Critical illness policy must cover ailments relevant to your family history

Owing to rising pollution levels, sedentary lifestyles, and changing food habits, the incidence of critical illnesses has skyrocketed. Yet, very few people buy a critical illness cover that can offer them protection against these financially ruinous ailments. A study by PolicyX.com found that of every 100 policies purchased on their platform over the past year, only two were critical illness covers (89 were hospitalisation plans, seven were senior citizen plans, and one was an accidental cover).

How do they work?

Critical illness policies cover diseases like cancer, kidney failure, heart attack, coma, stroke, organ transplant, bone marrow transplant, paralysis, major burns, and others listed in the policy.

Says Naval Goel, founder and chief executive officer (CEO), PolicyX, “These policies cover a broad spectrum of life-threatening diseases and pay a lump sum amount if one is detected after the policy has commenced.”

Reasonable premiums

Critical illness policies usually come with a high sum insured, as the cost of treating these illnesses is very high. A Rs 10 lakh cover costs approximately Rs 3,500-5,000, depending on the number of ailments covered.

Two variants of these policies are available. Says Roopam Asthana, CEO and whole-time director, Liberty General Insurance, “First is the bundled plan which covers a range of critical illnesses. Typically, the bundles cover nine, 25, or 43 conditions. Second are the disease-specific policies, which cover one particular condition such as cancer, kidney failure, etc.” Both offer similar benefits.

Compensate for loss of income

The lump-sum payout acts as a replacement for loss of income and can also be utilised for costs that are not covered by a normal health insurance (hospitalisation) cover. Says Rahul M Mishra, co-founder and director of PolicyEnsure. “The receipt of a lump sum allows the policyholder to focus on recovery without worrying about medical expenses.”

Parthanil Ghosh, president, retail business, HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company, points out that that a critical insurance policy offers coverage even if the policyholder avails treatment abroad.

They also offer tax deduction on the premium paid.

Only listed ailments covered

One drawback of these policies is that they only cover the illnesses specified in the policy. Says Mishra, “Many policies have waiting periods before certain illnesses are covered.”

Be aware of exclusions

The exclusions vary from one insurer to another. Says Goel, “Critical illness policies do not cover dental care, cosmetic surgeries, illnesses not listed in the policies, maternity and infertility treatments, critical illness arising due to a congenital disorder, etc.”

A claim under this policy cannot be sought during situations of war or natural calamities like earthquake, tsunami, etc. Says Ghosh, “Claims will be rejected if the insured participates in or is involved in naval, military, or air force operations, racing, diving, aviation, scuba diving, parachuting, hang-gliding, rock climbing, or mountain climbing.”

Points to keep in mind

Review the list of critical ailments covered by the policy and see whether those relevant to your family’s medical history are included. Says Ghosh, “Before deciding the sum insured, assess your current health status and lifestyle habits and then determine an appropriate coverage amount that will be adequate to handle medical expenses, loss of income, and financial obligations during a critical illness.”

Check the total tenure. Says Asthana, “Some insurers put a cap on the maximum age of renewal. Check this particular ceiling before buying a plan.” It is advisable to go with a plan that offers lifelong renewal.

Ghosh suggests checking the claim settlement ratio of the insurer.

These policies come with a survival period condition. Says Bhaskar Nerurkar, head of the health administration team, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, “The insured needs to survive for a specific number of days after being diagnosed with a listed ailment to make a claim.” The lower this period, the better.

Making a claim under this policy is simple. All a policyholder needs to do is submit the diagnostic reports for the listed ailment.

Finally, Goel suggests that if you have a family history of a critical illness or work in a risky and polluted environment, then you must purchase this plan.

Key features to look for

 Go for a policy with minimum waiting period

 Also select one with the minimal condition regarding survival after diagnosis

 Select a policy that offers lifetime renewal

 Some policies allow you to pay the premium for up to three years; some discount is available if you pay for a longer tenure in   one go  

 Many policies offer additional benefits, such as cancer reconstructive surgery, cardiac nursing, dialysis care, physiotherapy,   etc. (there may be caps on these benefits)

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How Life Insurance Protects Your Financial Future Against Inflation

Inflation is an inevitable economic reality that erodes the purchasing power of money over time. As prices rise, the value of the currency diminishes, impacting your ability to afford the same goods and services. While inflation is a concern for everyone, it can be particularly worrisome for those planning their financial future, especially when it comes to retirement and providing for loved ones after they’re gone. This is where life and health insurance plays a crucial role in safeguarding your financial well-being against the effects of inflation.

The purchase value of money gradually decreases over time as a result of inflation, an unavoidable aspect of the economy. You may find it harder to afford the same goods and services if prices rise due to the declining worth of currency. While inflation is a concern for everyone, it can be particularly worrisome for those planning their financial future, especially when it comes to retirement and providing for loved ones after they’re gone. Hence, to protect your financial security from the consequences of inflation in this situation, life insurance is essential.

Preserving the Value of the Payout:

One of the primary methods by which life insurance policy shields your future finances from inflation is by offering a death benefit that keeps its true worth constant. Regardless of how the economy is affected by inflationary forces, the sum assured, or death benefit amount, for a life insurance policy stays the same. Consequently, in the event of your passing, your beneficiaries receive a payout that still holds significant value, even if it was purchased years or decades ago.

Long-Term Financial Security:

Life insurance provides your loved ones long-term financial security, ensuring that they possess the resources to cope with the effects of inflation on their standard of living. Mortgage payments, cost of education, unpaid debts, and ongoing living expenditures that can rise due to inflation can all be covered with this death benefit, ensuring a financially protected life for the policyholder’s family.

Supplementing Retirement Income:

Whole life and universal life permanent life insurance policies include a cash value component that increases over time. As an added benefit, these policies create a cash reserve that policyholders can access at any moment during their lifetime. This cash value builds up on a tax-deferred basis, which allows it to expand more quickly than taxable savings accounts. Policyholders can also augment their retirement income by accessing the accrued cash value, which lessens their reliance on other assets that might be impacted by inflation.

Inflation-Indexed Policies:

Some insurers offer inflation-indexed life insurance policies to more effectively keep up with inflation. Inflation rates or a particular consumer price index are taken into account when adjusting the death benefit and cash value under these policies. This allows the policy’s coverage to grow in step with the cost of living, guaranteeing that beneficiaries will have enough money to cover rising costs.

Avoiding Financial Strain for Loved Ones:

 In addition to safeguarding your financial future, life and accidental insurance policy offers the peace of knowing that your loved ones won’t suffer financially in your absence. Living expenses can rise significantly as a result of inflation, and without careful financial preparation, your family’s finances may be put under financial stress. By securing life insurance coverage, you create a safety net that shields them from the potentially devastating effects of inflation.

At a glance: Life insurance and protection against inflation

Life insurance is an effective instrument to protect your financial future and combat the damaging impacts of inflation. Life insurance makes sure that your family receives the support they require, even in the face of escalating costs, by supplying inflation-indexed policies, a consistent death benefit, or generating cash value. You may safeguard your family’s financial stability, take care of their needs, and leave a long-lasting legacy of security and stability by investing in life insurance. 

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Expert Advice: 5 Key Elements To Know Before Buying A Health Insurance Policy

In our fast-paced world where uncertainties loom large, the need to plan for the future is undeniably imperative. Similarly, when it comes to medical emergencies, a lack of planning for exorbitant expenses can lead to major financial upheaval. One of the most effective, yet underrated, ways of doing that is by virtue of a health insurance policy that is tailored to the specific needs of customers. 

While one doesn’t really need an incentive to buy health insurance, the COVID-19 pandemic surely reinforced its importance in our lives. The global pandemic exposed our unpreparedness in case of health-related emergencies, altering our perception of health insurance and raising pertinent questions. Is my health insurance good enough? Does it cover unforeseen health hazards like COVID-19? Will it still burn a hole in my pocket? 

With these growing questions, people now seek better awareness, guidance, and understanding to find the right health insurance plans that can cater to their specific needs – a promise that is being fulfilled by the ever-growing network of Policy Ensures certified Point of Sales Person (PosP). Therefore, in the post-pandemic era, as you go about finding the best health insurance plan for yourself or your family, here are 5 key elements you must consider before investing in a policy:

Health Insurance: No Longer A Luxury, But A Necessity

For a long time, health insurance was perceived as a luxury, especially in growing nations like India. While some deemed it as an added expense, others remained unperturbed by the idea of safeguarding their health via an insurance plan. But, it eventually took the global pandemic to reiterate the importance of health insurance in the country.

According to The Hindu report, demand for health insurance has shot up by 321% in the post-pandemic era. This is a valid indicator of the changing perception and increased awareness among customers towards the health insurance industry. With uncertainties akin to Covid-19 looming large, the importance and relevance of buying health insurance that provides holistic and adequate coverage simply cannot be overlooked.

Sum Insured: What’s Sufficient Today Might Be Inadequate Tomorrow

Health insurance policies, akin to ones related to motor vehicle and home insurance, work on the principle of indemnity. Simply put, these insurance policies compensate the customers for all the losses covered by the policy. The extent of damages that a policy covers in a stipulated time period is what is termed as the sum insured. For instance, in medical policies, the sum insured denotes the maximum amount that an insurer will pay for hospitalization in a given time.

In the event of unexpected medical emergencies, one can be easily exposed to financial debt instigated by medical bills, diagnostic charges, and other hospitalization costs. With the bills often running higher than the sum insured in the insurance plan, an individual’s savings can take a direct hit. That’s why it’s important to opt for a plan with a high sum insured to minimize out-of-pocket expenses. While it might push the premium up, you can thoroughly reap its benefit with better coverage than regular plans.

Selecting A Plan? Flexibility Is Key To Effective Health Insurance

While there are numerous things one can factor in before making up their mind for a specific health insurance plan, flexibility is undeniably one of the most important elements to take into consideration. In the event of a medical emergency that involves more than one member of your family, having individual health insurance plans surely won’t cut it. As witnessed during the recent pandemic, many families were exposed to the ramifications of not having a floater plan that covered health insurance of their family members.

Unlike individual health insurance policies, family floater plans are relatively cost-effective which make them ideal for providing medical coverage for all members of the family. Factoring in the age and other necessary information of the members, one can opt for a floater plan which is tailored to the needs of the family. While there are a lot of floater plans available in the market, one must leverage the expertise of insurance brokers like Policy Ensure to efficiently review and compare them in their bid to find the one that is flexible enough to accommodate all members of the family.

Room Rent Cap: Go For A Higher Limit

Health insurance plans might seem easy to purchase, but understanding the nitty-gritty pertaining to a policy is an uphill battle that can have a direct impact on your finances. Among some key elements that need a lot of demystification, the room rent limit is arguably the one that needs special attention from customers. A cap imposed on the coverage of boarding expenses of the hospital room rent limit has a significant impact on the overall cost of treatment.    

Therefore, you must lay a greater emphasis on the cap on room rents to avoid burning through your savings during an uncertain medical emergency. While selecting a health insurance policy, people should also factor in inflation costs and look for a plan with a higher limit on room rent to reduce personal expenses. Though it might attract a higher premium than other available policies, the one with a high cap on room rent can surely help ensure that you get the best possible treatment without fretting over additional expenses.

Employer Health Insurance: It May Not Be Enough During Uncertain Events

In the modern world, the majority of organizations offer health benefits and insurance plans to their employees. People, for long, have been content with the health insurance offered by their employers. That is one of the reasons why most of the individuals still don’t opt for an individual policy despite better coverage on offer. However, this over-dependence on employer health insurance can cost you dearly in the event of a medical emergency.

Since most of the health insurance policies offered by employers have limited coverage, depending solely on that can translate into additional out-of-the-pocket expenses. On the other hand, relying solely on employer health insurance also means that, in the event of a job loss, you would have to shell money from your savings to negate health-related challenges. Hence, while a healthcare plan offered by your employer might seem like a great deal for now, an individual policy with better coverage is what you’ll really need to sail through future uncertainties financially.

Future-proof Your Health By Consulting Certified Insurance Brokers

Regardless of age, time, and even financial planning, there is little doubt over the fact that a medical emergency can come knocking anytime. This, in turn, makes us all vulnerable to the risk of healthcare debt owing to rising medical costs. One of the cost-effective ways to beat medical treatment inflation is by buying a health insurance plan. 

However, spoilt for choices in the market, most of us dread the painstaking process of reviewing and comparing available policies in our search for finding the right one. That’s why you need the expertise and experience of Policy Ensures certified PosP who can help you understand the vital aspects of the available policies and guide you towards the right health insurance plan. As the popular saying goes, health is surely wealth. But considering the uncertainties of life, one truly needs some wealth in the form of health insurance to ensure good health.

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How much health insurance do you need in your 30s? Know how to choose the right medical insurance policy

Health issues often do not wait to strike till your old age, especially due to modern lifestyle. Even those who are as young as 30 years old often need treatments that require hospitalisation and may make a big dent in their savings. Health insurance comes in handy in such a situation. Moreover, if you buy a health insurance policy early, even with a low premium you can afford high coverage.

But how much health insurance coverage do you need? What are the things to look at while buying health insurance cover when you are in your 30s? ET Wealth Online spoke to a number of experts to find out what will be the ideal health insurance sum assured for those who are in their 30s and how to choose it.

Why do you need to buy a health insurance policy when you are young?

There are several benefits you will get for buying a health insurance policy in your 30s. Firstly, you will get a comprehensive health insurance cover at an affordable price. “As young consumers fall into the bracket of higher immunity and lower risk of contracting several medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, or critical illnesses such as organ failure, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, etc., they have the advantage of getting higher coverage at a lesser premium,” said Siddharth Singhal, Business Head – Health Insurance, Policybazaar.com.

Further, most health insurance policies have waiting periods for specific treatments or pre-existing conditions. By purchasing health insurance early, you can serve out these waiting periods while you are still healthy, ensuring that coverage is available when you need it in the future, explained Rakesh Goyal, Director, Probus Insurance Broker.

Moreover, it offers you peace of mind. Knowing that you have a financial safety net in place can free you from stress and worry when it comes to managing healthcare costs.

What should be your ideal sum-assured amount?

When buying a health insurance policy, the most important question is how much coverage you should get. The ideal sum assured depends on various factors like lifestyle, income, family size, location, and medical history.

“Consider the potential healthcare costs you may incur in the future. Evaluate the average medical expenses in your region and factor in any specific health concerns or pre-existing conditions. Ensure the sum assured is adequate to cover potential medical bills,” said Goyal.

As a thumb rule, it is recommended to have a sum assured of at least 2 to 3 times your annual income, mentioned Rahul M Mishra, Co-Founder & Director, Policy Ensure.

“For a person staying in a metropolitan city like Delhi or Mumbai, a sum insured of Rs 10 lakh per member is recommended. However, for a family of two adults with one child, the policyholder should opt for Rs 30 lakh of coverage,” said Singhal.

Echoing the same, Pankaj Goenka, Business Head of InsuranceDekho said, the ideal sum assured for a 30-year-old smoker as well as a non-smoker should be around Rs 10 lakh.

How much a health insurance policy of Rs 10 lakh can cost you at the age of 30

Company

Plan

Cover Amount

Annual Premium
Care Health Insurance
Care Supreme

Rs 10 Lakh

Rs 8,419

Niva Bupa Health Insurance
ReAssure 2.0 Bronze+

Rs 10 Lakh

Rs 8,756

Star Health Insurance
Star Comprehensive

Rs 10 Lakh

Rs 11,476

Aditya Birla Capital
Activ Fit Plus
Rs 10 Lakh (+ Rs 10 Lakh extra)
Rs 8,032

HDFC ERGO General Insurance
Optima Secure
Rs 10 Lakh (+ Rs 10 Lakh extra)
Rs 10,443

ManipalCigna Health Insurance
Prime – Advantage

Rs 10 Lakh

Rs 11,522

Reliance General Insurance
Health Gain

Rs 10 Lakh

Rs 6,072

Tata AIG Insurance

Medicare Premier

Rs 10 Lakh
Rs 11,909

Digit Insurance
Infinity Wallet

Rs 10 Lakh
Rs 8,796

Source: PolicyBazaar.com


If affordability is not a concern, you should take a health insurance policy that has a sum assured of more than Rs 10 lakh but not less. As a young person, you would need this health insurance cover for a longer period. Therefore, a higher sum assured will not only help you fight the current cost of treatment but also higher costs in the future due to inflation.

If you live in a metro, the sum assured can be around Rs 20 lakh, said Kapil Mehta, Co-founder, SecureNow Insurance Broker. Explaining two important reasons behind it, Mehta mentioned, “Firstly, many diseases that impact the young, such as cancers, can cost Rs 10 to 15 lakh to treat. Secondly, the insurance you are buying today should have a sum assured that factors in medical inflation and the higher costs expected in the future for treatment.”

“This medical inflation is between 10 per cent and 15 per cent per annum. That is why a higher sum assured of Rs 20 lakh makes the most sense. From a pricing standpoint, the premium difference between a Rs 10 lakh and a Rs 20 lakh cover is not that significant. Both smokers and non-smokers should have a Rs 20 lakh cover,” he added.

How much a health insurance policy of Rs 20 lakh can cost you at the age of 30
Company
Plan
Annual Premium (Rs)
ICICI Lombard General Insurance
Health AdvantEdge Apex Plus
14,202.00
Future Generali Indian Insurance
Health Absolute(Platinum)

14,217.00

SBI General Insurance
Arogya Supreme Health Insurance
11,432.00

Star Health Insurance
Star Comprehensive Insurance Policy
16,638.00
Niva Bupa Reassure 2.0(Platinum+)
15,598.00
Aditya Birla Capital
Activ Health Fit
12,036.0
Reliance General Insurance
HealthGain Insurance

10,060.68
Oriental Insurance Arogya Sanjeevani Policy
11,097.0
HDFC Ergo General Insurance
Optima Secure

12,779.00

Iffco-Tokio General Insurance
Individual Health Protector Policy
13,934.62
Royal Sundaram General Insurance
Lifeline Supreme

9,921.52

Chola MS General Insurance
Flexi Health Supreme(Plus)

11,237.00

Tata AIG Insurance
Medicare
14,059.00
Bajaj Allianz

Individual Health Insurance(Gold Plan)
11,120.32

Manipal Cigna
ProHealth Prime
13,142.84
Source: SecureNow Insurance Broking Pvt. Ltd.

The data pertains to individual health insurance cover of Rs 20 lakh for 30-year-old (unmarried), non-smoker, residing in a metro, as of August 1, 2023. Data is indicative. Actual premium and information may vary.

Do keep in mind that if we compare the premium for different sums insured, then when we move from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh, we get 2X coverage, but the premium increases only 30-40 per cent. Similarly, for Rs 10 lakh to 20 lakh, the premium increases only 20-30 per cent and a similar trend is observed for a higher sum insured, said Goenka.

How to choose your health insurance policy in 30s

As you get a rough idea about how much health insurance coverage you need, let’s find out how to choose your insurance policy. It’s crucial to take into account a number of things while choosing health insurance coverage. “The main factors to consider are product features, claims payment record, and premium,” said Mehta.

To make it easier for you, ET Wealth has listed eight points that you need to keep in mind.

Coverage and benefits:You must look for comprehensive coverage that includes hospitalisation expenses, pre and post-hospitalisation costs, daycare procedures, ambulance charges, and other relevant benefits based on your specific needs, explained Goyal.

Plans with no sub-limits:Ideally, you may choose a health insurance policy that does not have any kind of co-payments and covers expenses like room rent, ICU charges, domiciliary treatment costs, etc. Plans with sub-limits limit the scope of coverage and result in out-of-pocket expenses, explained Singhal.

Network of network hospitals:Your insurer should have a good number of network hospitals so that you can get quality treatment in a cashless manner. The more the number of network hospitals, the more beneficial it is for you as a policyholder, said Goenka.

Waiting period:The waiting period is the time period that you have to wait before you can file a claim on your health insurance policy. Some policies have longer waiting periods than others. So, while buying a health insurance plan , you must check the waiting period as it varies from insurer to insurer.

Flexible coverage:Individual health insurance allows you to select coverage options and add-ons that align with your personal health needs. It provides flexibility in choosing deductibles, coverage for pre-existing conditions, maternity benefits, and other specific requirements, said Goyal.

Claim settlement ratio:The claim settlement ratio refers to the insurer’s efficiency in settling health insurance claims. You should ideally choose a company that has a higher claim settlement ratio.

Customer service:The insurer should have good customer service to answer all your queries. You can check the insurer’s customer service by calling their customer service number or by reading online reviews, said Pankaj Goenka, Business Head Head, InsuranceDekho.

Look for plans with a renewal bonus:Since medical inflation in India is 14 per cent, it is important that your health insurance premium increase every year. Hence, the renewal bonus is an important factor to look at, Goenka added.


Should you opt for critical illness health insurance cover?

Once you have comprehensive medical insurance, you can consider buying a standalone critical illness insurance cover. This policy covers a large number of ailments and you get a fixed amount if diagnosed with a named critical illness. If you have a critical illness in your family history or have a high-risk job then opt for a critical illness or disability rider respectively, said Naval Goel, Founder and CEO, PolicyX.

Some common critical illnesses that often result in significant claims include cancer, heart-related conditions, neurological disorders, kidney diseases, and organ failures.

“If you opt for critical illness cover, carefully review the policy terms and conditions to understand which critical illnesses are covered and the payout structure. Consider factors such as family medical history, lifestyle, and the prevalence of specific illnesses when deciding whether to choose critical illness cover or riders. Additionally, it is crucial to compare the cost of critical illness riders or standalone policies with the benefits they offer. Some individuals may prefer to have a separate critical illness policy to ensure higher coverage amounts, while others may find riders more cost-effective,” said Goyal.

Should you add your family to your health insurance policy?

The 30s could be a time when many people have just started a family or planning to start one in the next few years. When you are purchasing a health insurance plan in your 30s, you need to take into account how you are planning to take care of your family or dependents going forward.

To address the healthcare needs of your family or dependents, you go for a family floater plan where you can add your family members to your health insurance policy. Many insurers allow you to add family members during policy renewal or within a specific timeframe after marriage or childbirth.

Do remember that individual health insurance does not allow you to add dependents. “A family floater plan is cheaper than an individual plan as the sum insured is shared by an entire family,” said Goyal.

“The cost of adding family members depends on the number of individuals, their age, and the sum assured chosen,” said Mishra.

“Insurance companies usually have provisions to add a spouse during the policy term, subject to the payment of an additional premium. Most health insurance policies allow the inclusion of dependent children up to a certain age (usually 18 to 25 years) under the family coverage. Some policies may also have provisions for extended coverage for children pursuing higher education or until they become financially independent,” said Goyal.

When adding family members to the policy, be aware of any waiting periods associated with specific coverage benefits. Some policies may have waiting periods for maternity benefits, pre-existing conditions of family members, or certain illnesses.


Should you add your elderly parents in the same family floater plan?

Now should you add your elderly parents to the family floater plan? When compared to your parents you may need your health insurance policy for a much longer period. At old age parents may need frequent hospitalization which may adversely impact the available sum assure for younger members.

Do note that you have the option to add your aging parents to your family floater plan. However, Mehta suggested buying separate standalone insurance for parents.

“That is because they should have a sum assured that they can exclusively use and often the products for seniors are different from those below 65 years,” he added. Moreover, you can also claim a deduction of up to Rs 25,000 for health insurance of self/family and Rs 50,000 under Section 80D of the Income-tax Act, 1961, for senior citizen parents while filing income tax returns.

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4 car insurance add-on covers can help you save thousands on monsoon damages. Who should buy?

A comprehensive car insurance policy may not be adequate to protect your car from the damage that monsoons can cause. Unless you have certain specific additional coverages, your insurance company will not pay a penny to fix your engine if it’s flood damaged. In case you need to change your seats or replace your windshield, the insurance company usually pays only a part of it. That’s where add-on covers or riders come in handy.

Why are damages more frequent in monsoons?

“During heavy rain, waterlogging or floods, water can enter the vehicle, seep into the engine and damage it. This is one of the most common claims during monsoons. The engine is one of the most expensive parts of a vehicle and repairing or replacing can be expensive,” Kunal Jha, Head – Motor Product and Actuarial, Go Digit General Insurance.

He added: “Trees or poles uprooted due to heavy rain can seriously damage the exterior of a vehicle. Multiple such instances are witnessed during heavy rain because many vehicles in India are parked on the roads.”

Rahul Mishra said, “Even if the car is not submerged in water, heavy rain can cause water damage to the car’s upholstery and electrical wiring, resulting in costly repairs.” said Rahul M Mishra, Co-Founder and Director, Policy Ensure.

When it rains heavily, visibility on the roads can be significantly reduced, leading to accidents. Many experts added that the risk of skidding and hydroplaning increases as the roads become slippery.

How auto insurance add-ons cover plug the coverage gap?

Add-ons are optional coverage that can be added to a comprehensive car insurance policy to enhance your coverage and provide additional protection. Here are four essential additions during the monsoon season.

Why is it critical to add an engine protection cover?

Purchasing an engine protector add-on is essential to protect your engine safeguard your car engine from losses due to liquid ingress. If you try to start your car over and over again while it is submerged in water, the car could get stuck. Engine repair can be expensive. This engine damage is not paid for under a normal car insurance policy because it is considered collateral damage. “An engine guard covers your car in the event of a hydrostatic lock, where water can seep into the car’s air valve and block the engine,” said Nitin Kumar, Head – Car Insurance, Policybazaar.com.

Roadside assistance comes to your rescue during an emergency

Vehicle breakdowns are more common during the monsoon season. In case you are stranded in a waterlogged area and unable to move your vehicle, opting for the additional coverage of 24/7 roadside assistance can be helpful, said Pooja Yadav, Chief Product Officer, Zuno General Insurance (Erstwhile Edelweiss General Insurance).

Animesh Das, Chief Underwriting Officer – ACKO, adds that this coverage provides instant towing services by a professional that prevents further damage to your vehicle.

Zero depreciation Cover ensures full coverage in parts replacement

If you have zero depreciation coverage, you will be fully reimbursed for the damage, not just the depreciated value of the damaged components. said Aftab Chaz, Associate Director and Head of Business at Elephant.in (Alliance Insurance Brokers)

Consumable add-on coverage ensures no payment even for consumables

This add-on covers the cost of consumables such as engine oil, coolant, and brake fluid, which are required during repairs due to damage caused by flooding, waterlogging, or accidents during the monsoon season.

While there are other add-on covers, the above-mentioned are the most used by consumers due to their relevance and significance during monsoons.

Who Should Buy These Extra Monsoon Auto Insurance Coverages?

These riders come with an added cost. Should all car owners buy these additional covers to protect their cars during the monsoon season?

“It is important that vehicle owners carefully consider their needs and the location in which they are staying before selecting any additions,” Chaz said.

“If you live in an area that is prone to flooding or waterlogging during the monsoon season (such as Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore) then the added motor protection and consumables cover can be particularly useful as it provides coverage for damage to the engine and consumables,” said Mishra.

Amit Goel, director and principal officer of Raghnall Insurance Broking & Risk Management Pvt, said: “Coastal regions often experience heavy rainfall and face risks of waterlogging and high levels of humidity. Water damage and the corrosive effects of salt water can The motor protection cover and consumables cover can help mitigate the risks associated with these conditions.”

Goel added: ” Places with inadequate drainage infrastructure can lead to water accumulation on roads, increasing the likelihood of accidents due to slippery surfaces. In such areas, a zero consumption cap can be beneficial as it ensures a higher payment for spare parts. regardless of consumption.

If you live in an area where immediate assistance during emergencies, such as towing or on-site repairs, is rare or slow to arrive, having roadside assistance coverage becomes a necessity. This coverage provides peace of mind and guarantees immediate assistance in the event of a breakdown or accident, especially in adverse weather conditions.

“People living in hilly areas also witness cases of landslides during monsoons. It makes a lot of sense to consider a comprehensive motor cover with suitable add-ons to give your vehicle full protection,” Jha said.

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Tips for zeroing in on right general insurance policy

Today’s uncertain environment has made it necessary to have an insurance policy at your disposal. While taking care of your financial needs, it also provides peace of mind for you and your loved ones. However, for any person who is looking forward to purchasing a policy, understanding the general insurance jargon and terminologies can be hard.

In a bid to procure the maximum advantages from your policy, it is necessary for an individual to know the basic technical words, which would not only help them to understand their policy in a better manner but also aid them in purchasing a good policy. Furthermore, regardless of how daunting the insurance contract appears, following a few of the recommendations can help ease the process of understanding the policy terminology.

Self-learning through research

Self-learning is an approach to gaining knowledge about any subject where the individual makes the effort to explore the necessary resources. This concept can be applied to learning about general insurance and its terminology as well. First and foremost, you can familiarise yourself with basic insurance terms, which include premium, coverage, insurer, policyholder, deductible, and more.

Then you can go to online resources, such as insurance websites, via search engines to gain information about these jargons. On the websites, you can also engage in conversations with AI chatbots that can provide valuable information regarding the insurance. This approach is efficient as it provides a certain amount of independence to learn, where you can explore different types of insurance and their respective jargons at your own pace and make an informed purchase decision.

Studying the insurance documents

An insurance policy document is a reference document that contains all information regarding cover (the scope of protection provided by the policy), insured (the person or entity covered by the insurance policy), insurer (the insurance company that provides the coverage), premium paid (The amount paid to the insurance company), policy term (the duration of the policy), and more.

The insurance firm issues the document to detail the terms under which the policy is offered. Therefore, while selecting a policy, it is advised to read the policy documents, which also include terms and conditions. In these policy documents, a person should pay attention to key details such as coverage limits, waiting periods, exclusions, claim procedures, and more.

Consult an insurance advisor

Despite educating yourself through online research or reading the general insurance documents carefully, it can sometimes be daunting to understand specific terminology while considering the right policy. In such cases, it is advised to consult an insurance advisor. With their guidance, you not only get accurate and updated information about the insurance but can also get personalised guidance based on your needs.

They are the experts who have in-depth knowledge about different types of policies and their terminologies, which are difficult to grasp. What policy advisors can do for you is break down the policy language, explain key provisions, and ensure that you understand what you are purchasing. While you can learn about different types of policies and their jargon, you can also utilise their expertise to gain maximum coverage and recommendations.

All things considered

It cannot be understated that for an ordinary person, understanding general insurance jargon and terminology can be difficult. Moreover, there are numerous types of insurance, clauses, terms, and conditions, which can be overwhelming to comprehend. However, owing to technological advancements, internet penetration, and smart devices, customers are able to research insurance policies online. Moreover, they also have easy access to insurance documents today, from which they can gain more knowledge before making a purchase.

However, the most efficient method is to contact an insurance advisor or point of sales person (PoSP) who can provide their knowledge of the technical jargon and also provide advice, recommendations, and personalised guidance on insurance policies. With a flourishing insurance market in India, there are several solutions available for customers to explore, and a lack of information on the subject should never let them be deprived of its benefits.

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This Insurance Aggregator Is Determined To Create 25,000 Insurance Entrepreneurs Across India

Recently, we interacted with Mr. Pankaj Vashistha, Co-founder & CEO, Policy Ensure – a unique platform that has taken insurance business to a new dimension all together paving way to a BHAVI BHARAT, in which not only everyone is insured but also empowerring self-employment in Insurance Entrepreneurs business by harnessing demographic dividend of great India.

Here are the interview highlights:

1. Can you give us an overview of Policy Ensure and the services it offers?

Ans. Policy Ensure is an insurance aggregator-broker based out of Gurgaon that distributes general insurances and intends to level up the insurance focus in India especially in tier 2 & tier 3 cities. Policy Ensure has built up its unique phygital model as compared to the other broker houses, that emphasis mainly on technology driven approaches.

Our company believes that distribution along with a little assistance is important for expanding insurance coverage, and technology functions as a facilitator rather than a primary factor in how business is conducted. We understand the importance of openness in the Insurance Entrepreneurs sector and focus on locating the problems of mistrust & mis-selling that have come to light over the years.

Policy Ensure uses a phygital model, which entails having a physical presence at each area they serve, to accomplish its aims. Customers’ trust is increased and personalized interactions are made possible by this physical presence. The user-friendly technological platform that Policy Ensure offers makes conducting business easier and guarantees openness throughout the insurance transaction.

We combine distribution knowledge, technology facilitation, and transparency with our customers. In order to improve insurance penetration in India and meet the needs of customers in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.

2. How does Policy Ensure differentiate itself from other insurance providers in the market?

Ans. Policy Ensure is different from the other insurance providers in India as we adopt a distribution-driven strategy as compared to other broker houses that focus only on the digital technological approach to business that usually caters to the citizens in tier 1 cities. However, aligning with India’s vision of financial inclusion by 2030. Policy Ensure has created a unique phygital model where physical presence empowers trust and technology provides transparency and better choices.

3. Can you walk us through the process of how Policy Ensure helps customers find the best insurance coverage for their needs?

Ans. One of the main problems the insurance sector faces is mis-selling, which has been addressed by Policy Ensure by streamlining the insurance process for our customers. They must be fully aware of the insurance products they are buying since they are intricate contracts with a range of coverage alternatives.

Technology used by Policy Ensure gives customers a transparent and user-friendly platform. Customers have access to digital contracts using this technology that describes the details of the insurance policy, including coverages and premiums. This enables customers to make informed decisions based on their own requirements and preferences. 

4. What kind of insurance policies does Policy Ensure offer? Are there any specific industries or sectors that you specialize in?

Ans. With the aim of making India independent and secured, Policy Ensure has taken an initiative to increase insurance penetration in the country and being a catalyst for the growth of small towns by using the PHYGITAL way. We look at insurance distribution across General insurance specific to motor, health, accidental, cattle and home insurance for the tier 2 & tier 3 market. Keeping in mind the 2015 IRDAI form of licensing, the brand allows tier 2 & tier 3 citizens to become PoSPs and encourage the soft skills of entrepreneur ships for them. 

5. How has Policy Ensure adapted to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic? Have there been any changes in customer behavior or needs that you have had to respond to?

Ans. Policy Ensure has actively responded to these changes by prioritizing customer-centric solutions and leveraging technology to deliver seamless insurance experiences. By adapting swiftly, Policy Ensure has positioned itself as a trusted partner in the new normal, catering to the evolving needs and expectations of customers in India’s insurance market with the help of its POSP partners and sales /customer service team available locally.

6. What are some of the biggest challenges that Policy Ensure faces in the insurance market, and how do you plan to address them?

Ans. The primary challenge that we faced was navigating the regulatory environment of the insurance business that was ongoing in the current insurance ecosystem. It was essential for Policy Ensure to verify compliance with the regulatory standards since the market was so heavily regulated, and doing so required a time-consuming procedure.

However, we were able to overcome the obstacle by following rules and regulations and ensuring everything was done correctly.

The second issue we faced was internet accessibility, especially in tier 1 and tier 2 ranked cities. For their company concept, which blended a physical presence with technology, having a dependable internet connection was essential.

The government’s increased attention on the insurance industry and the expansion of telecom businesses have both increased internet usage, which has benefited us in business operations.

Policy Ensure has been able to establish itself in the market and broaden its reach by overcoming these difficulties.

7. How does Policy Ensure plan to expand and grow its business in the coming years?

Ans. The long-term objective of Policy Ensure is to overtake all other insurance distributors in India. Within the next three years. We intend to grow from 32 sites to 300 locations in the next two years. We are resolute that distribution is essential to any company’s success. In order to build a solid distribution network and broaden our client base, we are concentrating on increasing our physical presence in various locations.

We will keep investing in physical sites all throughout India and prioritizing our distribution approach in order to meet our long-term objectives.

We Strive to efficiently contact clients in several cities and towns by spreading insurance more widely and establish ourselves as the go-to option for insurance distribution.

8 . Finally, what do you think sets Policy Ensure apart from other companies in the insurance industry, and why should customers choose to work with you?

  • Customer-Centric Approach: Policy Ensure places utmost importance on customer satisfaction and aims to provide personalized and tailored insurance solutions. The company takes the time to understand each customer’s unique needs and offers comprehensive coverage options that align with their requirements
  • Wide Range of Insurance Products: Policy Ensure offers a diverse portfolio of insurance products, ranging from health and life insurance to property and vehicle insurance. This extensive range ensures that customers can find suitable coverage for their specific needs, all under one roof
  • Innovative Phygital Distribution Network: Policy Ensure has pioneered the concept of a “Phygital Insurance Distribution Network,” which combines the convenience of digital platforms with the trust of physical presence. This innovative approach provides customers with a seamless and accessible insurance buying experience
  • Strong Partnerships: Policy Ensure has forged strategic partnerships with leading insurance companies in India, enabling access to a wide network of insurers and ensuring a robust range of insurance offerings. These partnerships also contribute to the company’s credibility and trustworthiness
  • Expertise and Experience: Policy Ensure is backed by a team of experienced Insurance Entrepreneurs who possess in-depth knowledge of the industry. Their expertise allows them to guide customers effectively, offer sound advice, and address any insurance-related queries or concerns
  • Transparency and Trust: Policy Ensure operates with utmost transparency, ensuring customers have a clear understanding of policy terms, coverage, and claims processes. The company strives to build trust with customers by providing honest and reliable insurance solutions

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The Importance of Motor Insurance Riders: Exploring Additional Coverage Options

Motor insurance is an essential aspect of responsible vehicle ownership, providing financial protection against unforeseen accidents, theft, and damages. While standard motor insurance policies offer coverage for common risks, they may not always address specific needs or adequately protect policyholders in certain circumstances. This is where motor insurance riders come into play, offering additional coverage options tailored to individual requirements. In this article, we will explore the importance of motor insurance riders and highlight their benefits in enhancing the protection offered by standard policies.

Understanding Motor Insurance Riders:

Motor insurance riders, also known as add-ons or endorsements, are supplementary coverage options that policyholders can purchase to extend the protection provided by their base motor insurance policy. These riders offer customized coverage for specific risks or situations that may not be adequately addressed by a standard policy. By opting for riders, policyholders can ensure they have comprehensive coverage that aligns with their unique needs.

Enhanced Coverage for Unforeseen Events:

Motor insurance riders provide additional coverage for a range of unforeseen events, offering policyholders peace of mind and financial protection. For instance, a common rider is the “Personal Accident Cover,” which provides compensation in the event of injury or death resulting from a road accident. This rider goes beyond the standard policy’s coverage and helps policyholders and their families during challenging times.

Protection against Natural Disasters:

Natural disasters can cause significant damage to vehicles, leaving policyholders with substantial financial burdens. With the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, riders such as “Natural Calamities Coverage” or “Acts of God Cover” have gained importance. These riders ensure that policyholders are protected against losses resulting from events like floods, earthquakes, or cyclones, which may not be covered under a standard policy.

Enhanced Vehicle Protection:

While standard motor insurance policies provide coverage for accidental damages, riders can further enhance the protection offered. For example, the “Zero Depreciation Cover” ensures that policyholders receive the full cost of repairs or replacement of damaged vehicle parts without accounting for depreciation. This rider is particularly beneficial for new vehicles or those with expensive parts, reducing the out-of-pocket expenses for policyholders. Similarly Hydrostatic cover and or Engine Protection Cover as insurance co may name it, takes care of engine seizure and or replacement in case water enters silencer in water during rainy season. Standard policy excludes it. Consumables like engine oil, filters etc are excluded in standard policy which can be covered by opting this cover. Return to invoice, Registration Charges of RTO , Key Replacement, and NCB Protection are other popular add on covers which standard policy excludes but the car owners may ask for these coverages.

Coverage for Specialized Accessories:

Many vehicle owners invest in aftermarket accessories, such as audio systems, alloy wheels, or customized fittings, to enhance their driving experience. However, these accessories are often not covered under standard policies. By opting for a “Special Accessories Cover” rider, policyholders can protect their investments and ensure they receive compensation for any damages or theft of these specialized accessories.

Extended Roadside Assistance:

Breakdowns or mechanical failures can occur unexpectedly, leaving drivers stranded on the road. While some motor insurance policies offer limited roadside assistance, riders such as “24×7 Roadside Assistance” or “Emergency Towing Coverage” provide extended services, including towing, fuel assistance, tire changes, and even accommodation arrangements in case of an immobilized vehicle. These riders prove invaluable in times of distress, providing immediate help and convenience.

Cover for Legal Expenses:

In the unfortunate event of a legal dispute arising from a motor accident, policyholders may incur substantial legal expenses. To safeguard against such costs, riders such as “Legal Expenses Coverage” offer protection by covering legal fees, court proceedings, and associated expenses. This additional coverage ensures policyholders can pursue their rights without facing undue financial burdens. Motor insurance riders play a crucial role in enhancing the coverage provided by standard motor insurance policies. By understanding and exploring these additional coverage options, policyholders can tailor their insurance to meet their specific needs and mitigate potential risks. Whether it is protecting against unforeseen events, covering natural disasters, enhancing vehicle protection, or extending roadside assistance, riders offer valuable add-ons that significantly enhance the overall value of motor insurance. As responsible vehicle owners, it is essential to carefully assess our requirements, consult with insurance experts, and consider the available riders to ensure comprehensive and adequate coverage for our vehicles.

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Empowering Farmers: How Cattle Insurance Supports Rural Livelihoods

Being a predominantly agrarian society, India heavily relies on livestock for agricultural activities, mostly in rural areas. Including cows and buffalos, cattle play a crucial role in the nation’s dairy industry, contributing majorly to milk production. So, similar to various other types of property or investment, cattle are susceptible to risks and uncertainties. To keep such risks at bay and safeguard the interests of farmers, cattle insurance is emerging as a valuable tool in India.

Let’s explore the essential aspects of cattle insurance in India, comprising its benefits, coverage, and process, as well as the option of acquiring such policies online.

What is cattle insurance?

Often referred to as cow insurance as well, cow insurance is a risk management tool that provides financial protection to cattle owners against the loss of their livestock owing to various perils. A form of livestock insurance, it covers risks like accidental death, theft, death, and natural calamities. 

What are the key advantages of cattle insurance?

Cattle insurance offers many essential benefits to farmers and livestock owners. Here are the key benefits of opting for cow insurance online that proves to be an added advantage for cattle owners:

Providing Financial Security

Since livestock is a highly valuable asset for farmers, they often have to face severe financial consequences in the event of any loss or damage to their cattle. This is precisely why getting their cattle insured provides the livestock owner with an indispensable safety net. Opting for cow insurance provides compensation to farmers against any losses incurred, ensuring financial stability, especially in challenging times.

Protecting Livelihood

Cattle and livestock farming often serve as the main source of livelihood and income for several rural households. Cattle insurance enables farmers to protect and sustain their income stream even in the face of adverse conditions. 

Mitigating Risks

Cattle face various heavy risks such as diseases, theft, and accidents. Cow insurance online helps mitigate such risks by providing coverage against these unforeseeable setbacks, allowing farmers to focus on agricultural activities without hindrances and constant worries.

Accessing Credit

In addition to the aforementioned benefits, cow insurance also enables farmers to access credit facilities from financial institutions. Lenders tend to have a high chance of offering loans or credit to farmers who have insured their livestock since it mitigates the risks associated with lending. 

Coverage under Cattle Insurance

Cow insurance policies in India typically provide coverage for the following risks:

1. Accidental Death: The policy compensates the owner in case of the animal’s accidental death due to causes such as accidents, falls, or drowning.

2. Disease and Illness: Insurance policies cover the medical expenses incurred for treating cattle, often prone to diseases, including veterinary services and medication costs.

3. Theft: In the unfortunate event of cattle theft, the insurance policy compensates the owner for the market value of the stolen animal.

4. Natural Calamities: Cattle insurance also provides coverage against natural calamities such as floods, earthquakes, cyclones, or lightning strikes that may result in the death or injury of the insured animal.

Obtaining Cattle Insurance Via A Certified Broker

There are multiple ways in which farmers can obtain cattle insurance. While online platforms are a popular choice in metro-cities and nearby areas, the lack of internet penetration and unavailability of smart devices especially in rural areas makes it ineffective for farmers in such regions. This is where Policy Ensures unique Phygital business model, which enables insurance access to reach the grassroots levels in India, has proved to be a major game-changer for farmers.

Farmers can leverage Policy Ensure physical presence on the ground through a certified Point of Sales Person (PosP) to understand all available options in their bid to find the cow insurance that successfully caters to their specific needs. Amid the lack of awareness and non-availability of credible infrastructure, farmers in the non-metro regions can achieve financial stability on the back of a tailored cattle insurance policy in the event of an untimely death of their cattle or covered diseases.

Insure Your Cattle With Policy Ensure

An important part of the Indian economy, cattle rearing provides livelihood to many marginal, small, and medium farmers in the country. That’s why cattle insurance remains pivotal for farmers and livestock owners to safeguard their investments and, in turn, their livelihoods. But, lack of awareness and internet penetration in rural areas often denies farming communities of such regions an opportunity to get the best out of cattle insurance which can further trigger financial instability during unfortunate events pertaining to their cattle. With Policy Ensures certified PosPs, farmers in non-metro cities can now gain access to professional advice and expertise from reliable insurance advisors who can guide them in procuring the cow insurance they truly need.

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Floods Of Engine Trouble Hit Vehicles; Here’s How To Claim Insurance

Here is an unsolicited advice for motorists across the country but especially to those living in many parts of the rain-ravaged North India – please do not try and start your vehicles, either two-wheelers or four-wheelers, if they are submerged in rainwater for some time. Now, not many people know about this fact, but insurance companies will reject any claim of repairs for engines/vehicles damaged if they were submerged in rain or flood waters for any amount of time.

What this means that you will have to spend through your nose for engine repairs that could run into thousands of Rupees, depending on the damage. And of course, the time taken at the mechanic workshop given the long queues of vehicles requiring attention after rainwater recedes.

Then tremendous feel-good factor that envelopes us all when buying a new (or even second hand) vehicle – a scooter or a car or anything on wheels, prevents us from finding out the many details that eventually costs us a lot. And unless one has the right questions, it is not possible to get the right answers and advice, as is the case with car insurance claims.

What the car companies and insurance companies do not tell is that even the car manufacturers put in a disclaimer that their warranty runs out if water seeps into the engine, just like the mobile phone companies do not entertain claims if the rainwater induced moisture enters the mobile instrument.

Now here comes a practical advice from a general insurance company owner to the countless people whose vehicles got submerged in rain waters. Hundreds of thousands of people across North India today have their vehicles submerged in waters, which are going to remain like this till water recedes in few hours to many hours, depending on the intensity and duration of rain.

Rahul M Mishra, Co-Founder, Policy Ensure, told News24online that instructions from the car manufacturers and insurance companies are clear that if water comes to the radiator level do not start the car. The moment water enters the engine, then the whole engine becomes useless, and in those cases the claims are rejected if the vehicles have normal insurance cover.

“But perhaps after Chennai floods or so, many insurance companies have come up with add on cover for engine protection. Nowadays it has become a habit when you buy a new vehicle the dealer gives engine protect also as an add on, and it is advisable that one takes it even though one may have to pay an extra so that one is not denied insurance claims,” Mishra said.

Before the advent of engine protect as an add on service too, the insurance companies ought to have considered the claims even for vehicles that were submerged in water, consumer organisations argued but in practice denial was the norm.

“Even today, even if one has not taken add on of engine protect, people can get the insurance claim as long as they have not started the car that stalled in rainwater,” Mishra said advising motorists not to try and start the vehicle (two-wheeler to four-wheeler) but inform the car dealer and insurance company and wait for them to respond with mechanics.

If anyone lies that they did not start the vehicles, there are expert mechanics employed with the insurance companies claims department who can find out exactly whether there were attempts to start the vehicle, Mishra said.

Even during normal rainless days if the vehicle stalls driving through waterlogged areas, best is to avoid trying to start it. Instead seek professional help through the insurance company, which these days offer a range of services, onsite and on the road assistance etc, Mishra said.

Motor vehicles is one aspect and there is some chance of cutting losses by getting claims as by law vehicles must be insured, in some form or the other.

Just imagine the losses people have, say in Himachal Pradesh or Uttarakhand, where people have lost their houses to the devastation caused by the floods. “Most of the houses and shops and establishments are not insured, and it breaks my heart to see that people have suddenly been dragged onto the streets,” Mishra said urging the government to think of ways and means to increase insurance cover for properties.

“Of course, it can only be done through education and creating awareness. People may think that the insurance companies are scaremongering to increase their business, but just think of how much the people would have been saved, at least a major portion of their life’s belongings if only their properties were insured,” the insurance company founder said.

Now, the full extent of the damage in terms of money caused by the nature’s fury, unleashed in the form flooding that destroyed properties and damaged vehicles, will be known only after normalcy returned.

Till then, be wise and listen to the insurance experts, and save money and mental peace.

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