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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  • Explained - How the Second Wave of Coronavirus in India is More Severe & Different

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

    First wave vs. second wave

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

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

    India becomes the second worst-hit country in the world

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

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

    What's different during the second wave?

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

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

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

    Are more young people getting infected?

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

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

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

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

    What is Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY)?

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

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

    Who can open a Sukanya Samriddhi Account?

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

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

    Who can invest in a Sukanya Samriddhi Account?

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

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

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

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

    What is the interest rate on a Sukanya Samriddhi Account?

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

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

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

    What is the duration of this account?

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

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

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

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

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

    Documents required to open a Sukanya Samriddhi Account

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

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

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

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

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

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

    What is a voluntary deductible in a car insurance policy?

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

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

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

    How does voluntary deductibles help in reducing premium?

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

    The amount of voluntary deductible chosen by you is inversely proportional to the premium amount you need to pay. It means higher the voluntary deductible, lower the car insurance premium.

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

    Voluntary Deductible

    Discount Given By Insurer

    ₹ 2,500

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

    ₹ 5,000

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

    ₹ 7,500

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

    ₹ 15,000

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



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

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

    How to register yourself for the vaccine?

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

    Steps to register yourself on the CoWIN app or website:

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

    Steps to register yourself Aarogya Setu app:

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

    Tips to follow while registering yourself for the vaccine

    Be patient and do not panic

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

    Avoid going to the vaccination centre without registration

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

    Keep multiple options in your hand

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

    Don't fret if you miss your appointment date

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

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

  • How to Protect Your Car’s Engine This Monsoon

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

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

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

    Water Ingression – How Bad Is It For The Engine?

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

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

    Possible Effects of Hydrostatic Lock

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

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

  • 3 Problems only Indian motorists can understand

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

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

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

    Inadequate road systems

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

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

    Indiscipline on roads

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

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

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

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    Get to know the pros and cons of an electric car

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

    The Pros of an Electric Car

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

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

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

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

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

    Understanding Motor Insurance

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

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

    Types of Motor Insurance

    Third Part Liability

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

    Own Damage Cover

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

    Personal Accident Cover

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

    Add-Ons

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

    Points not covered under Motor Insurance

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

    Factors to consider while choosing a motor insurance policy

    Claim settlement

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

    Comprehensive or bare minimum

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

    Customer Service

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

    Garage network

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

    Premium

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

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

    Policy Life Cycle (PLC)

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

    Purchase

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

    Claims

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

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

    Renewal

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

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

  • Items That You Should Include in Your Car Emergency Kit

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

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

    Spare Tyre

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

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

    Tyre Jack

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

    Jumper Cable

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

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

  • Top High-Tech Car Safety Technologies

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

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

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

    Adaptive Cruise Control

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

    Periphery Sensors

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

    Heads-Up Display

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

    Lane Keeping Assist

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

  • Important Points about Car Insurance Policy Cancellation

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

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

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

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

    Reasons for Car Insurance Policy Cancellation

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

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

    The Process of Cancellation of Your Car Insurance Policy

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

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

  • 5 Things to do if Your Car Insurance Expires

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    Amidst your busy schedules, renewing your motor insurance policy can easily slip your mind. Now-a-days, most insurance companies offer reminder facilities for policy renewal. However, if you still missed the date, it is important to contact your insurance provider as soon as you realize the slip. If the policy has just expired, you may be able to reinstate it without any penalty. Ensure you don't take your car out until you get a fresh policy.

    The following steps will guide you through the insurance revival process:

    Step 1: Get organized

    If you failed to renew your motor insurance policy on time, get in touch with your insurance company and fix an appointment for the vehicle to be surveyed. Once the survey is satisfactorily completed you can go ahead and purchase the insurance policy.

    Collect your previous policy documents and all claim-related papers. The insurer requires these papers to look into your claims' history and accordingly you will be entitled for a No-claim Bonus (NCB) on your new policy.

    Step 2: Keep your vehicle documents handy

    Equip yourself with your vehicle details. These include the city where your vehicle is registered or the RTO's address, first registration date, manufacturer's name and model details.

    Step 3: Logon to the insurer's website

    Avoid tedious paperwork and simply logon to the insurer's website with the documents and details ready at hand. Click on the online renewal option and fill in the details in the appropriate fields. You can renew your car insurance as well as two-wheeler insurance online, by following quick and simple steps.

    Step 4: Fill and crosscheck details online

    Make sure to fill in correctly the policy number, vehicle registration dates and other details. Before submitting these details, crosscheck them against the documents in hand to avoid miscommunication. On submission of the renewal form, you will receive a quote from the insurer.

  • How-to Claim Under Third Party Car Insurance

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    What is third-party car insurance and what it covers

    A car owner must carry third-party motor insurance under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. This government-mandated requirement ensures that in the event of an accident, he/she can compensate the aggrieved party for bodily injuries/death or material damages and take care of any legal liabilities arising from the accident.

    Third-party vehicle insurance is a two-way street. While you might pay a third party in case of an accident due to your fault, this car insurance type can also be availed in case you are at the other end of the line.

    Also known as ‘Act Only’ plan, this car insurance variant is specifically designed for damages sustained by a third-party. However, several insurance providers offer personal accident cover to the insured. This ensures that in the event of an accident, the car owner is not only capable of compensating the third-party but can also take care of himself and his loved ones, in case of personal injuries or even death.

    Here are a few of the major claims that you can make from a third-party insurance holder in case of an accident:

    • Medical expenses claim in case of bodily injuries incurred due to the accident. You can also claim for treatment expenses for the injuries sustained.
    • A compensation claim for physical disfigurement.
    • Compensation for loss of earnings due to disability that prohibits from working.
    • A compensation claim can also be filed by the dependents of the third-party if he/she passes away due to the accident. This claim is based on the ground of the income lost due to death.
    • In the case of a claim filed for damages to the third party, IRDA has capped the compensation ceiling at ₹7.5 lakhs for insurance companies. However, in case the claim exceeds the capped amount, then the deficit has to be paid by the car owner.
    • There’s no regulated cap on compensation claims filed for injuries and death.

    Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the nitty-gritty of third-party car insurance, here is the complete process on how to claim 3rd party car insurance if you are the aggrieved one:

    Third-party motor insurance compensation claim in case of disability, injuries or death

    • File an FIR with the police immediately after the accident and take a copy of the same.
    • Obtain the third-party motor insurance details of the car owner.
    • Take a copy of the charge sheet filed by the police against the car owner.
    • Hire a motor claims lawyer and file a compensation claim case in the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal. Remember, such cases do not fall under the jurisdiction of civil courts. The claim has to be filed in the tribunal court of the area where the accident has occurred or in the area where you (the claimant) resides.
    • In many cases, the car owner would suggest an out-of-court settlement, wherein a mutually agreeable amount is settled upon. Although this process is legally permissible, however, it’s best to get the authorities involved in case of an accident.

    Third-party car insurance compensation claim in case of property damage

  • Leave your driver’s anxiety behind

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    If you’re driving across Whitefield in Bangalore or around Marine Drive in Mumbai, there is a high possibility that you’ll come across these 3 things - traffic that takes an eternity to disperse, a jaywalker who has to make his way through the traffic, and a reckless driver who has to overtake every other vehicle on the road. Add to this the degrading conditions of the roads of our country, and being a driver becomes quite a task.

    The year 2017 saw the death of 1.49 lakh people due to road accidents which roughly counts for the entire population of Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya. Accidents or their causes cannot be predicted but one can take certain precautionary measures; having a motor insurance plan will definitely help you drive worry-free and forget about the what-ifs.

    What constitutes car insurance?

    Based on the coverage, there are two types of motor insurance - third party liability policy and comprehensive car insurance policy. The third-party liability coverage pays for the losses or damages caused by your car to any third party during a mishap. On the other hand, a comprehensive policy, along with the third-party liability also covers the losses or damages caused to your own car in case of an accident.

    A comprehensive motor insurance plan provides coverage for the damages inflicted to the policyholder’s vehicle, arising out of accidents, vandalism, riots, natural disasters and calamities, loss due to theft and personal accident. A comprehensive motor insurance hence provides an all-around protection to the insured person and his/her vehicle, and thus, enabling them to drive their car stress-free.

    What is the need for car insurance?

    With expanding formal sector employment, increasing disposable income and easy financing solutions, owning a car is no more a distant dream for the Indian households. Vehicle density seen on Indian roads is greater than the carrying capacity of our current road network. Along with this increased vehicle density, the chances of mishaps and accidents have also increased, thereby, increasing the need for car insurance.

    Adherence to the law

    As per the Motor Vehicle Act of 1988, a minimum of third-party liability cover is mandatory for every vehicle plying on Indian roads. The third-party liability cover is the arrangement between the insured and the insurer wherein the insurer promises to cover the costs of damages or losses incurred to any third party (in lieu of a price called the premium) arising out of the mistake or negligence of the policyholder or first party.

    Takes care of your liability

    The mandatory third-party motor insurance essentially guards a car owner from the legal, financial, and medical liabilities that he/she can incur in case of an accident or a collision. The third-party liability cover policy takes care of the liability you owe to the aggrieved party, in case of a loss or damage to the property, bodily injury, or disability caused at your fault. However, the third-party insurance does not cover the policyholder for any loss or damage to his/her own car or property in case of an accident or theft.

    Reimburses the damage

    While a third-party insurance covers the damages inflicted to the third party, a comprehensive car insurance  takes care of the damages and losses to your own vehicle as well as damges caused to third party.

  • 5 Things that Can Bring Down the Resale Value of Your Car

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    The same 'pal' who took you and your family on memorable trips, who helped during the children's school-drop routine, whose photo is probably posted on social media websites with friends seated on the bonnet.

    However, putting sentiments aside, you might be headed for a tough last ride with your vehicle. Ensure to keep following points in mind to keep your car in good shape.

    Absence of service records, irregular maintenance, poor looks

    If you've neglected to safeguard all your car servicing records, over the years, it may well be a costly lapse. A potential new owner would like to feel that the vehicle he's looking to buy has been single-owner driven, serviced at regular intervals and generally been treated with care. Nobody wants to be seen with a used car which loudly proclaims that it's a 'used' car.

    Driving in tough city conditions, say, monsoon rains and poor roads must have an effect on your vehicle. If you were a careful driver and not succumbed to ego-clashes on the road, chances are you'd have preserved the looks of your car.

    If you weren't really a careful driver, given to a bit of bravado, and didn't mind the odd nicks and scratches, you should be prepared for a lesser value on your car. Repairing the dents and scratches as far as feasible will help. Also, boisterous children in the back or generally untidy usage reflected by seat stains for instance, can lower the value of your car.

    Customizing your car

    Imaginative innovations may have been part of the in-thing some time ago, but tend to have a negative impact i.e. wear-and-tear. Also, the new owner might have misgivings about the impact of such installations (a new, larger fender for example, might not really suit the car).

    The mileage factor

    Generally speaking, the more the kilometers done, the lesser the value of the car. All of 100,000 kms may be a landmark you will recall fondly including the several inter-State trips, but it's unlikely to bring a smile to the face of the new buyer or dealer who's doing the re-selling.

  • 5 Tips to Avoid Purchasing Fake Motor Insurance

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    A popular way people get scammed in our country is by buying fake insurance policies and not realizing they have been conned, until they make a claim. Save yourself from such a shock by avoiding the fake policy trap with these smart tips.

    Rely Only on Credible Sources

    It’s not easy to tell if a policy is genuine or fake by merely looking at it, thereby making it important to deal with only credible sources. It’s always safer to buy an insurance policy directly from an insurance company and to eliminate the middlemen, because any dealer or agent can easily print and give out a fake policy.

    Buy the Policy Online or Pay by Cheque

    In this day and age, buying an insurance policy online is the way to go. It’s not only convenient but also avoids all risk as the payment is made directly to the insurance company. In case you are buying it offline, make sure to make the payment by cheque. Ensure that the cheque is in the favour of the insurance company and not in the favour of any individual.

    Read the Policy and Verify Using the Verification Link

    It’s essential to take a few minutes and read the policy thoroughly. Most insurers now offer a policy verification link on their website, which you can use to confirm the validity of your insurance policy. In case of further assurance or to clarify details, you can also contact the customer service of the insurance company.

    Buy the Policy from Licensed Insurers

    Currently in India there are 33 recognized and accepted general insurance companies. To eliminate the risk of buying a fake policy, you must buy your insurance policy only from one of these 33 insurance companies. You can check the list of these licensed companies on the website of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA).

    Con artists, however, find a way to duplicate the logo of these companies and still manage to sell fake policies. This calls for an additional safety measure, which is checking the existence of the insurance policy. You can do this by simply visiting an official branch of the company in your city or going to their website or writing to them.

  • Anti-theft Devices and Their Impact on Car Insurance

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    The significance of anti-theft devices in vehicles

    According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), in 2015, with more than 32,000 stolen vehicles, Delhi topped the list for vehicle thefts in the country. Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Maharashtra came in a close second, with a vehicle being stolen every 13 minutes in UP. These figures are only rising year on year.

    The arrests made by the Delhi Police and other state police forces in 2016 reveal how new-age gangs take the help of stolen data, laptops and female members to steal high-end luxury cars. After spending a fortune on your dream vehicle, these numbers across metropolitans and other Indian cities can be startling. Therefore, it is important to check if your vehicle is really secure, beyond the mere lock and key.

    Anti-theft Devices and How They Help

    With the advance in technology, it is possible to adopt a proactive instead of reactive approach to protect your car. While it is quite unlikely that you can prevent your car from being stolen, there are several warning systems that you can employ to reduce the likelihood of such an event. This is where anti-theft devices play a significant role. The installation of an anti-theft device that is approved by the Automobile Research Association of India (ARAI) not only enhances the security of your vehicle, but also lowers your car insurance premium.

    These days, most car manufacturers in India provide in-built anti-theft devices. However, you can also install them at a later stage; the cost would be determined by the technological advancement of the device. Basic mechanical systems will cost less as compared to intelligent computerised systems.

    What Type of Anti-theft Devices Do You Need?

    • Mechanical Immobilisers
    • These are the least expensive anti-theft devices in the market. Being visual, these should be enough to ward off amateur car thieves. It is recommended to include an immobiliser in conjunction with other anti-theft devices.

      Types of mechanical immobilisers include steering wheel lock, hood lock, tire lock, gearshift lock, ignition/steering wheel column and crook locks, etc.

    • Electronic Immobilisers
    • Many vehicles today come with standard car keys and fobs that protect their cars via electronic immobilisers. These built-in transponders or microchips send signals to the ignition and fuel pump system. The ignition will work only if it receives the correct signals or it remains static.

  • Prepare Your Car for A Road Trip

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    Road trips are fun and let you travel far and beyond with the convenience and luxury of your own car. While Indian highways now have every facility available, from your favourite burger place to medical stores and garages, to ensure a smooth ride you need to be well-prepared. Impromptu or a well-planned trip, ensure the following before driving off for a memorable experience:

    Check Tyre Pressure

    Too much pressure reduces grip and increases average, while too less will give you a better grip but reduced fuel efficiency. Check the tread of your tyres to analyse their health. In addition, it is not advisable to drive with worn out tyre treads as it can seriously impact the handling quality of your ride.

    Fill-up All Fluids

    Ensure that the levels of the engine oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, coolant are at an optimum level. These increase the life and performance of the car engine, thereby reducing the chance of breakdowns.

    Upgrade Your First Aid Kit

    A first aid kit is your first line of defence against emergencies and life threatening situations that may happen at any time. Be prepared with a first aid kit that contains specific medicines for particular medical conditions that your passengers may be prone to such as asthma, allergy, antibiotics and painkillers.

    Carry Spare Tyre, Puncture Repair Kit and Tools

    Tyres are exposed to the most wear and tear, which makes it essential to bring along a spare tyre, tool kit and puncture repair kit. Pre-planning can save you from being stuck in middle of nowhere without a spare tyre.

    Charge Battery

    Check if your battery is properly charged and won’t cause a problem during your trip. Double check for corrosion on terminals, clean it with baking soda, water and a toothbrush to ensure better conductivity.

    Fix Washer Fluid and Wipers

    Your windshield should be clean from debris and build-ups. Make sure your wipers are clean and working properly. Maintaining the levels of washer fluid and water will ensure a longer life for your wipers and avoid your windshield from being scratched.

    Ensure the Safety of Co-passengers

    Seatbelts are often considered as an inconvenience. However, studies have shown that people have an exponentially higher rate of survival in case of an accident if seatbelts were on.

    Go for a customised seatbelt in case you are uncomfortable or get extenders that ensure you are safe and not suffocating. Although not mandatory, children should never ride in the front passenger seat. Strap them in the back seat, and if possible, get a car seat for toddlers and infants.

    If your car has a central door-locking mechanism, ensure you have the child lock feature on. In addition, make sure all your doors are closed properly before you start your car.

    Avoid Drinking and Driving

    This one is a no-brainer. When you drive under the influence of alcohol or other substances, it compromises your alertness and sense of judgement. This can cause harm to you as well as others around you. Don’t do it.

    Light up Appropriately

    This includes headlights, high beams, fog lights, brake lights, indicators and reverse lights. A bad light can easily cause an accident during night-time.

  • Is It Possible to Have a Combined Motor Insurance Policy for All Your Vehicles?

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    If you are one of those people who have more than one car at home, or have multiple cars registered on the same address, then you would understand the problems that crops up where insurance is concerned. Having multiple cars mean keeping tab of their premium payment dates, renewal dates and going through a lot of paperwork. But, there are car insurance plans available in international markets that provide comprehensive coverage for a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 5 cars.

    These insurance policies are known as multi-car insurance, and though they are not yet available in India, we take a look at some of the pros and cons that they come with.

    Advantages

    • Discounts: This is among the biggest benefits of purchasing a multi-car insurance policy. The insurance company is willing to give better deals if there are more cars being insured under the same policy. A great bargain can be had as most insurers are open to discounted rates in view of the long-term association with customers. Further, it is always beneficial to offer discounts and sign up the whole family, rather than have a single policyholder’s car insured with them.
    • Different Drivers: In this policy there is a main driver, and there are named drivers - people who drive the car other than the main driver. It doesn’t matter from the insurance aspect as long as any one of these drivers is in the driver’s seat. The only criterion is that the car should be registered at the same address.
    • Paperwork Simplified: With multi-car insurance, it is easier to manage the insurance policies for multiple cars, as they all come under one policy. You only have to remember one renewal date, and make one premium payment for all your cars. The result is less hassle and less paperwork.
  • DIY - Preventive Maintenance For Your Car

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    You belong to the elite club of owners for whom cars are an extension of their identity, a prized asset, a reason worth spending money, often for overhauling.

    While complex repairs should be left to the technical experts, you can surely carry out some effortless preventive maintenance yourself. Here are some do-it-yourself tips to keep your car in great condition:

    Car Tires

    Pressure: Checking the tire pressure regularly is important as ideal pressure conditions have a bearing on fuel efficiency and driving comfort.

    Cleaning: The tire treads should be regularly cleaned with water and sponge. Heat and static electricity generated in moving tires pick up dirt and grime from the road. Cleaner treads enhance the tire life.

    Tire Rotation: Exchanging the tires every 8,000 km will balance the wear rate of tires, at the same time ensure improved car performance. Tire rotation is also vital for achieving an even tread wear and a long tread life.

    Time to Let Go: Check the tread wear indicator on your tire to know if it is time to replace your tire. A worn out tire poses severe hazard on the road, to you as well as others.

    Car Body

    Wax and Polish: To maintain the painted surface of your car, opt for good quality wax and polish. A polished car is not only good to flaunt but also serves you for a longer life.

    Cleaning: Always remember to clean bird droppings from the car immediately, as they contain acidic fluids that corrode the surface leaving a visibly dull patch. Also avoid body stickers, as the adhesives can damage the paint.

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