In a bid to make traveling by trains more customer-friendly and also to increase its customer base, IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is all set to roll out an insurance scheme for those passengers who book their tickets through its website. From September passengers making their railway reservations through IRCTC website can avail of a travel accident cover of Rs 10 lakh. All they need to pay as premium is a mere Rs 1!
This is over and above the compensation which is already provided by Indian Railways to valid ticker holders if there are railway accidents while travelling. According to Chairman-cum-Managing Director of IRCTC, AK Manocha, “At the moment, the insurance offer is under integration process and we expect it will be operationalised from September.” The insurance will cover death, injury and disabilities born in lieu of accidents while travelling by train in India. If there is hospitalization due to train accident then also compensation will be provided by the insurance company to the valid insurance holders.
In total 19 insurance companies were shortlisted for the purpose of providing insurance to IRCTC costumers travelling by train and booking through its website. There was a bidding process to zero in on the final three insurance companies for the contract – Shriram General, Royal Sundaram and ICICI Lombard.
It is to be noted though that the option to go for insurance is voluntary. While booking the railway tickets through IRCTC website, the passenger can opt for the insurance cover by paying a premium of Rs 1. An estimated 5 lakh railway tickets are currently booked online on a daily basis through IRCTC online portal.
As of date only air passengers are provided optional insurance coverage along with e-ticket at a premium of Rs 100 in domestic flights. This will be the first time that railway passengers will also be given such an option. This is in line with the other lucrative benefits being offered by the IRCTC to its customers in order to woo them. For example, last month Indian Railways tied up with Air India, the national carrier to fly unconfirmed passengers of Rajdhani trains at a dare matching the first class AC ticket prices. Just last week, the Indian Railways announced its plan to launch a Rail Radio service to provide ‘onboard infotainment’ to the passengers. This would also double up as an emergency announcement service in case of any untoward incidents or railway disasters.
The Logical Indian community welcomes this pleasant news with open arms. This is an excellent move made by IRCTC keeping in view the fact that many train accidents take place in our country frequently. Such an insurance will enable the passengers to handle such disasters with a little more ease.