It costs only Re 1 to insure your railway travels: But is it worth taking it?

In case of a death, the insured passenger's nominee or legal heirs can claim the compensation. Representative image/Shutterstock/Libin Jose

The freak accident that cost a Ponnani native his life during a train journey to Telangana has once again brought focus to travel insurance. While booking tickets online, many passengers skip the 'Travel Insurance' section that offers coverages for a one-time premium of Re 1 or less. But, the service, which promises to cover accidental death, permanent total or partial disability, hospitalisation expenses and even transportation of mortal remains due to an accident during your train journey, can go a long way in offering financial support in case of unforeseen incidents. You can pay less premium than Re 1 or more depending on your ticket. The premium of Re 1 is the most common option. Here are a few details you should know about railway insurance options:

How to take IRCTC insurance?
1) Book your tickets through the IRCTC website or the IRCTC mobile app. The option is not available for tickets bought from railway station counters. 
2) Tick the checkbox that asks to insure your travel. It appears after you give passenger details, before paying for the ticket. Once your ticket is confirmed, you will get an email from your insurance provider, with details and options to give nominee details.
3) In case of disability or hospitalisation due to accidents, inform your insurance company. Also inform the TTE or station master about the incident, so that they assist you and document the incident. (Nominees of the deceased should also follow the same procedures)

4) Seek medical help, as reports from doctors detailing the issue are required.
5) Download a 'claim form' from IRCTC website. You can also get it from the Railway authorities. Fill it with all the details and your signature.
6) Keep supporting documents like the accident confirmation report issued by the Railways, your/deceased's train ticket, medical certificates, doctor's report, police FIR (if required), photographs of the passenger before and after the incident and other relevant documents ready
7) Submit it to the IRCTC insurance claim handling authority, within the time frame they give.

Other benefits of the IRCTC insurance
In case of a death, the insured passenger's nominee or legal heirs can claim the compensation. Proper documentation and submission of claim forms are required for processing claims. An official report with details of the deceased should be included. The nominee will have to submit the passenger's proof of identity, e-ticket details, the filled claim form downloaded from the IRCTC website and other supporting documents as prescribed by the authorities. There is no exact timeframe within which claims will be processed, but it can vary from weeks to months, depending on the incident and how complex the case is.

Things to note
Advocate Narayan R, who specialises in consumer cases, says, "It's important to note that if an accident is not due to Railways' mistake, it may not come under the policy's purview. For example, a person slipping down from a moving train need not be covered under the insurance. Also, you can include your nominee details through the mail you receive after booking the ticket."

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