Rail Travel Insurance To Be A Reality After 330 Passengers Died in Train Accidents in 4 Years; Insurance Sector Is Excited
One of the major announcements made by Railway Minister during his budget speech was Rail Travel Insurance for passengers; which was a much needed feature. 330 passengers have died while travelling in Indian trains during last 4 years, and insurance is something which would provide some financial respite for the beleaguered family members of the victims.
Between March 2011 to February 2015, 84 train accidents happened which took 336 lives while injuring 1116 passengers.
As per information available, Railways is talking with various insurance providers to come up with some solid plan, which will help 1.3 crore passengers who use Indian Railways daily.
Minister Suresh Prabhu said yesterday, “There is a continuous effort on our part to ensure safe and secure travel for our passengers, yet untoward incidents do occur. To minimise the financial loss to passengers from such events, we are working with insurance companies to offer optional travel insurance for rail journeys at the time of booking,”
Besides, insurance for passengers will also open up a new avenue of revenues for the Railways, which is reeling under financial loss; yet didn’t increase passenger fares this year.
Even if 30% of all 1.3 crore passengers (who travel daily) opt for insurance, Railways can get somewhere between Rs 80-100 crore as premium.
How Will Rail Insurance Work – Experts React
While booking a flight, the airlines provider gives an option to book travel insurance as well. Infact, insurance for travelers is a big business in US and Europe. It was estimated that 29 million American travelers opted for $1.9 billion worth of travel insurance in 2012.
As per KG Krishnamoorthy Rao, MD of Future Generali India Insurance, there are two ways Rail insurance can work: either the passenger opts for this while booking the ticket or Railways come up with some scheme which any traveler can opt for before the travel, something which covers the travel all year around.
One thing is clear: Railways need to become a partner with any insurance provider in order to make this happen.
M Ravichandran, president, insurance, TATA AIG General Insurance shared that his firm provides various insurance plans for air travelers like ‘trip cancellation, accidental death, accidental medical expenses, accommodation charges due to trip delay and emergency medical evacuation benefit’ which can be replicated for rail passengers as well.
As per Sanjay Datta, chief underwriting, claims and reinsurance at ICICI Lombard General Insurance, Railways should provide this feature at the time of booking the tickets, just like airlines offer the insurance.
But how many Indian passengers will actually opt for travel insurance? As per Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, only 2% of domestic air travelers in India actually opt for any insurance.
Will you opt for rail insurance if provided options? Do comment your opinions right here!