Soon, rail travel insurance may become mandatory

Railways is considering a proposal to make travel insurance mandatory by default for those booking tickets online, unless a passenger opts out of it.

The transporter was sitting over the proposal until it was hit by the Kanpur train tragedy on Sunday , which killed around 149 people and left hundreds injured.After massive response from insurance companies, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which has anchored the insurance scheme since its launch in September, has suggested to railways board to make the scheme mandatory , extend the coverage to the unreserved class and provide cover for valuables such as laptop and mobiles.If the IRCTC proposal is accepted, the insurance business in railways will be around Rs 3,500 crore, said an official. Of the 695 passengers on board the ill-fated Indore-Patna Express who booked on line tickets, only 128 had opted for the insurance, which costs just 92 paise. Of the 128 passengers, 78 were in the train at the time of the accident. IRCTC swung into action after the news of the accident and found that 8-10 insured passengers are safe while 7-8 are in hospital and were being provided cashless treatment from insurance companies.

Given that very few train passengers opt insurance, due to negligence or lack of awareness, railway authorities have given serious thought to the proposal. Under the scheme launched as a pilot project, the nominee of deceased will get Rs 10 lakh over and above other compensation announced. Those suffering permanent disability will get Rs 7.5 lakh each. Rs 2 lakh will be given for hospitalisation charges, Rs 10,000 for minor injury and Rs 5,000 for each luggage lostdamaged, for a maximum of two bags.

Source: The Times of India

Date: 23/11/2016

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