Railway Travel Insurance to be free for Cashless Online Booking

 

Railway Travel Insurance to be free for Cashless Online Booking

Travelling with Indian Railways has now become financially more secured. How is that? That’s because of the railway travel insurance, which is offered to the travellers for a cost of 92 paise (all costs included). Now, that figure of 92 paise may come as an obvious joke for many but hey, wait and hold your breath! What we are writing here is not bullshit. Starting August 31, 2016, Indian Railways is actually offering travel insurance with massive claims that is pretty hard to believe.

To Pramote cashless transactions FM has anounced that Railway Travel insurance would be free for all person booking through cashless mode.

Railway Travel Insurance to be free for Cashless Online Booking

Here is what the Indian Railways is offering to us on the platter:

  • In case of death (death caused by accident of the railways) while travelling through Indian Railways, the family of the deceased can claim a sum of INR 10 lakhs.
  • In case of PTD or Permanent Total Disability (caused by accident of the railways) of the person travelling, the person can claim a sum of INR 10 lakhs.
  • In case of PPD or Permanent Partial Disability (caused by accident of the railways) of the person travelling, the person can claim a sum of INR 7.5 lakhs.

Additionally, the Railway Travel Insurance provides the following:

  • Indian Railways will give INR 2 lakhs for covering the expenses of hospitalization.
  • Indian Railways will give INR 10,000 for mortal remains transportation.

In this article, we will take a look at Railway Travel Insurance in details. We will take a look at the conditions that have been laid down for the travel insurance, companies that are offering this insurance and how and where to by Railway Travel Insurance.

Are There Any Conditions for Railway Travel Insurance?

Indian Railways is one of the busiest and largest railway services in this entire world. Despite its massive size and coverage, Indian Railways is unable to shield itself from mishaps like accidents, derailments etc. It is because of this, nearly 15,000 people have been reported to die out of mishaps every single year while travelling through Indian Railways.

While 15,000 is an average figure, there are certain years when the death toll and the number of injured people because of railways mishap increases manifolds. For instance, in year 2014, the National Crime Records Bureau reported 25,006 deaths and 3,882 injuries. That was way too many for a single year. In case you are willing to see the details of all rail accidents that took place in India, follow this link.

Because of the large numbers of deaths and injurie, it became necessary to provide some kind of relief and hence, IRCTC or Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation came forward to cater travel insurance to all passengers of the Indian Railways. This is an optional feature that people can opt for at a premium of 92 paise per person. This insurance scheme was introduced in 2016 on September 1. For a limited time period, IRCTC reduced the insurance to 1 paise per person. This reduced premium was valid from 7th October, 2016 to 31st October, 2016. However, the reduced premium offer was made available only for long-distance tickets which were confirmed.

As of now, the premium has reverted back to 92 paise per person and comes with the following set of conditions that must be fulfilled for the travel insurance to be valid:

  • This insurance is available only and only to Indian Citizens. If foreign nationals are travelling through Indian Railways, they will not get this insurance.
  • This insurance can be availed only and only if tickets are booked through the official website of IRCTC. In case one is not opting for e-ticket, this insurance plan will not be available.
  • This insurance plan is totally optional. One may decide to take it or simply decline the offer.
  • If there are multiple people travelling together and they are opting for this insurance, they need to book tickets under the same PNR.
  • The premium to be paid is INR 0.92 for each person. This premium will include all costs and no additional charges will be applicable for the insurance.
  • If a ticket is cancelled, the premium will not be refunded.
  • There are no variants for the insurance scheme as per travelling class. Whether you are travelling with 2AC or 3AC or other class, the scheme will remain same for you as it is for everyone else.
  • Whether you ticket is confirmed or whether it is an RAC ticket or whether it is on the waiting list, the insurance will be applicable.
  • For children, the insurance will not be available for those children who are 5 years old or younger.
  • If a passenger is opting for the travel insurance, in case of a mishap, the insured person or his / her family needs to deal directly with the insurance provider. IRCTC will not work as a mediator.
  • In case of a mishap, if the traveller dies, his or her legal heirs or nominees can claim the insurance money. In case the traveller survives but with injuries, the insured may himself or herself ask for claim provided he or she is capable of going for the claim. In case, the insured person is not in a condition, the legal heirs or nominees can ask for the claim on behalf of the insured person.
  • In case you are opting for the travel insurance, you need to fill up the nomination details. There will be no provisions for filling up the nomination details on the IRCTC site. You have to do so directly at the website of the Insurance Company which is providing the insurance. Once the ticket is booked, the insurance company will send the policy to you through an SMS and also mail the same to the email ID you registered. The links through which you will have to fill in the details for nomination will also be sent by the insurance company along with the SMS or the emails. Since you will be opting for the insurance from IRCTC site, you can check the policy number directly from the IRCTC page where you can see the history of booked tickets.
  • In case you do not fill in the details for nomination, should a situation arise, claim settlement will be with legal heirs. IRCTC will not interfere and all dealing will be directly between the legal heirs and the insurance provider.

Compensation Provided Under the Railway Travel Insurance

We have already mentioned this earlier. However, for the easy of memorizing, we are providing the same once again in a tabular format below. Some additional details will be mentioned in the table for better understanding.

Situation Cause Compensation amount Additional comments (if any)
Death Train accident or events like terrorist attacks, dacoity, riots, arson, shootout or any untoward incidence. INR 10 lakhs Not applicable if the insured dies of any medical condition. Purposefully jumping out of train or accidentally slipping out of the train will not be covered.
Permanent Total Disability Train accident or events like terrorist attacks, dacoity, riots, arson, shootout or any untoward incidence. INR 10 lakhs -Do-
Permanent Partial Disability Train accident or events like terrorist attacks, dacoity, riots, arson, shootout or any untoward incidence. INR 7.5 lakhs -Do-
Hospitalization Expenses Train accident or events like terrorist attacks, dacoity, riots, arson, shootout or any untoward incidence. INR 2 lakhs -Do-
Mortal Remains Transportation Train accident or events like terrorist attacks, dacoity, riots, arson, shootout or any untoward incidence. Transportation to take place from the location where the incidence took place INR 10,000 -Do-

Who is Actually Providing the Insurance Coverage?

Wondering who is the insurance provider in this case? There are actually multiple insurance companies which are offering this Railway Travel Insurance. There are three companies to be precise. The three companies are:

  • Shriram General Insurance
  • Royal Sundaram General Insurance
  • ICICI Lombard General Insurance

These three companies will not provide the insurance at once. They will provide the insurance on what is known as rotational basis. The system behind this is completely automated and no one can say that IRCTC is giving preference to a particular company.

Now you may ask how did IRCTC choose these three companies?

The selection took place through a bidding process. In total 19 companies participated in the bidding process. Out of these 19, 17 were eligible. The company which offered the lowest premium bid was Shriram General Insurance. Shriram gave a quote of 92 paise for premium. The next higher bid was from ICICI Lombard which offered a premium of 99 paise. Finally, Royal Sundaram came up with a bid of INR 1.15. These three were the ones with lowest bids and IRCTC asked ICICI Lombard and Royal Sundaram to match the quote of Shriram and they agreed.

It is then that IRCTC accepted the three companies. However, they are on a 1-year contract. Based on the performance of these companies for 1 year, IRCTC will decide whether to keep these companies or not. If IRCTC is not happy with the performance of these companies, IRCTC may call for another round of bidding.

Several other insurance companies which tried to enter the race were:

  1. Tata AIG
  2. HDFC Ergo
  3. Apollo Munich Health Insurance
  4. Reliance General Insurance
  5. Oriental Insurance
  6. New India Assurance
  7. Bharti Axa
  8. National Insurance
  9. Iffco Tokio
  10. CholaMandalam Ms
  11. United India Insurance
  12. Star Health & Allied Insurance
  13. Future Generali India
  14. Bajaj Allianz

How Can You Buy Indian Railway Travel Insurance?

Wondering how to buy Indian Railway Travel Insurance? Here is a step-by-step guide that you will find helpful in case you want to buy a travel insurance while you are travelling with Indian Railways:

Step 1: Log in to your IRCTC account through the website: irctc.co.in

Step 2: Plan a journey to buy your tickets.

Step 3: Start adding the passenger details and complete them accurately.

Step 4: At the bottom of the page (that is after adding all the passenger details) you will see the option for travel insurance.

Step 5: Select the radio button with the option Yes.

Step 6: Once you select the option, click on next.

Step 7: Once you land on the payments option page, you will notice that the entire expense has increased by INR 0.92.

Step 8: You will have to select the option that you want to use for making payments.

Step 9: Pay and confirm your booking (it won’t necessarily mean that your ticket will be confirmed). Once the booking is confirmed, you will receive an SMS from the insurance company. You will also find email from the company. The links for filling up the nominations will also be sent to you by the insurer.

Step 10: In case you want to see the policy number, there will be three places where you can find the number. You can check the email from the insurer. The number will be given there. The SMS you receive will also have the policy number. In addition to that, you can check the history page of your IRCTC account (on IRCTC website). The policy number will be provided there as well.

Claiming the Travel Insurance of Indian Railways

If you are purchasing a travel insurance while travelling with Indian Railways, you will have the option of claiming the insurance amount in case of a mishap. For claiming, the insured or the nominees or the insured or the legal heirs of the insured will have to get hold of the Railway Authority Report. The details of the incidence and also that of the passenger has to be in the report.

In case of death

In case of a mishap, the passenger aboard may unfortunately meet an untimely death. In such an event, only the nominee(s) or the legal heir(s) can ask for the claim. If a nominee is coming forward, the nomination should have been declared by the deceased passenger at the time of booking the ticket. In case no nomination was declared, a legal heir needs to come forward but he or she has to provide a Succession or Legal Heir Certificate.

The nominee or the legal heir needs to follow the following steps in order to get hold of the claim:

  1. Approach the branch of the insurance company nearest to him or her.
  2. The nominee or the legal heir needs to approach within 4 months from the date on which the incident took place that claimed the life of the passenger.
  3. The legal heir or the nominee needs to fill up what is known as Personal Accident Claim Form. The legal heir or the nominee needs to sign the form and has to provide the NEFT details. The person also needs to provide a cancelled check
  4. The legal heir or the nominee needs to provide a photo identity proof.
  5. With 15 days from the date when the legal heir or the nominee is providing the necessary documents, the insurance company will make the settlement.
  6. In case the insurance company makes a delay in payment, the insurer will be responsible for paying interest rate which will be 2% over and above the existing bank rate.

The legal heir or the nominee needs to remember that in case the claim is found to be fraudulent and in case the claim is supported by a fraud, the insurance company will have the right to decline the claims demand. Also, if someone claims the money after 365 days from the date on which the policy expires, the insurance company will not entertain the claim.

In case of disability

After an unfortunate event, a person (passenger) may become partially or totally disabled permanently. In such a case, in order to make a claim, the person has to follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. A Railway Authority Report which confirms the event should be carried along.
  2. The attending doctor should provide a report which needs to confirm disability and also the extent of disability.
  3. All medical bills as per the prescription given by the doctor.
  4. Personal Accident Claim Form which is properly filled and signed either by the insured or by the nominee should be provided to the insurer.
  5. A civil surgeon of that hospital where the insured person has been treated has to provide a disability certificate which needs to mention the percentage of the disability.
  6. One FIR copy which needs to be attested.
  7. Films, investigation reports and X-rays which support the disablement of the insured person needs to be provided to the insurer.
  8. NEFT details of the beneficiary and a cancelled cheque should be provided.
  9. A photograph of the insured person before disablement and after disablement has to be provided to the insurer.

As before, if any fraud case is found, the insurer will not pay the claim.

In case of hospitalization

The Indian Railway Travel Insurance is designed to provide expenses for hospitalization as well. For claiming that money, here is what the insured or the nominee needs to provide to the insurer:

  1. A Railway Authority Report which confirms the event should be carried along.
  2. Summary of discharge.
  3. All medical bills and hospital bills (original copies and corresponding to the prescription of the doctor) must be provided.
  4. Advance receipts as well as final receipts are to be provided. The receipts that are provided should have serial number, should be signed and should be stamped by the hospital authorities.
  5. Medicine prescriptions should be provided to the insurer.
  6. All diagnostics reports such as ECG, Scan, X-Ray etc. should be provided. However, the insurance company will also ask for the doctor’s advice which explicitly mentions that such diagnostics should be done and reports to be provided to the doctor.
  7. For all medicines, which have been purchased from outside the hospital, all bills and cash memos should be provided.

Railway Travel Insurance – A Quick History

This isn’t the first time that Railway travel insurance has been introduced. Back in 1993-94, Railway Passenger Insurance Scheme was put in place. The Railway Claims Tribunal was in charge of administering the scheme. However, the scheme was then put to an end in 2008 on September 20. The reason that was given for discontinuation was that premiums charged were too high.

The Railway Accident and Untoward Incidents (Compensation) Rules of 1990 were responsible for deciding the compensation amount. The last insurer for this scheme was ICICI Lombard, which operated between the period 20th September, 2007 and 19th September, 2008.

As per this scheme, any passenger who carried a valid ticket or a valid pass or even a valid platform ticket was eligible for insurance. The maximum coverage that was provided under this Railway Passenger Insurance Scheme was INR 4 lakhs.

Some Facts and Figures

In this section, we will go through some facts and figures. Some of these facts are pretty disturbing while some are pretty surprising. The table below will give you an overview of the Indian Railways passenger handling capacity. So, let us begin:

Average yearly deaths caused by accidents and other mishaps 15,000
Number of rail accidents in 2014 28,360
Number of deaths in rail accidents in 2014 25,006
Number of injured people in rail accidents in 2014 3,882
Percentage of railway tickets booked online through IRCTC website 59%
Number of average daily logins on IRCTC website 3.2 million
Average number of tickets booked everyday 550,000
Number of people opted for new travel insurance scheme since its launch 15 million to 20 million
Based on the number of people opted for the scheme, average number of daily logins 3.2 million
Based on the number of people opted for the scheme, average number of daily ticket bookings 700,000
Percentage of people opting for new travel insurance 30% of total number of tickets booked opted for this travel insurance

Did you know that premium of 92 paise per person for travel insurance is among one of the lowest premiums in this entire world?

New Railway Travel Insurance Put to Test

The new Railway Travel Insurance has already been put to test after its launch. On 20th November, 2016, Indore-Rajendra Nagar Express met with an untoward incident. 14 coaches of the train numbered 19321 were derailed. This accident claimed the lives of 150 people. In addition to the deaths, 260 people were injured.

The location of the accident was Pukhrayan, which is a location 60 kilometers away from Kanpur. After this train accident, the ministry of railways is thinking of making travel insurance mandatory. This means that if you are travelling long distances by train, you will have to buy a travel insurance. There will be no other option for you.

Here are some facts about the accident:

  • Number of people dead: at least 150.
  • Number of people injured: over 200.
  • Time of accident: 3:10 AM
  • Cause of accident: possibly a rail fracture.
  • Total number of passengers on board: 695
  • Type of seats: reserved seats
  • Number of tickets purchased with insurance: 128
  • Number of people with travel insurance aboard during accident: 78 (rest were to board the train later).

According to the new Railway Travel Insurance, a total of INR 26.5 lakhs will be paid out to the families (nominees or legal heirs) of each insured people who died during the derailment of the train. This will be the highest amount that will be paid out after a train accident in India.

In case you didn’t know, the Pukhrayan train mishap was the deadliest train accident in India after Gaisal Train Disaster.

The breakup of the amount of money that will be paid:

Payment from Railways and PMO INR 5.5 lakhs
Payment from UP Government INR 5 lakhs
Payment from MP Government INR 2 lakhs
Railway Travel Insurance INR 10 lakhs
Total INR 22.5 lakhs (but the amount is quoted to be 26.5 lakhs by Time of India)

Conclusion

Train accidents cannot be predicted. They can be because of technical errors or human errors. This will keep happening over and again and thousands of keep dying untimely deaths. Those people who die cannot be brought back but the financial needs of those that they leave behind can be taken care of. While aids and grants from governments is common, purchasing a Railway Travel Insurance will not hurt because the premium that one needs to pay is mere 92 paise against a claim of INR 10 lakhs. That’s a huge sum of money which can help the dependents of the deceased people to live a financially stable life. So, if you can’t promise a safe travel, you can always promise your family a safe financial future. Just remember, there will be no space for fraud and if you are caught resorting to frauds to claim insurance money from travel insurance of Indian Railways, you may be prosecuted. So, play fair and travel safe!

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