Insurer sometimes views engine seizes as a negligent act by the policyholder (Photo: iStock)
Insurer sometimes views engine seizes as a negligent act by the policyholder (Photo: iStock)

Engine damage isn’t usually insured

  • The engine seizes when it is started while it is still wet, and such damage is excluded under standard motor insurance
  • Apart from premium and claim settlement experience, you should also look at product features like waiting period for pre-existing diseases, limits on room rent, no-claim bonus before buying health insurance

insurance, motor insurance, car insurance, engine seizes, medical insurance, Claim settlement ratio, Mint SecureNow Mediclaim Rating

My car got damaged during the recent Mumbai rains. It was parked in front of my house, where water levels rose to almost the first floor. I went back after water receded. I tried switching on the vehicle but it didn’t start. Will the insurer pay for the damages? What evidence will I have to furnish?

— Keerti Sahay

In case only the start plug of your car is damaged, then the same will be covered by your motor insurance policy. However, often, the engine seizes when it is started while it is still wet, and such damage is excluded under standard motor insurance. In fact, the insurer sometimes views it as a negligent act by the policyholder.

Engine seizure does get covered under a separate specific add-on. You must check if your policy has this specific add-on before making a claim. Further, you should also establish with the insurer that your actions were based on the best possible alternative within the given information.

What is claim settlement ratio? Why is it important to look at it? What are some other parameters that I should look at apart from premiums when choosing a health insurance policy?

—Vinod Mishra

Claim settlement ratio is the proportion of claims settled by an insurance company out of the total claims submitted to it. This ratio serves as an indicator to measure the claims experience with an insurer. A high claim ratio indicates positive experience in terms of settlement. If an insurer rejects a substantial number of claims, it is likely to generate a lot of policyholder disputes.

Apart from premium and the claim settlement experience of an insurer, you should also look at product features before buying health insurance. The features that are most important are waiting period for pre-existing diseases, limits on room rent, no-claim bonus, wellness cover and restore benefits. Mint SecureNow Mediclaim Rating (MSMR) considers all the above factors for all health insurance plans offered in the country. Based on the performance on each of the parameters, a weighted average score is assigned to each plan. You could refer to the MSMR ratings table here: www.livemint.com/mintmediratings2019 for quick reference.

Abhishek Bondia is principal officer and managing director, SecureNow.in. Queries and views at mintmoney@livemint.com

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