With approximately 15 lakh passengers booking their tickets through the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website, ensuring their safety during travel is a top priority. To provide passengers with an added layer of protection, IRCTC offers an insurance policy covering mishaps during their journey, all for a nominal payment of just Rs 0.35. Despite the low premium, not many passengers opt for this insurance, as evidenced by the recent tragic Balasore Train Accident.
To increase the uptake of this beneficial insurance policy, IRCTC has taken a significant step by making a crucial change in the ticket booking process.
In a bid to encourage more passengers to avail the insurance, the corporation has set the default answer for whether a passenger wants to opt for the travel insurance as ‘Yes’. This means that, upon booking their tickets, passengers will automatically be covered by the insurance policy unless they actively choose to opt-out by changing the default option to ‘No’. While Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) rules typically prohibit platforms from offering default insurance, IRCTC has been granted special permission to implement this feature.
The rationale behind the default option lies in making it convenient and effortless for passengers to secure insurance coverage. Since most passengers are unlikely to change the default setting, the majority will now be automatically covered by the insurance policy, providing them with much-needed protection during their travels.
The coverage offered by the travel insurance includes:
- Rs 10 lakh on accidental death or permanent disability
- Rs 7.5 lakh on permanent partial disablement
- Rs 2 lakh for hospitalization expenses due to injury
- Rs 10,000 for transportation of mortal remains in case of a tragic event
In the event of an incident, passengers or their nominees must follow a simple process to claim the benefits available under the policy. The insured passenger or nominee is required to submit a detailed statement about the claims to the nearest office of the insurance company within four months of the incident.
Furthermore, passengers are advised to update their nominee details after receiving the policy to ensure smooth processing of claims. In cases where there is no nominee, and the insured person is incapacitated or deceased, the insurance company will pay the claim to the insured person’s heir, executor, or validly appointed legal representative. Any payment made by the insurance company in this manner will be deemed a complete and final discharge of their liability to make payments.
By introducing this default travel insurance option, IRCTC aims to create a safer and more secure travel experience for its passengers. With the added protection offered by the insurance policy, passengers can embark on their journeys with peace of mind, knowing that they are covered in case of unforeseen mishaps.