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Designed for unique needs

To cover specific needs, insurance companies are formulating innovative policies for specific requirements. Here are a few you can pick to customise your cover.

Chandralekha Mukerji | Print Edition: February 2011

We have harped on it time and again, and we'll repeat it once more: "Insurance is more than just another tax-saving tool, it's an essential financial instrument." Fortunately, increasing awareness is prompting people to buy life and health covers. However, there are many other aspects in life that we leave susceptible to financial disaster. Changing lifestyles, such as e-banking and trips abroad, are also increasing the risk of fraud.

"People often wish for certain safeguards that would bring more safety to their everyday life," says Gaurav D. Garg, MD & CEO, Tata AIG General Insurance Company.

To cover specific needs, insurance companies are formulating innovative policies for specific requirements. Here are a few you can pick to customise your cover.

Insure Your Identity
With a large number of transactions happening in the virtual world, stealing your identity using your credit card details, PAN number or other IDs has become much easier. Trends such as site-cloning, phishing, fake merchant sites and bank-account takeovers have become common, making your monetary sources easily accessible to offenders. Scary, isn't it?

Tata AIG's Identity Theft Policy may not be able to shield you against such crimes, but it does reduce your troubles partly by covering expenses that you may incur while resolving the case. The expenses can be filled up to 12 months after the initial claim is made. These include reimbursement for the time taken off from work and remuneration lost as well as legal expenses. Also, the company will compensate for any legal obligation you might have to pay in case of misuse of your credit account.

Cover for your Cash
You've just withdrawn a large amount of cash from an ATM to pay for an essential surgery, when suddenly you're robbbed. To protect yourself from such a dire situation get the 'Money Insurance Policy' that is sold by New India Assurance and National Insurance. The policy insures loss of money while in transit between the insured's premises and a bank, post office or other specified places due to robbery, theft or an unexpected reason. The money can be in any form-cash, bank drafts, treasury notes, cheques, postal orders, etc. The policy also covers loss by burglary or house-breaking when money is kept at any of your secured premises and can be extended to include the risk of infidelity of the employees, terrorism and disbursement risk. However, there are exclusions such as losses due to error and omission or those covered by other policies.

Fine Arts Policy
If you are an avid art afficionado, a Fine Arts Insurance policy is a must-have for you. Artworks are one of the few items not covered under your home insurance policy. Moreover, home insurance will cover only burglary and fire. On the other hand, art insurance is an all-risk cover. It covers accidental loss or damage, both on location as well as in transit. "It not only covers loss due to theft, which is what one might think is most likely to happen, but also freak accidents. For instance, we have had claims where an art piece was damaged by an insurer's relative in a fit of rage," says S. Narayanan, MD and CEO, Iffco-Tokio General Insurance. The company, in collaboration with an international company, Hiscox, provides cover to all kinds of artworks including sculptures, antiques, rare objects and other collectibles.

Shield for Shoppers
You are thrilled with your latest purchase-the coolest and most expensive mobile phone-only to discover a week later that your colleague has bought the same model at a price 20% less than yours. Despite all the research and nettrawling for the best deals, you may make a bad bargain. Don't worry, you can now guard yourself against paying a higher price. Tata AIG's 'Price Protection Policy' covers the price difference between the payment you make from your credit/debit card for an item and a lower printed or advertised price by the manufacturer or dealer for the same item, within 30 days of purchase. There is a Purchase Protection Policy too, which ensures that defects in the product do not cause financial distress. The policy also protects the item bought against loss due to burglary, theft or accidental damage till 90 days from the date of purchase.

Professional Safety

This is sort of an extension of the traditional doctors' indemnity policy. As professional errors are not just limited to medical practitioners, the Professional Indemnity Policy offered by United India Assurance, National Insurance and United India Insurance has extended the umbrella to include other groups, such as engineers, architects, chartered accountants, lawyers, interior decorators and management consultants. The policy provides cover for third-party legal liability arising out of errors and omissions or negligence while rendering their professional services. The sum insured or the limit of indemnity has two caps. One is the maximum amount payable per accident or 'any one accident' (AOA) limit, while the other is payable per year or the 'any one year' (AOY) limit. In most cases, the AOA limit is restricted to 25% of the AOY limit.

Travel Plan Top-up
Tata AIG's Personal Trip Effects Cover can be a perfect add-on to your existing travel insurance, especially if you are carrying vital documents or expensive items. "A standard travel insurance policy covers the risk of loss of baggage which has been checked in with an airline for the duration of the air travel. Under our policy, you get protection during the entire trip for the loss, theft or accidental damage to your belongings, important documents, expensive items and the cash that you carry," explains Garg. Moreover, the policy reimburses additional travel and accommodation expenses incurred owing to a lost or stolen passport while abroad, up to a certain limit. There is also a 'personal trip liability cover' which insures you against third-party liability during the tour, which, again, may not be included in a regular travel policy.

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