Chennai: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has instructed life and general insurers to settle the claims of the June 2 Odisha train accident which claimed the lives of 275 people and injured some 1,000 others.
“IRDAI has sent instructions for quick settlement of claims pertaining to life and accident insurance for the victims of the rail accident by dispensing some of the requirements or relying on alternate documents,” the insurance regulator’s Chairman Debasish Panda told IANS.
Two private non-life insurers are directly involved in insuring the passengers who had booked their tickets on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd’s (IRCTC) online portal.
Passengers with confirmed tickets and who had opted for travel accident insurance while booking their tickets by paying a paltry Re 0.35 paise are provided with a death/permanent total disability insurance cover of Rs 10 lakhs.
In the case of permanent partial disability, the cover is Rs 7,50,000 and medical expenses up to Rs 2 lakhs are also claimable.
The IRCTC has selected the SBI General Insurance and Liberty General Insurance to offer the travel insurance cover.
In the case of death claim, the nominee or the legal heir has to submit a report of the Railway Authority confirming the accident of the train; report of the Railway Authority carrying the details of the passengers declared dead apart from NEFT mandate details, cancelled cheque, photo identity proof of the nominee, legal heir certificate along with the claim form.
The question that pops up is that how can a normal individual get the two reports from the Railway authority?
As per the policy condition, the claim has to be submitted within four months from the date of the accident.
As the tickets were booked through the IRCTC portal, IRCTC and the insurers will have the passenger details.
The concerned Railway authority can give the reports to IRCTC and the two insurers who in turn can settle the claim on receipt of other documents from the claimants, said an insurance industry official.
The legal heirs can also check the bank passbook of the passengers who had died or injured to see whether the bank had debited their account towards the premium for Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (life insurance for Rs 2 lakhs) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (accident insurance for Rs 2 lakhs) and prefer a claim.
“The banks should have the facility of automatic alerts about the existence of the two policies — Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (life insurance for Rs 2 lakhs) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (accident insurance for Rs 2 lakhs) when the legal heir intimates the death of the account holder. Many times, the account holder or the legal heir is not aware of the insurance cover,” a senior insurance official told IANS.
It is learnt, the central government has asked the General Insurance Council and the Life Insurance Council Ato collect and submit data on the insurance coverage of the train accident victims.
While the Chairperson of the government owned Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has announced relaxation in the documents to be filed by the nominee/legal heirs of train accident victims, no such public announcements have been made by SBI General Insurance and Liberty General Insurance.
While Liberty General Insurance in its website has given a phone number and an email id for reporting a claim, no such information is available on the home page of SBI General Insurance or IRCTC’s website.
Similarly, no announcements like that of LIC seems to have come from private life insurers.