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OLM Desk - 31 May 2023

Buy Comprehensive Cover For A Foreign Trip

Swati Sharma, Delhi

I will be going on a month-long vacation to Europe, which will involve travel across multiple countries. I have already made my arrangements for stay and travel at the respective places for those dates. Should there be any change in plans because of some natural calamities, accidents, weather or other political developments and I am unable to continue or have to skip a part of the itinerary, I will lose money on my bookings and train tickets. What kind of a travel insurance should I look for to cover my stay and EU rail travel costs?

Try to take a travel insurance with a very comprehensive coverage. Your travel insurance should include the following covers–medical emergencies, hospitalisation expenses, accidents, lost and/or delayed baggage, misplaced passport, flight delays and cancellations, repatriation cover, Covid-19 cover, and third-party damage, among other travel-related scenarios.

You could consider taking a Schengen travel insurance. But check for the complete policy wordings and exclusions before buying one.

Suhel Chander, CFPCM Handholding Financials

Akash Mohan, Lucknow

If I have to make a claim for some reason, can I make a claim both against the employer-provided health insurance policy and one’s private policy, assuming the total amount that I have to pay to the hospital exceeds the office policy or my own policy. What are the rules in this regard?

If you have a company-provided health insurance policy, you can also make a claim from your individual policy on the remaining amount by taking a stamped letter from the company, stating that you have taken x amount of claim, and apply with all the relevant documents for reimbursement of the remaining expenses from another company.

For instance, if the first insurance claim is taken from the company, then take all the documents and the stamped letter with the amount of claim along with the claim form and other relevant bills and documents to your individual insurer to claim the remaining amount. If you have personal health insurance, then while buying a second one from another health insurance company, you need to mention the details of the existing policy.

Hina Shah, CFPCM, Financial Coach, LUHEM

Pradeep Rawat, Dehradun

Many companies fail to refund fixed deposits (FDs) or the interest earned to investors. Many cite liquidity problems because of bad stock market conditions. What recourse do small investors have to recover their investments?

Corporate FDs are riskier than bank FDs as they are not covered under the deposit insurance program of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). As defined by RBI, companies with a minimum credit rating from a qualified credit rating company can issue corporate FDs. They, typically, come with credit rating (such as AAA) accredited by agencies such as Crisil, Icra and Care. Corporate FDs are usually unsecured. If a company’s condition deteriorates and it delays payments, the depositors can do nothing but wait.

If a company is unable to repay your money, it can approach the Company Law Board (CLB) to seek an extension. The CLB, checks the company’s financial position, and terms and conditions of the deposit, and usually asks companies to pay those who want to exit, and allow extension for those who agree to do so.

As a depositor, if you face such a situation, you should first send a written complaint to the company. In case of no satisfactory response, you can approach the CLB and Economic Offences Wing of the Central Bureau of Investigation or file an online complaint with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. In case of an FD from a housing finance company, you can complain to an authorised officer of the National Housing Bank.

You can even approach consumer and civil courts and file a complaint under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. If the amount due from the company exceeds Rs 1 lakh, then winding up action may be considered after 21 days of notice and recourse under criminal law may be sought.

You could also approach the Registrar of Companies, the National Company Law Tribunal, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, RBI or other associated regulators or file a police complaint against the directors.

Uma S Chander, CFPCM, Handholding Financials

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