General Insurance: A Comprehensive Guide
Life is filled up with excitement. But at the same time it is full of risks. Some uncertainties and unexpected events can really put you down.
General Insurance or Non-life Insurance helps you to safeguard yourself and the things around, which you value a lot. These may include your home, car and other valuables like money lending, professional casualties other than death, etc. These valuables carry a lot of financial risks. Therefore, General Insurance Plans provide financial protection from the impact of fire, storm, flood, earthquake, car accidents, theft and other travel accidents. It also covers us from the expenses spent on the legal actions. In short, you have the option to choose the right type of cover and the right type of insurance policy as per your requirements.
The tenure for a general insurance is not like the tenure we have in life insurance. Mostly these types of insurance are yearly contracts.
Do not get confused between Life Insurance and General Insurance. They both cater to different aspects in life. Life Insurance looks after risks of death and its consequences, whereas, General Insurance helps in protecting risks due to other aspects of life and its diverse assets.
Types of General Insurance
As per the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, all vehicles running on the Indian roads is mandatory to be insured. Motor insurance companies allow you to choose the type of coverage you want to opt for. There are two types of motor insurance - Third Party Liability Cover and Comprehensive Motor Insurance Policy.
Motor Insurance category includes
- Car Insurance
The smartest thing to secure your car financially is by buying a car insurance policy. This would save your finances if your car meets with an accident, or falls prey to any natural disaster like floods, earthquake, theft, etc.
There are 2 types of car insurance policy:
- Third Party Liability Car Insurance is nothing but the coverage guaranteed to the third party only i.e. Damage to another person’s vehicle or property, bodily injuries and permanent disability during an accident by your vehicle. It is a mandatory over as per the law. We wouldn’t recommend you to buy this basic third-party insurance if you really love your car from the bottom your heart. This type of coverage is best for people who think motor insurance is mandatory and buy this type just for the heck of it.
- Comprehensive Car Insurance is an optional coverage and thus is not mandatory. This type of car insurance provides coverage for third-party and also for your car. It is best for those who want to cover the losses due to the accidents and also to recover losses due to theft and natural disasters, and not for those who take car insurance merely as a mandatory clause.
- Two Wheeler Insurance
There is nothing exciting than riding your bike wherever you wish to. Because for many, their two-wheeler is their personality. This makes it very important to insure your two-wheeler. Buying a two-wheeler insurance would save your money against the financial losses if your bike was damaged in an accident or say, robbed.
There are two types of two-wheeler insurance policy:
- Third Party Two Wheeler Insurance is nothing but the coverage guaranteed to the third party only .i.e. to another persons vehicle or property, bodily injuries and permanent disability during an accident by your two-wheeler and is mandatory by law. We wouldn’t recommend you to buy this basic third-party insurance if you really love your two-wheeler from the bottom your heart. This type of coverage is best for people who think two-wheeler insurance is mandatory and buy this type just for the heck for it.
- Comprehensive Two Wheeler Insurance is an optional coverage and thus is not mandatory. This type of insurance provides coverage to third-party, to you as well as your vehicle. It is best for those who want to cover the losses due to the accidents and also to recover losses due to theft and natural disasters, and not for those who take two-wheeler insurance merely as a mandatory clause.
There are certain perks of buying motor insurance which includes personal accident cover, cashless services at network garages, roadside assistance, towing support, etc.
Health Insurance industry in India is seeing a groundbreaking change due to private insurance providers offering customized plans to the consumers. These plans are tailor-made considering the varied requirement of customers. For example, there are plans customized only for diabetic patients, cancer patients, etc.
Health Insurance is a type of insurance that covers the insureds medical and surgical expenses. Depending on the policy terms and conditions, the insurer either pays the insured in the form of reimbursement or offers a cashless facility at the listed network hospital of the Insurance Company.
Certain benefits offered under Health Insurance Plans are:
- Pre & Post Hosptialization Benefit
- Cashless Treatment
- Day Care Treatment, etc.
You can also opt for additional Riders along with a Comprehensive Health Insurance Policy to enhance your health insurance plan even better. This may include,
- Room Rent Waiver
- Maternity Cover
- Critical Illness cover
- Hospital Cash
- Personal Accident Rider, etc.
Health Insurance is divided into 4 categories which includes comprehensive health insurance, family floater cover, surgery cover and individual cover.
Travel insurance would help you tackle all the travel and medical contingencies while you travel abroad. It is utmost important to add travel insurance to your checklist while you plan your vacation, be it for leisure or business. Travel insurance is gaining back all its lost significance.
The main reasons to buy a Travel Insurance is to avoid unforeseen conditions like
- Flight delay
- Loss of baggage
- Loss of passport
- Medical emergencies
- Emergency dental expenses
- Hospital cash allowance
- Accidental death
- Hijack distress allowance
- Financial emergency assistance, etc.
Other than the benefits listed above, it also offers coverage for expenses to take the insureds mortals back to the home country and many more.
Travel Insurance Category includes:
- International Travel Insurance
- Student Travel Insurance
- Group Travel Insurance
- Senior Citizen Travel Insurance
- Domestic Travel Insurance
- Schengen Travel Insurance
- Asia Travel Insurance
- Corporate Travel Insurance
A home offers the peace, serenity and warmth that you may be looking for after a tiring day at work. Therefore, buying a home insurance is utmost important. It offers protection to the entire structure of your house and ensures utmost security for all the belongings that you may collected over the years. There are certain home insurance policies that offer coverage till 5 years. You would have to pay a premium based on the value of the belongings in your home.
Home Insurance Covers the Structure and Content of your home from below
Fire and Peril Cover:
- Due to Fire, Explosion
- Aircraft Damage
- Missile Testing Operations
- Landslide and Rockslide
- Cyclone, etc.
Man Made Calamities
- Theft or Burglary
Home insurance, however, doesnt include loss or damage due to nuclear perils, any consequential loss, damage due to war, damage or any loss due to pollution, contamination, etc. Also, valuables like bullion, gold and silver are not covered, however, if you wish to, then you can certainly opt for a special cover.
Marine insurance is also known as Cargo Insurance. It covers any loss or damage due to cargo, terminals, ships and other transport or cargo through which any property is acquired, transferred or is held between two points that can be the origin and the destination point.
The various types of Marine Insurance includes,
- Cargo insurance
- Hull insurance
- Freight insurance
- Liability insurance, etc.
Rural insurance helps to fulfil the requirements of rural and agricultural businesses which is the base of rural insurance. The motive of this type of general insurance is to ensure that working capital as well as assistance is offered to the rural families. This can be done in the form of income generating assets.
Rural Insurance includes
- Livestock such as goat, sheep, cattle, etc.
- Agricultural pump sets
- Plantation like grapes, rubber trees
- Sub-Animals including silkworm, honeybee, etc.
Commercial insurance is a type of general insurance that is usually offered to entities which are commercial like industries, businessmen, etc. It offers insurance cover to different business related requirements.
Commercial insurance provides insurance cover to industries like:
- Foods and beverages
- Oil and gas
- Logistics sectors
- Automotive, etc.
The various types of commercial insurance include:
- Marine insurance
- Liability insurance
- Energy insurance
- Employee benefits insurance
- Financial lines insurance
- Engineering insurance
- Property insurance
- International insurance solutions.
There is a list of various other types of general insurance products. They are crop insurance, corporate insurance, fire insurance, householder, shopkeeper, personal accident, property insurance, etc.