Many times, flight booking websites or cab hailing apps include cost of insurance cover by default.
Do you really want to ‘buy’ what you are paying for? There are times when you buy a product or service, and another one costing much less gets added on by default and you end up paying for both without realising it.
If you check the detailed break-up of your bill, you will see (some times when it is visible and some times when it is not) the addition of any of these charges – additional costs related to insurance premiums, assurance premium, charity or donation and so on. For instance, did you know that when you book a cab ridewith Ola, the ride gets insured by default and you get charged for it albeit a few rupees. Did you also know that while buying a flight ticket on Yatra or Makemytrip, the insurance policy buttons are pre-selected by default and you will get charged for it too unless you specifically opt out.
Now, if you already knew that such a product/service will get added by default while making the purchase, then there is no problem. In such a case, you need to unselect the option if you don’t want to avail such services. However, it’s quite possible that a person may miss noticing that these add-ons are pre-selected by default because of the purchases being made online these days.
Now, what we mean by default is that the cost of the additional service is automatically added to the total bill because the button/toggle opting for it is always ‘On’ by default. If you don’t want the service, you can switch ‘Off’ the button/toggle, but it is possible that some people may miss doing this in their hurry to pay and finish the job. People often think that buying online is a matter of few clicks but be careful when you do click.
Many times, it has been seen that flight booking websites or even cab ride booking apps include the cost of personal accident insurance cover by default in the billing amount. This means that if by chance the user is not aware of the fact that by default the toggle for opting such insurance cover is ‘on’ when booking cab ride through the app or flight through the web portal of a particular service provider, you may get charged the additional amount without noticing. However, these service providers do give you a choice to switch it off if do not want to avail such services.
So, do make sure to turn off such toggles to avoid paying additional money out of negligence.
Here are a few examples of such flight booking websites and cab ride app where insurance is being added on and charged by default along with the cost of the main ticket/ride cost.
It is just an in-trip personal accident insurance cover offered to you while booking your Ola cab ride. This insurance cover is provided you by Acko General Insurance. The insured, as well as co-passengers, gets the benefit of a personal accident insurance cover up to Rs 7.5 lakh for any unfavourable incidents like an accident that may happen during the ride. Apart from this, you can avail the benefit of getting flight tickets reimbursement up to Rs 5,000 in case you missed your flight due to a delay in reaching the airport. It also includes several other benefits too. Make sure you read the policy document carefully before availing the option.
In the Ola app, the buttons/toggles for buying/not buying insurance are by default ‘on’ as you can view it below, the premium you pay at the time of booking a ride automatically gets added to the ride bill. If you don’t want the insurance, then you will have to push the toggle/button to off, manually.
- City ride: If you are availing a ride within the city, an insurance premium of Re 1 gets added to your ride bill.
- Taking car on rent: If you are availing a car on rent, then an insurance premium of Rs 15 gets added to your ride bill.
- Going outstation: If you are availing a ride taking your cab out of station then, in such case, an insurance premium of Rs 49 gets added to your ride bill.
Booking flights through a travel aggregator
Yatra.com: Here’s what you get out of what you pay
It is a personal accident insurance cover offered to you while booking an air ticket through the Yatra website. This insurance cover is provided to you by Tata AIG’s Domestic Travel Protection Policy. The insured gets the benefit of a personal accident insurance cover up to Rs 7.5 lakh for any unfavourable incidents that may take place during travelling. These include benefits like medical treatment against accident, total loss of checked-in baggage, personal liability, flight delay, etc. Apart from this, you may also get the trip cancellation cost up to the original cost of the flight ticket.
All these benefits are subject to certain terms and conditions, so ensure that you read the policy document carefully before availing this insurance.
You pay Rs 279 against this insurance premium while booking a ticket. And, the toggle is by default ‘on’, so if you do not want this insurance cover and you forget to turn the toggle off, this amount gets added to the bill.
Makemytrip.com: Here’s what you get out of what you pay
This is again a personal accident insurance cover offered to you while booking your ticket through the Makemytrip website. This insurance cover is provided to you by Apollo Munich general insurance. The insured gets the benefit of a personal accident insurance cover up to Rs 5 lakh for any unfavourable incidents that may happen during travelling. These include medical treatment, assistance & evacuation against accident, total loss of checked-in baggage, delay of checked-in baggage, personal liability, flight delay, etc. Apart from this, you may also get trip cancellation reimbursement cost up to Rs 15,000.
All these benefits adhere to certain terms and conditions, so make sure that you read the policy document carefully before availing this insurance.
You pay Rs 245 against this insurance premium which also includes Rs 5 towards charity while booking your ticket. And, what you need to know is that the toggle for opting such insurance cover is by default ‘on’, so if you forget to turn it off, this amount gets added to the bill.
“At MakeMyTrip, we ensure that pre-selected item is clearly drawn to the attention of the customer through the booking flow. In fact, there is a pop-up that appears on the mobile screens when Insurance option is pre-ticked as part of ticket purchase to inform the buyer about addition of travel insurance to his booking.” Official Spokesperson, MakeMyTrip
Booking flights directly through the airline website
SpiceJet website: Here’s what you get out of what you pay
Spice Assurance provides you a benefit voucher of Rs 1,000 which can be used in case the trip is cancelled. It provides compensation against loss of checked-in baggage as well. You can also get a voucher between Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 against flight delay. All these benefits are subject to certain terms and conditions, so ensure that you read the policy document carefully before availing this insurance.
You pay a refundable fee of Rs 49 against availing spice assurance benefit while booking your ticket. This is a per passenger, per one-way, pre-paid service. However, here again the toggle is by default ‘on’ against spice assurance as you can view it above, if you forget to turn it off, this amount gets added to the billing unknowingly.
Indigo website: Here’s what you get out of what you pay
Indigo’s top up option provides you the benefit of Rs 1,000 voucher on trip cancellation. You can also get voucher between Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 against flight delay. You can also get compensation against loss of checked-in baggage. However, all these benefits are subject to certain terms and conditions, so do ensure that you read the policy document carefully.
You need to pay a non-refundable fee of Rs 49 to avail Indigo’s travel assistance benefit while booking your ticket. Any passenger, except an infant can avail this service. This amount is added in your bill by default. Make sure you turn it off if you do not want to avail such services.
Is it worth it to opt for this bundled insurance?
Kapil Mehta, co-founder, online insurance broking firm Securenow.in says, “You need not purchase personal accident insurance cover while taking a cab ride or booking a flight if you already have comprehensive personal accident insurance. Also, if the claims settlement is over 50 percent, then it means that the claims are being made and paid for. If the claim settlement ratio is low, then people are either not aware of the facility and have blindly opted in or claims have not been paid. Both these are not good outcomes.” He adds that although the personal accident cover that you get through bundled offerings like cab rides and flight bookings may be cheap, they could have many inherent limitations such as negligence related claims being rejected.
So, be mindful of this component while booking your next flight ticket or cab ride. You do not want to pay for something you may not end up using or will not be able to use.