Personal Finance

Bite-size insurance products — convenient & cheap

Bavadharini KS | Updated on November 11, 2019 Published on November 11, 2019

The 5 plans listed here are a starting point for insurance but it is recommended that people go for comprehensive policies

Insurance is arguably one of the most important items that should form part of your financial plan. But many see it as an expense rather than a necessity until it’s too late. So, to address the affordability issue, recently, there have come insurance products for small ticket size where the premium is as low as ₹1. These are known as sachet or bite-size insurance covers.

While bite-size insurance is still in its nascent stage in the country, it is gaining popularity given the simplicity and flexibility of the product. The duration of the policy ranges from one day to a year, depending on your requirement.

These micro insurance policies are targeted towards first time buyers of insurance plans or millennials who don’t have insurance to meet short-term needs. These plans can act as a starting point for insurance though it is recommended that people go for comprehensive policies at a later stage.

Here is what we recommend from among the lot.

Vector borne disease cover

This plan insures against diseases that are spread and transmitted through carriers such as mosquitoes, fleas and bugs. It includes cover for dengue, malaria, kala-azar, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis, Zika virus and filariasis. It is among the cheapest in health insurance products with premium starting at ₹49 for a year. It can be taken by anyone irrespective of his/her health condition. But, like any other health policy, the small-size mosquito insurance too has waiting period and exclusions. It usually has a waiting period of 15 days and pays the sum insured only if the policyholder is hospitalised with the vector-borne disease for a minimum period of 24 hours. You can opt to get the claims settled through cashless mode or through reimbursement.

The policy can be purchased from insurers including Bajaj Allianz General and HDFC Ergo directly or through platforms such as MobiKwik (a mobile application) or Toffee Insurance, an aggregator that sells bite-size insurance products. MobiKwik offers Mosquito Insurance cover from Max Bupa for its clients for a premium of ₹49 a year for a sum insured (SI) of ₹10,000. On the other hand, if you purchase the cover from Bajaj Allianz General direct, it costs ₹160 for an SI of ₹10,000.

Contents cover

While traditional home insurance is available for 30 days, one year or 20 years, home insurance offered by Digit Insurance is flexible. For instance, if you are travelling for five days, you can insure your home contents only for those days and pay the premium. The product is available for a minimum premium of ₹200 for a minimum SI of ₹2 lakh. The SI and premium amount varies depending on your travel days, type of house (independent house or apartments) and the place of stay (ground floor or other top floors).

Digit provides option to insure contents even for a day. The product covers the contents of your home against burglary, natural disasters including floods, earthquake, storms and cyclones and fire/lightning explosion or implosion. It also provides built-in jewellery cover up to 20 per cent of the total sum insured and personal accident cover up to ₹50,000. Students or people living away from home in hostel or in a rented room or frequent travellers can opt for this cover as temporary protection.

At the time of claim, while the money is credited to your account, a surveyor may come to access the loss or damage to content. Keep in mind, that this cover too like standard home insurance policies will have exclusions and sub-limits.

Trip delay & cancellation cover

Digit Insurance offers a travel insurance cover which covers trip delay and flight cancellation through ClearTrip. While the product coverage is similar to any other travel plan, it differs in two aspects. One, Digit covers domestic flight delays beyond 75 minutes of scheduled departure while most insurers offer cover only for delays beyond six hours. Also, if you cancel the trip 24 hours before departure, Digit covers the non-refundable part of your booking up to ₹ 20,000. For instance, for a three-day trip between Chennai and Jaipur, the premium works out to ₹329.

The policy also covers baggage loss, baggage delay, personal accident and emergency medical treatment, for the same cost. Second, the claim settlement procedure is paperless. Digit’s product automatically detects a flight delay and sends a text message to the customer to start the claim process.

Mobile cover

Insurance players have launched products to protect mobile phones too. For instance, Acko General Insurance provides mobile protection plan for new mobiles costing between ₹7,500 and ₹10,000 (bought only through Amazon). The premium depends on the brand of the mobile phone and its price. For instance, for Samsung Galaxy M30 costing ₹9,999, the premium works out to ₹299 per year. The plan covers drops, spills, accidental damage and liquid damage. It doesn’t cover theft or loss, wear and tear and unauthorised repair of the phone, though.

Acko provides free doorstep pick-up and drop and repair with genuine parts and offers paperless and cashless repair process.

In the event you are eligible to claim for total loss, you will be paid the applicable sum after deducting the depreciation cost of the phone. Digit also offers mobile insurance, but only for accidental screen damage both for new and used phones. Once your phone is repaired, you have to share a video of your repaired phone and the respective bill (with GST invoice) with the company to reimburse the amount (up to your sum insured).

The plan is available for six months and one year. For instance, for iPhone 11, the sum insured is at ₹15,999 and the premium works out to ₹1,199 (excluding GST) for six months. Note that the screen damage plan doesn’t cover theft or burglary, liquid damage, accessory damage, mechanical/electrical breakdown and phones with screen guards.

Fitness insurance

If you are a person who is into marathon running or cycling, you can consider buying a fitness insurance product. Symbo Insurance offers fitness cover for football enthusiasts as well as for marathoners.

For instance, for those who play football on artificial turf, Symbo has partnered with companies who give artificial playgrounds on rent such as Kick and Score.

There is a wide range of tenor options where players can opt for cover as short as a session to a whole year. The plan provides coverage for immediate medical treatment and medication along with physiotherapy and supporting accessories such as crutches, depending on the injury. For instance, the premium is around ₹9 per play which provides cover including fracture (up to ₹5,000), ligament tear (up to ₹25,000) and dental injury (up to ₹10,000).

The fitness cover is usually issued real-time while booking the turf and the policy gets emailed to the user.

Claims can be initiated through Symbo’s mobile app where doctor’s certificate, diagnostic tests and relevant bills can be uploaded on the app to get the insured amount.

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Published on November 11, 2019
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