6 Different Types of General Insurances in India

6 min read

As there are different types of general insurances plans available in the market today, here is a guide to different types of general insurances plans in India, as well as how to filter them to make the best selections.

What are General Insurance Plans? – A Brief Guide

General insurance policies are those which do not offer coverage for risks to the life of the policy holder. To put it simply, general insurance policies do not include life insurance plans. Rather, general insurance includes all those plans which cover associated risks. There are several financial and other risks that people may face in sudden situations. Hence, there are various types of general insurance in the market for this purpose. They are health insurance, travel insurance, motor insurance, home insurance, personal accident insurance and commercial insurance.

Know More: What Are The Differences Between Life Insurance And General Insurance?

General Insurance Types – Taking a Deeper Look 

While there are various types of insurance in India as discussed, here’s taking a closer look at some of the sub-divisions within these general insurance policies.

  1. Health insurance– One of the prominent general insurance types available, these offer coverage for costs of medical treatments, surgeries, emergencies and other healthcare needs arising from an illness, accident or injury. There are several add-ons including maternity insurance, critical illness insurance and so on.
  2. Motor insurance– While any general insurance policy do not include life related risks, motor insurance plans cover third-party liabilities if any injuries/property damage happens due to your vehicle. There are comprehensive plans which offer coverage for damages to the vehicle itself.
  3. Travel insurance– These policies cover risks while traveling for any purpose, across both international and domestic journeys.
  4. Personal accident insurance– This offers coverage for disablement or death arising from accidents. Lump sum benefits are paid out in such cases to the nominees of the policy holder.
  5. Home insurance plans– These cover financial losses owing to damages to the home and its contents.
  6. Commercial insurance– These are policies offering coverage for various kinds of business risks including fire, property, marine, workmen’s compensation and commercial general liability insurance.

How to Select the Best General Insurance plan

You should always choose general insurance plans which fit your needs and your lifestyle. Medical risks are common and you should safeguard your entire family against the future financial costs of the same by getting a health insurance at the earliest. If you own a vehicle, then it is compulsory to have third-party insurance at least. You can purchase other policies based on your needs. If you are a frequent domestic/global traveler, or are planning a big trip, then you can consider travel insurance. If you own a company or business, then you should take commercial policies into account. If you are worried about the safety of your home, then you can get home insurance, while personal accident insurance is another plan that is a must in today’s uncertain times.

Once you have chosen the plans that you need, compare them individually for various parameters including the coverage amount and inclusions, premium amount, tenure, renewability options, added benefits and exclusions.

Main General Insurance types in India – Detailed Information

  • Health Insurance- There are indemnity plans covering medical costs of hospitalization while there are fixed benefit policies paying out a lump sum upon being diagnosed with any condition listed in the policy. Indemnity plans usually cover inpatient hospitalization, pre and post hospitalization care, ambulance charges, AYUSH treatments, maternity care, domiciliary and day care treatments, organ donation expenses, OPD, health check-ups, COVID-19 care, and the NCB (no-claim bonus) for not making a claim. This leads to an increase in the sum insured or a premium discount in most cases.
  • Motor Insurance- Third party insurance as mentioned, offers coverage for any injury, death or property damage to a third party  by your vehicle. It is mandatory in India. You can also get coverage of a comprehensive nature for man-made or natural calamities, theft, accidental damages and vehicle damage.
  • Travel Insurance- This covers medical emergencies, checked-in baggage delays, passport losses, cancellation, repatriation of mortal remains, accidental disability/death, baggage losses, emergency cash advances, third-party liabilities and more.

Parameters influencing costs of Different General Insurances

Health Insurance-

  • Type of plan, i.e. individual or family floater.
  • Age of the policy holder (higher premiums with advancing age).
  • Sum insured (a higher amount attracts a higher premium).
  • Number of members in the policy.
  • History of claims.
  • Applicable NCB/discounts.
  • Policy holder’s medical condition and history.
  • Add-ons chosen by the customer.
  • Location.

Motor Insurance-

  • IDV (insured declared value). The higher this amount, the higher will be your premium.
  • Age of the vehicle.
  • Type of plan, i.e. comprehensive or third-party liability insurance.
  • The variant, make and model of the vehicle.
  • Applicable no-claim bonuses/discounts.
  • Location.
  • Add-on coverage.
  • Size of the engine.
  • Vehicle usage purposes, i.e. commercial or personal.

Travel Insurance-

  • Pre-existing ailments.
  • Travel duration.
  • Policy holder’s age.
  • Number of members in the plan.
  • Destination of travel.
  • Coverage type, i.e. basic or comprehensive.
  • Sum insured amount.
  • Coverage for adventure activities and the like.

How to Purchase an Insurance Policy Online and Offline in India

The buying process involves the following steps:

  • You can buy the policy offline by reaching out to a representative or agent. You may also visit the branch of the insurer and apply by filling up the form and submitting your documents.
  • You can also purchase your policy online at the website of your insurer or any aggregator platform. You can compare and choose the policy and make payment online after providing your details and uploading your documents.

What is the Claim Procedures for Different Insurance Policies 

Claim Procedures for Health Insurance-

  • You can get cashless hospitalization benefits at network hospitals. You have to intimate your insurer within 24 hours of hospitalization (emergencies) and 3-4 days (planned) depending on the scenario. You have to provide all bills and documents to the insurer likewise.
  • You can also file a reimbursement claim at a non-partner hospital. You should inform your insurance company in advance and submit all medical reports, documents and so on. You have to pay the bill initially and get the amount reimbursed once the insurer approves your claim.

Claim Procedures for Motor Insurance-

  • Intimate the company instantly and go to the nearest garage within the network.
  • The company surveyor will analyze the damage while preparing the claim report accordingly.
  • The claim will be approved on this basis and you can then obtain cashless repair facilities.
  • The bills will be paid by the company to the network garage.
  • You will have to pay the bill if you are getting the vehicle repaired at a non-network garage. You will then have to file the claim by submitting all the bills and documents and get reimbursed later on.
  • File your FIR with the police for third-party claims and the motor accidents tribunal will mention this amount to be paid to the third party.
  • File your FIR in case of vehicle theft. The police will issue a certificate if they cannot find the same. You should provide this and other documents to the insurer for payment.

Claim Procedures for Travel Insurance-

  • Intimate your insurer instantly before making a claim.
  • The company will offer information about partner service outlets in the country or region.
  • Submit all claim documents for processing.
  • The documents will be verified before your claim is paid out.
  • These are some basic guidelines that will help you while choosing and maintaining general insurance policies.
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Gayatri Prabhu, Head-Digital Business at Mahindra Insurance Brokers Limited (MIBL) is one those few digital leaders who has the width and depth that is required to execute an ROI driven holistic digital strategy. She cuts through the noise, identifies the critical levers and leads her team to successful execution of the defined strategy. Her core mantra to win new and retain existing customers is: understand the consumer behavior and craft experiences around it.

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