November 20, 2016, Indore – Rajendra Nagar Express at was derailed near Pukhrayan, Kanpur. Fourteen carriages were derailed which lead to a death toll of at least 120 people. Various compensations have been offered right from the Prime Minister of India, Indian Railways and Chief Ministers of three different states. Those who booked their ticket online were also protected under a new travel insurance scheme. As per reports from IRCTC, only 78 people had opted for this travel insurance scheme out of whom five have died. Since not many people have been aware of this, we decided to dedicate this week’s Thursday Trivia to this new travel insurance scheme.
On September 1, 2016, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) introduced a new travel insurance scheme. It is amongst the cheapest scheme, by paying a total of 92 paise as premium, a passenger can avail insurance coverage to a total of Rs.10 lakhs. Indian Railways (IR) has selected three insurance companies – Shriram General Insurance, ICICI Lombard General Insurance and Royal Sundaram General Insurance. Currently, the insurance would be available for only those who book their tickets online. Later, the scheme could be extended to season ticket travelers for annual coverage.
Since 1994, railways have been paying an annual premium to insurance companies. Where passengers on a valid ticket and also platform ticket holders have been insured. This scheme was particularly discontinued in 2008-09 citing higher premiums to insurance companies as a reason. Since then, IR has compensating for deaths and injuries from its revenues alone.
How to Buy?
While buying the tickets online on www.irctc.co.in, on second window after the passenger details are entered the option is made available. As shown in the below screen shot, you need to choose the option to confirm the purchase of this insurance.
By default if the option is not chosen, the policy will not be issued. I guess this should be modified and default option should be made as opted, with the option to opt out. I have tweeted about the same to Ministry of Rail and expecting a positive update on this.
Once the payment is made, one will receive the link to update his nominee details. This is a very important action, as without this claim settlement process will get prolonged and inconvenient.
Some important Terms and Conditions
The new travel insurance scheme is applicable only for Indian citizens who book their e-ticket through IRCTC Website application only. Benefits of this scheme are not for citizens of foreign countries. The above scheme will not be eligible for the children below 5 years of age. Passenger will receive the insurance policy information through SMS and on their registered email IDs directly from Insurance Companies along with the link for filing nomination details. Once the premium is paid, no cancellations are allowed. Accordingly, no refund of premium will be made available in all cases including a waitlisted ticket.
The Travel Insurance Scheme shall be kept uniform for all classes:
- Death – Rs.10,00,000/-
- Permanent Total Disability – Rs.10,00,000/-
- Permanent Partial Disability – Rs.7,50,000/-
- Hospitalization Expenses for Injury – Rs.2,00,000/-
- Transportation of Mortal Remains – Rs. 10,000/-
Apart from railway mishaps, the insurance coverage would take care of terrorist attacks, accidental fall of a passenger from train, normal accidents, riots, robbery and dacoity.
Passenger, who is insured, or his appointed nominee or his legal heir shall deliver in writing a detailed statement as per the claim form and any other material relevant. The claim shall be made within 4 months from the date
- of occurrence of the event.
- Proof in accordance with policy details shall be furnished to the insurance company in connection with the reasonable information on which a claim is based.
Since, we have been travelling through trains for a long time; we do not take into account certain mishaps which may happen. The probability of such mishaps occurring in our experience is extremely low. Hence, it becomes a general tendency to not take details of insurance seriously as even the amount paid may be negligible. Let us take our lesson from the tragedy of Indore-Patna Express and buy the new travel insurance. Also, buying the scheme is not enough, a proper nomination is equally important. It will be sensible; to nominate a person who will not be travelling in the same train otherwise the whole purpose of the scheme will be lost.
For more information on the policy – http://contents.irctc.co.in/en/InsuranceTermCondition.pdf