India receives 75% of its yearly rainfall from June to September, providing much-needed relief from the searing heat. The rainy season, cool breeze and cloudy skies are delightful experiences. However, the lack of protection or inadequate insurance cover can spoil your fun and also put a dent in your wallet.
Every year, incessant rains bring multiple waterborne viral diseases and infections. At the same time, they are also not necessarily kind towards your vehicles. Risk of damages to your cars, two-wheelers and engine seizures increase substantially.
Are you aware that claims for health and motor insurance go up considerably during the rainy season?
‘A large chunk of these claims are for motor insurance, that too specifically for damage to vehicles’ engines. The other set of claims that usually spike during the rainy season is for health insurance, owing to waterborne diseases that require hospitalization.’– An SBI General Insurance observation.
When it comes to insurance claims during heavy rains, health and motor
insurance occupy the top two slots. Heavy rains can adversely impact your wellbeing, your motor vehicle and can often lead to minor or major financial setbacks. Let’s find out how!
Effects on Your Health & Motor Vehicles
- Absence of hygienic conditions leads to a host of diseases, viruses, and bacterias.
- Our intestinal, digestive systems become weak during the rainy season, and that makes us extremely susceptible to infections.
- Some common ailments are reported during the monsoon season and heavy rains. They include dengue, diarrhea, typhoid, cholera, malaria, chikungunya, food poisoning, gastroenteritis, cold, flu (influenza) and hepatitis A.
- The treatment cost for dengue, a prominent disease, could be between 10,000 and 15,000 rupees for platelet separation. In some cases, it can go as high as 2 lakh rupees.
- Undergoing transfusion up to four times can cost 40,000 rupees for procurement of platelets and 8-10 days of room rent often crosses 1 lakh rupees mark.
- Water ingression into vehicles, damage to the engine due to water seepage (hydrostatic lock) and other waterlogging-related accidents are common.
- Heavy rains, flooding can cause car breakdown, theft, tree-falling incidents or unusual wear and tear.
The Solution: Relevant Insurance Covers
You must have the right combination of insurance covers to avoid bearing expenses on your own.
Comprehensive health insurance must be preferred.
- Such a health policy covers you against all vector-borne and other diseases.
- Some plans (available for an infant to a 65-year-old) offer lump sum benefits if the insured is diagnosed and hospitalized because of serious diseases caused by vectors. These plans cover Japanese encephalitis, lymphatic filariasis, kala-azar, dengue, chikungunya, malaria and zika virus.
- You can buy further safeguards in the form of disease-specific (dengue specific) covers even if you have existing health insurance.
- These fixed benefit plans are available at a reasonable cost. They address your medical, in-patient or outpatient treatment costs, loss of income due to hospitalization and ensure specific protections.
- Your disease-specific cover should only act as an add-on and not replace your basic health cover.
- A waterborne diseases-specific plan may not be a wise choice if you have a mediclaim policy running for a few years unless the sum insured is not enough.
Comprehensive motor insurance carrying the mandated third-party
cover and also the cover for damages to your own car must be
- Standard motor insurance cover does not help pay repair expenses for your engine-damage due to water seepage.
- An add-on cover called ‘Engine Protector’ protects the engine and electronic circuit. Your vehicle gets covered for monetary losses incurred due to waterlogging-related engine damage. The cover might increase your premium by 15-20%, but it is a must-have especially for those living in cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Pune.
- ‘Zero-Depreciation’ is another useful add-on that reduces wear/tear losses, enables replacement of plastic, rubber, fiber and metal parts.
- Road-side assistance could be a life-saver in case of breakdown of your vehicle due to waterlogging or floods.
Heavy rains, mild showers or no rainfall at all; irrespective, health and motor insurance covers are critical.
Be Proactive! Monsoons and the first day of a torrential downpour are mere reminders for all of us to go through our existing insurance coverage. We must carefully analyze the risks we face and take steps to have comprehensive insurance coverage at all times.
Sources: IRDAI, IBEF, Escorts Heart Institute, Business Today, The Economic Times, Hindustan Times, Mint, Financial Express and Times Now.