Insurers don’t prefer to cover houses that have basements

Published in Mint on 27 October, 2015, Written by Abhishek Bondia

Which documents are needed to make a motor insurance claim?
— Kishore Chanani

For minor repairs, you need to submit the invoice copy of repairs and Know-Your-Customer (KYC) documents such as permanent account number (PAN), address proof and registration certificate (RC) of the vehicle. For a major accident, especially those involving death of another person, many more documents are needed. A first information report (FIR) must be registered, a medico-legal certificate for the driver must be obtained and a court order releasing the vehicle, if it is impounded, is required.

Can all types of properties get home insurance?
— Ankita Pant

There are a few types of properties that are uninsurable. Generally, insurers will charge an additional premium and cover a property, but buildings that have walls or roofs of wooden planks, leaves, grass, hay, bamboo, plastic, tarpaulin and the like are treated as kutcha construction and are difficult to insure. Houses with basements are not preferred by insurers, due to flooding risk.

I am going to Rome for about six months and have taken travel insurance. If needed, how do I make a claim?
—Ramesh Tiwari

In case of a non-medical claim, you will have to claim for reimbursement after coming back to India. This includes baggage loss, flight delays, accidental disability, and others. Documentation varies. When you face the loss, you should immediately inform the insurer over email or phone. The insurer would share with you an acknowledgement number and the required list of documents. For example, for baggage loss, an airline report is required.
A medical claim could be done either through the cashless feature or reimbursement. Most insurers have a network tie-up with international healthcare providers. You can use the network hospitals of this healthcare provider to make a cashless claim. You bear the deductible amount and the admissible claim amount is directly paid by the insurer to the hospital. Insurers also have a toll-free helpline or email address from where you can get information on hospital networks. The quality and number of hospitals in that country should be a criteria when choosing the insurer.
If you use a non-network hospital, you can claim for reimbursement after coming back. However, do intimate the insurer at the time of incident.

I was hospitalised after a road accident. Why is my insurer asking for an MLC to reimburse?
—Riyaz Ahmed

A medico legal certificate (MLC) certifies whether or not the injured was under the influence of alcohol. This is a mandatory process for hospitals. Whenever a road accident victim is hospitalised, the hospital is bound to prepare an MLC and inform the police. A medical policy does not cover any injury or illness due to influence of alcohol.

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