Free Press Journal

Understanding General Insurance

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KIRAN HARWANI explains the factors that are covered under the general insurance segment.

In earlier times, we had joint families which were a boon in many ways, where the family’s senior most male member i.e. The Karta would take decisions to run the entire expenses in good and bad days of the Hindu undivided family (HUF). The Karta gets into a contract to pool in money on behalf of the HUF which binds all the family members to the extent of sharing in the property, business, profits and losses.

Similarly it is the insurance industry who is the Karta managing the entire show and taking a payment (premium) to protect the contributors in times of crises. The Karta looks after both life and general insurance of its family. In the segment of general insurance they take care of crisis arising out of health, automobile, travel, fire and homes, all of which can be covered on land, water and in air are the coverage offered by the general insurance segment.


The premium paid towards the travel insurance helps in many ways namely protection to the travelling passengers from unexpected medical emergencies, compensation of loss following accidental death, permanent partial disability, permanent total disability, loss on checked in baggage, reasonable expenses incurred for obtaining new passport, flight delays, purchase of consumables due to delay in checked in baggage by the carrier for more than 12 hours, dental expenses if met with an accident during the travel.

Travel insurance is not only for individuals/families who take holidays but also the corporate who are on the business trips can take annual policies with a maximum of 180 days, each trip not exceeding 30/45 days per trip. Students going abroad for higher studies can also avail this facility worldwide. The premium rates vary for different countries.

The premium paid towards health helps in many ways like to meet the cost of good medical care, relieving anxiety and the tension of financial loss, provision of quality treatment at affordable prices. It protects and covers the in-patient hospitalization expenses where stay exceeds more than 24 hours, pre-hospitalization expenses (30/60 days prior to hospitalization) and post hospitalization (60/90days after hospitalization). Hospitalization will cover room rent, boarding charges, doctor fees, OT charges, nursing fees, ambulance charges, etc.

Some specific treatments where no hospitalization is required example cataract, tonsillectomy, lithotripsy, etc; there is a list of more than 405 day care treatments which are covered under this category. There are special products designed having additional features of donor expenses for an organ transplant, cost of health check up, hospital cash benefits, coverages for new born baby, lump-sum compensation on  normal delivery or caesarian. Corporates are even provided with tailor health made policies with additional benefit of giving the cover from day one.

In automobile insurance the premium paid helps by providing financial protection against physical damage and/or bodily injury and unforeseen accidental death. It covers the bills of vehicle repairs for the damage caused due to accident, fire and thefts. The automobile insurance not only covers cars but also covers risk borne by light and heavy vehicles, trucks etc. which will have liability, collision, comprehensive medical payment coverages.

With all the insecurities around there is a special insurance to be taken at all times. The fire insurance helps in many ways; it provides the price of damage for building, furniture, carpet, clothes and also gives alternative or maintenance price for electronics items like television, computers, air coolers etc. which are damaged due to the occurrence of fire. It also provides medical expenses if a person gets injured at the premises. Here, individuals / family are not directly covered but dwellings, offices, shops, hospital, places of worships, industrial areas, manufacturing units, plants, equipments, goods in process, raw material finished, etc are covered.

Apart from the above it also covers very disastrous and highly unexpected incidents like lightning, explosion, implosion, air craft damage, riots, strike these.

In home insurance the premium paid helps in following ways, one of the major benefit being the security of investment in case of any natural calamities like Explosion / Implosion, Aircraft Damage caused by aircraft, Riot, Strike, Malicious Damage cover, Damages due to Impact by rail / road vehicle or animal. Other benefits are coverage towards Public Liability, Burglary, baggage, audio visual appliances, domestic appliances, and expenses for Temporary Resettlement. All said and done we have just read about the small premium paid for various segments in insurance giving a very peaceful feeling of being secured and protected. This has to be paid at regular intervals to avail the benefits in times of crisis.

 Please read the document carefully before signing in the contract and understand the definition of words like exclusions, deductible, co-payment, sub limits, excess clause, pre-existing diseases, no claim bonus, claim free period etc.

(The writer works with

Legace Hub which are

health and wealth planners)