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Car insurance is mandatory for all vehicles that run on Indian roads. Given the large number of vehicles that have made their way to Indian streets, the need for insurance has also grown tremendously in recent years. Although the purchase of a new car can be exciting, it is important to consider potential accidents that may occur and damage your vehicle. In such situations, a car insurance policy can come in handy as it will significantly lower the costs incurred on repairing the vehicle or replacing its parts.
Why You Need Car Insurance:
Car insurance is required mainly for the following reasons:
Mandatory by law: The Motor Vehicles Act of India has made it compulsory for all vehicles used in public spaces to have car insurance. A third-party liability policy is compulsory for all vehicles, but you can dec >Car Insurance
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How Car Insurance Can Protect You:
Purchasing a car insurance policy can financially protect you as well as your vehicle in times of accidents. Given the rate at which new vehicles are entering Indian roads on a daily basis, having a car insurance policy in place is crucial as there are several perils of driving in the country. Here are five ways through which you can be protected with car insurance:
- Damages: Cars are expensive to purchase and maintain, and repairing them if they meet with acc >
Add-On Covers for your Car Insurance Policy:
The following are a few add-on covers that you can purchase with your car insurance policy to make it more comprehensive and effective:
Purchasing this cover will ensure that you receive a full claim on the cost of the car parts replaced following an accident. This cover is usually provided only for the initial 3 years from the date on which the car was purchased. As the vehicle ages, the premium for this cover gets steeper.
In case you are faced with an emergency when driving in a remote area, the roadside assistance cover will provide you with access to services that can fix your problems as soon as possible.
A personal accident cover provides coverage to the owner of a car in case of accidents. If the owner of the car is driving it and meets with an accident, 100% of the claim amount will be provided to him/her in case of irreparable damage to limbs or death.
A no-claim bonus is a reward for policyholders who do not make any insurance claims over the course of a policy year. In such cases, this cover rewards them by providing discounts of up to 50% on the premium payment for the following year.
This add-on cover provides protection to the electronic circuit and the engine of the vehicle. In case of flooding, the engine can fail if you keep trying to run it, and this damage is not covered by regular car insurance policies.
This add-on cover allows you to report claims because of loss or theft of your personal belongings. In case you leave your laptop or some other expensive equipment in your locked car and it gets stolen, this cover will reimburse you for the loss at least partly if not fully.
In case your vehicle remains in a garage for about three to four days, the daily cash allowance cover will pay for your transportation costs. However, this cover is not too popular among Indian car owners due to the fact that repairs usually take just a day or two.
In case you misplace or lose your car keys, having a key replacement cover will ensure that you are reimbursed for the cost of replacing the key. However, insurance companies do not reimburse the whole amount needed to replace the key.
It is very simple to make your car insurance policy stronger and have comprehensive coverage in difficult times. It is essential to consider the aforementioned covers as they will not only come to your rescue when needed, but will also lower the costs you would otherwise incur if you did not have them. However, not all add-on covers may be beneficial for you, so it is advised that you go through them carefully and pick the ones that could come in handy.
How to Purchase a New Car Insurance:
Car insurance can be purchased through agents, dealers, or brokers.
Insurance agents work with insurance companies and are paid by the company to sell their products to customers. As such, agents are experts so far as the insurance products offered by their employers are concerned. They have the ability and the expertise to guide you and help you choose the policy that best suits your needs. If you wish to change your insurance company, you should find another insurance agent who works with the company from which you wish to purchase insurance.
Automobile dealers sell vehicles to customers, and these vehicles are sold with third-party liability insurance. Generally, dealers have tie-ups with insurance companies and may not be experts regarding the insurance policies. They take care of the paperwork associated with availing a third-party liability insurance policy sold by the dealership, but do not have adequate knowledge to guide you to find the policy that best suits your requirements.
Brokers can either be individuals or companies that have a license from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India to sell insurance products. The products sold by brokers can be from various insurance companies as they have the expertise required to help you make an informed choice. They also offer assistance in after-sales service. Brokers can help you compare various policies in an effort to find the best one for you. Brokers can also assist you through the claim settlement process.
Inclusions and Exclusions in Car Insurance:
|What is Covered (Inclusions)||What is Not Covered (Exclusions)|
|Cover for damages to your vehicle||Damages to vehicle when it was being used for illegal purposes.|
|Cover for damages caused by natural calamities||Accidents that are deemed fraudulent by the insurer.|
|Personal accident cover||Damages incurred by the vehicle when it was being driven by someone who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.|
|Cover for damages incurred due to man-made disasters||Damages incurred by the vehicle when it was being driven by someone who does not have a valid driving license and who has not attained the legal driving age.|
|Theft||Damages incurred by the vehicle when the driver was breaking traffic rules.|
|Damages to property||Damages incurred by the vehicle when the car insurance policy had expired.|
Note: Each policy has its own list of exclusions that you are expected to read carefully at the time of purchasing one.
Types of Car Insurance Policies:
Third-party Car Insurance:
Third-party car insurance is a type of car insurance policy that covers the policyholder against legal liabilities that arise to a third party in case of an accident. If you are at fault in an accident and injuries are caused to a third party, or if their property is damaged, you will be covered by your third-party car insurance policy. Third-party liability is compulsory under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 for those who purchase, own, or drive a motor vehicle in India.
Comprehensive Car Insurance:
If you wish to get the best kind of coverage for your vehicle, a comprehensive car insurance policy is what you need. As the term suggests, the policy offers comprehensive protection. In comparison with third-party liability car insurance, a comprehensive car insurance policy not only covers the costs incurred on loss or damages to a third party’s property, but also covers damages to your own vehicle in case of an accident. It also offers a range of extensive services that cannot be availed through a third-party liability car insurance policy.
A comprehensive car insurance policy will cover damages caused by fire, vandalism, theft, severe weather, and natural disasters. It also covers damages to your car caused by falling objects like the branches of trees.
Benefits of Purchasing
Third-party Car Insurance
Comprehensive Car Insurance
Car Insurance Claim Process:
Car insurance is mandatory in India and is among the most commonly bought insurance products. The reason for an increasing number of people purchasing car insurance is the rising population which has a higher disposable income, thereby resulting in a higher number of cars on Indian roads. However, there are times where policyholders have no clue regarding the car insurance claim process. Here is a step-by-step guide to go about filing your car insurance claims:
|In Case of Damages to Your Own Vehicle||In Case of Damages to Third-Party Claims||In Case of Stolen Vehicles|
|As soon as you meet with an accident or notice damages to your vehicle, you will have to call the insurance company and intimate them about the damage. You will also have to furnish a duly filled-in claim form in addition to the necessary documents required by the insurer. The forms can be downloaded from the website of your insurance company.||In case you receive a legal notice from a third party, claiming reimbursements for damages caused by you, you will have to inform your insurer about the same. It is essential to speak to your insurer before communicating with the third party or making any out-of-court settlements or financial commitments to them.||If your car is stolen you will have to lodge an FIR by filing your complaint at the nearest police station. A copy of the FIR must be submitted to the insurance company.|
|A surveyor will be sent by the insurance company to assess the damages sustained by your vehicle. A report will be prepared by the surveyor and passed on to the insurance company. A copy will also be sent to you.||A copy of the legal notice must be sent to your insurance company.||After the final police report is sent to you, a copy must be taken and sent to your insurance company. An investigator will be assigned by the insurance company with whom you will have to cooperate.|
|In case of severe damages that require immediate repairs, the surveyor will arrive at the location of the accident as soon as possible, and your car can be sent for repairs after the surveyor has sent his report to the insurer.||Copies of the FIR, your driving license, and the RC book of your vehicle must be submitted to the insurance company.||Once your claim has been approved by the insurance company, the RC book of the stolen vehicle will have to be sent to your insurer. The owner’s name will be changed to the name of the insurance company.|
|Following the completion of repairs to your vehicle, the duly signed forms and documents must be taken from the garage and given to the surveyor who will send them to the insurer.||The documents will then be assessed by the insurance company and the details of the accident will be assessed and if they are satisfactory, the insurance company will appoint a lawyer for your case.||The duplicate keys of the vehicle will then have to be submitted to the insurance company along with a letter of subrogation. A notarised indemnity on a stamp paper must also be submitted to the insurance company.|
|If the documents and the claim are approved by the insurance company, your bills will be reimbursed by the company.||In case the court says that you will have to cover the damages caused to the third party, the insurer will make the payment to the third party.||Following the completion of the formalities, the claim amount will be disbursed by the insurance company.|
Traffic rules that exist in India have been implemented to safeguard the lives of people commuting via different modes of transport that include cars as well. As a responsible car owner/driver, it is of utmost importance that you know all the traffic rules that exist in the country.
Documents and Details Required for Filing Car Insurance Claims:
The following are the details/documents you will be required to send to your insurer when making a claim:
- Name of the insured individual
- Policy number
- Contact number
- Date and time of the accident
- Number of the vehicle
- Make and model of the car
- Location and extent of loss
- Name of the garage along with contact information
- Brief description of the accident
- Proof of insurance – cover note or policy copy
- Registration book copy and original tax receipt
- Driving license copy along with the original (of the individual driving the car at the time of the accident)
- FIR or police panchanama (for bodily injuries or death or damage to third party and/or his/her property)
- Estimate of the cost of repair
- Payment receipts and repair bills following the completion of repairs
- Original policy document or certificate
- Registration book along with theft endorsement from the concerned Regional Transport Office plus tax payment receipt
- Details of the insurance policy, such as policy number, period of insurance, and the insurance company
- All sets of service booklets, keys, and warranty cards
- FIR or police panchanama along with JMFC report or final investigation report
- Acknowledged copy of letter addressed to the Regional Transport Office intimating theft
Benefits of Comparing Motor Insurance Online
With the number of car insurers higher than ever, it is important the different motor insurance policies and choosing the one that best suits your needs and convenience. Some of the benefits of comparing car insurance policies have been listed below:
Different insurance companies will be offering different coverage and premium rates. This is the main reason you should compare car insurance policies. Compare the insurance quotes prov >
Top Five Car Insurance Companies in India:
If you wish to purchase a new car, you must also look at car insurance. It is essential to pick a reputed company in order to have a hassle-free experience when making claims. The following are the top five car insurance companies in India:
New India Car Insurance
- New India Assurance Co. Ltd. currently operates in 28 countries and is headquartered in Mumbai.
- Cashless claim settlement option is available in all cashless garages across the country.
- New India Motor Insurance has an incurred claim ratio of 79.68%.
- The net earned premium of New India Motor Insurance stands at Rs.9,074.26 crore.
- New India Assurance offers both own-damage and third-party liability cover.
United India Car Insurance
- United India Insurance Company was first set up as a company in 1938.
- There is an option for direct cashless settlement of claims in network garages across the country.
- United India Car Insurance has an Incurred Claim Ratio of 91.72%.
- Rs.5,748.32 crore is the amount of premium earned by United India Motor Insurance.
- Offers coverage for own-damage, third-party liability, and personal accident cover.
National Car Insurance
- National Insurance Company is the oldest general insurance company in India.
- Can get vehicles repaired using cashless claim settlement facility available in all network garages across India.
- National Car Insurance has an Incurred Claim Ratio of 121.67%.
- National Car Insurance earned a net premium of Rs.5,008.23 crore.
- Liability–only cover and package covers are the covers provided under this insurance policy.
ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
- ICICI Lombard is one of the leading private sector insurance company in the country.
- Cashless Claim Settlement option is available in more than 3,400 network garages available in different parts of India.
- The Incurred Claim Ratio of ICICI Lombard stands at 77.44%
- The Net Earned Premium of ICICI Lombard is Rs.4,142,19 crore.
- Offers covers like Zero Depreciation, Roadside Assistance, and Accident Cover.
Oriental Car Insurance
- Oriental Insurance Company was incorporated in 1947 and all the shares of the company now belong to the Central Government.
- Network garages can be used to avail cashless claim settlements across the country.
- Oriental Car Insurance has an Incurred Claim Ratio of 68.19%
- Oriental Car Insurance has a Net Earned Premium of Rs.4,000.26 crore.
“Based on IRDA Annual Report 2017-18 on Net Earned Premium”
Points to Keep in Mind When Purchasing Four Wheeler Insurance:
You will have to compare a number of plans to find the one that best suits your four wheeler insurance needs. You will have to consider various parameters such as the cost of premium, the claim settlement ratio of the company, the coverage provided, additional benefits, etc.
You must go through the policy document to understand who is covered, how much coverage is provided, What are the exclusions, inclusions and etc.
Not only will it protect you and your vehicle, but will also take care of the claims made by third parties for damages caused to their body or vehicle.
Experts say that you must evaluate your insurance plan on an annual basis to know if you have adequate coverage or you need more.
The benefits of purchasing this cover is that it provides global coverage and covers all legal expenses. It is also customisable based on the needs of the individual.
By going for this option, the cost of repairs during accidents will be shared between you and the insurer, thus meaning that you will have to pay a lower premium amount.
The package may not be the best suited to your insurance needs and neither would it be the least expensive option.
The Insured Declared Value of your vehicle is the maximum amount that can be claimed under your car insurance plan.
It is important to note that coverage is not offered for some vehicle parts under a regular car insurance policy. Engine parts or other mechanical parts may not be covered after they are modified.
When you purchase a car insurance policy, the customer support offered by the company is crucial to ensure that you don’t have any hassles in the future.
How the Installation of Anti-Theft Devices can Affect Car Insurance Premiums
Car thefts in India have been increasing with the rise in the number of new vehicles, therefore making it essential to ensure that your car is protected at all times. One of the easiest ways to do so is through the installation of anti-theft devices. Not only will these devices increase your vehicle’s security, but will also reduce your insurance premium. Here are the 10 best anti-theft devices that can lower your car insurance premiums:
- Steering wheel locks: While professional thieves have the ability to cut the steering wheel before slipping the lock off and driving away with your vehicle, amateur thieves can be strongly deterred by steering wheel locks. These locks essentially lock the steering wheel, making it difficult for most car thieves to steal your car.
- Ignition kill switches: These devices are among the cheapest and most effective ways to keep car thieves at bay. The installation of an ignition kill switch in a remote location in your car will ensure that your car does not start, thereby ensuring its safety against car thieves.
- Flashboard locks: These locks are designed in a manner such that the gas pedal and brakes of your car are disabled. Their working mechanism is fairly simple and similar to that of steering wheel locks. They are also relatively cheap to purchase and install and still effective when it comes to thwarting car thieves.
- Armoured collars: Armoured collars are basically contraptions that are wrapped around the steering column of your vehicle to prevent the hot-wiring of your car by car thieves. By installing this device, you will secure the wiring in your vehicle’s steering column, thereby preventing thieves from driving away with your car. While some armoured columns are permanent, others work on an electronic mechanism that requires continuous activation.
- Gearshift locks: These devices are quite inexpensive but very effective when it comes to keeping thieves away. They can be used with automatic as well as standard transmissions but can be a bit difficult to install. They are essentially mechanisms that prevent thieves from changing gears, which makes it very difficult for them to drive your vehicle too far without attracting attention on the streets.
- Window etching: Having your Vehicle Identification Number imprinted on your window screen will make your car easily identifiable and traceable, thereby deterring car thieves from stealing your vehicle.
- Hood locks: It is very easy to install hood locks and keep thieves from gaining any sort of access to your starter, security system, or battery, thereby increasing the security of your vehicle.
- Audio alarms: Audio alarms can be a bit annoying when they go off, but they are necessary to ensure you are aware when an intruder touches your vehicle. Thieves are known to be put off by these devices, and they are also quite cheap to install, but effective to increase the security of your car.
- Vehicle tracking system: Vehicle tracking systems work in a similar manner to GPS systems. In case your car gets stolen, the system will alert the police about the location of the vehicle so that it is recovered quickly.
- Tire locks: Tire locks are usually used by parking monitors to clamp vehicles that are parked illegally. Although they are quite bulky and somewhat expensive to purchase, the very sight of them is bound to put off a car thief.
Factors That Affect Your Car Insurance Premium
The following are the factors that affect your car insurance premiums:
- Policy type: When you purchase a car insurance policy, you can either go for a comprehensive plan or a third-party plan. The Motor Vehicles Act has made it mandatory for all car owners to purchase third-party car insurance as it protects any damage to property, injuries to bodies, or accidental death of third parties such as pedestrians, passengers, or owners of another vehicle as a result of an accident in which your vehicle is involved.
Comprehensive policies, on the other hand, cover damages to your vehicle as well as third parties. Since a comprehensive car insurance plan offers greater coverage, the premium payment associated with it is higher in comparison with third party policies.
- Make and model of your car: The “make” of a vehicle refers to the manufacturer from whom the car is purchased, while the “model” refers to one of the various cars manufactured by the same manufacturer. Each model can have different “variants” too. For instance, the make of a car can be Maruti Suzuki, and the model can be the Dzire LXI. A variant can be Maruti Suzuki Dzire LXI or Maruti Suzuki Dzire VXI. The premium for each variant can be different even if they were made by the same manufacturer.
- Fuel type: The kind of fuel you use to run your vehicle also affects car insurance premiums. Premium payments are different for diesel, petrol, and CNG variants. For instance, third-party premiums for CNG are Rs.60 + taxes more in comparison with the petrol variant. The premiums for a comprehensive policy, on the other hand, will depend on where the CNG kit is placed – externally or internally. Different insurers charge different premiums for different variants.
- Registration area: The Regional Transport Office (RTO) where your car is registered will have an impact on the premium. Insurance premiums in India are segregated depending upon the location in which the vehicle is registered. They are categorised as Zone A and Zone B. Zone A has cities such as Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Pune, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, and Hyderabad. All the other towns and cities fall under Zone B. The premium will vary based on the location where your vehicle was registered. If your car was registered in Zone A, your premiums may be slightly higher.
- Cubic capacity of your vehicle’s engine: The cubic capacity of the engine of your vehicle will determine the premium applicable to your car insurance policy. The higher the capacity of your car’s engine, the higher your premiums.
- Age of your vehicle: The age of your vehicle will also play a role in determining your car insurance premium. As the years go by, your vehicle ages and its Insured Declared Value reduces due to depreciation. Insurance companies offer a lower Insured Declared Value for aged vehicles, and therefore the premiums for such cars is lower. Brand new vehicles, on the other hand, have a higher Insured Declared Value, and the premiums for these vehicles are therefore higher.
- Age of the policyholder: Some of the insurance companies offer discounts to those who are of a certain age. For example, you can get a discount on your premium if you are an experienced driver who is between 35 and 45 years of age.
- Occupation of the policyholder: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India offers discounts to people in certain professions, such as teachers, military personnel, government employees, chartered accountants, etc. In order to avail these discounts, you will have to submit an original copy of the supporting documents when you purchase the policy.
- Driving history: Additional discounts on your premiums can be availed if no claims are lodged over the course of the policy period. Such discounts can be availed under the No Claim Bonus. Since this option is cumulative, the discounts you will be eligible for will be higher with each passing claim-free year. You will not be eligible for this discount if you lodge a claim during the previous year.
- Driving location: If you drive in or are located in an accident prone zone, the premium of your car insurance policy can be higher. Similarly, residing in a metropolitan city or in an area where there is heavy traffic could see the insurance company charge a slightly higher premium.
- Installation of anti-theft devices: The installation of anti-theft devices that are approved by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) can lower your car insurance premiums. The discounts offered on the installation of these devices are usually 2.5% of the premium amount, subject to a maximum of Rs.500.
- Choosing voluntary deductibles: Discounts on your car insurance premium can also be availed by opting for a voluntary deductible. In case you make a claim, you will have to bear a certain amount from your own pocket while the insurer will bear the rest. Opting for a voluntary deductible will lower your premiums as you will also be paying for damages to your vehicle in case of an accident.
How to Renew Your Car Insurance Policy
Thanks to advancements in technology, the internet has made it relatively easy to complete a number of tasks that would otherwise take a long time. Be it paying your utility bills or buying household items, you can do almost anything online. The insurance and banking sector has also taken well to the use of technology, and you can now renew your car insurance policy in a simple and hassle-free manner online. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection.
In this day and age, all major car insurance companies have their own websites where they allow customers to purchase and renew their car insurance policies. You no longer have to visit a branch of the insurance company to have your problems resolved. You can simply visit their website, browse and compare policies, calculate your premiums, and purchase or renew your plan from the comfort of your home or office.
Here are some important car insurance policy renewal tips:
- The renewal date: Insurance companies tend to send reminders to their customers via email or SMS, letting them know that their car insurance plans are set to expire and prompting them to renew the same. However, it is easy to miss an email or SMS, so it is advised that you keep a track of the date and perhaps set a reminder on your phone to ensure that you remember to renew your policy on time.
- Policy details: Instead of visiting a branch of the insurance company, you can simply visit the website of your insurer, select the ‘Policy Renewal’ link, choose whether you are an ‘Existing Customer’ or a ‘New Customer’ and enter the necessary details to renew your car insurance policy online.
- Follow directions: When you are filling in your policy details, the insurer offers instructions that need to be followed properly. After you fill in your details, the insurance company will require a few seconds after which your information will be processed and you can continue with the next step, which is basically making the payment.
- Payment: Paying for your car insurance policy renewal online is fairly simple. Almost all insurance companies accept debit and credit cards, so all you have to do is enter your payment information and the amount will be debited immediately from your bank account.
- Acknowledgment: After you have made the payment for your car insurance policy renewal online, the insurance company will assess and verify your details after which you will receive an acknowledgment showing that you have paid the amount to renew your car insurance policy.
Driving around without a valid car insurance policy can have legal implications. It means that you are putting it at further risk. In case you meet with an accident when driving around in an uninsured vehicle, you will be held responsible for any damages to third parties whether it is your fault or not. Considering how simple it is to renew your car insurance policy online, all you have to do is remember the date on which your policy is due for renewal and complete the task in a matter of minutes.
If you are not fully satisfied with your current car insurance policy, you can always go for another one when the first one expires. There are several insurers that offer car insurance for affordable prices. Make sure you compare multiple plans for the features and benefits on offer to find the one that best suits your insurance needs.
Factors to Consider when Renewing your Car Insurance Policy
There are a few things that you must keep in mind at the time of renewing your car insurance policy. They are as follows:
- Discount on multiple plans: Most insurance companies offer discounts to customers who purchase multiple insurance policies from them. Keeping this in mind will help lower your premiums.
- Add more co-passengers: When you take a car insurance policy, you will have to add people for the co-passenger cover. Adding more people will help in saving insurance costs for other plans.
- No-Claim Bonus: If your policy is set to expire, remember to consider the no-claim bonus. If you went through the whole of the previous policy year without lodging any claims, you will be eligible for a discount on your premium, provided you had opted for the aforementioned add-on cover.
- Claim settlement ratio: If you have ever met with an accident and made a claim, you will know how your insurance company goes about the claim settlement process. You will even have a good idea about their after-sales service. If you were dissatisfied with the claims process or the after-sales services of your insurer, don’t think twice before changing your insurance company.
- The right coverage: When renewing your car insurance policy, you need to check whether or not you have the right coverage for yourself as well as your car. Make sure that your vehicle’s Insured Declared Value is evaluated before your policy is renewed.
- Offers and discounts: If you wish to make the most of your insurance policy, your premiums must not be too high. You can always consider insurance companies that offer offers and discounts as there are plenty of them out there. For instance, some companies offer benefits such as roadside assistance and cashless garage facility for nominal prices. Choosing such companies will lower your premium amount.
- Safety measures: Before your car insurance policy expires, consider the installation of safety devices such as door lock or window locks as installing these devices will lower your premium when you renew your car insurance policy online.
- Add-on covers: When you renew your car insurance plan, consider going for add-on covers that offer greater coverage. Covers such as medical expense cover and zero depreciation cover will ensure that your vehicle has comprehensive coverage.
You should never be in a situation where your car insurance has expired. It is important to ensure that your policy is renewed before the due date approaches. If you do not renew your car insurance plan on time, you will be faced with risks as well as penalties. For instance, you will not be covered for any damages to your vehicle once its insurance lapses. Even if your car catches fire or gets stolen, you will not receive any financial assistance, thereby making you incur significant losses that could burn a hole in your pockets. In case your policy expires, get in touch with your agent immediately. Also, make sure that you do not use your car when it is not insured as you could easily drive into trouble.