General Insurance: Bhargav Dasgupta

Last Updated: Wed, Oct 10, 2012 10:22 hrs

Last week, my car had a collision with a bike, due to which the person on the bike and I, both got injured. I have a comprehensive car insurance policy of Rs 3 lakh, which covers my own damage as well. I want to know how much compensation that person will get out of my policy.
Your comprehensive car insurance policy has two parts, own damage and third party liability. The own damage part covers losses you incur on your car due to accidental damages, theft, fire, riots and so on. Third party cover insures you against financial liability on account of injury, death or property damage (to the third party), which in this case is the person on the bike. The amount of compensation that will be paid to the person on the bike will depend on several factors, including actual amount of medical expenses, loss of earnings due to injury and extent of injury. This amount is decided by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal on the merits of each case. This compensation to the 'third party' doesn't impact the Rs 3 lakh own damage cover you have as part of your comprehensive car insurance policy.

I am planning to buy health insurance. I know health products which cover up to 10 to 13 blood relations of the policyholder. Would you recommend such plans?
Before buying any health policy, it's important you study the features and benefits provided by the policy in detail. You should assess your insurance needs carefully and choose a product that ensures coverage for significant medical costs arising out of major medical procedures. Please go through the 'terms and conditions' and exclusions mentioned in the policy to know the health risks the policy exactly covers.

You should check the claims settlement record of the insurer. If the insurer has a wide cashless network and an in-house claim settlement service, it adds to the benefits of the policy, since the claims process becomes more efficient and transparent.

If the plan has the above features and you want to cover 10 to 13 blood relations under the same cover, you can always opt for such a plan. However, such covers do not allow the benefit of tax exemption under section 80 D for health insurance policies. The exemption is provided only if the policy covers you, your spouse, parents and children, that is, your immediate family members only.

What is a sub-limit in a health insurance policy? Also, what importance does it have while choosing a health policy?
In some health policies, expenditure on particular benefits is restricted to a maximum amount per day or capped at an overall level; this feature is termed as sub-limit. For example, there can be a sub-limit on ICU room rent and surgeon's fee, as well as on pre- and post-hospitalisation expenses.

Certain general insurers have started providing sub-limits as an optional feature, wherein you can opt for the sub-limit and reduce your premium. This is a convenient way of lowering the premium on your health insurance policy.

So, while buying the health plan, check if the company is offering a range of options, including comprehensive and sub-limited plans, so that you can choose the plan that fulfills your health insurance needs while suiting your budget.


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Today, Bhargav Dasgupta, MD & CEO, ICICI Lombard General Insurance, answers your questions

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