Personal Accident Cover

It is inevitable to escape accidents completely, but one can prepare themselves to deal with them and prevent heavy losses. A personal accident cover protects one from such situations. By the India Motor Tariff 2002 Act, the government has made it compulsory for vehicle owners to have a personal accident cover. It is by default included in a comprehensive insurance policy but one has to purchase it in case they only have a third party insurance. 

Initially, only the third-party insurance was mandatory, but with time and with the increase in the number of accidental injuries, the government made it mandatory for vehicle owners to have personal accident cover.

How Does Personal Accident Cover Work?

Starting from January 2019, there have been slight changes to the requirement to purchase a Personal Accident cover as part of a motor insurance policy. These changes include:

  1. If the vehicle owner already has a separate accident policy with a Sum Insured of Rs. 15 lakhs, they can request an exemption from this coverage.
  2. The amendment also specifies that if the owner-driver of a vehicle already has a PA policy for their current car or two-wheeler, they are not obligated to purchase it again when acquiring a new vehicle.

What is Covered Under Personal Accident Insurance?

A Personal Accident (PA) cover under car insurance provides compensation for

  • Bodily injuries
  • Death
  • Permanent disabilities resulting from accidents

The coverage limit is set at Rs. 15 lakhs by IRDAI. In the event of an accidental death, the insurance company will pay the full sum Insured to the nominee.

In the case of a permanent disability, the compensation is paid accordingly:

Coverage

% of Compensation

Death

100%

Loss of 2 limbs or 2 eyes or 1 limb or 1 eye

100%

Loss of sight of 1 eye or 1 limb

50%

Permanent Total Disability

100%

What is not covered in Personal Accident Insurance?

  • Self-Harming Activities: Injuries resulting from self-harming activities are not covered.
  • Intoxication: Any death or disability related to intoxication is excluded from coverage.
  • Pre-existing injuries: Injuries or conditions that existed before obtaining the policy (pre-existing injuries) are not covered.
  • Geographical Limitations: Death or disabilities that occur outside the specified geographical area are not covered.
  • Illegal Activities: The policy does not cover death or disabilities that occur as a result of engaging in illegal activities.
  • Pregnancy and Childbirth: Death or disabilities during pregnancy or childbirth are not included in the coverage.
  • War: Death or disabilities caused by war are excluded from coverage.
  • Indirect Causes: Any death or disabilities that are indirectly caused by an event are also excluded from the policy's coverage.
  • Adventure Activities: Injuries sustained during adventure activities are not covered.

Types of Personal Accident Cover in Car Insurance

There are four types of personal accident covers:

  1. Accident Cover: First is the accident cover that comes with the third-party insurance. This cover is for the third-party individual and not the policyholder. Essentially, there is no limit to the compensation under this policy in the event of the death of the individual. In all other circumstances, the limit is 7.5 lacs as set by IRDAI.
  2. Personal Accident Cover for Vehicle Owner: This cover provides coverage to vehicle owners and the benefits of it can be taken in two ways: Either you buy it along with third-party insurance, or it is by default included if you buy a comprehensive insurance policy. The limit is set in this cover at 15 lacs.
  3. Personal Accident Cover for Paid Driver: This is an optional cover in Comprehensive Car insurance. By paying an extra premium, the insurer commits to providing compensation for bodily injuries sustained by the paid driver employed when the claim is related to the insured vehicle. The compensation limit is decided as per the Workmen Compensation Act.
  4. Personal Accident Cover for Unnamed Passengers: By paying an additional premium, the policyholder also ensures the safety of any other individual other than the vehicle owner or the paid driver. The insurance company will cover for any bodily injuries for unnamed passengers in the insured vehicle as well. The compensation limit here is up to 2 lacs.

What is the importance of a Personal Accident Cover?

Imagine a situation where a fast-moving motorcycle hits a bicycle, hurting the person riding it. The injury could be really bad, and it might even lead to death or a permanent disability. Many unexpected accidents can have these terrible consequences. Since we can't predict when such things might happen, it's really important to get personal accident insurance.

Moreover, when a mishap happens, the emotional havoc that comes with it is inevitable. But one can reduce their worries by ensuring that financially, they do not have to worry about anything!

Hence, it is extremely important to have a Personal Accident Cover for your peace of mind and stability.

How to claim Personal Accident Cover?

A claim can be made by either the owner/driver or the nominee of the respective four-wheeler. 

Certain steps need to be followed when filing a claim:

  1. Notify the insurer about the incident and the resulting loss.
  2. Request a First Information Report (FIR) followed by a Final Report (FR). These documents are crucial for processing the claim. If possible, try to gather witnesses who can attest to the occurrence of the claim.
  3. Complete the necessary formalities with the insurer, which includes filling out the claim form and providing photographs of the car accident if applicable. 
  4. Submit all the required documents online and await verification by the insurers.

In the unfortunate event of the owner-driver's death, the nominee will be responsible for filing the claim. The nominee will then receive the claim amount in accordance with the policy terms.

What are the advantages of having a Personal Accident Cover?

The cover provides several benefits:

  1. Financial Support for Loss of Income: The policy provides financial assistance to the policyholder in the event of permanent disability caused by an accident, helping to cover the loss of income.
  2. Coverage for Medical Expenses: It also offers financial support to cover medical expenses, including hospital bills, medications, and treatments, ensuring that the policyholder receives the necessary care.
  3. Protection for Paid Drivers and Unnamed Passengers: You can also ensure coverage for paid drivers employed by you or unnamed passengers by paying an additional premium. They are eligible for compensation similar to the policyholder in case of accidents.
  4. Support for Surviving Family Members: In addition to the policyholder, the policy extends benefits to the surviving family members in case of the policyholder's unfortunate demise, offering them financial assistance during a difficult time.
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