Paytm is introducing insurance for bus travel

Have you ever missed your bus but got your booking amount back? You might have thought that this never happens in this country. But mobile wallet and ecommerce company Paytm is here to prove you wrong. So the next time you miss your bus, you will most definitely get your money back. The Delhi based startup, which has forayed into various kinds of businesses is now planning insurance covers for bus passengers against a range of risks, such as accidents, missed travel, cancellation of ticket and loss of baggage.

“We are in talks with (insurance) companies to provide insurance cover for bus passengers," said Shankar Nath, Paytm's senior vice-president. "At the same time, we are talking to various private bus hiring services like AP travels."

Just like domestic air travel comes insured, the passengers in this case would be a given an option to choose the insurance, if they desire. The bus fare will be bundled with the premium.

Around 30,000 tickets are booked daily on Paytm's platform. The average fare is 500.

Travel insurance business in India is worth Rs 400-500 crore and the cover is mostly taken by those who travel abroad. While the government is talking to insurance companies to introduce personal accident and baggage loss cover to railway passengers, the bus travel segment is yet to open up to the idea.

"There is not enough education and the risk perception is very low," Sanjay Datta, head of motor insurance underwriting at ICICI Lombard General Insurance told the ET. "Domestic travel insurance is a negligible business."

For domestic air travel, the premium is around 150 and the policy is valid for 30 days or till the date of return journey for passengers between the age group of 1 and 70.

When travelling overseas, people usually see travel insurance as a short-term medi-claim, to cover treatment towards any injury or illness suffered while they are abroad.