When the Railway Ministry introduced an optional Indian railway travel insurance scheme for e-ticketing passengers in September 2016, the move was welcomed. But little did we know how useful the policy would become soon after. Given the recent spate of train accidents that have left many passengers injured and caused several deaths, the insurance scheme has come as a boon for many.

The policy can be bought by passengers when booking tickets online from the IRCTC website or through the mobile app. Earlier, the cost of this policy was 92 paise per passenger for an insurance cover of Rs 10 lakh in cases of demise or permanent disability. However, Dipankar Acharya, Country Head-Affinity and Strategic Relationships, Royal Sundaram General Insurance, points out, “From 10 December 2016 the cost of premium for this policy is subsidised by the railways so passengers don’t have to pay anything. Everyone should opt for this insurance policy while travelling by railways.”

The policy is valid from the time of departure of train to the time of arrival of train at the destination. If an accident occurs during the journey, the injured passenger or the nominee of the deceased passenger will get the claim amount. If an insured passenger is injured, and it causes their demise within 12 months of the accident, their nominee can also claim Rs 10 lakh as per insurance policy. In case of injuries, passenger can claim hospitalisation expenses up to Rs 2 lakh which includes room rent for hospital, medicines, diagnostic test, nursing charges, ICU charges, operation theatre charges, etc.

Some of the exclusions under this policy are:

  • Intentional self-injury, suicide or attempted suicide.
  • Claim in instances wherein ticket was booked by the Insured, but they did not board the train, irrespective of whether the train ticket was cancelled or not.
  • Claim in instances where the ticket was booked but wasn’t confirmed, but the passenger still boarded the train.
  • Any medical treatment which was not medically necessary.

IRCTC has tied up with three general insurance companies - ICICI Lombard, Royal Sundaram and Shriram General Insurance - for policy issuance. Once you book the tickets, you will receive the policy details on your registered mobile number and mentioned email ID. The next important step is to update the name of your nominee on the insurance company’s website before travelling. “The benefit of appointing a nominee is that it helps to settle the claim quickly in the wake of unfortunate train accidents. If a nominee is not appointed, the process of claim settlement much longer, since legal heir certificate has to be produced,” says Acharya.

To make a claim, the insured or nominee must submit a report of the railway authority confirming the accident of the train, a claim form, medical reports, death or disability certificate, ID proof, and NEFT details and a cancelled cheque to the insurance company. After the submission, the claim is settled within 15 days.

Easing the burden The insured passenger or nominee can claim the following amounts. *On death: Rs 10 lakh *On permanent total disability: Rs 10 lakh *On permanent partial disability: Rs 7.5 lakh *Hospitalisation expenses for injury: Rs 2 lakh *Transportation of mortal remains: Rs 10,000