General insurance products hardly find favour with customers in India. People buy travel and motor insurance when they are mandatory, but home, cyber security or sachet sized insurance products such as cycle/dengue insurance, etc, do not have many takers. You may need some of these products:
From office work and education to purchase of grocery, most of our daily activities have gone online. Digital transactions which require you to share bank details have become frequent. This has led to a surge in online frauds. A cyber insurance policy can protect you against online identity compromise, fraudulent transactions, cyber extortion, phishing and malware attack. "Since our financial and other important data, including identity proofs, are stored in our phone or laptop, any loss of the same can be a hassle. This is where a cyber insurance plan comes in handy. It is gaining impetus with the millennials," says Dhirendra Mahyavanshi, Co-Founder, Turtlemint.
Cyber insurance is not very expensive. For example, the premium on ICICI Lombard's policy ranges from Rs 6.5 (for Rs 50,000 sum assured) to Rs 65 per day (Rs 1 crore sum insured). The policy provides coverage to the entire family, including children, for a year. In Bajaj Allianzs cyber policy, the sum insured ranges from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 crore, for a premium of Rs 662 to Rs 8,933.
There have been more and more cases of torrential rains damaging property of late. You also never know when a natural disaster or a burglary or a theft will cause you a financial loss. A home insurance policy covers loss or damage to the building and its contents due to natural calamities such as lightning, fire, volcanic eruption, bush fire, forest fire, earthquake, storm, flood, explosion/implosion, anti-social activities such as strikes/riots, burglary and theft.
The premium is reasonable, a few thousand rupees per year, depending on house type, structure and security. "The premiums for the structure are lower than that for content. However, it is advisable to go for a comprehensive policy," says Tarun Mathur, Chief Business Officer, General Insurance, Policybazaar.com.
As per Policybazaar, HDFC Ergo's Home Shield policy provides comprehensive coverage for one year at Rs 15,905 for a cover of Rs 1 crore for structure and Rs 25 lakh for contents. The coverage for only structure or contents costs Rs 2,374 and Rs 13,423, respectively.
There are also some lesser known covers a home insurance policy may provide. "Many people are unaware that home insurance covers pet veterinary costs. Damage due to bursting and/or overflowing of water tanks/pipes, landslides, missile testing operations, leakage from automatic sprinkler installations are also covered," says Naval Goel, Founder & CEO, PolicyX.com.
Around 34 countries such as Cuba, USA, UAE, Turkey and Russia and 26 Schengen countries have made travel insurance mandatory for tourists. So, people buy insurance before travelling to these countries, but through travel agents. It is better to do your own research for best coverage. "Travel insurance is typically offered with different sum insured of $50,000, $1,00,000, $2,50,000 and $5,00,000. But check per illness limit, if any. For example, if per illness limit is $10,000, you will get only $10,000 for any one illness, even if you have selected a plan with higher sum insured. Besides, if you have a pre-existing disease, buy a plan which covers it in emergency," says Indraneel Chatterjee, Co-Founder and Principal Officer, RenewBuy.com.
RenewBuy says a seven-day travel insurance may cost Rs 600 for $50,000 sum insured. In the post-Covid world, the premium may go up. "Insurance companies may ask if you've been exposed to someone who tested positive for Covid-19. Also, premiums could rise depending on the location you're travelling to and the situation there in terms of the intensity of the pandemic," says Mathur of Policybazaar.com.
Byte Sized Insurance
With gyms and dance/swimming classes closed, many people have switched to cycling to stay fit. Insurance firm Toffee Insurance provides insurance that protects your cycle against theft and accidental damage. It has also launched a 'Toffee Plan' that provides coverage for health, life, and household under a single plan. "It is unique in having a single simple interaction and a small monthly payment (starting at Rs 600 per month) that cuts down your insurance expenses in small bite-sized amounts," says Rohan Kumar, CEO and Co-Founder Toffee Insurance.
There are also other byte-sized products for mobile damage, marathon and trip insurance from companies such as Toffee Insurance, Digit Insurance, Acko Insurance, Symbo Insurance and Mobikwik. Many companies also provide home appliance insurance. You can also buy credit and mortgage insurance under which the insurance company pays EMIs if you have an accident or are no longer around.
"There are some health insurance covers which can be beneficial such as personal accident insurance, vector disease insurance (dengue), critical illness covers like cancer insurance and hospi-cash insurance," says Chatterjee of RenewBuy.com.