Vehicle owners can now opt for customised motor insurance cover that can incentivise healthy and safe driving habits along with a wider choice of products of general insurance.

In its new master circular on general insurance business issued on Tuesday, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has directed general insurers to give customers ‘Pay as you drive, Pay as You go and Pay as you use’ comprehensive insurance cover, including coverage for depreciation. 

While directing that no claim should be rejected for the want of documentation, IRDAI had put in place a set of conditions for reviewing the claims and strict timelines for each process that commences with the filing of the claim by a customer. 

In case of partial loss, every retail customer of the insurers will not be burdened with the disposal of the salvage and he/she will be paid the claim amount and the insurer will be responsible for collecting it from the customer.

The regulator introduced a customer information sheet (CIS) to provide clear and concise policy details, including scope of coverage, exclusions, warranties, and claim settlement processes.

“No claim shall be rejected for want of documents. Required documents to be called at the time of underwriting the proposal. The customer may be asked to submit only those documents necessary and related to claim settlement if cashless is not available,’‘ it said. 

A retail customer can cancel the policy anytime by informing the insurer. Insurer can cancel the policy only on grounds of established fraud. The insurer shall refund proportionate premium for the unexpired policy period on cancellation.

Strict timelines have been put in place for settlement of claims, including TATs for appointment of surveyors and submission of their reports. It will be the duty of insurer to obtain timely survey reports.

Homeowners “fire” policy will have an option to choose add-on covers such as flood, cyclone, earthquake, landslide, rockslide, terrorism or to opt out from comprehensive fire and allied peril policy.

The master circular, which comes into effect immediately, is applicable to all general insurance products except health cover a master circular on which has already been issued. 

The impact of the changes could be far-reaching, say experts.  

“The denotification of tariffs will empower insurers to offer tailored products, providing policyholders with more choices that fit their specific needs. This flexibility fosters innovation, allowing insurers to design bespoke coverages that can address unique risks, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction and market competitiveness,’‘ Narendra Bharindwal, Vice President, Insurance Brokers Association of India told businessline