I have two vehicles with compulsory personal accident premiums in them. Further, I also opted for personal-accident policies from the banks where I have accounts.
If the policyholder dies by accident, can all the above policies be claimed? If so, police will give only one copy of F.I.R. and with it, only one policy could be claimed as the policy issuers want the original F.I.R. How can the other policies be claimed?
P. S. A. T. LAKSHMINARAYANAN
Personal Accident (PA) policies are ‘benefit’ policies by nature that give you a fixed benefit (as opposed to ‘indemnity’ policies, which reimburse expenses, like a hospitalisation policy does). So, in concept, claims can be made under multiple benefit policies for the same loss.
In the case of PA cover as part of a motor policy, a claim is payable only for death due to an accident in the vehicle. Claim cannot be made under the motor policy of another vehicle.
However, claims will also be payable under any other standalone PA policy (via bank accounts etc.) for the same accidental death. If the policyholder dies, but not in a vehicle accident, none of the vehicle-policy PA covers will be liable for a claim.
A tip: If you have multiple vehicles, you can optimise PA premium by taking a separate ₹15 lakh PA policy (current requirement) and avoid the PA cover under each vehicle’s policy by quoting the policy details. The premiums under the two circumstances will not be identical though. Of course, if you do, this, you have only one policy to claim under. On documentation, it is not only the F.I.R. but a whole lot of other original documents will be needed for each claim. You can get attested copies and submit them along with claim with original for verification or quote the policy/ claim for which you have already submitted the original.
Renewed, but not yet!
I paid a two-year renewal of my senior-citizen hospitalisation policy on July 9 online. I received the acknowledgment mail on July 19. I have not received the policy yet. I made two phone calls and sent emails twice to the customer-care section. I am always told ‘Escalated to the technical team’. I sent mail to the insurer’s grievance department, which was acknowledged by reply mail on July 29. The policy expires on August 9. I am still getting SMS and emails for renewal. This is the first renewal after taking the policy last year. We have not made any claim yet. What shall I do?
S. MOHIDEEN ABDUL KADAR
Hospitalisation policies are renewable for life. Except in cases of fraud etc., the company has to renew your policy provided you have paid your premium in time.
Since you have done so, and I assume you have made payment against the renewal notice and the payment link furnished by the company, it is illogical for the insurer to say your renewal has been escalated to the technical team as there is no underwriting required at this stage. And, renewal SMSes and emails, which may well be routine, is certainly stress-producing.
Getting an acknowledgment from the grievances department, with no explanation or resolution after 20 days of paying renewal premium warrants escalating this matter to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India’s (IRDAI) consumer grievances system.
Here is how to go about it:
*You can register your complaints in the Bima Bharosa system of the IRDAI Portal at https://bimabharosa.irdai.gov.in/ and monitor the status too.
*Email the complaint to email@example.com
* You can call Toll Free No. 155255 or 1800 4254 732.
*You can also send a hard copy complaint to the General Manager, IRDAI Policyholder’s Protection & Grievance Redressal Department – Grievance Redressal Cell Sy.No.115/1, Financial District, Nanakramguda, Gachibowli, Hyderabad – 500 032.
Please ensure you have all the information and supporting documents to go with your complaint.
(The writer is a business journalist specialising in insurance & corporate history)