LPG (liquified petroleum gas) has been the preferred domestic fuel in Indian households for decades, thanks to the government subsidies. However, this highly flammable petroleum product can easily cause devastating damage if the cylinder is faulty.
To cover customers against accidental deaths and injuries when these LPG cylinders burst or leak, oil marketing companies and LPG cylinder distributors opt for third-party liability insurance. In addition, PSU Oil Marketing Companies (HPCL, BPCL and IOCL) also take a comprehensive 'Public Liability Policy for Oil Industries'.
Since these are not taken in the name of individual LPG customers, the consumers need not pay a premium towards this insurance policy. All customers can contact their local gas agency/distributor to claim the insurance proceeds.
Despite many LPG related incidents in the country, insurance policies go unclaimed due to lack of knowledge of its existence.
What does the LPG insurance policy cover?
When the incident occurs at the LPG customer's registered premises, third parties and the customer are covered for:
- medical expenses
- personal accident (death)
- property damage
Extent of the cover
The cover can vary from company to company. Here are the details on the third party insurance policy on Indane Gas, LPG brand of government owned Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), according to its website:
- Personal Accident: Rs 6 lakh per person per event in case of death.
- Medical expenses: Maximum Rs 2 lakh per person (limited to Rs 30 lakh per event).
- Property damage: Maximum Rs 2 lakh per event at authorized customers' registered premises.
- Aggregate per year: Rs 10 Crore
Procedure to make the claim
There is no need to contact or apply for the claim to the insurance company directly. The incident can be reported to the local gas agency/distributor from whom the consumer received the cylinder.
The oil company's area distributor / area office, after preliminary inquiry will in turn notify the local office of the concerned Insurance Company for further action towards processing the claim as per terms of the Insurance policy.
Consumer is required to submit to the Oil Company the relevant documents viz:
- in case of death - originals of Death Certificate(s) and Post Mortem report(s) /Coroners report/Inquest report, as applicable
- in case of injuries - Doctors' Prescriptions in original supporting the purchase of medicines, original Medical Bills, Discharge Card in original and any other documents related to hospitalization.
- in case of property loss, the Insurance Company appoints their Surveyor to assess the loss.
- Claims are made after necessary verification only. This means that if the accident occurred due to carelessness on the part of the customer, the insurance claim will be rejected.
- Make sure you use ISI-marked accessories like lighter and gas pipe.
- The incident should have to have occurred the authorized registered premises of the LPG customers.
- Claims are settled based upon merit of each case. The concerned Insurance Company takes decision regarding settlement of the claim as per the provisions of Insurance Policy.
- As the policy cover is taken by the distributor/OMCs, Insurance Companies remit the claim amount to the concerned distributor/Oil Company who in turn remits the same to the claimant / beneficiary.