Get acquainted with the claim processes of different general insurance policies
Uncertainty is a part and parcel of every-day life. Accidents, natural disasters, calamities, and other unfortunate events are not only unpredictable but also cause significant damage to life and property. Accidents can lead to disability, dismemberment or even death of a person in the worst case scenario. Calamities such as floods and storms can cause damage to valuable properties like your home and vehicle. The outcome of such events leads to mental, physical and financial burden. Although an accident can't be predicted, you can always be prepared for such an eventuality with a relevant insurance plan.
General Insurance Vs Life Insurance
Life insurance offers financial protection against the demise of an insured member while general insurance offers protection against other aspects of his or her life. There are different types of general insurance plans available in India - health insurance, motor insurance, travel insurance, home insurance, etc. They are also known as non-life insurance plans. Unlike term life insurance, general insurance policies are yearly contracts between the insurance company and the policyholder. Life insurance policies have a long policy term whereas health insurance and motor insurance policies have to be renewed every year.
Types of General Insurance Plans
Health insurance: With a steady rise in lifestyle diseases and the cost of healthcare treatments and services, health cover has become a necessity for people of all ages. Health insurance offers coverage against hospitalisation expenses incurred by an insured member during the policy term. From group health insurance to family floater plan and senior citizen health insurance plan, there are various types of health insurance policies available to meet your varying needs.
Motor insurance: As per the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, a third-party liability cover is mandatory for all vehicles in public spaces in India. General insurance companies offer 2 types of motor insurance plans - third-party liability insurance and comprehensive insurance for two-wheelers and four-wheelers. Let’s say you own a car, the opt for a comprehensive car insurance policy as it offers coverage against third-party damages as well as damages against the car and its owner. Motor insurance provides benefits such as cashless facility at a network garage of the insurer and 24/7 road assistance.
Travel insurance: Whether it is a domestic business trip or a family vacation abroad, it is important to have a valid travel insurance to protect yourself financially against any medical or travel contingencies during the period of travel. Travel insurance policies offer coverage against personal accident, medical expenses, baggage loss, delayed trip, and loss of travel documents. From student travel insurance to domestic and international travel insurance, there are different types of travel insurance policies offered by general insurance companies in the country to meet the varying needs of the customers.
Claim Process of General Insurance Policies
The purpose of investing in an insurance policy is to get financial assistance in your hour of need. That is why, it is important to know the claim process of a general insurance policy. Here is a guide to the claim processes of health Insurance, motor insurance, and travel insurance.
Health insurance claim process: There are 2 types of claims that a policyholder can make in health insurance - cashless claim and reimbursement claim. In the case of an unplanned hospitalisation, intimate the insurer within 24 hours of admission and in the case of planned hospitalisation, intimate the insurer 72 hours prior to admission.
Cashless claims can be made only at one of the network hospitals of the insurer. The network hospital will verify your identity with the help of your health card and then submit a pre-authorisation request on your behalf to the Third-Party Administrator (TPA) of the insurance company. Upon receiving approval from the TPA or the insurer, the network hospital will proceed with the treatment of the insured member. The insurer will settle the medical bills directly with the network hospital.
In the case of a reimbursement claim, you can pay the medical bills upfront at the time of discharge. Within 15-30 days of the date of discharge, submit all the original documents such as hospital bills, test reports, prescriptions, etc. along with a duly-filled and signed claim form to the insurance company. The insurer will approve or reject your reimbursement claim as per the policy guidelines.
Motor insurance claim: The claim process of motor insurance includes intimating your general or motor insurance company immediately after the occurrence of a claim incident such as vehicle theft, road accident or vehicle damage due to a natural calamity. Take pictures of the damage for evidence. The insurance company will appoint a surveyor to assess the damage and give the go ahead for cashless service at a network garage. Submit the original bills for vehicle repair to the insurance company. In the case of a cashless claim, the insurer will settle the bill directly with the network garage where your car or bike was serviced. In the case of a reimbursement claim, the bills have to be submitted to the surveyor along with a duly-filled and signed claim form.
Travel insurance claim: Immediately after the occurrence of a claim incident such as delayed trip, accident or loss of baggage, intimate the insurance company via phone. Register your travel insurance claim by submitting a duly-filled and signed claim form along with the supporting documents such as nature of the incident, original bills, date and location of the incident, etc. The documents required may differ depending on the time of travel insurance claim. The insurance company may approve or reject your claim as per the policy guidelines.
That is why, it is important to read your policy document carefully, especially the claim procedure. When purchasing a general insurance plan, choose an insurance provider who offers an easy and simple claim process, and has a high Claim Settlement Ratio.