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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  • Some Essential Parts of Your Two-Wheeler You Should Know About

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Oct 08, 2021

    Some Essential Parts of Your Two-Wheeler You Should Know About

    Two-wheelers are one of the most convenient and cheapest modes of commuting. Not only do they help you cover short distances in no time but also, they are the most fuel-efficient vehicle running on roads. There are little things in this world that can match the thrill and excitement of riding a two-wheeler. If you happen to be a bike enthusiast, you must be well-versed with the different parts of your all-weather companion on road. Also, motor insurance is important to protect you and your bike from any accident or mishap.

    However, it’s difficult to acquire a deep knowledge about all the essential parts that are common to every two-wheeler. This article is here to the rescue. Here, we have listed and described some basic two-wheeler spare parts, including engine, gear, clutch, accelerator, brakes, tires, fuel tank, and exhaust pipe. We’ve also listed some two-wheeler maintenance tips. Read on.

  • Benefits of Long-Term Car Insurance Policy

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Oct 07, 2021

    What are the Benefits of Long-Term Car Insurance Policy?

    Though a valid third-party insurance policy is mandatory for all vehicles in India, compliance to this law was found to be very low in 2018. As per a Supreme Court Committee’s report of March 2018, only one out of three vehicles in India was found to have a third-party liability cover. The report also mentioned that about 40% of cars that are more than three years old remain uninsured in India.

    In order to reduce the number of uninsured vehicles on road, the Honorable Supreme Court of India gave a landmark order in July 2018, making it mandatory for all cars and two-wheelers sold on or after 1st September 2019 to have a long-term third-party motor insurance cover. The duration for this mandatory long-term coverage was 5 years for two-wheelers and 3 years for four-wheelers.

    In August 2018, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) directed the motor insurance companies to comply with the Supreme Court’s order and start offering long-term insurance plans for all vehicles sold after 31st August 2019. Also, it asked the insurers to offer bundled plans that can provide long-term coverage for both – third-party liability as well as own damage.

    As a result, vehicle buyers were offered three choices –

    1. 3-year third-party cover
    2. 3-year third-party and 1-year own damage cover
    3. 3-year third-party with 3-year own damage cover
  • All You Need to Know About Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Oct 04, 2021

    Everything You Need to Know About Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana

    Time and again, the Government of India has taken steps to ensure optimum care and protection of its citizens. From bringing about developmental and infrastructural changes in the healthcare industry to providing social security through various subsidised health insurance  schemes, the Indian Government has left no stone unturned in showing concern for its citizens.

    Back in the year 2015, the then Finance Minister of India – Late Mr. Arun Jaitley – launched three social security schemes during the Budget Speech. All these schemes were aimed to provide social security to those working in the unorganised sector in India. One of these three schemes was Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY).

    Through this article, we have tried to throw some light on PMSBY scheme and what it is all about. Continue reading to know more.

    What is PMSBY?

    As mentioned above, the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) is one of the social security schemes which was launched by the Government of India during the 2015 Budget Speech in the Parliament. The PMSBY scheme is a Government-backed accident insurance scheme which provides protection against accidental death and disability to individuals between 18 to 70 years of age.

    This scheme is highly helpful in preparing an individual for unexpected emergencies by providing an accident insurance coverage of up to ₹2 lakhs at a highly affordable premium of ₹12 per annum.

    Key Highlights of PMSBY scheme

    The primary features of the PMSBY insurance scheme include:

    • Coverage for a year and is renewable on annual basis
    • Indians as well as NRIs can avail the benefits of this scheme
    • Provides coverage of up to ₹2 lakhs against death and full or partial disability caused due to an accident
    • The annual cover will remain valid from 1st June till 31st May
    • To avail the benefits under this scheme, each member will have to pay an annual premium of ₹12
    • Annual premium of ₹12 will be auto-debited from the beneficiary’s bank account

    What are the inclusions and exclusions under the PMSBY scheme?

    Here is what will be covered and what won’t, under the PMSBY insurance scheme:

    • Accidental death of the applicant will be covered by the scheme.
    • If the applicant dies by suicide, it won’t be covered by the scheme.
    • If the applicant dies because of murder, it will be covered by the scheme.
    • Permanent total disability, i.e. loss of both eyes, hands, or feet will be covered.
    • Permanent partial disability, i.e. loss of one of the eyes, hands, or legs will also be covered.
    • A compensation of ₹2 lakh will be paid in case of accidental death or permanent total disability. Whereas, in case of partial disability, a compensation of ₹1 lakh will be paid.

    Eligibility criteria for availing the benefits of PMSBY scheme

    All individuals belonging to the age group of 18 to 70 years can enrol themselves to avail the benefits of the PM Suraksha Bima Yojana. Both, Indians as well as NRIs can avail these benefits. However, the claim amount shall be paid in Indian rupees only.

    Below are the key points to remember regarding an individual’s eligibility for this scheme:

    • He/she should have an individual or a joint bank account in his/her name.
    • Aadhar number is mandatory for KYC purpose.
    • If an individual has multiple bank accounts, her/she can join from only one bank account.
    • In case of joint account, all account holders can join the scheme from the same bank account.
  • Know About the Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Leprosy

    by Santosh Kevale | Aug 30, 2021

    Leprosy, also known as Hansen disease, is a bacterial infection affecting a person's skin, nasal lining, and peripheral nerves. This disease has prevailed across the globe but commonly affects the residents of warm tropical and subtropical regions. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are around 2,08,000 leprosy patients worldwide, mostly from Asia and Africa.

    One of the oldest diseases existing since biblical times, leprosy was always considered a highly infectious and dangerous condition. Till date, many leprosy patients across the world are forced to live in isolation and suffer social stigma. This article will talk about the causes and symptoms of leprosy, its treatment, and eliminate misconceptions surrounding the disease.

    What causes leprosy?

    Leprosy is caused by Mycobacterium leprae (M. leprae) or Mycobacterium lepromatosis (M. lepromatosis) which affects the skin, eyes, respiratory tract and peripheral nerves of the infected person. Skin lesions appear mainly in the colder areas of the body. The disease can spread through cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person or direct contact with an untreated leprosy patient.

    A person with a weaker immunity can get infected with the disease quickly. Children may be more susceptible to this disease than adults.

    What are the types of leprosy?

    There are several classifications of leprosy. The two main categories are the Ridley-Jopling classification and the World Health Organization (WHO) classification.

    Ridley-Jopling classification identifies the following five gradations of the disease:

    • Tuberculoid leprosy: Fewer lesions; some are large and numb with nerve enlargement
    • Borderline tuberculoid leprosy: More but smaller lesions with more nerve enlargement
    • Mid-borderline leprosy: Reddish plaques with moderate numbness and swollen lymph nodes
    • Borderline lepromatous leprosy: Many lesions with raised bumps, plaques and more numbness
    • Lepromatous leprosy: Several lesions, disfigurement, limb weakness and hair loss

    The number of skin lesions defines world Health Organization (WHO) classification:

    • The first form is paucibacillary; wherein there are fewer skin lesions with no bacterium seen on the skin smear.
    • The second form is multibacillary; wherein there are multiple skin lesions with bacterium seen on the skin smear.

    What are the symptoms of leprosy?

    Leprosy doesn't show immediate symptoms. The infection gradually develops into the disease, and it may take between one to 20 years for the infected person to show the first signs of leprosy, which include:

    • Skin lesions paler than the person's normal skin tone
    • Skin lesions with reduced sensation
    • Foot ulcers
    • Dry and cracked skin
    • Muscle weakness
    • Numbness in the hands and feet
    • Curled fingers
    • Facial disfigurement
    • Hair loss
    • Dry eyes, ulcers and maybe blindness

    Diagnosis of leprosy

    The doctor will first examine the patient for physical signs of symptoms of leprosy. Based on this, the doctor will conduct a biopsy on a small skin sample. This may be followed by a skin smear test to identify paucibacillary or multibacillary leprosy.

    The doctor may also conduct a lepromin skin test to diagnose the type of leprosy further. In this process, the patient is injected with a small dose of inactive leprosy-causing bacterium on the forearm. The skin patch will be observed after a few days. A patient infected with tuberculoid or borderline tuberculoid leprosy will show a reaction to the injection.

    Treatment of leprosy

    Leprosy can be cured if detected early. In 1995, the World Health Organization (WHO) introduced Multi-drug Therapy (MDT) to combat it. And this treatment is available for free across the world. Depending on the type of leprosy, the doctor may prescribe treatment for six months or longer, in case of severe leprosy. A combination of the following antibiotics is used for leprosy treatment:

    • Dapsone (Aczone)
    • Minocycline (Minocin)
    • Ofloxacin (Ocuflux)
    • Rifampin (Rifadin)
    • Clofazimine (Lamprene)

    For nerve damage, the doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication such as prednisone (Rayos), aspirin (Bayer), or thalidomide (Thalomid). However, since thalidomide leads to a congenital disability, it should be avoided by pregnant women or women who plan to have a child soon.

    Breaking the stigma

    For decades, leprosy has been considered a highly contagious disease and the patients are banned from society. Many are denied employment opportunities and thus lead a life in financial struggles and emotional turmoil. The social stigma associated with the disease prevents patients from getting treatment at the right time.

    In 1954, French humanitarian Raoul Follereau started the World Leprosy Day to honour Mahatma Gandhi's compassion towards leprosy patients. Across the world, the last Sunday of every January is observed as the World Leprosy Day to create awareness of leprosy. Besides, WHO has been working towards public awareness about leprosy and removing this social stigma.

    However, leprosy is not highly contagious. The disease is transmitted through direct physical contact with an infected person. Sitting next to an infected person or shaking hands doesn't spread the disease. Also, the condition isn't transmitted from pregnant lady to her unborn child. Contrary to the misconception, animals like armadillos, chimpanzees and mangabey monkeys may rarely transmit the bacteria to humans.

  • Health Insurance For Differently-Abled & Mentally Challenged Individuals

    by Santosh Kevale | Aug 25, 2021

    According to Census 2011 there are 26.8 million specially-abled persons residing in India. This essentially means that 2 percent of the population of the country suffers from some kind of disability, be it mental or physical.

    The government of India has taken several steps to ensure that disabled persons have health insurance covers available to fall back upon and to give an equal opportunity for benefits to all. Here is what you need to know about health insurance for differently-abled and mentally challenged individuals.

    Health Insurance Schemes

    If you or your family member suffers from a disability, the medical condition does not necessarily need to be an impediment towards obtaining a health insurance policy. The Niramaya and the Swavlamban Health insurance schemes are here to ameliorate your burden to a great extent. Read on to find out what the schemes are about.

    Niramaya Health Insurance Scheme

    The Niramaya health insurance plan has been introduced by the National Trust to help persons afflicted by diseases such as autism, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and related illnesses. The application fee for the Niramaya health insurance scheme is ₹250.

    When you want to claim benefits under this plan, your reimbursement will be made after the process of review of your application. You will be entitled to get treatment in the hospital of your choice and claim benefits of up to ₹1 Lakh in total.

    Swavlamban Health Insurance Plan

    This plan is a group mediclaim policy meant for differently-abled persons. The objective of the health insurance plan is to provide affordable plans to persons suffering from blindness, hearing disability, loss of motor functions, mental disabilities, leprosy and related severe illnesses.

  • InstaSpect: Instant Claim Approval

    by Santosh Kevale | Aug 25, 2021

    Customer ease is always the top priority at ICICI Lombard. As part of this effort, ICICI Lombard has launched a facility called InstaSpect, the mobile self-inspection feature that eliminates the need for physical inspection of cars. ICICI Lombard customers can now record a video of their car on their mobile phones as per the guidance provided in the ‘Insure’ app. This facility saves customers the hassle of having to wait for a surveyor to visit and carry out the physical inspection.

    Inspection is mandatory when a motor insurance policy lapses and it causes delay in issuance of renewed policy. Normally, the insurer initiates a process called ‘Break-In’ when a customer applies for renewal of a lapsed car insurance policy. In this process, an inspection by authorised surveyors is carried out and the policy is issued based on satisfactory inspection. However, with the ‘Mobile Self Inspection’ feature, the time taken for renewal of lapsed policy reduces to a few hours from 2-3 days. This feature has made renewal of lapsed policy an easy-going and stress-free process for customers. Customers of other insurance companies who want to make a shift to ICICI Lombard can also use this feature.

    For using the ‘Mobile Self Inspection’, a customer needs to have an internet connection; mobile phone with 3 MP or above camera resolution and the video of the car must be recorded in broad daylight. The app also contains a demo video for step-by-step guidance of the ‘Mobile Self Inspection’ process. After making payment for renewal of car insurance policy the customer is prompted to upload the self-inspection video via the mobile app.

  • A Complete Guide to the Benefits of ICICI Lombard Complete Health Insurance

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

    The COVID-19 pandemic has made the entire world realise that medical exigencies can arrive anytime and cause a substantial financial setback that is often tough to handle. The continually rising medical inflation in our country and skyrocketing costs of availing healthcare facilities means that a single instance of hospitalisation can burn a large hole in your pocket and ruin your entire financial planning.

    However, you can prevent all this by investing in a reliable health insurance policy. In case of a medical emergency, it would cover most of the healthcare expenses you may incur, including hospital room rent, doctor's consultation fees, costs towards diagnostic tests, medicines, ambulance charges, and even post hospitalisation expenses to a certain extent.

    Though there is no shortage of health insurance offerings in India from different insurance providers, one plan stands out in the market - Family Health Insurance. True to its name, it can be the complete solution for yourself and your family members' health insurance requirements. Read on to know more about some significant features and benefits of this plan.

    What is ICICI Lombard Complete Health Insurance Plan?

    The Complete Health Insurance Plan by ICICI Lombard is a comprehensive medical insurance policy that can secure you and your entire family against unforeseen healthcare expenses. You can either purchase this plan only for yourself or include your family members under the family floater option. This plan comes with an option of lifelong renewability, and you can add your spouse, kids and parents under the floater benefit.

    You will also have the flexibility to optimise the coverage based on your precise healthcare needs by selecting add-ons such as maternity cover, OPD cover, critical illness cover, donor expenses cover, etc.

    Some other noteworthy features of this plan include:

    No limit on hospital room rent

    When you get hospitalised, you must pay room rent for staying in the hospital room with all medical facilities. Room rent of a private hospital can quickly run into several thousand rupees for each day. Standard health insurance plans usually put a cap on the coverage of room rent. In case your hospital's room rent is above that capping, you will have to pay the difference out of your pocket.

    However, with ICICI Lombard Complete Health Insurance Policy, there will be no capping or limit on hospital room rent. It means that in case of sudden hospitalisation, you can choose to stay in the room of your choice and avail the best possible treatment without worrying about the finances.

    No co-pay clause

    Under the co-pay clause of a health insurance policy, the insured person or policyholder is liable to bear a particular portion of the medical expenses incurred by him/her during a medical emergency. Usually, health insurance plans come with a co-pay clause, and the co-pay percentage is fixed at the time of policy inception.

    However, ICICI Lombard Complete Health Insurance Plan comes with zero or no co-pay clause. It means that in case of a medical emergency, the entire expenses incurred by the policyholder will be borne by the insurance company (except for non-medical costs).

    Coverage for pre-existing diseases

    Many health policies exclude pre-existing diseases from the ambit of their coverage. However, ICICI Lombard Complete Health Insurance Plan covers pre-existing conditions, albeit after a waiting period of two years. By choosing a sum insured of ₹3 lakhs or more, you will be able to get the coverage for your pre-existing diseases after two years of continuous coverage under the policy.

  • Why Is Online Car Insurance Renewal the Best Option Right Now?

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

    During the current pandemic situation, buying an online car insurance policy is the best option as you need not step out of your home for that.

    It's imperative to renew your car insurance policy before its expiry date. Failing to do so can not only land you in legal trouble but also expose you to losses like car theft and damages. As per the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act of 2019, driving an uninsured vehicle in India can attract a penalty of ₹ 2,000 or imprisonment of up to 3 months or both.

    However, car insurance renewal may not be easy and straightforward as you think. The biggest obstacle during the current pandemic situation is moving out of your house and visiting the insurer's office to get your policy renewed. Also, the lack of options means that you may have to remain stuck with your current insurer even if it is demanding an unreasonably high premium.

    All of these problems can be nullified by opting for car insurance renewal through the online method. For online car insurance renewal, all you have to do is visit your preferred insurer's website, enter your car's details, and pay the premium amount via an online payment method. Below are the reasons which make online car insurance the best option right now.

    Convenience of buying from home

    The most notable advantage of online car insurance renewal is that you can do so from the convenience of your home. You are not required to step out of your home to visit the insurer's office in order to get your policy renewed. All you need to do is visit your preferred insurer's website and renew your car insurance policy by paying the premium through an online method.

    This will protect you from the hassles of visiting the insurer's office physically and will also help you in minimising contact with other people during the current pandemic situation.

    Minimal paperwork

    Online car insurance renewal involves minimal paperwork. In fact, at ICICI Lombard, you can buy or renew online car insurance policies with no physical documentation. To buy an online car insurance policy, you simply need to fill and sign the proposal form digitally, and choose your desired coverage/add-ons, and make the payment online.

    Moreover, the soft copy of your policy document will also be sent to you on your registered e-mail id or WhatsApp number. As a result, you will not only keep yourself protected from the possibility of Covid-19 infection but also ensure that your car is covered.

    No need for an insurance agent

    By opting for the online route for your car insurance renewal, you can purchase the policy directly from the insurance provider without taking help from an agent or broker. This way, your insurer will save on the brokerage charges it may have to pay to the agent otherwise, and hence, offer a reduced quote for your car insurance renewal.

    In case you come across any doubts or jargons while purchasing motor insurance, you can ask us on the chat feature or give us a call at 1800 2666. We're available to solve your queries.

    Instant policy issuance

    When you buy a car insurance policy online, the policy is issued almost instantly. After paying the premium amount, the policy document is sent to you on your registered e-mail id within a few minutes. It means that, unlike the offline policy, you won't have to wait for days to receive your car insurance policy when you buy it online.

    This is because the insurers take no time to issue online car insurance policies. There is no lengthy paperwork as the documents are verified through a computerised process.

  • Instantly Register Your Car Insurance Claim with ICICI Lombard's Voice Bot Service

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

    With ICICI Lombard's voice bot service, you can register your car insurance claim instantly, right from the accident spot.

    Modern advancements in terms of technology have made everything easy and digitised. More and more people are getting increasingly familiar with voice assistants such as Siri, Alexa, Google assistant etc. and are demanding such voice-enabled automated solutions to all their problems. In fact, as per Google's voice search demographics, almost 27% of the global population with internet access prefer using voice search technology.

    Almost all progressive brands have begun to offer quick and personalised solutions to their customers' queries in chatbots and voice bots. Taking a step ahead in aligning with this trend, we, India's leading private sector insurance company, have launched a unique voice bot service, allowing customers to register their motor insurance claims through a voice call instantly.

    Continue reading to know more about this unique facility and how you can make the best use of it.

    What is ICICI Lombard's voice bot facility?

    As mentioned above, our voice bot facility will allow two-wheeler insurance and car insurance policyholders to register their claim in the wake of an accident instantly. The voice bot service is a highly advanced technological solution, and it works on state-of-the-art speech recognition capabilities to recognise long narratives by the policyholders.

    Customers can use this unique facility through their smartphones as well as feature phones. This facility has been tested to ensure it works well even with high ambient noise and with different voice accents.

    What's unique about this facility?

    A comprehensive car insurance policy protects a vehicle owner against the losses or damages suffered by his/her vehicle during an accident or mishap. However, registering a car insurance claim may seem to be a long and tedious process. A policyholder is required to contact the insurer, submit the relevant documents and wait for the surveyor to get his/her claim passed.

    However, with our voice bot facility, registering motor insurance claim has become easy like never before. All the customer needs to do is make a call from the accident spot and follow the instructions. This will protect the policyholder from the hassles of visiting the insurer's office, filling up a claim form, and waiting for a prolonged period to get his/her claim registered.

    This voice bot facility is currently available in English and will soon be available in Hindi, Tamil, and other regional languages. This is to provide a technology-enabled facility that helps the majority of Indians to interact with the bot in their native language.

    After the launch of this unique service, our Chief of Service, Operations and Technology – Mr. Girish Nayak – said, "At ICICI Lombard, we strive to be at the forefront of harnessing technology for the benefit of our customers. In line with this approach, we are happy to have unveiled our Voice Bot activated motor insurance claim approval solution. In the new hybrid world, where contactless solutions are the norm, this service will empower our customers to register their motor claims instantly and from the safe environment of their home."

  • 5 Tips to Boost Your Oxygen Saturation Level at Home

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

    The second Covid-19 wave has hit India badly, and it is believed to be more dreadful than the first wave. On May 6th 2021, India recorded a total of 4,14,000 fresh Covid-19 cases, which is the record single-day surge seen by the country. The second wave of the pandemic is spreading rapidly, and the symptoms faced by the infected citizens are much more severe.

    One of the most common and dangerous symptoms experienced by many Covid-19 positive patients is a rapid drop in their blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) level. As a result, they are facing acute breathing problems. Such a drop in SpO2 levels has been the biggest reason behind so many casualties during the second wave of coronavirus in India.

    In case of a positive diagnosis, or if you begin to feel breathless, we recommended frequent monitoring of oxygen saturation using an oximeter. According to doctors, if your SpO2 falls below 94%, it can be a dangerous sign. With or without a Covid-19 diagnosis, this doesn't mean that you should panic. In case you're unable to get a hospital bed and/or oxygen cylinder, you can still take steps to boost your blood's SpO2 level while staying at your home.

    Check out these easy ways to improve your oxygen saturation level from your home:

    1. Lie down in the "prone" position

    Proning is the best position to increase the oxygen level of your body. It is scientifically proven and recommended by most doctors as well as the Health Ministry of India. In this method, the person has to lie down on his/her belly with his/her chest raised using the support of pillows. You can place one pillow beneath your neck and two pillows beneath your shins and lie down on your stomach or belly.

    You can also lie on your right or left side or sit at a 90-degree angle in the "fowler" position and practice rapid breathing. When you notice a drop in your SpO2 level, we recommend remaining in the prone position for at least two to three hours. This will improve ventilation in your lungs, and hence, your oxygen saturation level should begin improving.

    2. Include more antioxidants in your diet

    Antioxidants allow your body to use oxygen more efficiently, thereby helping your blood's oxygen saturation level. Hence, you can include more antioxidants such as blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, kidney beans, plums, and artichoke hearts in your daily diet to maintain your SpO2 level.

    You can also consider having foods rich in fatty acids and Vitamin F. These foods work to increase the capacity of the haemoglobin in your bloodstream to carry oxygen. Iron-rich foods such as green vegetables, apples, legumes, fish, poultry etc. also help by strengthening the red blood cells of your body.

    3. Practice slow and deep breathing

    Your breathing pattern can have a vast effect on your blood's oxygen saturation level. By changing your breathing style, you can provide a significant boost to your blood's SpO2 level. Recently, doctors and scientists have discovered that those who breathe using their upper chest and inhale less air experience reduced oxygen levels in their bodies.

    Therefore, the correct breathing method involves slow and deep inhaling, using your diaphragm and not your chest. This will allow you to inhale as much air as possible, and hence, your body will be able to get more oxygen. Also, it's better to breathe from your nose rather than the mouth.

    4. Drink lots of fluid

    Keeping yourself hydrated is another important method to improve your blood's oxygen saturation level. When you drink lots of water, your lungs remain properly hydrated, which improves their ability to oxygenate and expel carbon dioxide. Therefore, the oxygen saturation level of your body gets improved.

    Also, drinking 2-3 litres of water may improve your blood's oxygen saturation level by up to 5 per cent. Drinking lots of water also helps in regulating body temperature and boosting the immunity of your body.

    5. Try aerobic exercises

    Aerobic exercises not only act as a catalyst for your body's metabolic activities but also help in relieving breathing problems and improving your blood's oxygen saturation level. They help the cells of our body obtain and utilise the available oxygen better, thereby improving the SpO2 level of your body. They also increase your body's endurance and immunity.

    If you're Covid-19 positive, hard aerobic training is not recommended. What you can do is indulge in light exercises such as walking, swimming, cycling etc. If you are getting exhausted, don't fret. Take breaks and do your exercises for five to six minutes only at regular intervals. Sprint and interval training are the most recommended training methods to increase the oxygen level.

  • 5 Things you need to know before buying Health Insurance

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

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

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

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

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

    Types of health insurance plans

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

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

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

    The sum insured

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

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

    The waiting period clause

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

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

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

    Cashless treatment facility

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

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

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

  • 5 Common Winter Ailments and How You Can Avoid Them

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

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

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

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

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

    Common cold

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

    Symptoms of the common cold:

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

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


    Flu

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

    Symptoms of flu:

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

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


    Bronchitis

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

    Symptoms of bronchitis:

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

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


    Pneumonia

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

    Symptoms of pneumonia:

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

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


    Norovirus

  • Decoding Colour Code in Health Insurance Plans

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

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

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

    What is the Colour Code?

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

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

    How do Insurers Calculate the Score?

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

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

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

    Score for Optional Cover and Co-pay

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

    Score for Waiting Period

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

    Sub-limit Score

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

    Scores for Deductibles and Permanent Exclusions

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

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

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

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

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

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

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

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

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

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

    How to file a motor insurance claim

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • How to Claim Under Bike Insurance?

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

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

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

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

    What is a bike insurance claim?

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

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

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

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

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

    How to file a bike insurance claim?

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

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

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

    Below are the steps to file a bike insurance claim:

    Steps to file a third-party insurance claim

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

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

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

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

    Steps to file a claim under the OD cover

    Step 1 – Inform the insurance provider immediately.

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

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

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

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

    Steps to file a claim in case of theft

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

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

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

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

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

    Documents required for bike insurance claim

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

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

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

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

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

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

    Why do I need car insurance?

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

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

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

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

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

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

    How do I buy car insurance for a used car?

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

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

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

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

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

  • BS4 v BS6: Key Differences, Features and Norms

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

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

    BS4 vs BS6: What is the BS6 norm?

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

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

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

    BS4 vs BS6: Key differences between BS4 and BS6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

    Tackle the increasing healthcare costs

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

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

    Medical coverage for elderly people

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

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

    A high sum insured

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

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

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

    by Rajendhar Thogari | Aug 18, 2021

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

    What exactly is PUC?

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

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

    Cost and validity

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

    Contents of the PUC certificate

    Following are the contents of the certificate:

    • A serial number that helps the testing centre monitor when your car went through the test.
    • The car's registration number.
    • The date on which the test was taken and the expiry date.
    • The actual PUC test reading.

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