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Frequently Asked Questions About Insurance
What do you mean by Insurance?
Insurance is a contract which is presented as a policy to be used as a risk management tool to ensure financial protection at the time of crisis. Insurance helps an individual to ensure financial protection against losses that may arise during an unforeseen event. An insurance policy is a contract between an individual (policyholder) and an insurance company (Insurance provider), under which, the individual makes regular payments known as premiums to the insurance company which in return pays the sum assured in case an unforeseen event such as demise of the policyholder, accident, damage to the vehicles or other possessions.
Why is insurance important?
Unfortunate events like accidents, illnesses, and natural disasters come without any warning and thus it is necessary for you to keep yourself and your loved ones shielded against such unforeseen happenings. One of the best and simplest ways of keeping yourself secured against these contingent events which may cause a financial loss is buying an insurance policy.
How Does Insurance Work?
As mentioned earlier, insurance is a legal contract between the policyholder and the insurance provider. The insurance policy carries all the details about the aspects and conditions under which the insurance provider will pay out the insurance amount to the policyholder or their nominee in case an unforeseen event occurs. Insurance is a financial tool which helps in ensuring financial protection of yourself and your family. Generally the person who has purchased the policy also known as policyholder has to pay premiums for the coverage available under the insurance policy. Any person can seek insurance from an insurance company.
What are the types of insurance available?
IThere are several types of insurance available in India. The four most common types of insurance bought in India are as mentioned below:
Motor Insurance: Motor insurance policy is a type of insurance policy that provides financial assistance in the event of an accident or mishap involving your vehicle. Motor insurance can be purchased for three categories of vehicles which are personally owned four wheeler, personally owned two wheeler (bikes and scooters) and commercial vehicles. There are three types of motor insurance available in India which are Third party Liability Cover, Comprehensive Cover and Stand Alone Own-Damage cover. According to a person’s coverage requirement for their vehicle, they can choose a motor insurance that fulfills their requirements. Third party motor insurance policy is mandatory in India for all vehicles, as per the Motor Vehicles Act.
Health Insurance: Health insurance policies provide financial assistance to the policyholder in case they need to be admitted to the hospital for any kind of treatment. Additionally, some health insurance plans also cover the cost of treatment which are undertaken at home before the hospitalization or after discharge. There are several health insurance plans available in India such as Individual Health Insurance, Family Floater Plans, Critical Illness Cover, Senior Citizen Health Insurance, Group Health Insurance, Maternity Health Insurance and Personal Accident Insurance.
Life Insurance: Life insurance is an agreement between an individual and an insurance company under which the insurance company promises to provide a sum assured (death benefit) to the family of the life assured in the event of an unforeseen death of the life assured. In case of no death, a sum assured known as the maturity benefit is provided to the life assured at the time of maturity of the policy under selective life insurance plans. There are 6 types of life insurance policies available in India which are Term Life Insurance, Unit-Linked Insurance Plan (ULIPs), Child Protection Plan, Money Back Plans, Retirement Plans and Endowment Plans.
How to make a claim in insurance?
There are two ways in which you can make a claim:
- Cashless claims: Get in touch with your insurer and inform them about your claim. Depending on the type of insurance (motor/health), the insurer will guide you about the cashless claim settlement process. In case of motor insurance, the insurer shares the details of a nearby cashless workshop if available and you just have to pay your part of the liability to get your car/bike repaired. In case of health insurance, you can get in touch with your TPA (Third Party Administrator) help desk at the time of hospitalization for a cashless claim.
- Reimbursement claim:In case of unavailability of a cashless facility, you need to make a reimbursement claim. In case of motor insurance, you need to pay the entire claim amount up front (after informing the insurer of the claim) and get it reimbursed from the insurer after the repair of your car/bike. In case of health insurance, you need to pay the entire bill amount to the hospital (after informing the insurer) and get it reimbursed from the insurer post discharge from hospital.
What is a car insurance policy?Car Insurance/Four Wheeler Insurance is an agreement between an insurance company and a car owner under which the former provides an insurance cover to the policyholder for financial damages incurred by his/her car in unforeseen events. Depending on the coverage, there are three types of car insurance plans - third party car insurance policy, standalone own-damage car insurance and comprehensive car insurance policy. Car insurance renewal online process provides instant e-Policy.
Why should I buy car insurance?
There are a number of benefits of owning four wheeler insurance. Firstly, it helps you meet the legal requirement of owning at least a third party car insurance cover. Moreover, a car insurance policy helps you meet financial liabilities that may arise towards a third party or own damages to your car due to a road accident or any other unfortunate event.
How much fine do I have to pay for not holding car insurance while driving?
It is mandatory to own at least a third party car insurance policy while driving a car. If you get caught driving without it for the first time, you may be charged with a fine of Rs. 2,000 with or without imprisonment of a maximum of 3 months that can increase to a fine of Rs. 4,000 and/or jail of up to 3 months, when caught for the second time.
How much is car insurance premium?
The premium rates for third-party car insurance price depend on the engine capacity of the car and is fixed by the IRDAI. However, the premium for standalone own-damage and comprehensive car insurance policies varies from car to car depending on a number of factors such as car's MMV (Make, Model and Variant), RTO location, engine capacity, registration city, fuel type,
What if my car insurance policy gets expired?
Every car insurance comes with a validity period, post which you need to renew it to continue to enjoy its benefits. However, even if you miss to get your car insurance plan renewed by the expiry date, you can still get it renewed till the next 90 days from the date of expiry. After the expiry of this 90-day period, car insurance cannot be renewed. In such a case, you need to purchase a new car insurance policy.
What is a two wheeler insurance policy?
A two wheeler insurance policy is an agreement between an insurance company and a bike owner wherein the insurance provider promises to cover any damage or loss sustained by the insured bike due to an accident, theft, fire, etc., based on the opted policy. Generally, the contract between insured and insurer is of a year which should be renewed every year.
Why should I purchase a bike insurance policy?
No matter which bike you own, you need to comply with some laws to ride it. To carry a bike insurance policy is the most important rule to drive a motorcycle / scooter as you need to adhere to the legal requirement of carrying at least a third party cover. Besides this, a bike insurance policy also covers your financial liabilities which you may incur towards a third party or own damages sustained by your bike due to an accident or any unfortunate incident.
What are the different types of bike insurance plan?
There are three types of bike insurance plans such as third party bike insurance plan, standalone own damage bike insurance plan, and comprehensive bike insurance plan.
What is the premium of different bike insurance plans?
The cost of the premium for different bike insurance plans are different. When it comes to the third party policy, its premium is set by the IRDAI which varies as per the bike’s engine capacity. But, the premium amount for own-damage and comprehensive plans varies from bike to bike due to various factors like bike’s make, model, and variant, engine capacity, fuel type, etc.
What if my bike insurance policy gets expired?
Every two-wheeler insurance policy has a date of expiry before which you should renew it to continue to avail it. However, if you fail to renew the policy on time, you still can renew it within the 90 days grace period from the expiry date. However, bike insurance renewal process is not possible after this period. As a result, you will have to buy a new policy in that case.
What is a health insurance plan?
Health insurance policy is an agreement whereby an insurance company agrees to undertake a guarantee to compensate the insured for medical expenses in case of a medical emergency. A health insurance policy protects the insured for several surgical expenses, critical illnesses, and daycare expenses, for a policy term, for up to the sum insured limit.
Can I purchase more than 1 health insurance plan? How are the claims settled in this case?
Yes. You can be covered under more than one health insurance plan. In this case, the claims are settled as per the contribution clause, when the claim is higher than the sum insured for one health insurance policy.
Why should I buy a health insurance plan?
A health insurance policy not only protects the insured financially for future, but also offers relief in the present. Lifestyle habits such as drinking, smoking, or sedentary lifestyle invite health issues, which can be minor or serious, may be expensive to treat. To stay financially protected in such times, you need a reliable health insurance plan that covers you at all times. Apart from this, buying a health insurance policy also reduces your overall tax liability by allowing you tax deductions on the premium paid, under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
How is health insurance premium determined?
Different health insurance plans have different premiums. The insurance companies determine premiums after considering various factors that are explained below:
1. Type of Insurance Plan: Your health insurance premium is based on the type of plan you choose. If you choose a critical illness insurance plan, then the premium will be high. If you choose an individual health insurance policy, then the premium will be different from that of a family floater plan. To know the difference in health insurance premiums, you can use InsuranceDekho’s health insurance premium calculator.
2. Age of the Insured: With age, you become more prone to health issues and are more likely to make health insurance claims. Therefore, you are required to pay higher premiums if you buy health insurance plans in later stages of life. This is why it is recommended to buy health insurance policy when young.
3. Policy Term: Most health insurance plans come for a period of 1 year, 2 years, or 3 years. Greater the policy term you choose, the greater will be your coverage, and hence higher will be your health insurance premium, and vice versa.
4. Lifestyle Habits: If you drink alcohol or smoke regularly, then you may be denied health insurance completely. However, there are some insurance companies that cover you for the same, for which they charge high premiums. This is because, with these lifestyle habits, you are more prone to health issues.
5. Family Medical History: Before deciding your health insurance premium, the insurance company will ask about your family medical history. This is because if someone in your family has a certain disease that you are also vulnerable to, then the insurance company will charge you a higher premium due to increased risk.
6. Sum Insured: Health insurance plans come with different sum insured options that you can choose from as per your budget and requirement. The higher the sum insured, the higher the medical coverage and hence higher the health insurance premium. But it is not recommended to compromise on the sum insured to save on premiums. This is because it will not cover you adequately in the time of need.
Can I cancel my health insurance policy? If yes, will I get a refund for the same?
Yes. You can cancel your health insurance policy. Every health insurance company provides you a free look period to understand the policy terms and conditions. During this period, if you find any objectionable clause in your health insurance policy, then you can cancel the policy and ask for a refund. Note that you will receive the refund only if no claim has been made during the policy term. The amount of refund will be calculated after taking into consideration the expenses incurred on medical check-ups, stamp duty, and proportionate risk premium, i.e. the number of days you have been covered for risks under the policy. To know more about a premium refunds, it is recommended to go through the policy document.
What is Life Insurance ?
Life insurance is an insurance cover which provides a sum assured to the family of the assured in the event of sudden death. The plan also offers a survival benefit to the assured if he/she survives the policy term.
What are the factors that affect the calculation of a life insurance plan premium?
Life insurance premium depends on numerous factors including policyholder's age, sum assured, gender, lifestyle, job, medical history, type of policy, tenure, and riders (if any).
Why should I purchase life insurance?
Life insurance helps you attain financial security that ensures your family’s life goals are not affected. Life insurance also offers tax benefits on the premiums that a policyholder pays for their life insurance. Moreover, life insurance plans are affordable and the policyholder can purchase additional benefits by purchasing a rider to enhance their life cover.
Which is the best life insurance plan?
Different life insurance plans have different features and advantages. Thus, the definition of the best plan varies from individual to individual. The best life insurance plan is the one which best meets your requirements and budget. However, among all the different types of life insurance plans, the most preferred type of life insurance plan is Term Insurance Plan because it provides high coverage at nominal premium.
What are the factors which I should consider before buying a life insurance policy?
There are many factors that you should consider while purchasing a life insurance plan. These includes your financial goals, income, existing liabilities, and daily expenses. After analysing all these factors, you can compare different types of life insurance plans like term plans, whole life insurance, child plans, retirement plans, and others to buy the one that suits your needs.
Why should I choose a term insurance plan?
Term Insurance is the most affordable type of life insurance plans. These plans provide high insurance cover at a nominal premium amount. Some term insurance plans also offer whole life cover benefits with which you get a life cover till 99 years of age. A term insurance plan helps you enjoy peace of mind and leave a financially stable future for your family in your absence.
What are the key features of a term insurance plan?
Following are the key features of a term insurance plan -
- Budget Friendliness
- Long-term life protection
- Availability of riders
- Easy to Purchase
- Availability of whole life protection
What are the different types of term insurance plans?
Term insurance plans come in 5 different types namely Level Term Plans, Term Insurance With Return on Premiums (TROP), Increasing Term Plans, Decreasing Term Plans, and Convertible Plans.
What are different types of payout available under term insurance plans?
Different term insurance payouts are Lump Sum, Lump Sum plus Monthly Income and Monthly Income by way of monthly, quarterly, semi-yearly, and yearly instalments.
Is suicide covered under term insurance ?
Generally suicide is not covered under term insurance plans. In case the life assured commits a suicide within 12 months of issuance of the policy, the nominee receives a minimum of 80% of the total premiums paid till the date of death after deduction of applicable taxes and charges.
What are the things to keep in mind before investing my money?
Following are the things to keep in mind when investing money:
- Identify your motive of investment
- It is not recommended to put all your money in one basket. Neither all the money should be invested
- Do not make any decision in a hurry
- It is advised to consult a professional and certified advisor before investing
- Do enough research, don’t just go after “high returns”
- Compare suitable investment plans before buying.
How should I invest my future money?
To invest your future money, it is essential to have a fair knowledge about your financial goals, if they are short term or long term, current and future expenses, number of dependents, etc. it will help you determine which type of investment plan is best for you.
Which is the best investment option with high returns?
The best investment plans that give high returns are ULIPs and traditional investment plans. But, you must seek the help of your financial planner before investing in them, to balance your investment portfolio.
Which is the best short-term investment option?
There are several short-term investment options in India. One of the best options is ULIPs. Others include savings accounts, fixed deposits, Equity Linked Saving Scheme (ELSS), recurring deposits (RD), mutual funds, and money back plans. Recurring deposit is considered to be the best choice if you want to invest for one year. This is because it requires you to pay money on a monthly basis and provides you interest on the money invested. To invest for more than 1 year, equity mutual funds and fixed maturity plans are suited best. This is because these plans offer high returns as well as are more tax efficient than other options.
What is a Unit Linked Fund?
In a Unit Linked Insurance Policy, the premium paid gets accumulated in the Unit Linked Fund, which is managed by the insurance company. It is invested in different equity and debt instruments to offer the dual benefit of a life cover and potential to get maximum benefits.