Insuring a Close Shave

It was raining heavily the other day, and I was stuck in traffic. The road which other-wise would take me home in under ten minutes, was jammed with traffic. The incessant rain combined with braking every single meter was a cocktail for disaster. I was slowly losing my patience and was considering parking the car and walking home getting drenched in the rain.

Let me tell you about traffic rules in such cases … Mumbai is generally a well behaved city in India (if you consider the traffic) … but once monsoon hits, then the rules get flushed the drain and the roads become a battlefield of cuts, swerves and brakes! That day was no different.

I was slowly manoeuvring my 7 year old Wagon-R through the traffic, literally inching my way to my home. At that moment, an idiot chose to cut past me and get in his Honda before my car. In a fit of frustration, I tried to stop his cut by nosing ahead in the traffic and pushed frantically at my horn … HEY YOU ARE BREAKING THE CODE!! The Honda went right ahead and put a dent in my car … a light dent on the nose … had I gone a little ahead, then it would have struck the door!

A small dent on both of our cars was not a big enough matter to come out shouting in the rain. In fact both of us will not even report it to our insurance companies … why? Well because in India, the cost of repairing a small dent is lower than the additional premium payment that I would have to pay. In the developed countries, this exploit is not there, for accident claims UK you can see for yourself, the sheer thoughtfulness that has been put into creating a simple service for accidents claim is an inspiration for insurance companies in India. In India, a lot of processes are paper based, and the thoughts of having a paper-less office are still being dismissed off as impossible. Although the companies in the UK are also still debating the feasibility of the paper-less office, it is already being put in practice in a lot of companies.

The point is, would you go ahead and insure a minor accident, if you knew its going to increase the premium payment? In the developed nations, this approach is far more mature. Will the insurance companies in India think of a new insurance vehicle where close shaves and minor accidents can be covered?