All that you want to know before buying insurance
What is the meaning of insurance?
Insurance is a protection against financial loss arising on the happening of an unexpected event. Insurance companies collect premiums to provide for this protection and losses are paid out of the premiums collected from the insuring public.
Why do I need Insurance?
Insurance is a hedge against the occurrence of unforeseen incidents. Insurance products help you in not only mitigating risks but also helps you by providing a financial cushion against adverse financial burdens suffered.
What does General Insurance do for me ?
Accidents... illness... fire... financial securities are the things you'd like to worry about any time. General Insurance provides you the much-needed protection against such unforeseen events. Unlike Life Insurance, General Insurance is not meant to offer returns but is a protection against contingencies. Under certain Acts of Parliament, some types of insurance like Motor Insurance and Public Liability Insurance have been made compulsory.
Why should one cover oneself immediately ?
Accidents and mishaps can occur anytime and anywhere. It is important to identify the risks faced and insure oneself against these at the earliest.
What is a Premium ?
Premium is the fixed amount of sum paid over the period by the insured to the insurance company to take insurance policy and to complete the contract of insurance.
What is deductible ?
The amount, which the insured has to bear in all cases and this amount is first, deducted from the total assessed payable claims amount before determining insurance company's liability.
What is underwriting?
Underwriting of a risk involves consideration of material facts on the basis of which a decision will be taken whether to accept the risk and if so at what rate of premium.
What is Reinsurance ?
It is an arrangement by which insurance companies spread their risk with other underwriters or reinsurance companies called Reinsurance
What is look in/ free-lookin period . Is there such a period available in this policy?
The look in /free-look provision to a policy means a customer has 15 days/or as given by the company from the date of the policy's receipt to revisit his purchase decision. This would essentially mean that the policyholder has the time to go through the policy fine-print, understand how the policy is going to work and convince himself that he needs such a policy before deciding to commit funds every year over the plan tenure.
Make the process of buying insurance transparent, easy and fulfilling for the customer, rather than leaving him with the feeling that he has picked up what he would have otherwise not needed.
Exercising the option
If a customer does decide within the 15-day free-look period that the policy he purchased is not suited to his requirements, the policy can be returned to the company. However, generally the entire premium paid by him is not refunded. Costs incurred by the insurance company in the form of stamp duty charges and the cost of a medical check-up, if any, is deducted before the payout is made. Additionally there might also be a deduction of risk cover charges on a proportionate basis — that is, as the life of the policyholder has been covered till such time he decides to return the policy, risk cover charges for this period may also be applicable.
What is the period of General Insurance policies?
Typically General Insurance contracts are for one year period only
Do I have to renew policy every year?
How can I renew the policy ?
Approach the insurance company well in advance before your expiry date of your policy.
- Seek an approval from the company on the intention of renewing your policy if you have not received a renewal letter / intimation
- Seek premium & other relevant details
- Pay the premium and take premium receipt and cover note/risk held note
- Wait for documents
- Check for its correctness on receipt and store it carefully
In case of denial for renewal
- Seek an explanation from the company
- Clarify doubts if any
- Find any other company if the existing insurer doesn't renew
What is the top appellate authority ?
Can I contact any authority if I am not being treated properly by the insurance company?
Yes you can contact following:
- Customer Services cell of Insurance company
- Insurance ombudsman
Can I contact any authority if I my insurance is not renewed by the insurance company?
Yes same as above
Where can I get the Insurance ?
IRDA the chief regulatory body allows various Insurance companies to operate in the country and offer general insurance products. Currently there are 21 General Insurance companies offering GI products in India.
What is the easiest way to get insurance?
Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. IRDA allows insurance to be sold primarily through following:
- Agents representing an insurance company
- Insurance brokers are allowed to sell products of more than one insurance company
- Company websites
- Buying on phone. It depends upon individual company
- Banks , retail houses or any other commercial ventures which are channel partner of these insurance companies
What is the adequate insurance value?
It depends upon the product to product.
- For eg in case of a death cover, although it is impossible to ascertain the value of human being but generally the insurance coverage is allowed upto 120 months of gross monthly salary
- In case of motor , the Insured declared value in line with the YOY depreciation table approved by TAC is taken
- In case of travel insurance it depends upon the medical price index of the country traveled to
How much Insurance do I need ?
It is very important to have adequate amount of coverage for each insurance policy. For any asset or property insurance, the value of the asset based on market value or reinstatement value should be taken into consideration before deciding Sum Insured. If the Sum Insured is not adequate, the percentage representing the uncovered portion of the asset is to be borne by the insured.
What is the appropriate cost? Is it justified? Am I being fleeced ?
A customer can look for the prices from company brochures , websites , rate cards etc. Customer should compare the prices vis a vis benefits from 3 – 4 different companies. In case of adoubt ,one can ask insurance companies for a conclusive proof of the charges on letter head. Further a customer can contact Insurance ombudsman in case of a dispute.
Am I eligible for discounts?
Discounts are generally available on renewal, but please check with companies for individual offerings.
What is rebating. Can I demand cash back from the insurance agent?..
It is illegal under the eyes of law. An agent can’t share his earned commission with the customer.
Why should I fill up proposal form for buying Insurance?
Insurance is a contract between the insured and the insurer and the proposal form acts like offer from insured side. Moreover, it contains all the required information for the preparation of the policy which is a contract document.
Can I hand over my insurance premium cheque or cash to my agent and is he authorized to issue a receipt?
As per the present provision, the contract of insurance is between insured and the insurer. The role of intermediaries like agent is only for facilitating this process. Thus an Agent can accept premium cheque for deposition with insurance company but cannot issue receipt..