Reader's corner: General Insurance

I am a resident of Mumbai. With the monsoon in full swing, I want to go in for a comprehensive auto insurance policy for my car. Currently I have a third-party policy. Is it possible to upgrade my existing car insurance policy?
You can purchase a fresh policy with comprehensive coverage wherein own damage risk of the vehicle will also be covered along with third-party (TP) liability cover. Your existing TP policy will be cancelled once you have purchased the new policy. You may get in touch with your current insurer or opt for another one for this new comprehensive motor insurance policy. 

In the wake of the hike in third-party (TP) auto insurance premiums, to what extent will my current car insurance policy premiums be affected?
The impact of the increase in premium will depend upon the cubic capacity (cc) of your car. There is a 12 per cent TP premium hike in the group of ‘up to 1,000 cc’ and 13 per cent in the ‘exceeding 1,000 but not exceeding 1,500 cc’. There is no change in premium for cars ‘exceeding 1,500 cc’. For more clarity, get in touch with your insurer. 

I recently bought a two-wheeler for my 20-year-old daughter for her daily commute to college and to run other errands. Which insurance plan should I go for? Are there any specific add-on covers that I should buy?
You should consider buying a ‘two-wheeler package policy-five years’ from an insurer along with a five-year personal accident owner driver cover. Additionally, you may consider engine safe, consumable and roadside assistance cover add-ons, which will be helpful for your daughter if the vehicle gets stuck or damaged during her daily commute. 

I need to get my bike repaired at a nearby garage because I met with a minor accident while I was travelling to work. I need this done fast. Since the local garage is not on the partner list of my insurer, will I be eligible to file a claim?
You should first intimate the claim to your insurance company, get the damaged vehicle surveyed by the surveyor, and then submit the required documents for the claim process. If you get your vehicle repaired at the partner workshops of the insurance company, you will get cashless facility i.e., you will not need to pay out of your own pocket after repair. However, if the vehicle is repaired at other workshops, you will have to make the full payment first and then the insurance company will reimburse you after you have submitted all the required documents. Please ensure that you get the damage surveyed by the surveyor appointed by the insurance company before starting repair work.

I am 18-year-old and am migrating to UK to pursue further studies. If I land up having a health emergency abroad, will my existing health plan in India provide adequate cover?
First, check your existing health plan to see if it covers worldwide hospitalisation and offers emergency medical assistance for the desired duration and location. Most locally sold policies do not cover hospitalisation costs outside India, except maybe emergency hospitalisation during short-term travel. Also, students going abroad are asked by their universities to buy a health plan having minimum pre-defined coverages or benefits. Your existing plan may not be sufficient to take care of your university’s requirement. Seek confirmation from your insurer regarding the benefits available outside India to ensure you do not end up with inadequate coverage. 
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