can be automatically issued if any driver is recorded going above speed limit or breaking red-signal rule, etc. on traffic surveillance cameras or speed guns. The e-challan is issued against the vehicle owner after the cameras register its number plate, make and model.

    Different cities across India have different kinds of automated systems for giving e-challans. Some of them directly capture the vehicle on camera and issue a penalty. On the other hand, some require manual handling. This manual operation is carried out by traffic personnel who issue e-challans through a mobile app connected to the database of the RTO.

    When a driver logs onto the website where these challans are listed, he/she can see the list of offenses and the fine that they need to pay for them. To make things better, you do not even need to visit a police station or an RTO office to pay your fines. You can pay your penalty through debit cards, net banking, etc. on the website itself.

    Traffic e-Challan Process Flow

    CCTV camera captures violation - Traffic Enforcement Officer is notified - Officer confirms the offense - E-challan is issued - Driver receives e-challan on registered email ID/mobile no. - Driver pays the fine - E-challan is cleared

    Steps To Pay Your E Challan Online

    The simplest and most convenient way to pay for traffic e-challans is to do it online. To promote hassle-free processes, traffic authorities have introduced a designated website for traffic compliance that is easy to find and navigate. Moreover, your e-challan will have a unique number so there is no confusion in making your payment. You can use this number to find your e-challan and make the payment quickly.

    When an e-challan is issued, you will get a notification on your registered email or phone number. Once you receive this e-challan, you will have 60 days to pay your fines. However, it is better to make the necessary payment as soon as possible. Failure to do so within the next 60 days means the traffic authorities will take legal action against you. These are the steps that you can follow to make the e-challan payment:

    • Log on to the following link:
    • Provide the necessary details like driving license number, challan number, etc. where the website requires you to.
    • After you have entered the necessary details, you need to click on the ‘get detail’ option.
    • You will see the e-challan status on your screen. Click on the ‘Pay now’ option to start your payment.
    • The next step is to select a payment mode for your e-challan. The options available to you will be debit cards, credit cards, and net banking. Once you have selected an option and made the payment, you will receive a message on your registered mobile number confirming your payment.
    • You also can use digital wallets like PayTm, PhonePe, GPay, etc. to pay your traffic e-challan.

    If you are not familiar with doing things online, there is always the option to pay fines offline. This way of paying fines involves visiting your nearest traffic police station or RTO office and making your payment over the counter.

    Steps to Check Traffic E-Challan Status Online

    Here is how you can check your e-challan status online:

    • Log on to
    • Go to the ‘Check Challan Status’ section.
    • The new page that opens up next will require you to provide your vehicle number or driving license to check if your vehicle has any traffic violations listed against it.
    • In the case your vehicle is not involved in any traffic violations, the website will show you a dialog box showing the words ‘Challan Not Found’.
    • On the other hand, if you have committed traffic violations, you will see a row showing the list of all of them. It will show you the list of offences and the fine that has to be paid for them.

    What happens if you don’t pay the traffic e-challan?

    Simply put, the e-challan is a compulsory payment and not making it means ignoring stringent traffic laws. Hence, as a penalty for breaking the law, you will have to face legal action from traffic authorities.

    Upon missing your payment deadline, you will be sent a court summon at your registered address. At the court, you will have to explain to a judge why you made the traffic violations and why you have missed your e-challan payment. Based on your explanation, the judge gives a verdict.

    In the rare case that drivers do not show up at court even after a summon, their driving license is suspended.

    How can you avoid the E-challan?

    Here are a few tips that you can use to avoid getting a traffic e-challan:

    • Drive smartly by following lane discipline, following traffic signals, wearing helmets/ seatbelts, following the speed limit.
    • Make sure you have a suitable car insurance
  • Difference Between Insurance Agent & Point of Sale Person (PoSP)

    by Adnan Ansari | Dec 20, 2022

    Insurance Broker vs Agent: What Is the Difference?

    Insurance is a rapidly growing industry in India. Awareness about the importance of insurance has also increased in the last few years. With better accessibility and more tools at their disposal, a larger number of people are now looking to buy insurance. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) came up with a new model for insurance distribution in 2015 to meet this increasing demand. This new model aims to enhance the penetration of insurance in the country.

    The model also gave birth to the concept of Point of Sales Person (PoSP). A potential policyholder looking to buy a simple form of insurance can do so through a PoSP.

    So how exactly does a PoSP differ from a traditional insurance agent? The primary difference between an insurance agent and a PoSP is that an insurance agent can sell complex, customisable insurance policies while a PoSP can sell basic, pre-underwritten insurance products.

    There are also certain differences that can be observed in the training of a PoSP versus that of an insurance agent. PoSPs undergo basic training and certification, after which they can sell a variety of insurance products that have been underwritten previously to their customers.

    PoSPs need a minimum qualification of just being a 10th standard/grade pass-out to qualify. PoSP training and certification is also basic and easy to follow for beginners who may not have in-depth knowledge of insurance products. The minimum age limit to become a PoSP is 18 years. It is an ideal choice for people looking to enter the industry and start a flourishing career.

    There are various other differences between a PoSP and an insurance agent.

    Let’s look at the differences in detail

    You can easily become a PoSP with ICICI and create an illustrious career in the insurance industry. As an ICICI PoSP for insurance, you can sell pre-underwritten insurance policies, provide insurance solutions to potential clients, and function as an insurance advisor. Click on the link to check the steps on how you can become an insurance posp agent.

    FAQs on Insurance Agent VS PoSPs

    1. What is the difference between an insurance agent and a PoSP?

    An insurance agent can sell high-risk insurance policies to the customer. These policies can have a high sum insured and can be customised as per the customer’s needs. Insurance agents also deal with claim settlements and work mostly in urban areas. On the other hand, a PoSP sells a variety of basic, uncomplicated insurance policies to people in diverse geographical regions.

    2. What is the range of the PoSP insurance agent commission?

    The commission depends on the kind of policy you have sold. For a health insurance policy with a premium of Rs 8000, you can earn a commission of around 15%, which is Rs 2250. Your total earnings depend on the number and kinds of policies you sell. There is no maximum limit. The more policies you sell, the higher will be your earnings.

    3. What are the benefits of becoming an ICICI PoSP?

    As a PoSP, you can work on your own time frames, right from the comfort of your home. You can sell as many insurance policies as you want, without the obstruction of a limit. Another benefit is that there is no investment required.

    4. What is the difference between PoSPs and insurance brokers?

    A PoSP is an individual who primarily sells insurance policies. Insurance brokers are companies offering consultancy services to customers to help them pick the right insurance provider and company as per the risks involved.

    Aspects Insurance agent Broker
    Finalising insurance sale An insurance agent is licensed to complete the sale and sell insurance policies directly. Once the customer has chosen a policy, they do not reach out to any other party to complete the sale. A broker has to connect with an insurance agent to finalise the sale they have made.
    Earnings An insurance agent earns on the basis of commissions. In the case of full-time agents, a salary aspect may be present. Brokers earn primarily on the basis of commissions.
    Representation A PoSP or an insurance agent represents the insurance company that they are working with. A broker represents the buyer. Their first duty is towards understanding the buyer’s needs and then providing the policy that meets those needs.
    Qualification and licensing Before becoming an insurance agent and selling insurance, one must qualify for the IRDAI exam and undergo a 15-hour training process. Post this, one receives a license to become an insurance agent. Brokers have to undergo relevant courses from private institutes. A license from IRDAI is required to function as an insurance broker.
  • How to Link Your Aadhaar Card with Your Driving Licence

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Nov 21, 2022

    The Aadhaar card is one of the most important identity documents for Indians. It is critical for availing of the benefits of various government schemes. As part of attaching all other official identity documents with the Aadhaar card, the Central government has listed guidelines to link your Aadhaar card with your driving licence. It means two-wheeler and four-wheeler owners would now need to share their Aadhaar card details to obtain a new driving licence. Also, you must have your Aadhaar card attached to your driving licence for licence renewal purposes.

    The UIDAI mandates Indian citizens to link their Aadhaar cards with their driving licence to curb the growing menace of duplicate and fake driver’s licences in the country. A report by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways revealed that 30% of driver’s licences in India are fraudulent. They expect the new provision to overcome the problem of forged and counterfeit documents.

    In addition to linking the Aadhaar card with the driving licence, vehicle owners must buy a robust motor insurance policy to safeguard themselves against road mishaps and related losses.

    A detailed guide on how to link your Aadhaar card with your driving licence

    State road transport departments issue driving licences to the residents of their respective states and union territories. To link your Aadhaar card with your driving licence, visit the website of your state transport department or that of the state where the driving licence was issued.

    Remember, the process for linking an Aadhaar card with a driving licence may vary slightly from state to state. However, the need to have a valid bike and/or car insurance plan, depending on the vehicle(s) you own, is uniform across India.

    To link your Aadhaar card with your driving licence, follow these steps:

    1. Visit the relevant licence-issuing state road transport department website.
    2. Search for the “Link Aadhaar” tab on the homepage of the given website and click on it.
    3. It will take you to a new webpage. Find the “Aadhaar Number Entry" tab and click on it.
    4. Select the “Driving Licence” tab from the drop-down menu.
    5. When the system prompts, enter your licence number.
    6. Click on the “Get Details" tab.
    7. Your driving licence details would appear on the screen.
    8. Now, enter your UIDAI-registered mobile number and 12-digit Aadhaar card number in the appropriate boxes.
    9. Double-check entered details. Then, click the “Submit” tab.
    10. The system will generate an OTP and send it to your registered mobile number for verification purposes.
    11. Once the OTP is verified, your Aadhaar card will be linked with your driving licence on the official portal of the state transport department.

    Benefits of linking the Aadhaar card with your driving licence

    Some benefits of linking your Aadhaar card with your driving licence are:

    • It will help in reducing corrupt practices, improve transparency, and make the licence-issuing process easy, smooth, and hassle-free.
    • Government agencies can access the database containing licence details of all vehicle owners in India via the Aadhaar-based unified platform.
    • Authorised agencies can identify fake driving licences from genuine ones through this drive.
    • Transport authorities can sift out forged documents and take disciplinary action against individuals with multiple licences.
    • The consolidated online database bearing details of automobile owners in India will dissuade people from renewing duplicate licences.
    • Individuals can receive their driving licence within 72 hours after passing the driving test thanks to electronic processing.
    • Linking the Aadhaar card with the driving licence will go a long way in reducing the number of road accidents since individuals cannot obtain a licence without clearing the driving test.
    • Both individuals and government bodies can benefit from quicker and hassle-free operations.
  • 6 Airbags Mandatory in Cars from 1st October 2023

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Nov 21, 2022

    Similar to the mandatory third-party motor insurance, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has made 6 airbags mandatory in all cars starting October 2023. In the wake of the rising number of road accidents in India, Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said that all M1 category passenger vehicles must have 6 airbags to ensure the safety of the passengers.

    Initially, the road transport ministry was set to make 6 airbags mandatory in all 8-seater passenger vehicles starting 1st October 2022. However, it could not be implemented due to supply chain disruptions in the global automobile manufacturing sector.

    In July 2019, the Government made it mandatory for all cars to have a driver airbag. Later, in January 2022, dual front bags were made compulsory to protect the driver and front seat passenger in the event of an accident.

    The accidental death of Cyrus Mistry, the former Tata Sons Chairman, at Palghar in Maharashtra in September 2022 stirred raging debates over road safety measures in India.

    What is the M1 Category of Vehicles?

    The M1 category of vehicles refers to passenger vehicles equipped with up to 8 seats, including the driver’s seat. The M1 category of vehicles includes MUVs, SUVs, hatchbacks, and sedans.

    The new rule prioritises the safety of all passengers travelling in cars notwithstanding the cost or the variant of the vehicle. Previously, Nitin Gadkari had urged car manufacturers to adopt safety norms for ensuring the safety of passengers, especially those using economy cars.

    He had said that most automobile manufacturers in India export cars equipped with 6 airbags but are hesitant to sell them in India due to their high cost. He highlighted that not much thought is given to the safety of people driving economy cars in India.

    If you are a car owner, think of your financial protection. Purchasing comprehensive car insurance is a step in that direction. It is a good strategy to compare various car insurance online and choose the plan that best suits your needs.

    A Note About the Safety Mechanisms in Cars

    Both airbags and seatbelts are part of the safety mechanism in cars. Seatbelts secure the seat occupants and prevent them from being thrown out by force. On the other side, airbags fitted into cars interfere between the driver and the hard surface on the front during the collision, reducing the possibility of serious injuries. An airbag is an inflated safety device designed to protect passengers during road accidents. However, an airbag alone is not enough. You must be wearing your seatbelt for the airbag to save you.

    An airbag comprises a diagnostic monitoring unit, a steering wheel connector coil, an airbag module, an indicator lamp, and crash sensors. All these airbag constituents are integrated and powered by the car battery.

    When abrupt decelerations are detected, the crash sensors start transmitting electrical signals, activating the initiator. As a result, there is a rapid chemical reaction, which leads to nitrogen emissions and bloating of the airbag immediately.

    Because of this, a plastic module inflates to protect the passenger from hitting anything hard in the front due to the impact. After inflating for one-tenth of a second, the bag deflates in three-tenths of a second after the impact. Airbags contain a mixture of cornstarch and talcum powder and this mix gets released when the bag opens.

  • Qatar Visa Guide: Eligibility, Documents & Process for Indians

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Nov 21, 2022

    Qatar is a small travel paradise in the Arabian Gulf. Its beautiful weather in the winter, combined with weeks of rain, makes it a haven for travellers seeking Middle Eastern hospitality. Qatar has many picturesque locations that are ideal for sightseeing, water sports and relaxation. In addition, the blend of modern infrastructure with traditional Middle Eastern culture at heart promises an experience of a lifetime. When visiting this country, you must definitely include desert safari, beach trip, exploration of UNESCO heritage sites, and shopping at its fancy malls to your itinerary.

    To further boost the already growing tourism sector, Qatar’s government has simplified Qatar visa services. In Qatar, Visa on Arrival for Indians is now available for Indian tourists.

    Qatar entry requirements

    • You must have a valid credit card or at least $1400 in cash. The same applies to any family member accompanying you on the trip.
    • You must purchase travel insurance to enter this country. Qatar is one of the 34 countries where travel insurance for foreign visitors is mandatory.
    • You must be fully vaccinated. Your vaccine should have been approved by the health ministry.
    • You must provide a negative PCR test report that is not older than 48 hours before your departure date to Qatar.

    Types of Qatar Visa

    As an Indian citizen, you can apply for any of the following Qatar visas:

    Qatar tourists visa for Indians is available on arrival. There are two types of visas for this purpose. One is for a short trip with a stay of no more than two weeks, and the other is for a long trip with a stay of up to three months.

    • Transit visa

    A transit visa is issued if you are transiting from India to Qatar and have sufficient documentation to prove your journey.

    • Business visa

    A business visa is issued if you intend to conduct lawful business in a foreign country or if the purpose of your trip is to attend a meeting that is unrelated to any employment in that country. 

    • Work visa

    An employment visa is issued if you wish to move to Qatar to earn your living through a job. In some cases, an executive from the company where you want to work will help you with your visa application.

    • Family visa

    If a direct member of your family works in Qatar, they can help you obtain this visa. Furthermore, the family visa does not have an expiration date.

    • Visit visa

    You can get this visa only if one of your close relatives lives in Qatar and is willing to sponsor a visa for you.

    Documents required to obtain Qatar Transit Visa:

    1. List of documents required to obtain Qatar Transit Visa or TR Visa:

    Here is what you will need to get a Qatar TR visa. 

    • Apply for a TR visa using Form V1, available on their website.
    • Provide the original and a copy of a valid passport that is not due to expire within the next six months.
    • Submit proof of residency/nationality if you are a Qatari citizen. A permit copy is required if you are a non-resident.
    • Copy of flight tickets (to and fro).

    The processing time for a TR visa for non-residents is usually five working days if the documents are satisfactory.

    1. List of documents required to obtain Qatar Business visa:

    Here is the Qatar visa check for business.

    • Apply for a TR visa using Form V1, available on their website.
    • Provide the original and a copy of a valid passport that is not due to expire within the next six months.
    • Provide proof of work permit copy.
    • Two recently clicked passport-size photographs. 
    • Documents proving your ownership in the business.
    • Income proof.
    • Bank statement (past three months).
    • The Qatari company must provide a letter stating the purpose of the business and the details of the Indian organisation with which they will conduct business. They must also provide information on your salary and designation (if applicable).
    1. List of documents required to obtain Qatar Employment visa:

    You can obtain a Qatar work visa if you meet the following requirements.

    • Apply for a TR visa using Form V1, available on their website.
    • Provide the original and a copy of a valid passport that is not due to expire within the next six months.
    • Two recently clicked passport-size photographs. 
    • Furnish the original and photocopy of your educational qualifications. 
    • Provide the original and a photocopy of your employment letter from the company in Qatar.
    • Your Indian employer must provide a letter stating that no qualified employee is specialised in the role you have been assigned.
    • Qatar visa for Indians for employment purposes requires a mandatory health checkup.

    If your work duration with the organisation is at least two years, your employer will be responsible for visa sponsorship. 

    1. List of documents required to obtain Student visa

    A student visa is issued if you intend to pursue higher education in Qatar at any recognised government college or university. Here are the requirements for the same. 

    • Apply for a TR visa using Form V1, available on their website.
    • Provide the original and a copy of a valid passport that is not due to expire within the next six months.
    • Two recently clicked passport-size photographs. 
    • Photocopy of the proof of your educational qualifications such as a passing certificate and mark sheet.
    • Admission letter from the university/college where you are enrolled in the full-time course.
    • Salary certificate from Qatar's local sponsor.

    Qatar Visa fee

    The Qatar visit visa fee or other visa charges are determined by the purpose of your trip and the length of time you intend to stay in the country.

    • If you apply for a business visa and plan to stay in the country for 90 days, the visa will cost you around Rs 18,500.
    • If you apply for a business visa with a stay of 30 days, you will have to pay approximately Rs7,500.
    • In case you intend to stay in Qatar for at least 30 days, the tourist visa will cost you approximately Rs 5,500.

    Eligibility for Qatar visa for Indian

    The Qatari government does not have stringent visa eligibility requirements. Here’s what you need to do to obtain a Qatar visa as an Indian tourist.

    • You must provide documentation to prove your financial capability. Your bank account should have enough money to cover your travel expenses.
    • You should provide documentation highlighting hotel reservations and flight ticket bookings.
    • You must not have any criminal history.
    • You must pass the fitness/medical test requirement set by the Qatari government.
    • In the case of a visit visa or where your family member is Qatari or any immediate relative works in that country, you will be eligible for a visa if the family member or relative in this country sponsors your trip.

    How to apply for a Qatar visa online?

    Getting a Qatar visa for Indians is simple. The crucial steps in obtaining this visa are listed below.

    Step 1

    Go to the Qatar visa's official website and fill out Form V1 with the necessary information. 

    Step 2

    After completing the form, download and print it; next, sign it.

    Step 3

    Keep the form and all required documents handy for submission to the Qatar embassy. Following submission, you can track the status online. There is also an option for a Qatar visa check by passport number.

    Step 4

    The concerned authority will cross-verify your documents. If your details are found to be genuine, your application will be processed in 7-10 business days.

    List of important documents required for Qatar visa

    You can avail Qatar visa only if you have the following documents:

    • You must hold a valid passport. Also, the passport must not expire within the next six months.
    • As required for a new visa, the passport you provide must have some blank pages.
    • A business visa application must be submitted along with your company letter. In case you are applying for a tourist visa, make sure you include an invitation letter that explains why you are visiting that country.
    • Two recently clicked coloured passport-size photographs. 
    • If you intend to mail your application, provide a prepaid return envelope with your application and the recipient's name on it.
    • If you are a military man, diplomat, or another official passport holder, you must provide an official letter from the relevant authority as well as a letter from the company where you will be working in Qatar.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Qatar Visa

    Q.1. What should I do if I am denied a Qatar visa?

    You should contact the Qatar visa helpline or the Qatar embassy to find out why your visa was rejected. If the rejection is due to a lack of documents or incorrect information on the application form, the embassy executives might assist you in resolving your issue.

    Remember, the visa fee is non-refundable, even if your application is rejected.


    Q.2. For how long is Qatar's online visa valid?

    A tourist visa is valid for 90 days and allows a stay of a maximum of 30 days. Meanwhile, there are two options for a business visa. Both have a validity of 90 days but one allows stay up to 30 days while the other lets you stay for a maximum of 90 days.


    Q.3. Do children need to apply for Qatar online visa?

    Yes, both adults and children are subject to visa requirements. Even if the child is travelling with his or her parents, they will still require a visa to enter Qatar.


    Q.4. Will I have to renew my Qatar online visa if my passport has changed or expired?

    To get a Qatar visa, your passport must be valid for at least the next six months. So, you will have to apply for a new e-visa for Qatar if your passport is renewed due to loss or theft. Also, apply for a new visa if there is a change in the information on your passport.

  • How to Avoid Making Minor Claims and Save Car Insurance NCB

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Nov 16, 2022

    A car policy offers financial security in case of a mishap or loss related to your car. As a policyholder, you hold the right to file a claim for any damage to your car. However, before making a claim, consider questions such as, “Should I claim insurance for minor damage? Can a no-claim bonus protection plan help in covering the losses better?” Assess the extent of loss, the impact on NCB (No Claim Bonus), deductibles to be borne by you, and future premium costs before making a claim. Here’s everything you need to know.   

    What is NCB in car insurance?

    No Claim Bonus or NCB is the discount offered by an insurer on your own damage (OD) or comprehensive car insurance for being a safe driver. Yes, it is the reward for driving safely and not raising any claim during the previous policy term. It begins only after you complete one claim-free year and is given a 20% discount on the premium amount for the next policy. With each passing claim-free year, you can go on accumulating NCBs until it reaches the peak of 50% of your premium amount. However, you must have consecutive claim-free years to be able to do that. Once you file a claim, you lose NCB, and then you must start accumulating it from the scratch. You will get an idea from the following table:

    Period of Insurance % of NCB on OD Premium
    The preceding year 20%
    Preceding Two consecutive years 25%
    Preceding Three consecutive years 35%
    Preceding Four consecutive years 45%
    Preceding Five consecutive years 50%

    The NCB increases every claim-free year up to 5 years. The percentage of NCB offered depends on the insurance provider and may vary from one insurance company to another. 

    Advantages of No Claim Bonus on car insurance premium:

    • Discount on renewal premium

    Filing a claim should not be the first thing on your mind whenever you see a scratch or a minor dent in the car. They are certainly covered but using the car insurance policy just for making the car look shiny and flawless will increase the future premium amount when you renew the policy. File a claim only when there is a major expense due to an accident or damage beyond repair, car theft, or replacement of major parts. Avoid claiming for expenses that you can afford and save the NCBs for discounts on your renewal premium.

    • Lower premium on second car

    If you want to replace the car and buy another one, you have the option of transferring the policy and carrying forward the NCBs for your new car. This way you can make a good amount of savings in the new policy premium even if you are switching insurers. The process of NCB transfer is simple and quick. Ask your previous insurer to transfer the NCB and issue an NCB certificate. When you approach the new insurer, present this certificate and NCBs will be transferred to the new policy.

    • Good claim history

    Filing insurance claims frequently will adversely impact your claim history and increase your renewal premium. The rate of increase in renewal premium could be due to repetitive claims, nature of the claims and terms of each insurer. So, try to maintain a good claim history by retaining NCBs.

  • What to do if an Uninsured Driver Hits Your Car?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Nov 16, 2022

    Accidents are common on Indian roads. And what are just as common are people using their vehicles on roads without valid insurance. Although it is mandatory to have third-party insurance in India, it is far from being followed by all vehicle owners. So, what happens if your car is hit by an uninsured motorist? While your insurance will cover the damage caused to the third party and their vehicle, who will cover the damages to your car and your medical expenses in case of an injury? Today, we will focus on what to do if you meet with a car accident and the other driver has no insurance.

    • Note details: 

    When the at-fault driver tries to flee the scene of the collision, instead of chasing him, make note to jot down the vehicle's details such as the registration number, brand and model number. If the at-fault driver remains at the accident scene, try to gather as much information as possible. Based on the details you get about the other vehicle and uninsured motorist, you can file a police complaint and get the other driver to pay for your car’s repair.

    • Find witness:

    It may so happen that an uninsured motorist hits your car and flees the scene of the accident. In such situations, the only way to learn more about the offender and his vehicle is through a witness. Look for witnesses and check with them if they noticed the other vehicle’s registration number or make. You may also check  if they are willing to testify and record their statement against the at-fault driver. If they do, make a note of their contact information.

    • Security cameras:

    The accident could have happened when your car was on the road or while it was parked in a parking lot. Either way, it is always a good idea to check the security cameras in the vicinity of the site of accident. Surveillance cameras are common in city squares, supermarkets, and mall parking lots and they can assist you in tracking down the details of the uninsured vehicle that hit your car. If you can't find a security camera, ask around to see if any local shops or residences have captured the incident. If you come across any recordings, save them to your phone or laptop for later use.

    • Take photographs:

    Regardless of whether you find any information or details of uninsured motorists or not, it is advised that you take photographs of your damaged car at the site of the accident itself. The photographs will serve as proof of collision and damage to your vehicle and will assist you in obtaining compensation from uninsured motorists.

    • Inform the police:

    Once you have gathered enough information on your own, it's time to file an official complaint against the driver at fault. After lodging the FIR, the police will initiate an investigation and may be able to track down the driver who caused the damage to your vehicle. Filing the FIR immediately after an accident is important because the insurer will require a copy of the FIR for filing third-party vehicle insurance claims. Therefore, if the at-fault driver is underinsured or uninsured, you must submit a copy of the FIR to their insurer. FIR copies also help in obtaining compensation from uninsured motorists.

  • Essential Car Checklist for Long Trip

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Nov 16, 2022

    Road trips have a charm of their own. The fun of a road trip is rarely about the destination, but the journey itself. But what happens if your car breaks down in the middle of the trip? And if that happens on a lonely stretch or at an ungodly hour, your dream trip can quickly turn into a terrifying nightmare. To save yourself from hefty expenses, you may have bought a good online car insurance policy, but that would not help you with the stress and time invested in bringing the situation under control and resuming your travel. However, timely car checks and preparing your car for a long road trip can save you from unnecessary trouble during the journey. Here are some things you must check before embarking on a long road trip.

    Top 10 car inspections to perform before hitting the road:

    Check your battery

    Nothing can be more frustrating than being stranded on the road because your car’s battery gave up midway. Therefore, checking your car’s battery before a road trip must top your list of priorities. Whether it's too cold or hot, running a car in extreme conditions can take a toll on your car's battery. Also, if your car battery is more than three years old, you should get it tested at one of your nearest certified garages. You may go for a battery replacement if you are not satisfied with its condition.

    Car insurance policy

    Before revving up your car’s accelerator and kickstarting your trip, remember to check your car insurance policy. You must know its terms and conditions to be better prepared in the face of a mishap. If you are planning a long road trip, you may even want to expand its coverage by buying relevant add-ons such as roadside assistance cover, engine protection cover, and more. Also, see if your car insurance policy is up to date. If it has expired, online car insurance renewal can help you in securing your drive in no time.

    Replace air filters

    If you have not replaced your car's air filters in a long time, you may be setting yourself up for a bad trip. Driving with clogged air filters inhibits fresh air from reaching your engine, causing gradual damage to the engine and other internal components. To make your journey pleasant and free of any unnecessary halts, consider using washable and reusable air filters for greater filtration.

    Emergency kit:

    Irrespective of the length of your planned road trip, it is never a good idea to drive your car around without an emergency kit. Before taking your car out of the parking lot, check for the first-aid kit. You may also opt for a personal accident cover along with the car insurance policy to safeguard yourself during road mishaps. Meanwhile, an emergency kit is more than a first-aid kit. It should include a flashlight, jumper cables, some basic car repair equipment, flares, and a few other items.

    Fill the fuel tank

    If you are planning an adventurous trip to the mountains or some far away remote place, make sure your car's fuel tank is full. It is not uncommon to find travellers stranded on roads because they ran out of fuel. Plus, hilly terrains and remote areas may not have many petrol pumps in the vicinity. Therefore, to avoid an unpleasant encounter like this, make a note of this pointer on your checklist before you start your journey. If you are driving an electric vehicle, check to see if it is fully charged.

    Car lights

    If you are taking your car out on the road during night hours or in foggy conditions, you must check your car's headlights. If your car lights are not working or if their brightness has gone down, consider replacing them with new ones. Driving with dim headlights is not only difficult but is riskier as well.

  • Top 10 Most Important Traffic Rules For Car Drivers

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Nov 16, 2022

    Road mishaps are a major source of concern for both citizens and the government in India. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, every 100 road crashes in 2017, 2018, and 2019 resulted in 32, 34, and 35 deaths, respectively. To curb the number of road mishaps and lower the death rate due to accidents, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) has laid down several road safety rules in India. Since the number of vehicles on the road is increasing with each passing day, it is important to educate ourselves on various road safety and traffic rules in India. Today, we will look at some important four-wheeler traffic rules in India.

    Top 10 most important traffic rules for car drivers

    1. Do not drink and drive

    Drinking and driving may look like fun but it is far more dangerous not just to self but for others too. Besides risking the lives of people on the road, co-passengers and self, being caught driving while inebriated can land you in big trouble with authorities.

    What do four-wheeler traffic rules in India have to say about drunken driving? 

    • According to Indian law, if you are found driving with a blood-alcohol level of more than 0.03% in your body, then you are breaking the law. 
    • The permissible limit for alcohol is 30mg per 100ml of blood. 
    • If you are found drinking and driving, you will be penalized for an amount ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000. 

    Drunken driving also attracts imprisonment for a period ranging from 7 months to 4 years.

    2. Car Insurance

    According to the MV Act of 1981, driving without minimum coverage in the form of third-party liability cover can attract penalties. If your car is not insured or if your car insurance has expired and you are still driving the uninsured car, the traffic authority can fine you for Rs 2,000. If the same offense is committed again, a penalty of up to Rs 4,000 can be imposed.

    3. Always wear your seat belt

    Don't call yourself a safe driver if you don't wear your seat belt around your chest and waist habitually. Driving a car with a seat belt not only ensures your safety but is also mandatory under the law. If you are caught breaking this car traffic rule, you could face a fine of up to Rs 1,000.

    4. Don't use a mobile phone while driving

    Using a cell phone while operating the steering wheel can cause distraction and lead to an accident. According to the new MV rules that came into effect on 1 October 2020, the driver can use his or her mobile phone only as a navigational device. If you are caught talking on the phone or for any purpose other than navigation, you will be fined for an amount up to Rs 5,000. Using a phone while driving can attract imprisonment for a year.

  • Basic Car Insurance Maintenance Checklist

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Nov 16, 2022

    Regular car maintenance is essential to keep it in top condition. While you need to replace some parts from time to time, regular checks can help extend the life of your car and cut down visits to repair shops. In the process, they also help you save money and ensure you drive optimum performance from your vehicle.

    Also, checking the fitness of a car isn’t as time-consuming as you think. Regular fitness checks encompass a range of things, and this article covers all of them. What are these? Let’s find out.

    Level of Engine Oil

    Engine oil has a vital role to play in your car’s performance. It is essential for the smooth running of the engine, curbs fuel emissions, and enhances the engine's overall performance. The engine oil also helps cool the engine circuit and protects it from corrosion. The additives in engine oil slow the process of corrosion, thereby enhancing the engine's lifespan.

    Hence, you must always ensure that the engine oil is maintained at optimum levels. Use a dipstick or an electronic gauge to check the level of oil. Make sure to get the level right before driving. Also, check its texture. It should be translucent and smooth. If you find it too dark, you should change it immediately.

    Inspection of Tires

    There’s nothing more irritating than finding your tires deflated before driving. Also, tire blowouts while driving can be dangerous and put your life at risk. Hence, you must always inspect them to check for leaks and punctures. Equally vital is to ensure that tires have optimum pressure. Proper tire pressure prevents accelerated wear and tear, which could lead to premature tire replacement.

    On the other hand, excessive heat is generated if you drive with under-inflated tires, which could push tires to the point of failure. Hence, always inspect the tires at least once a week or fortnight. Equally essential is to make sure the spare tire is in good condition. Regularly check it for optimum pressure and get leaks and punctures fixed.

    Check Other Fluids

    Along with engine oil, other fluids in your car play a vital role in its performance. Your car’s performance can suffer drastically if any of these fluids leak. These include:

    • Coolant
    • Power Steering Fluid
    • Brake Fluid
    • Transmission Fluid

    Therefore, you must closely watch on them and ensure they don’t leak. Each of these fluids has a distinct color through which you can identify them in case of leakage. If you spot a leakage, take your car to the mechanic without delay. Also, just like engine oil, make sure the levels of these fluids are maintained at optimum levels.

    Inspect Your Car’s Battery

    The battery is the heart of your car. For ultimate car performance, the battery must be in top shape. Hence, you must regularly inspect it to ensure it’s in proper condition. If you find these signs, they are a warning signal of a failing battery:

    • Dim headlights: If your headlights are dim or weaker than usual, it’s time to sit up and take a note. It means that the battery is not able to power the electrical components.
    • Slow crank: If your engine cranks at a slower pace than usual, it’s a warning sign. It suggests that the battery might be nearing its end.
    • Backfiring: It is one warning sign that you can’t afford to miss. A failing battery will cause sparks, leading to fuel accumulating in cylinders. When you ignite this fuel, your car backfires.

    If temperatures get too high in your area of residence, car batteries don’t last long. Hence, you must take special care of your car’s battery and examine it for corrosion signs. If your car doesn’t start as effortlessly as it used to, clean the battery's contact points.

  • Petrol vs. Diesel: How Car Fuel Affects Your Car Insurance Premium?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Nov 16, 2022

    Just as not all cars cost the same, all car insurance premiums also do not cost the same. Of the many factors that influence a car’s premium, one is the fuel type or variant of the car. Whether your car is a petrol or diesel variant affects the cost of car insurance premiums. Wondering why? The reason is simple. The car fuel type impacts many other factors that have a direct influence on the insurance cost. Some of those factors are:

    1) Cost of the vehicle

    The cost of the vehicle is important in determining insurance premiums. A diesel car is often priced higher as compared to its petrol counterpart. Since the price of a car is directly related to the cost of its insurance, the higher the price of a car the higher will be the insurance charge. You will find this when you compare the online car insurance cost for diesel and petrol cars.

    2) Cost of repair

    Cost of repair can have an impact on the insurance premium charged. Typically, a car with a diesel engine involves a higher cost of maintenance over the years. So, insurance companies tend to charge a higher premium for cars with a diesel engines when compared to their petrol counterpart. The same is also true for high-end cars and cars with expensive spare parts.

    3) Insurance Declared Value or IDV

    It is the estimated market value of a vehicle and has a direct impact on the cost of insurance premiums. Since the cost of a vehicle with a diesel model is higher, its IDV will also be higher, thereby affecting the cost of insurance. The decrease in the IDV of a diesel car would be slower so the renewals would still be more expensive than that for petrol variants.

    4) Engine capacity

    The engine capacity of the vehicles can also influence the cost of insurance premiums for the cars.  Since the engine capacity of diesel-driven cars is it raises the parameters on which the cost of insurance is valued. On the other hand, petrol-driven cars have a comparatively lower level of engine capacity.

    5) Fuel efficiency

    One of the most important factors that must be considered while buying a car is its fuel efficiency. Petrol cars are best when it comes to achieving initial power but diesel cars run best in higher gears. In the long run, diesel cars seem to be more fuel-efficient than petrol cars.

  • How to Choose the Best Car Insurance Plan in India?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Nov 15, 2022

    Owning a car is not enough. You must protect it with the right insurance policy to be able to take it out onto the roads. In fact, it is mandatory to have third-party insurance to drive your car on Indian roads. While third-party insurance protects you from third-party liabilities in case of an accident, it does not cover your damages or medical costs. For that, you must choose a different type of policy. Yes, there are different types of car insurance and you must get the one that meets your needs and budget. Understanding car insurance and its benefits would help you in selecting a policy that offers you ideal financial protection without being heavy on your pocket. Here’s what you must know about the various kinds of car insurance:

    • A third-party liability policy

    Indian law mandates every car owner to have a third-party liability policy. To ensure everybody can afford it, its premium is fixed by the IRDAI or Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India. The policy offers basic coverage and is limited to covering losses related to the third party only. The insurers do not have any control over the premium. Simplifying the insurance terminology:

    • First party – policyholder or buyer of the policy
    • Second party - insurance company or the insurer
    • Third-party - an individual who demands compensation against damage to himself or his property, caused by the first party

    Also known as a liability-only policy, it compensates for the following:

    • Damage to vehicle or property of the third party

    Any damage to the vehicle or property of a third party caused due to an accident involving the insured car is compensated by the insurer up to a specific amount.

    • Injury to the third party

    If an individual is injured in an accident caused by your car, he would get compensated. The policy would cover the financial expenses for their hospitalization and treatment. The amount paid would depend on the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal’s decision.

    • Death of a third-party individual due to an accident

    In the unfortunate event of the death of a third party due to an accident caused by your car, a lump sum financial amount would be paid by the insurer to the family of the deceased.

    • Legal liabilities Your insurer will also take care of all the legal liabilities faced by you, the policyholder, in case of an accident. 

    The policy works fine as long as your car is not damaged since the policy does not cover that. The entire repair or replacement cost for your car has to be borne by you. If you have an old car that you are planning to sell off, the basic third-party policy would be sufficient. However, you need to reconsider your decision if you have a high-end or brand-new car. In these cases, you may want to check car insurance of different types such as an own damage policy or a comprehensive policy.

    • Own damage (OD) policy

    It covers damages to your car due to accidental or non-accidental causes. Some of the damages covered by it include:

    • Damage due to accidents

    After an accident, take the help of your insurer to tow your car to the nearest network garage and get it fixed. Under a cashless claim, the insurer will directly pay the workshop for the repair work.

    • Natural calamities

    Under OD policy, the car would be financially covered against natural disasters such as floods, landslides, rockslides, and severe weather conditions such as storms, cyclones, and earthquakes.

    • Manmade hazards

    Damage caused due to manmade incidents such as riots, strikes, civil disturbances, torching the car, and vandalism is covered under the OD policy.

  • How to Choose Between Electric Cars & Hybrid Cars

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Nov 15, 2022

    Times have changed. With the advent of new technologies in the automobile sector, more and more car manufacturers are investing in designing and manufacturing hybrid and electric vehicles. The hybrid or electric car not only reduces the burden of extensively utilizing fossil fuels for mobility but also offers an environment-friendly alternative to petrol and diesel cars. While both hybrid and electric cars are sustainable energy-driven cars, they still have some differences in terms of technology and efficiency. Today, we will focus on electric cars vs. hybrid cars.

    What are hybrid cars?

    As the name implies, hybrid cars have two engines—petrol as well as diesel. These vehicles are also known as hybrid electric vehicles as they use both, an internal combustion engine (ICE) and at least one electric motor to generate power. This cycle not only saves you money on fuel but also improves the efficiency of your engine. You cannot charge a hybrid car's battery by plugging it into a power source. Instead, you can charge it using the ICE and regenerative braking. A hybrid car's battery can also help in powering the auxiliary load and reducing engine idling. 

    Benefits of hybrid cars:

    • Cleaner emission:

    Compared to the emission levels of ICE vehicles, hybrid cars are less polluting. This is because hybrid cars use both internal combustion engines and electric motors to turn the wheels.

    • Fuel efficient:

    Since hybrid cars include both internal combustion engines and electric motors, they utilize significantly less fuel than cars that simply have internal combustion engines. The additional power available with them makes them an environmentally-friendly cars. 

    • Regenerative braking:

    In hybrid cars, you don't need to put your car on halt for battery pack charge. Since the car's electric motor generates electricity whenever you apply the brakes, the battery gets recharged automatically.

    Disadvantages of hybrid cars:

    • Lower performance:

    Since the primary objective of a hybrid car manufacturer is to improve its fuel efficiency, its power and acceleration are much lower than those of standard internal combustion engine vehicles.

    • Expensive purchase:

    Compared to internal combustion engine cars, hybrid cars are more expensive due to the presence of dual engines and related features. 

    • High maintenance cost:

    Due to the advanced technology used and the presence of dual engines, the maintenance costs of hybrid cars can dig a hole in your pocket. Also, to get your hybrid car repaired, you need the assistance of a certified mechanic as not all mechanics are trained in or are knowledgeable about hybrid vehicle maintenance. Therefore, it is advised that when you purchase a hybrid car, make sure to secure it with hybrid car insurance.

    What are electric cars?

    Electric automobiles, often known as electric vehicles or EVs, run on an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine. This makes them pollution-free clean cars. EVs are often devoid of a fuel line, a fuel pump, and a tank. They need plugging into a charging port to draw power from the grid. The electricity in the EV is stored in the rechargeable battery. Interestingly, EVs accelerate faster and are lighter to drive than ICE cars. If you are planning to buy an EV, don't forget to secure it with electric car insurance.

    Benefits of electric cars:

    • High efficiency:

    EVs have far more energy than fuel-powered vehicles. EVs are energy efficient since they convert 62% of their electric energy into the vehicle's power source. However, in ICE cars, the efficiency rate drops to just 21%.

    • Zero emissions:

    One of the most significant advantages of driving an electric vehicle is that you are helping to protect the environment. With zero tailpipe emissions, EVs are less polluting than ICE cars.

    • High performance:

    One of the most appealing aspects of driving an electric vehicle is that it produces maximum torque as soon as you press the accelerator pedal. When compared to traditional ICE cars, EVs are also easier to maintain due to fewer moving components.

  • Six Car Driving Tips for First Time Car Buyers

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Nov 15, 2022

    Bringing in your first car at home is always special and so is taking it out on the roads to explore the world—think of all the adventure and memorable drives awaiting you. But before you embark on a drive, always make sure to carry your driving licence and car insurance documents along. Surely, you would not like to get caught by the traffic police and be penalised for driving without the required papers on the very first day of driving your new car. Also, make sure to follow all traffic rules and regulations to ensure your safety and that of others. For first-time car buyers, here are some tips for driving a car safely:

    1. Slow Acceleration

    Do you feel like pressing the accelerator and speeding along before others as soon as the traffic signal becomes green? This is common among most first-time drivers but you must control your impulses. Always increase the speed slowly as it is good for the engine as well. Bring the car to roll along slowly from a complete stop and then push the accelerator down in steps. Try to feel the position of the wheels to avoid potholes, a common feature on Indian roads.

    2. Steer Steadily

    Keep your hands firmly on the steering wheel to keep it steady. This is important for moving in a straight line on the road or during taking turns or changing lanes. Try to stay in the lane meant for your type of car and maintain adequate distance from other vehicles while taking turns or during changing lanes. In case you see a turn or exit coming up, move to the correct lane—left or right—a little early. You may cause problems to the other drivers if you suddenly bring your car in front of their car while taking a turn. The far-left lane is usually for exits and the centre lane for travelling long distances at a constant speed.

    3. Control the Brakes

    Do not push the brake all of a sudden. It can result in your car getting hit by another car or two-wheeler from behind. You may also hit a vehicle or a pedestrian if you are not able to control the brakes and bring the car to a stop abruptly. It is possible to injure yourself or your fellow passengers as sudden brakes can knock people out of the seats. Strap on the seat belts to keep the impact at a minimum. If you see the signals turning yellow, start applying pressure on the brakes to bring the car to a halt at the proper time. Despite that, if there is an unfortunate incident, inform your insurer immediately. You may call up the emergency number given on your car insurance policy to get help.

    4. Do Not Over Speed

    Adhere to the speed limits even if you are extremely confident about your driving skills. Rash driving, which is common on Indian roads, is the reason behind most of the accidents. It is for your safety as well as that of others on the road that you must drive at a medium speed or as specified by the traffic department. The traffic department takes into account several aspects such as road type, frequency of accidents, traffic volume, and visibility while fixing the speed limits for different types of roads such as highways, flyovers, and crossroads.

  • How to Identify a Car's Owner from the Registration Number?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Nov 15, 2022

    A car’s registration number is the key to information regarding the car’s present owner—for authorities as well as for the common man. Surprised? Don’t be. If you want to track down a car owner who may have either bumped your car and fled the scene or may have caused you trouble by blocking your car in a parking lot, then you can do it in a few easy steps. Today, we will look at how to find the owner of the vehicle by license plate number.

    How to identify a car's owner from the registration number using the PARIVAHAN portal?

    You can find the owner of the vehicle by license plate number by using the PARIVAHAN portal. To do that, don't stress much and simply follow the steps given below.

    • Step 1:

    Go to the PARIVAHAN official website:

    • Step 2:

    Enter the car's registration number you intend to check.

    • Step 3:

    Input the verification code, or say, a CAPTCHA, given on the page. 

    • Step 4:

    Tap on "Check Status".

    • Step 5:

    Your screen will display all the relevant details related to the car.

    How to identify a car's owner from the registration number using VAHAN?

    VAHAN portal furnishes the details following the MV Act of 1988. The portal complies with the regulations of different states and UTs. Using the VAHAN portal, you can trace down the following details.

    • Car owner’s name
    • Car's registration date
    • Vehicle class and fuel type (diesel or petrol)
    • Car's chassis and engine number (not detailed in full)
    • Vehicle's make and model along with manufacturer's detail
    • Car's fitness duration
    • PUC and insurance details
    • Car's RC status and details of the financier 
    • Car's emission standard

    To fetch the details of a car owner using the VAHAN website, follow the steps outlined below.

    • Step 1

    Go to the VAHAN official website.

    • Step 2

    On the top of the page, you will find a navigation menu.  Tap on that menu, scroll down, and click on "Know Your Vehicle Details". 

    • Step 3

    On the page that appears on your computer screen, fill in the car's registration number. 

    • Step 4

    Input the human verification code and tap on the ‘Search Vehicle’.

    • Step 5

    Your screen will display all the necessary details of the car.

  • What are Deductibles in Health Insurance Plans

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Nov 02, 2022

    Deductibles in Health Insurance Plans

    Having an insurance policy may not cover you entirely during a medical emergency. This is because of a mostly overlooked aspect of health insurance called deductibles. A health insurance deductible is the amount payable by the policyholder while raising a claim. This amount is predefined in the policy plan. For example, if you raise a claim of Rs 1 lakh and the deductible mentioned in the policy is Rs 40,000, the insurer will approve payment of Rs 60,000 only after adjusting the deductible amount. It is the amount that you need to pay before the insurer starts to pay against the claim. In other words, you must pay medical insurance deductibles out of your pocket.

    Why are deductibles included in health plans?

    Deductibles are included in health insurance policies to discourage policyholders from making trivial claims. This also ensures that people don’t misuse their health covers to avail of hospitalization for minor medical concerns.

    Relation with health insurance premium

    The risk burden of the insurer reduces when there is a deductible amount in the health insurance policy. Therefore, health policies with high deductibles amount generally have a low insurance premium amount. If the amount of the deductible is low or non-existent, the premium amount will be higher.

    Types of health insurance deductibles

    • Policyholders can select voluntary deductibles amounts as per their budget and affordability. and decide their premium amount accordingly.
    • A compulsory deductible is pre-decided by the insurer at the time of policy purchase. While buying a health policy with a compulsory deductible, the deductible becomes just another point in the list of policy terms and conditions. The compulsory deductible doesn’t have any impact on the premium amount.
    • A cumulative deductible is applicable in family floater plans. In these policies, the insurance cover is a cumulative amount applicable to all the members of the family floater policy. Accordingly, the deductible amount is also applicable to all members cumulatively.
    • A comprehensive deductible keeps on adding till you pay the amount applicable in your health policy. It is a single deductible that applies to all health covers, but it is not available in India at present.
    • Non-comprehensive deductibles apply to specific parts of the policy and not the entire policy. Thus, it is deducted only when you raise a claim against such medical treatments to which the deductible is applicable. For any other claims, the deductibles clause is not triggered.
  • Why are more Indians purchasing health insurance post the COVID-19 pandemic?

    by Amit Moolya | Oct 25, 2022

    A recent wellness survey conducted by ICICI Lombard shows that more people are buying health insurance than ever before. The survey also points out a few interesting findings concerning the general wellness and happiness quotient of Indians post-pandemic.

    One point that stands out is the change in the attitude of Indians towards health insurance.

    This change in mindset is due to increased health risks and a renewed realisation of the importance of good health and well-being.

    So, while having health insurance has always been important since pre-COVID-19 days, post COVID having good health insurance coverage has become even more significant.

    Here are top survey highlights:

    Wellness Index Infographic
  • How ESG is shaping the Insurers’ Strategy & Business Model

    by Amit Moolya | Oct 18, 2022

    Podcast description

    Welcome to IL cafe, we are talking on this podcast about how technology drives innovation in the insurance industry.


    Good to have you join us on episode two of IL cafe. I'm your host Sheetal and the topic of conversation today is ESG and its impact on the insurance industry. Our guest on the podcast is Gopal Balachandran, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Risk Officer at ICICI Lombard. He's also a pioneer of excellence in financial reporting and corporate governance for India Inc. Let me tell you a little bit more about Gopal. He has been associated with ICICI LOMBARD for nearly two decades and wears several hats. He heads finance and accounts, investor relations, risk management, mid and back office investments as well as internal control and loss minimization functions. He was also instrumental in ICICI Lombard becoming the first Indian non life insurance company to be listed. And he's received wide acclaim and recognition for his work, including awards like the Financial Express Best CFO of the year, and the CFO 100 award in different categories like risk management, cost management and financial reporting. So on this episode of IL Cafe, it gives me great joy to have Gopal, tell us about what is top of mind for insurance organizations across the world today - ESG. Thanks so much Gopal for joining us on IL cafe. Welcome to the show, and how are you?

    Speaker 2


    Pretty good, Seetal, thank you. Thanks for that kind introduction. I don't kind of deserve so much of it. But thank you so much for that.



    Well, Gopal, I'm certain every bit of that is deserved. And thank you for joining us, one more time. Now, to get started, ESG efforts have certainly become a significant differentiator for Responsible enterprises. ICICI Lombard, clearly a marquee brand in India, the second largest general insurance company in India for FY 2022, and also pioneer of SOS, has also demonstrated leadership in the adoption of ESG as part of its growth strategy. So I'd love to hear from you on that Gopal - the company's sustainability goals, some of the focus areas and some of the efforts that have been undertaken in this regard.



    Oh, that's a great start Sheetal. So, I think when you look at it, you started off by saying that we are the first non life insurance company to be listed on the stock exchanges in India, even the fact that we are a responsible institution. And therefore, clearly ESG is something that we kind of largely imbibe, as an organization, as a part of running the institutions not just for one or two years, but over several decades, is how we are looking at ESG. To kind of embrace it, as a part of the way we work. To your point on how do we kind of look at this space? I think, honestly, I will kind of divide it into a couple of aspects. One is if you look at in terms of what we have been doing as a company, I think we started off disclosures well ahead of mandatory timelines of reporting in this particular space. Just to kind of give an example, the ESG report that we put out publicly on our website, this has been the third year running. So that's something that we have been doing on an ongoing basis, as you would recollect.

    I think there was this new mandate, which actually is coming into force from FY 2023, which is the business responsibility and sustainability reporting requirements for the top 1000 listed companies. Now, while this is mandatory for FY 23, we thought, given an institution that's responsible and sustainable, that's kind of voluntary or updated from one year before. So, it is a part of our FY 2022 annual report. We also had a separate section on the BRSR as it is kind of largely known (as an acronym). We wanted to kind of start ahead of time. So that's something that we are really pioneering in kind of taking initiatives well ahead of deadlines that are stipulated for companies to comply with, if I were to kind of just move forward, while I said that we've been doing this way or a voluntary basis. But honestly, I think the last quarter fit is primarily because we have been able to engage significantly with multiple stakeholders. When we say stakeholders, it spans across customers, regulators, our shareholders, reinsurers, our own employees, government…I think all of them have been a part of our journey in getting appropriate feedback mechanisms so that we can improve our disclosures better.

    So, there has been extensive engagement with stakeholders that we've been doing as a company. Now, while we've been doing that, I think obviously the tone is always set from the top. The board is very, very actively involved. We always had a corporate social responsibility committee, but in order to kind of embrace it with a flavour of sustainability, we also kind of renamed it as CSR and Sustainability Committee. So, that kind of gives flavour too, from the top. The boards are actively involved in the design and the framework of the ESG that we want to kind of run as an institution, to create this board oversight. That's the third thing that we have been kind of focusing on. The fourth, I would say, is CSA…this year, in fact, was the first year where we also started disclosing sustainability disclosures across the various scope one, two and three emissions that we do as a company. We kind of again did sustainability disclosures for the first time as a part of the effort we need to read. More importantly, we also were able to get an assurance done by an independent external firm to validate the disclosures that we put out as a part of the report. (Those), in essence, are the four or five key pillars in the way we look at ESG.



    Important takeaway for all of our listeners, I would imagine, is that having buy-in from the leadership levels is something that can certainly drive your ESG agenda a lot better. The other thing that comes to mind Gopal, is that there has been a growing emphasis in the larger financial sphere globally on sustainability. For example, we've seen a lot of talk around sustainability-linked loans, and other such, you know, nuanced approaches. Similarly, the insurance industry has pursued sustainability goals in its own way. So, what significant, tangible changes do you think they're likely to see in the insurance sector over the next decade or so?



    Okay, that's a great question, because we are looking at maybe the future, right? So, I'm sure amongst the audience, who are kind of possibly listening to me, a lot of…a lot of them in their minds are already thinking the next vehicle that he or she is likely to buy will be an electric one. Now, it doesn't matter whether two wheeler or four wheeler, but effectively, I think there is a clear need for transitioning to, move to, electric vehicles. But that's the reality. And clearly, we know that electric vehicles are relatively far better insofar as promoting the sustainability theme is concerned. In that regard, I think from an ICICI Lombard standpoint, we have been pioneers in providing insurance solutions for this transition to electric vehicle mobility, kind of put some data points in the table on the electric vehicle space. I mean, for just the quarter that had kind of gone by, on the private car side, we are roughly at a market share of over almost 14%, and in the two wheeler space, which we think will kind of largely transition faster into adoption of EVs - there we have a substantial market share of almost 65%. The number is quite high at this point of time, though over a period of time, we believe it could get moderated. That's one area where we want to kind of see ourselves taking the lead in possibly offering insurance solutions for the electric vehicle segment. The other area that I'm sure all of us will be kind of looking forward to seeing our entire power consumptions getting moved into solar powered or renewable forms of energy consumptions. There again, I think we have been pioneers in that space of being able to offer insurance solutions to some of these capabilities. That's again a segment that has done very well for us.

    So, as a company, as a responsible institution, we would want to see how we can partner some of these corporates or institutions to be able to transition into some of the sustainability themes that they will be kind of working towards. So that's one area, which I would say, one can look forward to. Second, what we have seen in the last couple of years, particularly during the COVID environment, is all of us clearly learned how to work digitally. That obviously means across the spectrum of your operations, you could see increased adoption of digital/technology. And that by itself is going to kind of lend a significant amount, insofar as promoting sustainability is concerned, because you're all going to see maybe reduced consumption of paper, reduction of footprint, and so on and so forth. So clearly, that's going to be an area which we'd like to see for the future. The third area, I would say from an insurance company standpoint - an area which we will be significantly focusing on - is responsible investments. There again, from a licensing standpoint, we already have a responsible investing framework, which is largely based on the UN principles for Responsible Investing, where we look at maybe getting insights from investing companies in the way they are promoting sustainability. We do have an exclusion list in terms of assets where we want to kind of make our investments in. So clearly, I think, both on offering insurance solutions which kind of takes care of responsible underwriting, and at the same time responsible investments, is equally a theme that we're working on.



    Now you spoke of technology, but it would be remiss of me to not dwell a little bit more Gopal, because we know that technology - “oh, what can we do without it now?” - but I'm quite certain that ICICI Lombard has taken it to another level. From that point of view - how you've leveraged these innovations, and also digitalization- what have you done in your organization?



    So from our standpoint, I think when we talk of digital, it kind of cuts across the entire spectrum of the way we source policies, the way we service our claim proposition. More importantly, the way we kind of digitize our internal processes. That's the way we look at digital/use of technology, innovation across the various areas that we operate on. Last couple of years, we have seen tough times in COVID environment. But over the last so many years of our operations, I think we have been a firm believer in technology. Let me give you examples of how we are leveraging technology in the way we operate.

    Let me take a relatively simpler one - motor insurance. All of us know as and when a claim happens, we are all in a hurry to get our claim serviced. That's what we want, we want our vehicles back at the shortest possible time. Now there again, we take a lot of initiatives in making sure that you can speed up the process of survey of the vehicle. And in the process, the customer is able to possibly get the vehicle back on time.

    Over the last seven years, I would say that we developed an app - InstaSpect. Now what this app essentially does is, when a vehicle goes for survey at a garage, the garage is able to use the app, and through a live video streaming process, our experience claims service managers, who are sitting at a remote location, are able to look at the video live. And there is a voiceover that is happening between the claim service manager and the garage person. In the process, you're able to significantly kind of be more efficient in the entire survey process. This has been a great enabler for us in processing the claims much faster. And today, more than 85% of our claims that we settled on the motor insurance side of this Instaspect app. And in the process, we have been able to create customer delight in the way we settle claims on motor insurance. That's one sample of motor, even on the policy buying process.

    Many times customers may tend to possibly miss the renewal date. So, in the process, effectively, you may be without insurance at the point of expiry of your last policy. But given the fact that you want to have a continuing insurance cover, there is a process which is called as braking inspection because you would want to see whether the vehicle was already having damage at the time of the renewal process. In case you have missed the renewal date, there again, I think through the help of technology, we created an app by which the entire braking process is quite seamless, the customer can actually undertake a self-inspection of the braking process. And in the process, if everything is clean, it's a kind of green channel for the renewal process to happen. So there again, I think a very large proportion of our breaking process is significantly done through use of digital/technology. And in the process, getting customer experience which is positive.

    We move to health quickly. If you look at health, I think one of the things…again, we have been a firm believer of using technology in the health insurance piece as well… the IL Take Care app, which is something we created to largely advocate the health insurance proposition though, increasingly, we are expanding the products that we can offer through the app. But that's again a capability which significantly helps in the health insurance segment. One other example if you were to talk about the use of technology in the health side - a typical pain point for a customer is at the time of seeking a cashless authorization at the hospitals - it's always something that we generally get to hear about. Most of us would have faced that for unfortunate reasons in case any of us have to get admitted to hospitals. (With) The use of technology, we significantly streamline the entire cashless authorization process, which used to run into maybe a few hours, which obviously is a painful process for the customer today, with the help of AI/ML mechanisms. What used to take us easily more than three, four hours, now most authorization for a select set of procedures is down to less than 90 seconds. Again, I think a clear innovation that we were able to do on the technology side.



    The last time you know Girish Nayak was here, and he was talking about the cool ways in which technology is leveraged to offer value or deliver impact to all stakeholders, and primarily, of course, customers in his particular case. He spoke about IL Scan and I was like, Whoa, give me you know, that samosa that I'm about to eat, you're gonna tell me exactly how many calories it has. And now you're telling me about things like Instaspect. And it's all fascinating how, you know, technology is helping us achieve this very, very important objective for ICICI Lombard. But a lot of our listeners, I'm quite certain you too Gopal, must have been wondering, why is Seetal asking me so much about technology? Where is the connection to ESG? So I'm coming to that now, Gopal. We need to dwell a little bit more, because here is a country where you are certainly seeing people getting more and more comfortable in using tech in financial transactions and also in your investment options. Is this an accurate assessment, according to you? Or would you say that this adoption that we talked about by consumers is still too nascent to actually contribute to the industry’s sustainability efforts? In essence, I'm asking you to connect the dots between your ESG efforts and technology adoption.



    When COVID happened, I think we all had to suddenly change the way we had to operate. We have been so used to operating in a physical world, we had to significantly transform ourselves into a digital world. And believe me, some of these capabilities were already available with us, it's just that we did not want to kind of possibly explore and make the best use of it. Today, the way most of the organizations would like to operate on in an hybrid environment, which is a combination of both physical plus digital customers. Again, (they) have kind of learned it because they are used to availing different forms of services. Insurance is definitely one of them. And they have also kind of migrated themselves from doing it completely in the physical world into I would say more hybrid environment of operating.

    Yes, your point is absolutely right. I think the customer preferences are clearly moving towards use of technology, use of digital as a way to operate in our process of sustainability, where we are saying a large part of our offering will be made available to the digital. Means we see a significant positive adoption from a customer standpoint as well. That's where, when I look at it on the policy side…for example, we issue roughly 29 million policies on an annual basis, of that 97-98% of those policies do not even enter our office…there is a capability created at the hands of the customer who is able to do the requirements on their own, or my intermediary or distributor is able to get it done to the customer again, in a digital form. So clearly, I think customers are embracing digital/technology far, far better. And in the process, as you rightly mentioned, it has been a key enabler or contributor to the sustainability initiatives that any which ways we are focusing as an organization.



    You know, I was just thinking about it a few years ago - when there was talk of driving digital transformation across sectors and organizations, a lot of leaders spoke of how this is a function of culture, you need to have the right organizational culture to drive detail. And I think the same is probably true of ESG as well, one of the major hurdles that organizations will have to overcome is a lack of knowledge and skills in their best practices. So how does ICICI Lombard plan to train and equip its workforce to understand these important issues like sustainable finance, social and environmental risk management, and also the pivot towards sustainability as a differential element in customer value? How are we approaching this?



    Now, as an organization on the social responsibility side, that's an area where our employees actually volunteer for some of these initiatives. The one is you obviously as an institution need to build a culture to embrace either social responsibility, or ESG. As a part of the way we operate. A lot of our employees have been kind of volunteering for some of the social initiatives that we've been running. And they say that we will take the lead in shaping up some of the agenda for the organization, so clearly there is already a cultural mindset in the employees to make sure that they embrace social responsibility.

    On the ESG front, again, we have employees taking the lead on the part of the framework. I think a lot of our employees have clearly demonstrated areas where we as an organization can kind of look forward to some of those elements to be kind of implemented. They've done it at their homes. They've done it through some of the social work that some of them may be carrying out. And clearly they are giving ideas to ICICI Lombard by which we can embrace some of these elements as a way we want to kind of promote sustainability. That's clearly…volunteering is one thing that's kind of already working as a culture for the institution.

    The second is capability building sessions that we undertake across the spectrum of the organization. And more importantly, I think we always keep kind of pushing our people to say why don't we look at something each one of us can take the lead in (as far as) sustainability is concerned. So that's how we kind of largely promote - through voluntary initiatives and to a lot of capability building/cultural sessions, is what we kind of embrace.



    So, perfect coming together of employee aspirations and organizational objectives. I want us to dwell a little bit more on that ‘S’ aspect of our ESG goals - diversity, equity and inclusion. Gopal, at the start of the year, I recall a lot of consulting organizations talking about how D&I will remain in sharp focus for organizations, and the D&I ethos in most organizations is something that contributes to innovation, productivity, and also profitability. So, the business imperative has been long established. It would be great for us to know what ICICI Lombard’s policy is regarding these important aspects of ESG, inclusivity, equity and diversity.


    20:52 Those are great questions. And that's something that's, again, the need of the hour, as a largely spoken topic. And from an ICICI Lombard standpoint, we're equally committed on the D&I initiative. In that regard, there is already a cross functional committee that we have created in the organization, which was primarily responsible for designing, planning, driving and monitoring the implementation of the D&I interventions. The tone is set from the top, internally. On gender equity, we already have goals to achieve over the next, let's say, three years across the various verticals, across the various divisions, the organization. Each one of them is championing this agenda of bringing about gender equity in the organization. That's one form of diversity, equity and inclusion.

    The second element is to also make sure that when you look at the entire working environment, we need to embrace people of different work streams, or people who have got different requirements to be able to contribute to the organizational sustainability initiatives; need to create more a flexible way of operating for people so that you get people from different requirements, a part of the organizational initiatives. And there again, I think from an ICICI Lombard standpoint, we launched ‘flexi working’, part time working, which are all great enablers for us. To be able to get the right set of talent to contribute, as I said, insofar as the organizational growth is concerned, even insofar as employee initiatives are concerned, we do carry out a lot of annual checkups, counseling programs, yoga sessions. All in all, the whole objective is to make sure that D&I is pretty much a part and parcel of the organization.



    Right. I'm glad you also touched upon employee well-being as an important, you know, pillar of all that you are building for the ESG strategy at ICICI Lombard. Gopal, now, I want to go back to something that you had mentioned…this has got to do with the volunteer work and CSR that you spoke of. Would we want to our listeners to get a sense of some of these flagship programs that you might have done, which made a big difference in several locations and communities. Tell us a little bit about the ICICI Lombard’s sustainability agenda and CSR activities, and how those two come together.



    I think for ICICI Lombard, social responsibility is something that we are quite cognizant of. And some of our initiatives in this space date back almost close to 10 years. And the reason why I'm saying this is we embrace social responsibility not just to meet the minimum regulatory stipulations that came in some time back. But, for us, social responsibility is a way of operating. Right to safety for us in India today is…we unfortunately have a lot of people succumbing to accidental deaths. And the primary reason for some of this is that helmets are not being worn. So that's an area where we want to kind of step in, and there have been specifically designed helmets that have been crafted for us. Again, these helmets are being offered not only to the parent, or the person who is kind of driving the vehicle, sometimes you will also have the child sitting at the back. So we realized that, or maybe there was also a demand from some of the parents to say, why don't you also offer a helmet for the child as well? So these are specifically designed and crafted helmets that have been created to make sure that the country becomes a much better place to ride vehicles. And the extent of damage or the extent of unfortunate deaths could kind of be significantly minimised.

    So that's one of the flagship programs that we have been running as an organization. Since the time we have been doing this, close to to 4,25,000 lives have been impacted as a result of the right to safety initiative. To move away from, let's say, vehicle to Caring Hands, a lot of employees of the organization, almost more than 50% of them, actually volunteer to work on this initiative. The objective is to kind of make sure that children are given a better place to read. We do a lot of free eye checkups, so that the problem gets detected ahead of time. And in case, for some reason, if any of the children need spectacles, we also make those available as well. We have impacted more than 3,75,000 lives as a part of this pioneering effort that we've been doing over the last several years. The third area, which also contributes significantly to sustainability, is safe drinking water. We call it Niranjali. Again, we work with schools. The whole objective is to make sure that children get safe drinking water. And we kind of install water purifiers at the schools, including taking care of the maintenance of those unifiers. So that's again an initiative which is very close to us from a social responsibility standpoint.



    Absolutely! As they say, miles to go. But then kudos most certainly, Gopal, to you and the teams involved in all of these projects for actually making such a difference, and get, you know, relevant areas to ICICI Lombard in the area of CSR. Superb to hear of this! And on a final note Gopal, one of ICICI Lombard’s mottos, if I may add, is Fulfil Promises Responsibly and Sustainably. How do you see ICICI Lombard playing a leadership role in the insurance sector’s push towards achieving their ESG goals?



    That's a difficult one, right? Because it's always tough to kind of figure out how we stay ahead of the curve in shaping the elements of the future. We have generally taken the lead in some of these areas. For us, the first and the foremost thing that we will obviously stand committed to is the country's objective. And then we know clearly, I think, as a country, they have already committed to become net zero by 2070. So obviously, we will play a very, very vital role in being able to contribute to that particular element, which will help the country to kind of commit itself.

    The second, embracing digital, embracing technology contributes a lot in the way we kind of promote a sustainable way of operating. And therefore, even when I said 97% of my policies are sold digitally, there is still that 3% that's left out. Can I keep looking at it area by area, in figuring out how some of these elements can be kind of brought down?

    Third, can we step back and start contributing to the corporates in figuring out how we can minimize risk itself in the first place? For example, fire incidents. Fire incidents happening for a particular corporate also results in challenges from a sustainability standpoint, or let's say from air pollution risk standpoint. If you're able to meaningfully contribute or minimize some of the risk incidences, then, in effect, you're kind of promoting or contributing to the stability objectives. That's when we kind of worked on what we call this value added services initiative. Over the last eight years, and area by area, we have been looking at what typically causes a loss, or what typically is a risk that an institution or a corporate could be facing. And in case you're able to mitigate some of those losses, that possibility will be minimized, which actually kind of is environment positive. That's the way we look at it. So VAS will definitely be an area that we will focus on. We will continue to look at how we can, even in our management of funds, be more responsible in the various investment decisions that we take. That's one of the areas that we will be kind of committing towards. At the end of the day, employees, our people, are our asset. Therefore, creating a flexible, friendly workspace, and focusing on employee well-being will definitely be a very, very important agenda in our sustainability initiatives.



    Superb! And, you know, when I started out this conversation Gopal, I realized that we are going to get some best practices but I didn't realize that this is going to be a comprehensive look or insight into how ESG is being realized by a marquee brand likeICICI Lombard, and for that we must thank you. Thank you so much for walking us through all of these various aspects of ESG,breaking them down into actions and behaviors, not just the level of individuals, but also teams and the organization, and helping us connect those dots. Brilliant chatting with you, and hope to catch up with you again on IL Cafe. Thank you for being here.


    Thank you so much. Thanks everyone.