There are mainly two types of insurance - life insurance and non-life insurance. While life insurance protects the insured against risks of death, non-life insurance covers unforeseen losses and damages other than those covered by life insurance. Non-life insurance, also known as general insurance, helps to protect ourselves and things we value from financial impact of risks such as fire, natural calamities, theft, among others. Assets have a value of their own and are prone to damages. The specific general insurance cover can protect the economic value of the asset and prevent huge financial losses. Hence, it becomes important to understand different types of general insurance policies and what they protect.

Types of General Insurance

Mediclaim Insurance

In today's time when medical inflation is rising every day and with advancements in treatments, having a mediclaim or health insurance policy has become a necessity. In absence of a health insurance policy, most times it becomes difficult to afford for many people best treatment due to their high cost. Health insurance ensures that you can avail best possible treatment for your family. A health insurance policy covers hospitilisation expenses, pre and post hospitilisation expenses, ambulance charges, among others.

You can either buy an individual health insurance policy or a family floater policy. While an individual health insurance policy provides coverage for an individual, while a family floater health insurance policy covers entire family under single plan. The fixed sum assured can be availed by individual member or as a sum total for treatment of more than one person.

Car Insurance

Most precious thing of one's life is his four-wheeler. So, it is important to ensure its safety. And the best way to ensure its safety is to buy a comprehensive car insurance policy. A comprehensive car insurance policy consists of third party cover and own damage cover. It is mandatory by law for all vehicles plying on road to have third party motor insurance while own damage cover is optional. A comprehensive Car insurance policy covers all damages and liability to the car.

Bike Insurance

Many people cherish the fact that they own their favorite two wheeler whether a scooter, scooty or a bike. Hence, it becomes imperative to ensure its safety by providing it a safety net of bike insurance. And you can be penalized if caught driving without valid insurance. Mandatory third party provides protection against legal liability for injury, death, and/or property damage caused to third party in the event of an accident. A comprehensive two-wheeler insurance policy also covers damage to owner's vehicle.

Travel Insurance

Everyone likes to travel abroad whether it for studies or leisure, But they forget to think what will happen if they gets stuck in unpleasant and unexpected situation in unknown land. In such a situation travel insurance comes in handy. Despite all your planning, your trip abroad can go wrong due to medical emergency or non-medical contingencies such as loss of baggage, trip delay or other incidental expenses. Travel insurance provides you protection against these misfortunes while traveling.

Depending on your requirement you can either buy individual travel insurance, family floater travel insurance, senior citizen travel insurance, student travel insurance, single trip travel insurance or multi-trip travel insurance policy.

Critical Illness Cover

Amidst rising incidences of critical illness, it has also become indispensable to have a critical illness cover. Cost for treating critical illnesses is very high and if any member of your family is diagnosed with any critical illness then it can disturb you financially. Hence, it is important to buy critical illness cover for every member of your family so that you don't have to worry about cost and can avail quality treatment for them.

Along with a health insurance is also important to have a critical illness cover as a health insurance policy takes care of hospitilisation bills and other related expenses; a critical illness policy covers long term healthcare needs for life threatening diseases.

A critical illness policy is a fixed benefit policy. If insured is diagnosed with any critical illness listed in the policy document, insurance company will give out entire sum assured as a lump sum. And he can use this amount as per his wish.

A critical illness cover can be bought either as a standalone cover or as a rider. A critical illness rider can be attached with a life insurance or a health insurance policy.

Home Insurance

Home is most precious possession of one's life and expensive too. Hence, in case if your home gets damaged due to natural calamity than it will become very difficult to build another home. Hence, have home insurance so your family can live with peace in their own home. Rising incidences of natural calamities has made it imperative for everyone to have home insurance plan. A home insurance policy not only protects your home but also its contents.

A home insurance policy is different from a home loan insurance policy. While home loan insurance policy protects a family from loan liabilities in case of policyholder's demise during the policy term, home insurance protects one's property from manmade or natural calamities.

Personal Accident Insurance

This is also an important cover as probability of becoming at least temporarily disabled during your working years is higher than the probability of dying during your working years. It covers accidental death and it also comes in handy in case of disability caused by an accident. While buying a personal accident cover, make sure that it covers death, permanent total disability, temporary total disability and permanent partial disability.

A personal accident insurance policy gives policyholders lump sum amount in case of an accident which has led to partial/permanent disability or fatality of the insured.

A personal accident cover can either be bought as a standalone policy or as an add-on cover with life insurance policy.

Top Up Insurance

If you think that your health insurance cover is inadequate. Then you can enhance it with a top-up plan. Top up plan is an add-on health insurance plan that kicks in only when the single premium is above certain deductible limit. The plan comes with minimum deductible of Rs 1 lakhs to Rs 5 lakhs depending on the plan.

Deductible means the policy will be eligible for claim only above deductible limit. Normally deductible does not reduce sum assured. Deductible is the amount over which the claim for each hospitalization is reimbursable.