Citizens' Issues
Girl dies after jumping off bus to avoid molesters
A 13-year-old girl died and her mother was seriously injured when they had to jump out of a moving private bus to avoid molestation by some youth along with the bus conductor near Punjab's Moga town, police said on Thursday.
 
The incident took place on Wednesday evening.
 
The girl was declared brought dead by doctors. The mother was admitted to a government hospital in Moga.
 
The bus was impounded.
 
"We are investigating the matter and trying to nab the accused. The bus has been impounded," a police officer told media on Wednesday night.
 
Eyewitness account of passengers on the bus indicated that the mother and daughter were subjected to molestation and lewd remarks by some youth and the bus staff after they boarded it. 
 
When both of them, travelling with a boy, tried to get off the bus, the driver increased the speed.
 
"No one in the bus came to the rescue of the victims. There were not many passengers in the bus when the incident happened," an eyewitness told police.
 
The Punjab Police registered a case.

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Is your property insured for a Nepal-like earthquake?
Check your existing insurance to find out whether you are really covered for earthquake damage. Property –buyers should ask for earthquake cover and pay additional premium
 
The devastating earthquake in Nepal, which was the worst in the last 80 years has killed over 5,000 and damaged properties worth several hundred crores. There are chances of the deaths reaching 10,000 along with massive property loss. It is a wake-up call for Indians too who are lax about buying property insurance. When you apply for property loan, home insurance to cover the property structure becomes mandatory and the bank will often arm-twist you to buy from the insurance company of their choice. When you buy property from your own money, you should still buy property insurance, after finding a suitable product for your requirements. 
 
Property insurance premium is affordable and hence you should not skip this important cover. The premium for Rs5 lakh cover for only fire and allied perils section would be Rs175 plus tax. However, are you aware that earthquake cover is an optional feature, which means it is available only if you opt for it? The add-on cover to include ‘Act of God’ or special perils can increase premium cost by 20%-30%. It is still worth the money considering the tremendous loss due to natural calamities. Section 1 of Government insurers is cover for “Fire”. It includes loss to the residential building, household goods and personal effects - as per Fire Policy + Earthquake Risk. The exclusions are loss to money, securities, livestock, motor vehicle and documents. The premium rate is Rs0.30 per thousand. Earthquake cover can be added by paying additional premium.
 
There are reports of government insurers National Insurance and Oriental Insurance having exposure in Nepal through branches, as do GIC Re in reinsurance. Bajaj Allianz General Insurance has announced a dedicated helpline number for the victims. A customer can, through this number, register a claim or seek other help. A team has been formed in the company to handle these cases. State-owned reinsurer GIC Re is the largest international reinsurer in the Nepal market and may have to bear the claims for the losses. 
 
In reality, the claims from Nepal earthquake would be honoured only if the earthquake cover had been taken, while buying property insurance. It means the insurers may get away if the earthquake related losses are not covered. There is likely hood of premium hike post Nepal earthquake, considering the horrendous amount of property and home contents loss inflicted by the natural phenomenon. Moreover, the higher the earthquake risk for a location, the higher will be the property insurance premium. 
 
Needless to say, Kathmandu will see a steep hike in premium for earthquake cover. The rates depend on the area and the frequency. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has grouped India into four seismic zones, II, III, IV and V. In India, at least 38 Indian cities lie in high-risk seismic zones and nearly 60% of the sub-continental landmass is vulnerable to earthquakes. No Indian metropolis has witnessed a serious earthquake, although Delhi lies in high-risk Seismic Zone 4. Guwahati and Srinagar fall in what is called “very severe intensity zone”, or zone V, the highest-risk earthquake zone. Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata lie in Zone 3. 
 
 
Most insurers provide cover for the contents in a building that is not more than 50 years old. There are, however, insurance companies that have the upper limit at 25 years. In cities like Mumbai, people live in flats (apartments) within a building of several floors. When you take property loan, home insurance to cover the property structure becomes mandatory and the lender will ensure that earthquake cover is also included. However, some products may not offer earthquake cover for individual flats. For e.g. ICICI Lombard policy wordings specify “Extension cover shall be granted only if the entire property in one complex / compound / location covered under the policy is extended to cover this risk and the sum insured for this extension is identical to the sum insured against the risk covered under main policy except for the value of the plinth and foundations of the building(s)”. In the event of the insured claiming for loss or damage under this policy, she must (if so required by the company) prove that the loss or damage was occasioned by or through or in consequence of earthquake.
 
It is better to buy the cover to include both the structure and content. Home content cover is the other important component of insurance, which covers contents of the house, such as furniture, clothes, jewellery, appliances and electronic goods. You can also read Moneylife cover story on home contents insurance “Home Insurance: Are your valuables unprotected?”. You will get insights into buying the right home contents cover to ensure that your valuables are adequately protected. You do not want to buy a product, which leaves you unprotected.

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COMMENTS

vswami

1 year ago

To UPdate

http://praja.in/en/blog/murali772/2009/0...#comment-37178

(-Insurance of Apartment complexes in Bengaluru new)

vswami

2 years ago

More to share:

To add:
Refer.
Bare it all to your insurer | Business Line

As commented:

OFFHAND
"....They may get only a portion of the sum assured or, worse, find that the claim has been rejected. " Going by common experience, such a piquant situation of inadequate or nil insurance cover/settlement of claim could arise ,-
(a)also for certain other unmentioned reasons; for instance, principally, more often than not,, the applicable terms and conditions , as explained /disclosed by the insurer to the insured, at the time of underwriting the 'risk' , are, unwittingly or otherwise, in so said 'fine print'; that is, mostly vague, hence not intelligible enough for the latter to know clearly whether or not the cover deficient or faulty; and (b) such a predicament could arise, even in respect of other kinds of insurance; e.g. risks to which professionals, apart from medical practitioners themselves, like CAs, lawyers who are inescapably exposed, and acquirers of ‘property’ ,in general and ‘immovable’, in particular. So far as commonly known, there seems to be no effective statutory machinery and authoritative monitoring in place, so as to provide the comfort /protection of ‘checks and balances’. for the benefit of the stakeholders- the insured. This is an area where the concerned ministry and the empowered authority IRDA as well, have to insightfully probe/ sincerely delve into and remedy- better though late now, than never.

Re. insurance cover for professionals, mainly practicing CAs, may also look up @ "Be Cautious: Professional Indemnity Insurance is Must after Companies Act 2013" (rtw. input comment)

vswami

2 years ago

To dilate, by sharing more random thoughts: On the aspect of importance, and legal significance, of Property insurance, particularly as to why insurance cover for property in a building complex (comprising ‘units’ (Flats/Apartments) is a must, the following angles call for a special focus:

Under the scheme of things as per the applicable special law, the final (formal conveyance) by promoter to registered housing society – CHS / Owners’ Association, as mandated, requires to be strictly complied with by the promoter/seller of the units. Without compliance with the said formality, the lawful rights and interests of purchasers, individually as well as collectively, do not become absolute. To put it differently, it is only if and when such final conveyance is effected, the mentioned rights and interests get, in the eyes of law, 'perfected'.

It is for precisely on such line of reasoning that the judicial opinion (to be gathered , for instance, from the verdicts of consumer courts in decided cases)is to the effect that,unless and until final conveyance it is the promoter, and he alone, has legal domain over the property in a building complex vis a vis attendant obligations of ‘maintenance’, property tax, so on.

By the token of/extending the same logic, the obligation to have and maintain insurance cover is, as a corollary, that of the promoter, and continues to be so until the event of final conveyance taking place.

On the flip side, some, if not all, of the lending banks and other institutions, according to information, however, seem to believe and proceed on the premise, -and in turn, lead borrowers as well to do likewise, -that so long as the individual purchaser (borrower) has insurance cover for his ‘unit’, that should suffice/be adequate for its purpose. Nonetheless, to say the least, such a thinking behind is prima facie faulty and unsound, if were to be considered from the other related angles set out herein earlier. For after all, if in a given case any impairment /loss /damage is , for practical reasons, not identifiable or specifically apportion able to any one or more units , then claim from insurer is likely to be fraught with problems and turn out to be unsuccessful.
Insurance / law experts, even if ,offhand , hold a different view, are welcome to make an in-depth study and share for the benefit of everyone concerned (i.e. insured -owner/occupier of ‘unit’ , so also lending bank, etc.)

vswami

2 years ago

Addendum:
On the aspect of CAs’ crucial role in relation to audit of ‘housing societies’ as emphasized in a previous post, attention may be usefully drawn to, -
[PDF]Audit of Co-Operative Societies - ICAI Knowledge Gateway

Comment: Going by common experience, and as often criticized, by and large, just an any other field of professional-, besides business-, activity, there has always been a cavernous gap between theory (rules book) and actual practice, One such field pertains to audit of housing societies e.g. in Maharashtra CHS , in Karnataka AOA.

The ICAI as the apex supervisory body , having control over its members acting as appointed external auditors of such HSs, do seem to have comprehensive and valuable guidance material to such CAs. What calls for a special noting is the special course meant to give a useful training to them, with a view to equip them suitably and adequately so as to enable them to duly discharge their audit functions and responsibilities, diligently and in the matter as desired and ideally expected of them; more so, from the view point of investors/owners of ‘units’, being stake holders, in a residual building (s) complex. On that premise , one personally feels that the referred practical course/certification, in order to serve the intended objective, may have to be made, if not already so done, compulsory and necessary qualification / pre-condition for CAs to undertake / be appointed as auditors of HSs.

Cross Refer >
"Should a multi-storied apartment complex ... - Praja"



vswami

2 years ago

Addendum:
On the aspect of CAs’ crucial role in relation to audit of ‘housing societies’ as emphasized in a previous post, attention may be usefully drawn to, -
[PDF]Audit of Co-Operative Societies - ICAI Knowledge Gateway

Comment: Going by common experience, and as often criticized, by and large, just an any other field of professional-, besides business-, activity, there has always been a cavernous gap between theory (rules book) and actual practice, One such field pertains to audit of housing societies e.g. in Maharashtra CHS , in Karnataka AOA.

The ICAI as the apex supervisory body , having control over its members acting as appointed external auditors of such HSs, do seem to have comprehensive and valuable guidance material to such CAs. What calls for a special noting is the special course meant to give a useful training to them, with a view to equip them suitably and adequately so as to enable them to duly discharge their audit functions and responsibilities, diligently and in the matter as desired and ideally expected of them; more so, from the view point of investors/owners of ‘units’, being stake holders, in a residual building (s) complex. On that premise , one personally feels that the referred practical course/certification, in order to serve the intended objective, may have to be made, if not already so done, compulsory and necessary qualification / pre-condition for CAs to undertake / be appointed as auditors of HSs.

Cross Refer >
"Should a multi-storied apartment complex ... - Praja"



vswami

2 years ago

Yes; ideally speaking, and going by anyone’s wishful thinking, the cover could be adequate provided it meets or closer to meeting “Current Reconstruction Cost” or on “reinstatement value basis”. But to one’s understanding, invariable insurers, including leading nationalised insurance companies, are heard to be reluctant to agree to, and always try and avoid any such clear cut coverage. Further, theoretically speaking, and as per commoner’s understanding, albeit such policies are mostly renewable on a yearly basis, the concept of ‘current’ may be difficult to interpret and have implemented and enforced. More so, should reconstruction- especially in the event of a total destruction /loss of old property- take more than a year /much longer period. Further, so far as one knows, the insurer , while agreeing to and under wring the risk, insists upon its own pre-set terms and conditions being accepted; and not agree to any variation, much less, a material variation to the benefit of the insured.
Incidentally, the meaning or significance of what has been referred to as , - “Local Authority Clause” is not understood.
Perhaps, Mr Jagdish Motwani , who seems to have a better idea of property insurance, if he does not mind, may be good enough to throw more light on the foregoing aspects of common doubt.

REPLY

Jagdish Motwani

In Reply to vswami 2 years ago

Sir, Local Authority Clause in brief is if any changes in construction are required due to local legislation then such increased cost is also reimbursed under insurance as other wise it is construction of same type & kind (identical) to the destroyed / damaged building. Offcourse this also as usual T&C / fine prints.
I agree the time limit for Reinstatement is 12 Months & insurers abuse this to the disadvantage of insured by sometimes wooing them for Depreciated Value Basis Settlement (which is lower amount). But if insured's reasons for delay are just normally insurers do accommodate.
Value adequacy for Under Insurance is Reconstruction Cost as on the date of Loss.
Thanks & regards

vswami

In Reply to Jagdish Motwani 2 years ago

Thanks Mr Jadish M for the reply, lucidly explaining and bringing out clarity on the areas of doubt.

With Best Regards

Jagdish Motwani

2 years ago

Yes, as rightly said by Mr.Raj, though Fire Insurance is mandatory for CHS, but it's coverage & Sum Insured Adequacy is ignored.
The rates for add on perils under Fire Insurance Policy are regulated & for Residential Building & Contents are very Low i.e. @ Rs.0.05%o for Earthquake (uniform for residential irrespective of earthquake zone), @ Rs.0.05%o for Flood, Storm, STFI Perils & @ Rs.0.08%o for Terrorism.
The rates for Basic Fire Policy are Market Driven & vary from Insurer to Insurer & Client to Client.
Important Point Not To Miss is to ensure adequacy of Sum Insured & it should be Current Reconstruction Cost (it is reconstruction cost & not Value of Property which has substantial portion for cost of land / FSI which can not be damaged). Also ensuring that Policy is on Reinstatement Value Basis & with Local Authority Clause is essential for proper Indemnity.
Thanks & regards

vswami

2 years ago

Random thoughts:

Why one should confine self to insurance cover against earth quake or Nepal-like quake; not any other attendant risks.

If diligently scouted around, any place/location across the country, with special focus on multi-storeyed buildings, - ongoing in the name of vertical expansion, considered by and large , rightly or wrongly as inevitable,- one is sure to find that, it is rather an exception than a rule, that most such properties stand insured or fully insured.
Going by information personally elicited from a leading insurance company official, the wisdom of why insurance cover -for properties, despite being called 'immovable' properties, either during construction, or later after its completion,- is most essential / imperative, no less than individual's 'life cover', has remained unrealized /to percolate through.
In many states, e.g.in Karnataka, in the special enactment governing apartments, there is a clear provision for having such insurance cover. And under the scheme of the law, the elected or selected people (call it managing committee or any other), who are acting in a representative capacity for and on behalf of the apartment owners, are entrusted with the duty and responsibility to, as part of the overall 'maintenance', to have and keep alive an adequate insurance cover.
Further, having regard to the otherwise far reaching consequences, it is the duty of the appointed 'auditor' to make a proper inquiry, and have this aspect,- of course being one among the several others,- specially covered in his annual report to the body of the apartments owners (residential or commercial)in a building complex.
It is, however, anybody's guess as to how many of the mushrooming apartments’ buildings / or anyone or more of the owners are even aware or conscious of, the foregoing aspects, so as to be fully or even adequately taken care.
For that matter, so far as is known, even the lending institutions, not barring leading banks,- providing finance to the builders and the buyers, hence having vested interest / stakes,- do not seem to have ever seriously thought of, so as to safeguard and keep protected their own interests.
In short, by and large, the reality of life is rested on the ingrained human /commonly ruling belief, - ignorance is bliss.
Open to Edit ; and invite the concerned rest partaking in the discussion, to frankly share own experience and view points, so as to try and serve the intended purpose of own and the common good as well.

raj pradhan

2 years ago

Thanks for the comments!
Coop Hsg Societies (Mumbai) need to get fire insurance due to bye-laws. But, do they have added earthquake cover? Most of them would not have.....

shanti Patel

2 years ago

Very USEFUL and TIMELY article which everybody should read and take action.

Of possible Moneylife should come out with suggestion as to the names of insurance companies which preferred for such policies.

SHANTI PATEL
Joint Secretary-Bombay Shareholdrs Association

Anand Vaidya

2 years ago

Very important and timely article. Hope you will also suggest specific products. I have spent days reading through the fineprint of Insurers (ICICI-Lom, Bajaj-Az etc). All I can see is exclusions galore..

BMC spent Rs1.70 crore on hiring retired officers as OSDs, consultants
BrihanMumbai Municipal Corp spent the amount by appointing officers as OSDs and consultants after their retirement. Some were even given extension without permission from the government, reveals reply received by Anil Galgali, under the RTI Act
 
The Municipal Corp of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) also known as BrihanMumbai Municipal Corp (BMC), the richest municipal corporation in India has spent about Rs1.70 crore over past five years on contract payment for hiring retired officers as officer on special duty (OSD) and consultants reveals a reply received under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
 
According to the reply received by RTI activist Anil Galgali, over the past five years, the BMC appointed 40 retired officials on contractual basis. "Not only that the BMC Commissioner seems to have gone out of way in extending the tenure of contract for some of the retired officers not once but twice," he added.
 
NK Kusnoor appears to be the favourite OSD or Consultant for BMC as he received Rs29.50 lakh, the maximum, for his services after retirement. According to the reply received by Galgali, during 1 January 2010 to 28 February 2015, the Corporation deputed and retained services of 40 retired officers. Some of them, appointed on monthly retainership basis were paid as much as Rs50,000, while some received just Rs5,850 a month.
 
Galgali said three OSDs or consultants got extension twice, while three other managed to get it for one time. "Some retired officers like PV Kulkarni (Asst Commissioner-Special Engineer -paid Rs9.87 lakh), SS Palav (Asst Commissioner- Special Engineer -paid Rs13.10 lakh) and Sneha Khandekar (Director -paid Rs10.47 lakh) were give two extensions by the Commissioner. On the other hand, NH Kusnoor (Additional Commissioner-Projects-paid Rs29.50 lakh), SD Khandare (Dy. Chief Engineer- Planning-paid Rs9 lakh) and Uday Mande (Dy Chief Engineer-paid Rs5.71 lakh) have been granted extension only once," he added.
 
According to the RTI activist, by appointing and giving extensions to these officials, the BMC Commissioner had flouted the norms. He said, "In a special order passed by the Court in the Dr Jagganath Dhone v/s Government of Maharashtra, on 14 January, 2010, the Court had directed to make such appointments but only after getting the necessary permission from the Government. However, the BMC Commissioner, without taking any permission from the Government, made sure that these 40 officers are appointed."
 
Galgali has sent a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Secretary Swadhin Kshatriya and BMC's new Commissioner Ajoy Mehta about the appointments.  

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