A major car accident can not only cause damage to your vehicle but also lead to critical injuries. As a result, you must bear the financial loss that comes with extensive repairs, as well as losses borne due to high medical bills.
This is where a personal accident (PA) cover in the car insurance policy plays its part. To define it simply, a personal accident cover is a mandatory extension of the car insurance policy that provides financial cover against expenses related to injuries and hospital bills incurred by the car owner-driver. Irrespective of your car insurance policy being a comprehensive one or a third-party liability one, it must have a PA cover.
Thus, it’s important to know what’s included in a PA cover, the benefits, and how to claim the same.
What is Covered in PA?
A PA cover is a part of the car insurance policy that gets activated in case of the policyholder experiencing bodily injuries, permanent disability, or death due to an accident in the insured car. As per the rules of the IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India), the maximum compensation one can get in this regard is INR 15 Lakhs.
In case of accidental death: The insurer is bound to pay the whole insured sum to the nominee if the policyholder dies because of the accident.
In case of permanent total disability: If the policyholder experiences a permanent disability due to the accident, then the compensation provided in this case will also be the whole insured amount.
Here is a general breakdown of the percentage of the compensation you can get from your car insurance service provider in different scenarios.
Percentage of Compensation
Loss of 2 limbs or 1 limb, or 2 eyes or 1 eye
Loss of 1 limb or sight of 1 eye
Permanent Total Disability
Is It Mandatory to Include a PA in Your Car Insurance Policy?
Only the third-party liability car insurance plans were supposed to have the PA cover in them as per the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988. However, since the claims related to bodily damages caused to the car-owner/drivers began increasing, people with comprehensive car insurance plans too needed attention. Later on, the rule changed to make the PA cover a mandatory aspect of car insurance plans, irrespective of the type of policy one chose.
Note that there have been slight changes made in the rulebook, and these came into effect from January 2019. The two changes made are as follows:
1. If the policyholder has a standalone insurance policy with a total sum of INR 15 Lakhs, then he/she does not have to buy a separate PA cover.
2. If the policyholder already holds a PA cover for his/her existing car (be it a four-wheeler or a two-wheeler), he/she will not have to buy a new PA cover while purchasing a new vehicle.
What are the Benefits of Having a PA Cover?
None of us can predict what life has in store for us, be it great opportunities or mishaps. This is where the PA cover in your car insurance policy comes to the rescue by providing the much-needed financial support in such emergency situations.
The major benefits of PA cover with a car insurance policy are:
- Financial support if the policyholder can no longer earn regularly due to the permanent disability caused by the accident. For example, if your hand(s) become disabled, then there are high chances that you would not be able to work. The compensation provided to you in such a case should provide the financial aid to your family that you can no longer offer.
- Financial support to pay for all the hospital bills, be it for treatments or for medicines.
- If the policyholder dies in an accident, the PA cover provides financial support to the family that he/she has left behind. For example, if you are the only earning member of your family, then the 100% insured sum that your family gets should help them to stay financially stable in the coming years.
How to Claim the Cover?
Only the car owner or the nominee can claim the personal accident cover under a car insurance policy. To get the benefits of this policy, you need to make the claim quickly.
For this, you need to follow these instructions:
1. Contact the insurance service provider and notify them about the incident and the damage.
2. Make sure that you have filed an FIR and have a few statements from witnesses (if possible). These two things will turn out to be the most important documents while making the car insurance claim later on. You should ask the police for the FR (Final Report) as well.
3. Complete the remaining formalities with the insurer like filling the forms, and providing necessary documents and pictures of the accident. You can either do so through an online portal or by contacting your insurance company’s agent.
Note that if the policyholder dies in the accident, it is the nominee who will have to make the claim.