No insurance payouts for selfie deaths

No insurance payouts for selfie deaths
Think long and hard  before you take that perfect  selfie on an adventure trip. Most insurance companies are not going to entertain your accident claims.

General insurance companies that offer accidental death benefits, including health insurance, are concerned about the "selfie-crazed youth" who go to any extent to take  photos.

Youth posing in front of an exotic waterfall during a trek or an uphill cliffhanger  are unaware of the impending danger: they can get seriously injured, maimed or worse still, die. And to top that, insurance companies will not compensate them or their families.  

Rajiv Kumar, MD & CEO, Universal Sompo General Insurance, said insurance policies usually did not cover accidental injuries or deaths sustained by the insured while posing for selfies as a result of gross negligence or reckless act. The company hasn't yet reported any  claims over selfie deaths, he added.  

A spokesperson for another insurer said most companies did not pay for deaths occurring during adventure sports.

According to him,  deaths occurring  while taking selfies is considered "negligence" on the part of the victim.

Even if the insurance company considers paying the accidental death benefits, the family will have to provide records such as  a copy of the FIR and postmortem report. The company will then investigate the circumstances under which the person died, he added.

ICICI Lombard states on its website: "Though no official statistics are available on selfie deaths, there have been at least 54 deaths in India while taking selfies." The company has refused to pay claims if the insured died while taking a selfie.

The customer care of  Tata AIG General Insurance Company Ltd said the  firm would not consider the death caused while taking a selfie as an accident. The company would investigate  such claims  before  making any payments.

No IRDAI regulation

In July 2016, the Insurance Regulatory  and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) announced a new set of health insurance regulations, but it has not yet issued any guidelines on selfie deaths.  

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