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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Indian Railways / IRCTC to provide baggage and PA insurance to passengers !

About 2 decades or so ago, travel by air was the preserve of the elite.  Entry into the airport itself was considered something of an achievement and many of those marvelled seeing an aircraft take-off.  Those days, in the airport there were Insurance Counters selling PA policies.....

Even as Companies like Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeap vie with each other for their pie of share in e-commerce, there is one unlikely  player who made grand  e-revolution, but remains silent.  It is the Indian Railways, whose lean to technology platform transformed the way people travelled.  The modern day youth would never imagine the hassles of booking a train ticket, standing in long winding queues in Railway counters and the need for preserving tickets for travels; and for some claiming reimbursement from Office on official tours and for LTA and the like.

First came the computerisation – when people wondered how one can book ticket at Chennai for a train between Hyderabad and Vizag and how easy it was to go and stand in any of the queues for booking a ticket.  Then came the Internet ticket revolution – the rest is history.  Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation [IRCTC]  is a subsidiary of the Indian Railways that handles the catering, tourism and online ticketing operations of the railways.  IRCTC  pioneered internet-based rail ticket booking through its website, as well as from the mobile phones via GPRS or SMS. In addition to e-tickets, Indian Railways and Catering Tourism Corporation also offers I-tickets that are basically like regular tickets except that they are booked online and delivered by post. 

  Seeking to make it easier to book e-tickets, It launched a scheme called Rolling Deposit Scheme (RDS). RDS is a hassle-free e-ticket booking scheme allowing passengers to reserve seats against advance money kept with the corporation.

Of its many newer initiatives, comes the move to offer 'baggage insurance' for train passengers as part of its efforts to provide them more facilities for booking tickets online. A passenger can insure and then claim the insurance money in case of lost or theft of baggage. Goods like laptop and mobile phone will also be covered as part of the package.  It is reported that IRCTC has tied-up with New India Assurance for the plan. The customer of course will have the option to insure.  The insurance premium will depend on the length of the journey and also the class of travel.

With over 2 million passengers travelling everyday and about 52 per cent opting for e-ticketing, IRCTC hopes that a significant section of passengers will opt for the insurance service. Besides, the passengers are now offered e-catering and concierge services while booking tickets on certain trains and routes.  In order to facilitate last mile connectivity to tourists and passengers, the IRCTC has launched concierge services at certain selected stations in metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata on a pilot basis. The service aims to facilitate train passengers at the station in hiring a porter, getting information regarding running status of the trains, and arranging a taxi for dropping the passenger to his residence or hotel.

Under the Railway Act, the compensation for death is fixed at Rs.4 lakh, irrespective  of the age and earning capacity of the passenger.  That is its statutory liability – now they are planning to introduce personal accident and hospitalisation benefit insurance as well  - wherein the passengers would have the option of insuring for higher sum(s) insured.   It is revealed that the  time period of a journey itself has been divided into four parts — journeys of about eight hours, those up to 24 hours, up to 36 hours and the ones above 36 hours.

According to IRCTC managing director Dr AK Manocha, the tie-up with insurance major New India Assurance has been done and the final product should be launched shortly.  IRCTC has started distributing forms to travellers in several trains nationwide to get feedback from commuters on what they think of the plan. The three questions that IRCTC has asked passengers is a) if there is need for travel insurance during a rail journey, b) if the sum assured is adequate, and c) if the premium amount is appropriate.

With over 21 million passengers everyday and penetration of IRCTC in rail ticket-booking now over 53%, officials believe that even if a million passengers opt for these services as time goes by, the corpus collected would be huge.

For the passengers booking tickets on-line, it would be hassle-free experience of buying insurance and travelling with lot more safety and peace of mind.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
21st Apr 2015.

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting the full details,its really a good information
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  2. Hello Srinivasan, this post have well described how to book train tickets online with step by step procedure with Irctc Log in to ticket booking, As being new to Irctc this post helps me. thanks

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  3. Hello i am searching this type of post before 2-3 days ago, but cant find this type of procedure description, when i search this i found this IRCTC PNR Status this is also useful.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Hello Srinivasan, this post have well described how to book train tickets online, took your ticket online you just need to creat account so vist: Create New Account on IRCTC

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  7. You can simply use http://www.pnrs.in/ to find your current PNR Status and delay if any to your train timing. This is a absolutely FREE service and is provided whenever you PNR changes or train is delayed.You just need to key in your PNR & Mobile Number once !!!

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