Chennai, July 17 : From opting in for Rs 10 lakh personal accident insurance cover, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) has now changed the scheme to allow the option to opt out.
In other words, passengers booking their train tickets on the IRCTC portal are now automatically provided insurance cover for Rs 10 lakh, a senior insurance industry official told IANS preferring anonymity.
Those not wanting the insurance cover have to opt out by clicking the appropriate button.
Curiously, the premium charged for Rs10 lakh personal accident insurance cover is a paltry Re.0.35 paise.The policy covers death/disabilities/medical expenses due to a train accident during the travel.
The insurance cover is provided by two non-life insurers – SBI General Insurance Company Ltd and Liberty General Insurance Company Ltd.
According to the industry official, the change could be due to the tragic train accident in Odisha last month killing 288 passengers and injuring over 1,000.The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) had told IANS that a total of 624 passengers were having insurance cover under the IRCTC travel accident insurance scheme.A total of 22 claims totalling Rs 60.52 lakh were reported to the two insurers for disability and hospitalisation due to the Odisha train accident and no death claim has been lodged.
Five claims have been lodged with Liberty General Insurance of which the company has settled two claims for medical expenses of Rs 17,800 and three claims for Rs 6 lakh is pending.
In the case of SBI General Insurance, out of the 17 claims that have been lodged with the company for Rs 50.52 lakh towards disablement and medical expenses, the insurer has settled two claims for Rs 2.25 lakh.
The total number of pending claims with SBI General Insurance in connection with the Odisha train accident is 15 amounting to Rs.48.27 lakh.It has rejected two claims as outpatient treatment expenses are not covered under policy.
The IRDAI had told IANS in June that the claims are pending with the insurers for want of documents and the passengers are treated/getting treated in government hospitals.The top officials of the two insurers declined to answer to IANS when queried earlier about covering all the passengers which, in turn, would bring down the premium amount.
An industry official said the two insurers get an equal number of policies while the passengers book their tickets through the IRCTC portal.
However, the number of passengers covered under a policy/ticket would differ.
“Even though they would like to have insurance cover, not many passengers while booking a Tatkal train ticket on the IRCTC portal will be inclined to click on the insurance cover box as their main goal to reserve a ticket as every second counts during that time,” the insurance official said.
Further if all the train passengers are offered the travel insurance cover, then the premium amount will further come down from 35 paise.
When the insurance scheme was started in 2016, the premium was 0.92 paise per passenger with Shriram General Insurance Company Ltd, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd, and Royal Sundaram General Insurance Co.Ltd being the insurers.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be reached at [email protected])
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