IRCTC to introduce optional travel insurance for train passengers

Railway passengers booking their tickets on the IRCTC website will be able to opt for travel insurance cover from September for a premium of just Re 1/-. IRCTC is set to introduce the new facility for all passengers of Indian Railways who book the e-ticket, excluding sub-urban trains, through its official website, irrespective of the class of the ticket, on a trial basis.

The scheme offers travelers or their families compensation of up to Rs 10 lakh in the event of death or permanent total disability, Rs 7.5 lakh for permanent partial disability, up to Rs 2 lakh for hospitalization expenses and Rs 10,000 for transportation of mortal remains in the event of death or injury from a train accident or other ‘untoward incident’ including terrorist attacks, dacoity, rioting, shoot-out or arson, as well as for short termination, diverted route and Vikalp trains. Train accident and untoward incident cases will be as per definition under Sections 123 read with Sections 124 and 124A of the Railways Act, 1989.

The insurance cover is uniform for all classes and the option available through a checkbox at the time of e-ticket booking. The premium amount will be automatically added to the ticket fare if the passenger opts for insurance. After the ticket booking and payment of premium, a message shall be displayed to complete the nomination details, which are necessary to settle the claims on timely basis.

Checking the option will make the coverage mandatory for all passengers booked under that PNR number and the premium charged accordingly. Users wanting coverage for children below five years of age will need to furnish details of the child at the time of booking and accordingly travel insurance premium will be added to the total amount payable.

The passenger will have to provide his/her email id mandatorily for receipt of e-copy of the insurance policy. They will also receive confirmation as a text message from the insurance company, on real time basis.

The coverage will be valid from the actual departure of train from the originating station to actual arrival of train at the destination station including process of entraining and detraining.  Post accidental medical treatment covers as well as transportation of mortal remains is also provisioned for all insured under the purview of the scheme. In case of diversion of a train, it will be applicable to the diverted route.

In case of cancellation of tickets, IRCTC will make an automatic refund of the premium amount after deduction of administrative charges to the passenger on the same account that was used to book the ticket.

The scheme is being implemented by IRCTC in partnership with ICICI Lombard General Insurance, Royal Sundaram and Shriram General.

A total of 19 companies participated in the bidding process and 17 were found eligible. The mandatory criteria for technical qualification were that: The insurance company had to be recognized and registered by Insurance Regulatory Development Authority for more than five years, the applicants had to have Pan India presence, with their office in more than 50% of Indian States/UTs, and also in four metropolitan cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai).

The three companies selected will get the insurance policy on a rotation basis from an automated system. IRCTC has engaged the providers for a period of one year, with the provision of extending the contract on a performance basis.

In case of passenger opting for insurance, the claim/liability shall be between passenger and the insurance company. In case of death due to accident 100% of the sum insured will be paid by the company.

The claims intimation should be immediate but not later than four months after the event. The insurance company is required to process the claim and send the cheque to the customer/legal heirwithin 15 days of the receipt of document. It is also required to discuss with the IRCTC Nodal Officer before rejecting any claim.