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CAR INSURANCE

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  • What is Car Insurance

    Purchasing car insurance is a little like buying a life jacket before canoeing through the rapids – it’s a small price to pay for security when navigating dangerous waters. And Indian roads are nothing if not dangerous.

    Driving on the road has its own risks even if you follow all rules and regulations and undertake precautions as a driver. To ensure the safety for everyone concerned, the Indian Road Safety Act and Indian Motor Vehicles Act makes it mandatory for all vehicle owners to have insurance before they drive a vehicle on the road.

    Surprisingly, after spending months of research for their car purchase, many car buyers choose car insurance randomly without any research. Since car insurance offers a protective cover against damages and theft, this is like plunging into the rapids with a flimsy life vest.

    With many general insurers offering car insurance with various add-ons and features both online and off-line, choosing the right car insurance can become a slippery slope. Car insurance must be purchased after considering all parameters, not just the premium amount.

    Types of car insurance

    Purchasing car insurance is not about buying off the shelf whichever plan comes with a lower premium. Motor insurance is broadly classified into two distinct categories. A policy must be taken after understanding the features of both categories to ensure an effective cover.

    Third party insurance: Third party insurance is an accident insurance cover that offers protection to any third party that may get affected in the event of a motor accident. Essentially, third party insurance covers any bodily harm or injury caused to a third party, including damage to a person or property.

    Opting for third party insurance is mandatory as per the Indian Road Safety Act and Indian Motor Vehicles Act. Third party policies are part of a comprehensive car insurance policy and are also offered as standalone policies. As it is limited to protection for third parties, a third party insurance plan does not entertain claims for damages caused to your own vehicle or yourself in the event of a road accident.

    The third party premium rate is fixed for vehicles with same engine capacity, and is different for private cars. There are options for adding coverage for all passengers and increasing the sum insured at additional premium payment.

    Third party insurance covers:
    • Any legal liability for any damages caused to a third party including death and bodily injury.
    • Liabilities for damages caused to a third party's property.
    • Accidental death or permanent total disability caused for the owner / driver out of an accident

    Third party insurance excludes:
    • Any damage for car is not covered under a third party policy.

    Comprehensive car insurance: Comprehensive car insurance, as the name suggests, is a much broader insurance cover that offers protection for self and car along with third party coverage. Additionally, a comprehensive car insurance plan makes you eligible for protection of the vehicle against accidental fires, thefts, or natural calamities. Opting for a comprehensive cover is optional, but the extensive coverage it provides makes it an essential aspect of having insurance cover for your vehicle.

    Though premium rates are standard across India for vehicles of various segments, there will be slight variations in the premium rates across insurers. The higher the vehicle value, higher premium will be. A comprehensive car insurance policy can be customized with several add-ons like cover for accessories, engine, medical expenses, etc

    Comprehensive car insurance covers:
    • Loss or theft of vehicle, any legal liability to third parties, and personal accident cover are all available under comprehensive insurance plan.
    • Deliberate accidental loss or damages due to driving the car under the influence of alcohol or drugs are not covered.
    • Loss of vehicle or damage caused by natural calamities like flood or fire

    Comprehensive car insurance excludes:
    • The maximum claim is limited to the Insured Declared Value (IDV) of your car.
    • Any losses arising out of normal wear and tear, are not covered.
    • Damages caused due to drunken driving or due to driving by a person without valid license is excluded
    • Damage caused by war, mutiny or nuclear risk.
    • Damage to certain parts like tyres, bumper, electrical or mechanical breakdowns will get full coverage only with add ons.

    Having the appropriate insurance plan for your car can make all the difference between safely reaching the shore and getting washed away in the rapids without a life vest.

    What is the need for Car Insurance?

    Driving is a luxury that a vast majority of people do not have. So if you are purchasing a car and becoming a part of the driving population, it is essential to have a car insurance in place as both your social and your financial responsibility. Depending on your car cost, its age, your surrounding areas, and associated risk factors, you can choose between mandatory third party insurance and more detailed comprehensive car insurance. Either way, the need for car insurance is very real, especially with rising car repair costs and increasing cases of road accidents.

    Essential reasons why car insurance is a must-have
    Many car owners often wrongly consider car insurance as an unnecessary expense that they must undertake before they are able to drive their vehicle. Lack of well-trained drivers and non-compliance of road safety rules in most cities and towns translate into increased chances of a sudden accident.

    Slight misjudgments or oversights by even experienced drivers can result in serious accidents on the road. So do not disregard insurance as an unwanted expense.

    Here are five essential reasons why opting for a car insurance is just as important as purchasing the car itself.

    Peace of mind: Getting involved in an accident can mean shelling out large sums of money for any damages you may cause to yourself, your car, any third party, or third party property etc. With car insurance in place, you can rest assured that your financial liabilities (or at least most of them) will be taken care of in case of any untoward incidents. By opting for car insurance, you are getting rid of mental worries and stress that may affect your driving when on the road.

    Cost effective legal compliance: You do not always have to spend high amounts of money for car insurance. If you are on a small budget, opting for third party insurance can at least ensure all your legal liabilities for damages caused to a third party or third party property are duly covered.

    Includes accident cover: A comprehensive car insurance ensures you get not only protection for car damages and third party liabilities, but also a personal accident cover, in the event of an accident. With rising number of road accident cases, having such an accident cover works as a genuine protection tool especially if you are the sole breadwinner in the family.

    Protects against non-collision damages: Car insurance does not mean protection against damages caused by accidents alone. The cost of car repair and non-collision damages can burn a hole in your pocket. With a comprehensive car insurance bundled with selected insurance add-ons, you can optimize your car protection, ensuring minimal costs for any non-collision damages.

    Plenty of insurance options to choose from: Presently, there are multiple insurance companies offering motor insurance, allowing you to choose the best “value for money” insurance policy. You can make use of insurance broker to compare car insurance plans and inclusions to finalize the best policy for your need. With online car insurance, you also have the advantage of lower premium costs as commissions to insurance agents or middlemen are eliminated.

    So, when you buy your car, or when your car insurance expires, make sure to purchase or renew your car insurance policy so that you can drive safe and be protected.

    Key benefits and features of Car insurance

    Although availing third party insurance is mandatory under the Indian Motor Vehicles Act, a comprehensive cover offers multiple benefits to you as a vehicle owner. When you opt for comprehensive car insurance, you not only safeguard yourself against any legal obligations arising out of an accident but also offer protection to your car on account of any theft or damages while being involved in any accident. The level of protection offered depends on the underlying car insurance cover you select, including any additional car insurance add-on benefits you may have opted for.

    Some of the common car insurance features include:
    • Legal cover for any damages to any third party or vehicle while driving.
    • Liabilities cover for any third party deaths or injuries on account of any accident or mishap.
    • Personal accident cover for the driver of the insured vehicle, provided the driver is of a legal age with a valid license and not under the influence of any drugs or alcohol.
    • Protection from any losses or damages to your insured vehicle in the event of any accident or natural disasters like flood
    • Coverage against loss of theft of the insured vehicle

    Other benefits associated with car insurance:
    As the vehicle owner, you have the option of availing a more optimal protection for your car by seeking insurance as per various add-ons offered by car insurers. From no-claim-bonus benefits and zero depreciation cover, to engine and electronic circuit cover and quick road assistance, there are multiple add-ons for you to choose from. You can choose the most suitable add-on as per your risk factors to ensure your car insurance purchase is optimized. Hence by opting for a comprehensive car insurance policy along with most suited add-ons can you can ensure your car is protected against any eventuality.

    With a rise in the number of car insurers, it is always a good idea to compare car insurance plans and premiums from multiple insurers before choosing the most suited one. The rising maintenance and repair costs of automobiles today means that stopping at bare minimum insurance can come back to bite you in the nose in the event of any accidental repairs or a possible theft.

    Driving your car safely by following road safety rules and maintaining optimum car insurance coverage are two essentials that can ensure peace of mind and adequate safety while commuting in your much loved vehicle.

    Why is it necessary to compare car Insurance online

    With an increase in the number of car buyers in India, there has also been a rise in the number of car insurance service providers. Gone are the days when opting for car insurance meant you went by whatever option your insurance agent recommended.

    Today, there are multiple insurers, each offering various insurance cover benefits and add-ons, allowing you to choose the most suitable and budget-friendly one. What’s more, you can also compare the ease or difficulty other insurance policy holders experienced during their claim settlement process to shortlist the best insurer for your needs.

    The advantages of comparing car insurance plans online
    With increasing use of technology, users are constantly comparing technical specifications, prices, ratings, and YouTube review videos when it comes to purchase of items like smartphones or home furniture. Interestingly, when it comes to car insurance, many policy buyers still take the word of car dealers or agents.

    Comparing insurance quotes online can give an insight into the various protections being offered by each insurer along with an active price comparison. If you are too busy to check out car insurance quotes for each insurer, opting for insurance broker gives a single interface where you can seek multiple quotes from various car insurers.

    Comparisons of cost benefits: Since online car insurance automatically means you are bypassing insurance agents, the rates on offer are quite lucrative compared to offline insurance plans. This cost advantage in itself is a prime motivation to compare insurance quotes online before opting for the right plan.

    Advantage of user reviews: When you compare car insurance online, you are not only comparing rates but also getting an insight into user reviews of fellow insurance policyholders. This feedback can help you choose the most customer friendly insurer while addressing your price sensitivity and protection needs for your vehicle.

    Detailed analysis for a smart choice: An online car insurance comparison can make it easy for you to choose from among hundreds of car insurance plans available in the market. Ideally, a good motor insurance policy is one that offers a healthy balance between protection on offer and the premium price including insurance add-ons. With online comparison between multiple insurance policy offerings, you increase your chances of opting for the optimum motor insurance plan that is cost effective and offers adequate protection for your car.

    With online insurance marketplaces, comparing car insurance quotes has become as easy as ordering at a drive-through, without having to check with each insurer individually. As a result, online insurance comparison can help you pick the right plan at the right premium cost.
    What are the best online Car Insurance plans?
    Buying car insurance online not only offers ease and convenience but can also mean exclusive offerings. Many insurers today have exclusive car insurance plans for their online customers, providing one more reason for buying car insurance online.

    If you are planning to buy car insurance, buying online can open up a world of benefits. An insurance broker can be your go-to tool to make a proactive comparison between various online car insurance plans and choose the most suitable one.

    Here are some of the most popular and widely acclaimed online car insurance plans offered by various popular insurers.

    1: Bajaj Allianz Car Insurance: Bajaj Allianz Car Insurance offers third party covers up to Rs. 7.5 Lakhs with 400+ cashless network garages. The insurer has an incurred claim ratio of 72.07% (for the year 2015-2016) and offers basic cover with best value, standard, and flexible Plans. Bajaj Allianz has also been one of the first to introduce mobile app to minimize time for claim settlement. Website: https://general.bajajallianz.com/

    2: Bharti Axa Car Insurance: Bharti Axa Car Insurance offers third party property damage with a maximum cover of Rs. 7.5 Lakhs for private cars. Capital sum insured limited to maximum of Rs. 1 Lakh per person is offered. The insurer offers cashless claim service over authorized network of 2500+ garages across India. Bharti Axa Car Insurance has an incurred claim ratio of 91.49% for the year 2015-16.

    3: Reliance Car Insurance: Reliance Car Insurance covers the policyholder against any accident while driving. The policy offers an additional third party cover of up to Rs. 10 Lakhs and 100% of capital sum insured of 5 Lakhs. Cashless claim service is available at over 3800+ authorized network of garages across India. Website: https://www.reliancegeneral.co.in/

    4: Royal Sundaram Car Insurance: Royal Sundaram Car Insurance is another popular online car insurance plan offering legal protection for death or injury claims from third parties. You can opt for voluntary deductible of Rs. 15,000 and get 35% discount on Own Damage Premium subject to a maximum of Rs. 2,500. Cashless claim service can be availed from over 3300+ authorized network of garages across India. The insurer has an incurred claim ratio of 82.78% for the year 2015-16. Website: https://www.royalsundaram.in/

    5: National Car insurance: If looking for car insurance plans from government-backed general insurance companies, a popular car insurance plan is the one offered by National Car insurance. The insurance plan comes with increased protection to the occupants against legal liability from property damage of third party up to a limit of Rs 7.5 Lakhs. The policy also offers direct cashless claim settlement in network garages across India. The policy covers Own Damage to the Insured vehicle caused by accident, fire, self ignition, and lightning, but excludes any damage to tyres. Website: https://nationalinsuranceindia.nic.co.in/

    6: Tata AIG Car Insurance: Tata AIG Car Insurance Policy offers a third party cover of up to Rs. 7.5 Lakhs with over 2,000 cashless network garages pan India. The insurer has an incurred claim ratio of 83.74% for the year 2015-16, making it a popular online car insurance plan. Website: http://www.tataaigmotorinsurance.in/

    7: Universal Sompo car insurance: Universal Sompo car insurance is one of the recent entrants on the car insurance scene but is gaining traction in the online car insurance market. As a joint venture between three banks, an FMCG company, and Japan-based Sompo Japan Insurance Inc, Universal Sompo car insurance offers coverage for own damage as well as third party damages. The policy covers loss or damage to the vehicle insured arising out of accidental external factors, landslides, or rockslides, making it popular with car owners and drivers in high altitude or high risk areas. Website: http://www.universalsompo.com/

    8: Future Generali Car Insurance: Future Generali car insurance has over 1000+ network of cashless garages across India making it easy to seek cashless claims. Future Generali car insurance policy offers third party coverage of up to Rs 7.5 Lakhs along with a personal accident cover of Rs. 50 Lakhs. Website: https://general.futuregenerali.in/

    9: HDFC ERGO Car Insurance: HDFC ERGO car insurance plan offers third party coverage of up to Rs. 7.5 Lakhs. HDFC ERGO has a network garage of 3400+ garages across India. Along with the basic cover offering protection for own damages and third party damages, HDFC ERGO car insurance also offers a depreciation cover, road side assistance, emergency assistance add-ons amid others. Website: https://www.hdfcergo.com/

    10: IFFCO Tokio Car Insurance: IFFCO Tokio motor insurance policy offers a third party protective cover of up to Rs. 7.5 Lakhs along with a personal accident cover of up to Rs. 2 Lakhs for individual owner-cum-driver. With a cashless network garage number exceeding 2700 pan India and a incurred claim ratio of 76.09% for 2015-16, IFFCO Tokio motor insurance is one of the popular online car insurance plans. Website: https://www.iffcotokio.co.in/

    While you can either buy car insurance online or through the offline mode, make sure, you do buy it as the law mandates it.
    Difference between Comprehensive and Liability only covers
    If the first thing that comes to your mind when purchasing a car insurance policy is that all insurance plans are the same, think again. The different policy types and the increasing number of insurers may make car insurance purchase seem like a tedious process.

    Fundamentally, car insurance is broadly classified into two types: third party insurance and comprehensive insurance. Third party insurance is also known as a ‘liability only’ cover since it offers protection only against legal cover for third party or property damages. On the other hand, a comprehensive cover offers a more holistic cover, including protection against repair damages and theft, as well as a personal accident insurance cover for the driver.

    ‘Liability only’ car insurance
    ‘Liability only’ car insurance or third party insurance is mandatory as per the Indian Motor Vehicles Act. ‘Liability only’ covers offer protection against any legal liability for damages caused to a third party or third party's property in the event of an accident.

    Benefits

    • Liability covers are cost effective, making them pocket friendly for all types of insurance needs.
    • Liability covers save you the mental anxiety when dealing with any third party losses during a traumatic situation.
    • Liability covers are easily available online 24/7, making them easy to seek at your convenience.

    Limitations

    • Any liabilities sustained outside the specified geographical area are excluded in ‘liability only’ covers.
    • Liability covers do not offer protection if the vehicle at the time of accident was not being driven by the owner or designated driver.
    • Car being used outside the ‘Limitations as to Use’ clause as described in the policy document can result in claim denial.

    Comprehensive car insurance
    Comprehensive car insurance cover offers more extensive protection, including a personal accident cover and damages for the car, along with any third party liabilities. Opting for a comprehensive cover is optional but the extensive coverage it offers makes it an attractive option, especially for new vehicle owners.

    Benefits

    • Any claims due to non-collision incidents cannot be claimed without comprehensive car insurance.
    • Offers protection including other than collision coverage like theft or damages sustained due to severe weather or natural disaster.

    Limitations

    • A comprehensive cover is expensive compared to liability only cover as it offers protection for a wide variety of damages.
    • Age of the vehicle and depreciation in value tend to drive up insurance premium costs.

    ‘Liability only’ covers versus comprehensive cover
    ‘Liability only’ covers and comprehensive covers differ on the level of protection offered as well as the policy costs. Choosing between the two should depend on the following parameters.

    • Value of the vehicle: For a new vehicle, the cost of repair can be high, hence opting for comprehensive car insurance is preferable. An older vehicle may mean easy availability of spares and cost of repairs may not be significantly higher. Hence, opting for a liability cover can be a pocket friendly option.
    • Expense: Liability covers are pocket friendly as also mandatory as per law. Opting for a comprehensive cover is more expensive on account of higher protection. Compare costs and know the exclusions before opting for a comprehensive cover for optimum protection.
    • Coverage: Some protection in a comprehensive cover may be offered only when opted for a specific add-on. Insurance add-ons can increase premium costs hence selection must be done carefully.

    Whether you choose a ‘liability only’ or a comprehensive car insurance policy, opting for protective cover is not only a smart move but also mandated by law. Study the options available in the market, shop online for the best price and features, and purchase a plan best suited for your needs.
    Most effective ways to avoid your claim rejection by Insurers
    If you have purchased insurance for your car to protect against any unforeseen circumstances and are assuming that your obligations end there, nothing can be further from the truth. Even though you have car insurance with all its promised protective features, if you don’t take certain precautions, it could well lead to claim denial. This may leave you financially vulnerable in the event of an emergency.

    The best way to avoid such a situation is to be proactive against possible claim denial reasons and ensure you are not at risk under those circumstances. Here are some simple but effective tips to ensure the possibility of your claim being denied remains minimal, if not zero, allowing you the full protective coverage for your chosen motor insurance plan.

    Inform the insurer on time: For an effective claim, insurers need to be informed of any damages or theft with immediate effect. Insurers have 24*7 helpline numbers to make sure they are always accessible to receive such information. For example, when your car is involved in an accident, if you get your car repaired on your own and then inform the insurance company, your claim is very likely to be declined on account of not having informed the insurer in a timely manner.

    Ensure timely premium payments: You can seek a car insurance claim only when your motor insurance policy is active. Make sure to renew your car insurance policy well before the policy expiry date to ensure continued protection. Even a one-day gap between insurance periods can leave you vulnerable to claim denial.

    Keep an eye on your driving license expiry date: No matter which car insurance you choose, a basic requirement for any claim is a valid driving license at the time of accident or theft. If you are found driving without a valid driving license or with an expired driving license, your claim is most likely to be declined.

    Don’t go for a change of use for your vehicle: A car insurance policy clearly mentions the type of vehicle usage on offer. A majority of car insurance plans are for private cars. In such cases, if you are found using the vehicle for commercial purposes, your claim will not be entertained.

    Do not be careless with consequential damages: Being overly ambitious with your driving, especially in monsoon season or in water-logged areas, can result in claim denial. Cranking the engine in a water-logged car or leaving your car unattended on purpose leading to a possible theft are examples of consequential damages that may result in insurers rejecting your claim.

    Do’s and don’ts for avoiding claim rejection
    Here are some dos and don’ts to ensure your car insurance claim denial remains a remote possibility.

    • Do not exceed limitation of use. For example, using a private car for commercial purpose can lead to claim denial.
    • Ensure your driving license is valid at all times.
    • Never drink and drive as any case of drug abuse or drunk driving are strong reasons for denying insurance claims.
    • Avoid installing any unregistered CNG or LPG kit in your car without registering the same with the insurer or RTO.
    • Ensure you inform the insurer as soon as possible in case of any accident or theft.
    • Never provide any false information at the time of seeking car insurance or claim.
    • Follow the steps mentioned by your insurer's customer care department for filling claim application as per the specifics of your case.
    • Damages due to negligence by owner-driver can lead to claim denial.
    • Always renew your car insurance before the expiry date.
    • Avoid parking the car in a ‘no parking’ zone (for theft claims) or allowing higher number of passengers than specified (for accident claims).

    While buying insurance is mandatory and also a good practice, ensuring you take certain precautions while claiming against your insurance policy also is equally important.
    Most effective ways to reduce the premium of car insurance
    Insurance premiums are getting expensive making it necessary to hunt for ‘the best insurance at the lowest premium’. But cheap insurances are not always the best. But there are some smart ways with which you can reduce your car insurance premium? Here are some tips:

    Compare and buy: Comparing the policy premiums being charged by different companies is a good practice.With most of the companies offering online quotes and instantly issuing policies online, it’s always better to search for options. One must not go for a policy with least benefits but rather choose the best option with all the benefits attached.

    Voluntary deductions are helpful: If you are a careful driver and are sure that you will not be damaging your car due to reckless driving, it is always better to opt for voluntary payment of part of your premium. Companies offer you a discount on your premium and the effective premium cost comes down if you opt for voluntary deductions.

    Avoid small claims: If you are claiming all small amounts, it leads to losing No Claim Bonus. If your claim amount is very low, it better not to take the claim. If you have a year with no claims the rebate on premium can be 20% of your premium amount. So compare the amount you will be saving on premium and the amount you need to pay to know which is better. It is always wise to get small repairs done at a local garage and preserve your NCB.

    Transfer your no claim bonus: It a misconception that if one sells their car or changes the insurer, then the NCB accrued over the years also is gone. If you are selling your car, or changing insurer, then ask for NCB certificate from your insurer. This can be transferred to your new insurance policy even if it is for a different vehicle. This certificate is valid for 3 years, so you use it as and when a new car is bought, helping you to get good rebates on the premium amount.

    Correct IDV: IDV (Insured Declared Value) is the maximum amount that you get in case of a theft or total loss of the vehicle. The important point is to declare the correct IDV. If you declare higher IDV, the premium goes up but if you declare lower you may not get the right amount in case of loss.

    Membership in associations: If you are a member of certain association like Automobile Association of India and Western India Automobile Association then this could get you a discount. The reason behind this is that the members are considered safe drivers and are given discounts on the premium.

    Don’t let the policy lapse: If a policy lapses the entire process of getting insurance is repeated again and one also stand to lose their NCB if it is lapsed beyond 90 days. So it’s important to renew the policy before time.

    Choose only necessary add-ons: Insurance policies today comes in varieties to meet all risks associated with driving. Companies promote add-ons in a way that it looks like a necessity for every car owner. But make your judgment and buy only what is really required. Add-ons increase your premium amount.

    Following these simple points can make your premium much more affordable and your policy comprehensive.
    What if one does not claim car insurance for the entire tenure?
    If your car is damaged, you are entitled to reimburse the expenses incurred for repair if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy. But what if you don’t make any claims during a policy year? It is true that you will not get the premium amount back and many people think that the amount spent on comprehensive car insurance is a waste.

    What are the benefits if you do not make any claim during a policy period? As a policy holder, if you are not making any claims, the company will reward you with a No Claim Bonus, which will help you to bring down your premium.

    So, What is No Claim Bonus?
    No Claim Bonus is a premium rebate enjoyed by vehicle owners who haven’t made any claim during a policy year. This discount goes up every year as if no claim has been made in subsequent years. A new policyholder gets 20% rebate on the own discount part of the insurance premium at the time of first renewal if no claim has been made in the first year. If no claims has been made during the subsequent years, this rebate goes up every year renewals and the maximum rebate applicable under this is 50% .

    The below table explains the NCB % one can avail after every claim free year:
    Year NCB
    For the first claim free year 20 %
    For two consecutive claim free years 25%
    For three consecutive claim free years 35%
    For four consecutive claim free years 45%
    For five consecutive claim free years 50%

    The NCB does not increase after five years and even if you do not make any claim for the rest of the years, it remains at a maximum of 50 %.

    NCB is transferable to a new car if you are selling the car and buying a new one. You can also transfer the NCB from one insurer to another. This is because NCB is awarded to the vehicle owner and not to the vehicle. The old insurer will issue an NCB certificate to the new insurer, with which you can avail the benefit.

    NCB Protection

    Even if you had made a claim and worried about losing NCB, insurance companies have a solution for that. Insurance buyers can also protect their NCB by taking NCB protection rider, which is a policy add-on. By paying a nominal amount along with your premium, you can retain the NCB even if you make one or two claims in a year.

    Given all this, a good rule is to make a claim only in the event of loss of a considerable amount. You can avoid filing it in case of minor repairs like a dent on the bumper so that you can save more amounts, which you receive as NCB bonus next time when you renew the policy. 
    What is the right IDV (Insured Declared Value) for my Car?
    A car is one of the most prized possessions for most individuals. Safeguarding one’s much loved vehicle is top priority and a major reason for opting for a comprehensive insurance. But have you ever wondered how the insurer fixes the maximum sum assured for your car?

    This is where the Insured Declared Value (IDV) comes into the picture. Since IDV is also one of the significant factors insurers use to calculate the total sum assured and car insurance premium, knowing the right IDV for your car can prove to be useful.

    Here is everything you need to know about IDV and determining the correct IDV for your vehicle.

    Understanding IDV
    IDV stands for Insured Declared Vehicle, which, in other terms, is the maximum sum assured the car insurance company will offer in the event of a car theft or total loss during an accident. IDV corresponds to the current market value of your vehicle. Hence, just like the value of your car goes down with time, so does the IDV depreciate.

    When seeking a comprehensive car insurance policy, it is important to ensure the IDV of your car remains as close to the actual market value as possible. Decreasing the IDV may result in lower premium but also means a lower coverage for your car. IDV is calculated depending on the manufacturer's listed selling price and is adjusted for depreciation as per the age of the car.

    • IDV is the total sum assured and is fixed at the commencement of each policy tenure.
    • IDV is calculated as per the car manufacturer’s selling price for the brand and model.
    • For older vehicles, depreciation is taken into account to bring IDV at par with current market value of the car.

    IDV calculations
    Insurance regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) offers a calculation chart for depreciation, which is used by insurance companies to arrive at the IDV value for older cars.

    As per IRDA regulations, the maximum declared value for your vehicle can be 95% of its former showroom price. So, for a new car from the time it is bought to 6 months of purchase the maximum IDV is 95% of the ex-showroom price of the car. The IRDA depreciation chart for calculation of IDV is as follows:

    Age of Car Depreciation Percentage to calculate IDV
    Age less than 6 months 5%
    6 months to 1 year 15%
    1-2 years 20%
    2-3 years 30%
    3-4 years 40%
    4-5 years 50%

    For cars older than 5 years the final IDV is calculated based on a mutual consent between the insurer and the car owner.

    Some tips to ensure the right IDV for your car
    Here are some tips to ensure you seek car insurance after knowing the IDV of your car.

    • Since the own damage component in a comprehensive insurance plan is calculated as a percentage of IDV, a lower disclosed IDV may lead to a lower premium and lower coverage.
    • A higher IDV does not mean a higher coverage as the increased sum assured is also paid out in the event of a total loss or theft.
    • Get an IDV that is as close to the current market value of your car as possible.
    • IDV decreases with the age of the vehicle, so there is no point in disclosing a higher IDV for an old car.
    • If accident claims are higher than IDV, you will have to spend from your own pocket.
    • IDV is linked to the final car insurance premium, so higher the disclosed IDV, higher is the premium.

    What are the best Offline Car Insurance Plans?
    Car insurance is one of the few financial products that are mandated by law. A majority of car buyers prefer buying car insurance online due to various benefits and increased ease of buying. Sometimes, the same car insurance plan by the same insurer may come with an added feature or benefit when purchased online compared to an offline purchase.

    However, offline insurance plans are also just as easily available. Importantly, they do not face the stigma of security concerns like online insurance purchase does. So if you are reluctant to buy car insurance online and are more comfortable with the offline mode, here are some popular car insurance plans you can buy offline (and online).

    1: SBI Car Insurance: SBI car insurance is a popular choice available for both online and offline buyers. SBI car insurance comes with personal accident coverage of Rs. 2 Lakhs and a network of over 1500 cashless garages to choose from pan India. The insurance plan covers an additional legal liability towards a paid driver and employee along with third party and property liabilities.

    2: Shriram Car Insurance: Shriram car insurance offers both third party and comprehensive cover for car insurance seekers. With an incurred claim ratio of 70.91%, Shriram car insurance offers a personal accident cover of Rs. 2 Lakhs. The car owner can choose from a wide range of 2000+ associated networked cashless garages across India. The insurer offers 24*7 claim notifications, allowing a customer to file claims at any hour of the day.

    3: Future Generali Car Insurance: Future Generali car insurance offers third party coverage of up to Rs 7.5 Lakhs along with a personal accident cover of Rs. 50 Lakhs. From its commencement of operations from September 2007, Future Generali has become one of the popular car insurers offering both online and offline insurance. The insurer has over 1000+ network of cashless garages across India, making it easy to seek cashless claims.

    4: HDFC ERGO Car Insurance: HDFC ERGO car insurance plan offers third party coverage of up to Rs. 7.5 Lakhs. With a network garage of 3400+ garages pan India, it has one of the largest garage networks, providing easy cashless repair for policy holders. In addition to the basic cover offering protection for own damages and third party damages, HDFC ERGO car insurance also offers a depreciation cover, road side assistance, and emergency assistance add-ons among others.

    5: Cholamandalam Car Insurance: Cholamandalam or Chola MS General Insurance Co offers premium coverage of up to Rs.7.5 Lakhs for damages to another person’s property. The policy offers benefit to avail a personal accident cover for both for the owner of the vehicle as well as the driver. In case of the latter, a 100% claim is available in case of death or permanent disability.

    6: United India Car Insurance: As a well known public sector general insurance company, United India car insurance continues to be one of the most popular insurance plans for offline buyers. The policy provides third party property damage of up to Rs. 7.5 Lakhs along with a personal accident cover for the owner-driver for a specified sum insured. With a discount of 5% on the Own Damage premium and direct cashless claim settlement in network garages across India, United India car insurance offers many value added benefits and add-ons.

    7: Oriental Car Insurance: Another popular offline car insurer having more than 30 regional offices and 1800+ branches all over India is the Oriental Car Insurance Company. Oriental car insurance offers both third party and comprehensive cover along with option of various add-ons like zero depreciation cover, loss of personal effects and belongings, alternative car benefit, and free emergency services from TVS. The insurer offers an additional benefit by allowing use of an alternative vehicle for a limited period of time of 5, 10, or 15 days with per day limit.

    Choose your offline car insurance from any of these insurance providers and secure yourself against untoward incidents while driving.
    What is the difference between cashless claim and reimbursement?
    The car insurance market is a buyer’s market today, with insurance seekers facing a deluge of offers and benefits from insurers. One such benefit is cashless claims (as opposed to reimbursements), which is often not understood in its entirety by many buyers.

    An insurer is as good as the number of successful claims processed. By offering cashless garage networks, car insurers are making a conscious effort to ensure the claims process is made speedy and convenient for their policyholders.

    So, should you be choosing an insurance policy based on the number of cashless networked garages provided by the insurer or is opting for a reimbursement claim policies a better option? We unravel the difference between cashless claims and reimbursement claims.

    Understanding cashless claims
    Cashless claims, as the name suggests, corresponds to “no cash transactions” during repair or when pressing any claim. As a car insurance policy holder, you can avail car repair services at any of the networked garages stipulated by the insurer. The insurance company settles the bill with the corresponding garage, eliminating the need for the claimant to pay any money upfront and then seek reimbursement.

    Cashless claims work best when you are hoping to go in for a simple or a scheduled repair instead of an emergency situation where it may not be always possible to seek services of a networked garage.

    Advantages and disadvantages of cashless claims
    If you opt for a car insurance policy allowing cashless claim, the insurer pays for the repair expenses except for those incurred on parts or accessories not covered under the insurance policy. Any excess beyond what is paid by the insurer must be paid by the policyholder.

    The biggest advantage of opting for a cashless claim policy is that it reduces the worry of forking out funds upfront and then seeking claims. The surveyor can take the car to the nearest affiliated garage and commence the vehicle restoration process without delay.

    Insurance companies ensure all networked garages have a good number of experienced technicians, thereby ensuring quality repair service. On the downside, cashless garage claims require multiple approvals from the surveyor with additional paper work or delayed reparations.

    • Reduces financial worry of the car owner by not paying money upfront
    • Quality of networked garage is more reliable compared to non-networked garages leading to better repair work
    • Involves various formalities before the final “go ahead”
    • Networked garages may be expensive, leading to high costs for policyholder as part of his share
    • A networked garage may not be located close to the policyholder’s home, leading to difficulty or delay in repair

    Understanding reimbursement claims
    A reimbursement claim is the traditional way of seeking a claim from the car insurance company. In the event of any repair, you can take the car to any of your preferred garages and get the car repaired post inspection by the surveyor. The original bill must be paid upfront by you and then forwarded to the claims manager or surveyor for subsequent claims.
    Advantages and disadvantages of reimbursement claims
    Reimbursement claims have their own benefits but also come with some disadvantages like the need to submit all original bills and payment receipts to the insurer before seeking any claims. Some of the main advantages and disadvantages of reimbursement claims include:

    • Policy holder can select the garage and mechanic of his choice for undertaking repair work
    • All bills and payment receipts to be paid upfront and then filed for a subsequent claim with the insurance company
    • You can negotiate the repair cost with your preferred garage, making it more cost-effective compared to a networked garage with fixed cost in cashless claims
    • Risk of fraudulent or overbilled claimed by the TPA (Third Party Agent) on behalf of the owner

    Study the benefits and disadvantages of both cashless and reimbursement modes of claiming against your car insurance policy and select that which suits your needs. Cashless claims (or reimbursements, for that matter) may not suit all insurance policyholders.
    What are Add-on or Optional covers in Car Insurance
    When it comes to purchasing car insurance, what constitutes “optimum protection” can be subjective based on the nature of the emergency. Having a life jacket when travelling in a plane may safeguard you if crash landing in water, but for all round protection, a parachute may also be essential for emerging in one piece in case of a disaster.

    The need for non-collision protection in your car insurance policy can be more real than you think. Many vehicle owners often overlook the exclusions or finite protection offered by a comprehensive insurance plan. To make car insurance policy adequate in protecting against virtually all risk factors, insurers give car owners the options to choose from various car insurance add-ons.

    Popular car insurance add-ons
    Increasing inflation and the rising costs of car maintenance and repair mean that having a comprehensive protection cover saves you both mental agony and financial expenditure. With car insurance add-ons, the protection becomes even more specific as per the selected add-ons, resulting in more savings by paying a nominal premium charge for every such add-on. Depending on the nature of protection one needs, car insures offer various add-ons that the vehicle owner can choose depending on their budget and risk factors.

    Here are some of the popular car insurance add-ons offering all-round protection for specific insurance needs.

    NCB protection cover: ‘No Claim Bonus’ (NCB) is an incentive offered by insurers for not exercising any insurance claims during the period of insurance. There may be times when you need to claim insurance but even a small claim can lead to NCB denial. With NCB protection cover add-on, you can exercise claims up to a specific amount without impacting your NCB. As a result, you can continue to avail premium discounts as per NCB norms, helping you save on insurance premium costs in the long run.

    Engine and electronic circuit cover: Engine failure is usually not included in comprehensive insurance plan. With an engine and electronic circuit add-on cover, you can ensure all costs of such extensive repair are covered by the insurer. Since engine repair is a specialized job and usually expensive, having an engine and electronic circuit repair add-on can result in huge savings should such a situation arise.

    Zero depreciation cover: Many car owners believe an insurance plan ensures all costs are covered. Car insurers make use of depreciation slabs when approving claims. For example, any claim on rubber and plastic parts may mean depreciation going up to as high as 50%. So for every Rs. 100 spent on repair costs, you may get a claim of only Rs. 50 approved. A zero deduction add-on ensures all costs incurred are covered without bringing in the depreciation factor.

    Return to invoice cover: A ‘return to invoice’ add-on will ensure that in the event of a total loss or car theft, you can claim the entire cost of the vehicle without the 5% depreciation charged under a comprehensive insurance plan. Any costs other than showroom price like road tax, logistic charges are also offered for the vehicle owner with a return to invoice add-on in place.

    Quick road assistance cover: A break down at an odd hour or in the outskirts of a city can be unnerving. With quick road assistance add-on in place, you can seek claims for payment for any fuel assistance, cab ride, or accommodation benefits when stranded in a remote destination.

    Key replacement cover: Losing or misplacing a car key is a very real possibility. With advanced keys being used by vehicles including keyless entry, the cost of replacement is very high. A key replacement cover add-on allows you to seek a key replacement without paying for the higher costs, resulting in financial savings.

    Engine and gearbox cover: Any damage to internal parts like gearbox or engine can be financially draining as they require specialized repair. Such damages may occur due to either leakage of lubricating oil or coolant or water retention in the engine. An engine and gearbox cover add-ons offer protection from any such damages ensuring big savings and peace of mind.

    Tyre safeguard cover: Tyre safeguard add-on covers offers service for tyre replacement to tyre change assistance helpful for car owners stuck in a remorse destination. Such an add-on is very helpful for senior citizens as insurance companies provide for a tyre replacement technician to ensure any flat tyre emergency is resolved on priority.

    Hydrostatic Lock Cover: Living in monsoon prone areas can mean heavy rains or possibility of floods. Any water ingression in the engine can cause havoc to the car’s engine. Such engine damage due to rain water or flooding is usually excluded in a comprehensive policy. With a hydrostatic lock cover any damages caused due to such water seepage are covered protecting you from high costs of engine repair.

    While add-on can help in specific situations, not all add-ons are required for all insurance seekers. Identify the situations and needs specific to your vehicle and driving patterns, and opt for only those add-ons that can cover those needs.
    How to calculate your Car insurance premium
    Calculation of car insurance premium can be a highly confusing thing to comprehend, next only to perhaps Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. While car insurance companies have their own calculations to arrive at a final car insurance premium, the calculations are based on various essential parameters depending on the type of vehicle, its age, and the type car insurance.

    Third party insurance cover premium
    Third party insurance premiums are fixed by the insurance regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) depending on the volume or the cubic capacity of your vehicle. The premium rates for third party motor insurance or liability insurance cover for FY 2017-18 are as follows:

    Car Volume TP Insurance rates (Rs.) for FY 2017-18
    Cars less than 1000 CC 2055
    Cars exceeding 1000 CC but not exceeding 1500 CC 2863
    Cars exceeding 1500 CC 7890

    Comprehensive car insurance premium
    Comprehensive car insurance premium is made up of three core components, namely third party insurance cover, own damages cover, and personal accident cover. Own damages cover: The own damage cover is the part of premium that is fixed as per the insured declared value or IDV of your vehicle. The premium for OD cover is calculated as a percentage of IDV as per the age of the vehicle.

    Age of Car Depreciation Percentage to calculate IDV
    Age less than 6 months 5%
    6 months to 1 year 15%
    1 year to 2 years 20%
    2-3 years 30%
    3-4 years 40%
    4-5 years 50%

    Personal accident cover: Since comprehensive car insurance offers a personal accident cover for the driver, it also plays a significant role in determining the final premium of car insurance.

    Major factors impacting car insurance premium
    For a comprehensive car insurance premium calculation, an insurer takes into account various parameters to reach a final value for insurance premium.

    • IDV: IDV or Insured Declared Value is the maximum amount that you can claim under a motor insurance policy. Depreciation percentage to calculate IDV is fixed by the IRDA, as listed in the chart above.
    • Cubic capacity of the vehicle: As listed in the chart released by IRDA, the cubic capacity of the vehicle is directly linked with the premium costs. Premium calculations take into account the cc specifications of the car’s engine as per the three IRDA defined slabs of less than 1000 cc, 1000-1500 cc, and above 1500 cc. The premium calculation for old and new cars remains the same as the cubic capacity remains constant.
    • Age of vehicle: Insurance companies offer lower premium as the insurance cover gets reduced proportionally with the age of the vehicle. For cars older than 5 years, insurance companies decide with the car owners on the cost of the vehicle before offering a final premium amount.
    • Geographical location: IRDA regulations have divided India into 2 zones namely zone A and Zone B depending on the risk faced by motorists. Motorists in Zone A cities have to pay a higher premium than cities in Zone B on account of higher risks perceived. The cities of Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and Pune are in Zone A, while all other cities come under Zone B.
    • NCB: No Claim Bonus plays a role in determining the final premium amount every year. By not claiming insurance for a fixed number of years can result in a NCB discount as high as 50%, thereby reducing premium costs substantially.
    • Add-ons: Depending on the insurance add-ons opted by the car owner, the final premium amount is calculated. Each add-on comes with a specific increment in the annual car insurance premium.
    • Miscellaneous factors: Insurance companies take into account other miscellaneous parameters like use of anti-theft devices being used in the vehicle, membership of certain automobile associations, and even use of CNG/LPG kit to conclude on the final insurance premium amount.

    Car insurance claim procedure
    Having a motor insurance policy is certainly a good practice, but without following the basic protocols you may still run the risk of a claim denial by the insurer. To ensure you are able to seek claims as per your car insurance policy, it is important to know the type of insurance policy you have, including its inclusions and exclusions. Being aware of your insurance policy details can ensure you are filing for claims that have minimal chances of a claim denial.

    Primarily, a car insurance policy comes into effect if you are seeking claims for either third party damages caused by your car or someone else’s car to your property, and any own damages claim for your car including personal accident cover or a theft claim.

    Here is a look at the car insurance claims procedure for all three scenarios to ensure a seamless claim procedure.

    Third party claims
    If you have a third party insurance or are seeking third party claims where your vehicle is involved, filing of claims should be done as per the following mentioned steps.

    • Report the accident to the police and the insurance company immediately.
    • Make use of the toll-free number issued by your insurer to get in touch with them if needed.
    • Inform the insurer about the details of the accident and keep a record of the conversation if possible.
    • File a police FIR for the incident and obtain the charge sheet.
    • Approach a motor claims lawyer and file a case with the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal.
    • The court will examine the evidence and fix liability.

    Own damage claims
    For own damage claims where your vehicle is damaged due to an accident, you will need to have a comprehensive car insurance policy in place for claiming any protective cover.

    • Inform the police and car insurer by calling on their toll-free number and disclosing details of the incident in the event of a collision claim.
    • Do not move your vehicle from the accident spot unless permitted by the police and the insurance company.
    • Once approved, you can move the vehicle to a garage depending on your policy.
    • Move your car to a “In Network” garage in the event of cashless insurance.
    • A surveyor from the insurance company will then inspect your vehicle's damage at the garage and give an approval of damages and possible claims.
    • For claims, you will need to submit all original repair invoices and payment receipt for cashless garage along with other car documents for a successful claim.

    Theft claims
    For a theft claim where your vehicle has been stolen, follow the below mentioned steps for filling a successful claim.

    • Inform the police about the theft and file a police FIR.
    • Inform the insurance company by giving them the details using their toll-free number.
    • Inform the RTO about the theft using a letter addressed to the RTO of your area.
    • The insurer will wait for the police to submit a “non-traceable report” before approving any claims. Seek the non-traceable report and submit it to the insurer along with RTO transfer papers, original car keys, and other documents as listed below.
    • Submit the duly signed claim form by attaching the relevant documents like copy of registration certificate (RC), driving license, policy documents, FIR, and details of intimation to the RTO.
    • If the car was taken on loan, the insurer will reimburse the payout amount to the financing institute or bank.

    Having a car insurance policy is not enough. Know its features, the claim procedure, and take all requisite precaution to ensure a hassle-free insurance claim experience.
    Documents required for Car Insurance claims
    Many car insurance applicants usually look at the Claim Settlement Ratio (CSR) to choose an insurer, but the insurer is not always at fault for every claim denial. Car insurance claims are approved after careful scrutiny by the insurer. Often, car insurance policy holders do not follow the rightful claim procedures or submit the relevant documents to file for an insurance claim. The chances of claim denial increase in such cases where the car insurance policyholder fails to submit the required documents as per their claim type.

    The documents to be submitted depend on the type of claim being exercised by the car insurance policy holder. The list of exact documentation may vary from one insurer to other, hence check with the insurer about documents to be submitted before filling a claim form.

    We outline below the documentation usually required to file a car insurance claim.

    Documents required for third party claims
    If you are seeking claims for a third party insurance for your vehicle, you will need to submit the following documents along with the duly signed claim form with the insurance company.

    • A copy of the police FIR.
    • Copy of the surveyor report in case there is damage to any third party property.
    • Details of any treatment record and the expenses occurred to the injured party.
    • Copy of driving license of the driver.
    • Copy of the Registration Certificate (RC) of the vehicle. The RC copy should be duly stamped in the event the vehicle is registered in the name of a company or enterprise.
    • Other documents as deemed by the Motor Accident Claim Tribunals (MACT).

    Documents required for accident claims
    For accidental insurance claims, the list of documents to be submitted along with the claim form includes:

    • Copy of the insurance policy or cover note of the insurance policy as proof of insurance.
    • Original registration certificate and tax receipts of the vehicle in question for verification.
    • Copy of the driving license of the person driving the vehicle during accident.
    • Copy of the police FIR.
    • An estimate from the repairer for the vehicle repair.
    • Bills of payment along with repair bills after completion of repair.
    • A claims discharge cum satisfaction voucher signed across a revenue stamp in the event the claim is to be paid out to the repairer.

    Documents required for theft claims
    For claims in the event the vehicle is stolen, the list of general documents required to be submitted to the insurer includes:

    • Copy of the insurance policy or cover note of the insurance policy as proof of insurance.
    • Details of all previous insurance including policy number, insuring office or company, and period of insurance.
    • Original registration certificate and tax receipts of the vehicle in question for verification.
    • Original FIR copy of the complete theft report.
    • Copy of the 'non traceable report' given by the police.
    • Details of intimation to the RTO as acknowledged copy of letter addressed to RTO intimating theft and making vehicle 'NON-USE'.
    • A NOC from the financer (if any) if the claim is to be settled in your favor.
    • A claim discharge voucher signed across a revenue stamp.

    In addition to the above documents, an insurer may seek more details and other documentation as per the individual case and insurance company policy.
    Top 10 Car insurance companies
    With a rise in the number of car insurance service providers, motor owners often find it hard to choose the right insurer for their policy. Here is a list of 10 popular car insurance companies offering both ‘liability only’ cover and comprehensive insurance plans for cars and 2 wheelers.

    1: Bharti AXA General Insurance Co. Ltd.: Bharti AXA is an ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 27001:2005 Company, and one of the most popular car insurance companies in the country. The winner of the 'Best Insurance Company in the Private Sector - General' by the World HRD Congress and ‘Global Marketing Excellence Awards – Marketing Campaign of the Year: Motor Campaign’ in 2016, the company is one of the leaders in car insurance market. The company has a network of 2500+ Cashless garages in India with over 9.8 Million policies issued so far. Website: https://www.bharti-axagi.co.in/

    2: ICICI Lombard: As one of the largest private insurance companies in India, ICICI Lombard has one of the highest claims settlement ratios. With over 5600+ partner garages, the insurer has settled almost 1.62 million claims in FY2016 and is the first general insurance company in India to cross Rs. 10,000 crore in premium income. Website:

    https://www.icicilombard.com/

    3: IFCCO TOKIO General Insurance Co. India Ltd.: Offering digitally signed online policy documents and several unique add-ons like vehicle on road assistance, IFCCO TOKIO is one of the popular car insurance companies. Website:

    https://www.iffcotokio.co.in

    4: New India Assurance: Wholly owned by the Government of India, New India Assurance Company is one of the traditional big boys when it comes to motor insurance. The company offers both ‘liability only’ and comprehensive covers. Website:

    http://newindia.co.in

    5: Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd: Government of India-owned Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd is a long-standing and popular car insurance service provider known for its optimum prices and a high claim settlement ratio. Website:

    https://orientalinsurance.org.in/

    6: Tata AIG General Insurance Co. Ltd.: Tata AIG offers car insurance with a host of add-ons including a free car pick up, a direct claim settlement, and a 6-month warranty on repairs. It is no surprise that Tata AIG is a popular car insurer for a host of car owners. Website:

    http://tataaigmotorinsurance.in/

    7: United India Insurance Co Ltd: Another popular name is the world of car insurance and a reliable one being 100% subsidiary of the central government. United India Insurance Co Ltd remains one of the top motor insurance service providers. https://uiic.co.in/home

    8: HDFC ERGO General Insurance Co. Ltd: HDFC ERGO offers both comprehensive insurance and liability only policies including long term policies for 2 wheelers. The company offers Cashless claim service over 3400+ authorized network of garages across India.

    https://www.hdfcergo.com/

    9: Royal Sundaram General Insurance: Royal Sundaram General Insurance has a network of over 3300+ cashless garages across India, offering free road-side assistance kit and 24 X 7 Claims Helpline. It is no surprise that Royal Sundaram General Insurance is one of the popular car insurance companies in India. Website:

    https://www.royalsundaram.in

    10: Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Ltd.: With cashless claim settlement at over 4000 preferred garages, Bajaj Allianz is a well-liked motor insurance provider. What’s more, the company offers a zero depreciation cover that can be opted as an add-on along with a vehicle tracking and monitoring device under DriveSmart Service. Website:

    https://www.bajajallianz.com/

    The above listed car insurance companies are listed randomly and in no particular order. Users can choose the most appropriate one as per their needs by comparing insurance quotes and features online.
    List of Car Insurance companies
    Motor insurance in India is offered by general insurance companies including both private insurers as well as government-owned enterprises. Here is a list of car insurance companies offering both third party and compressive motor insurance along with various add-ons ensuring adequate protection for your vehicle.

    The listed companies are arranged in no particular order and the onus of choosing the right insurance company is on the insurance seeker.

    List of private general insurance companies offering motor insurance:
    • Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Ltd.
    • Bharti AXA General Insurance Co. Ltd.
    • Cholamandalam MS General Insurance
    • Future Generali India Insurance Company Ltd
    • HDFC ERGO General Insurance Co. Ltd
    • ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co Ltd.
    • IFCCO TOKIO General Insurance Co. India Ltd.
    • L&T General Insurance
    • Liberty Videocon General Insurance
    • Magma HDI General Insurance
    • Raheja QBE General Insurance Company Ltd - Raheja QBE
    • Reliance General Insurance
    • Royal Sundaram General Insurance
    • SBI General Insurance Company Ltd
    • Shriram General Insurance Company Ltd
    • Tata AIG General Insurance Co. Ltd.
    • Universal Sompo General Insurance

    List of government-owned general insurance companies in India offering motor insurance
    • New India Assurance Company Ltd
    • Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd
    • The National Insurance Company Limited
    • United India Insurance Co Ltd.

    With no dearth of insurers for car insurance, it can be confusing to choose one insurer over the other. Insurance premium quotes, policy details, and coverage on offer, along with claim settlement ratio should all be compared proactively in order to choose the rightinsurer for your car insurance.
    What are the factors affecting premium of Car Insurance
    A car owner looking for car insurance options often gets varying insurance premium quotes by different insurers. An individual having the same car variant may get a higher or lower premium quote compared to a friend with the same car in a different city. The discrepancy in premium quotes is another reason why it is always a good idea to compare multiple insurance quotes before choosing the most appropriate one.

    If you are wondering why different insurers offer different premium quotes for your motor insurance policy, the reason is because multiple factors affect insurance premium. Here is a look at most significant factors that have a direct correlation with insurance premium.

    Age of the vehicle
    The age of the vehicle is one of the fundamental factors that impact your insurance premium. With a new car, the risk is higher for the insurance company. Hence, the premium charges are generally higher as compared to those for an older car. As the car becomes older, it also depreciates in value thereby reducing the risk of the insurer. As a result, the insurer offers a lower premium for older cars compared to a brand new car.

    For example, for a car that is less than 6 months old, a depreciation of 5% is used to calculate the final declared value of the car. The depreciation increases to 15% for a car older than 6 months but lesser than 1 year, leading to a reduced declared value and the overall risk leading to a lower premium.

    Cubic capacity of the car engine
    The insurance regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) fixes the rates of third party premium for motor insurance as per the cubic capacity of the car. The rates are announced for each financial year, resulting in higher or lower third party premiums. Currently, the third party insurance rates for FY 2017-18 are fixed at Rs. 2055 for cars less than 1000 CC, Rs. 3132 for cars exceeding 1000 CC but not exceeding 1500 CC, and Rs. 8630 for cars exceeding 1500 CC. The higher the cubic capacity of your car's engine, the higher the third party premium for the motor insurance.

    Geographical location
    IRDA has shortlisted two zones across India depending on the associated risk for car drivers. Insurers charge a higher premium if the applicant is from a region that falls under a higher risk category. India is classified into a higher risk Zone A, which has cities of Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and Pune. Residents of these cities need to pay a higher premium on account of higher risk compared to all other cities and towns, which fall in Zone B.

    Insured declared value (IDV) of the vehicle
    The insurance premium is linked with the Insured Declared Value (IDV) of your vehicle. The final IDV of a vehicle takes into account the depreciation values as listed by IRDA's chart. The premium for OD cover is calculated as a percentage of IDV as per the age of the vehicle.

    Age of Car Depreciation Percentage to calculate IDV
    Age less than 6 months 5%
    6 months to 1 year 15%
    1 year to 2 years 20%
    2-3 years 30%
    3-4 years 40%
    4-5 years 50%

    NCB
    Not seeking any claims in previous years makes you eligible for a No Claim Bonus (NCB). Insurers offer NCBs that can go as high as 50%, leading to a lower premium with each subsequent year with no claims.

    Opted insurance add-ons
    Each insurance add-on offers a unique protective component and comes with an additional price for the insurance seeker. Your final car insurance premium will depend on the number of insurance add-ons you opt for as per your needs.

    Other factors
    Insurers take into account various other parameters like usage of anti-theft kits by car owners, membership of any popular auto associations, or usage of LPG/CNG kits to assess their associated risks, which in turn affect the final car insurance premium rates.
    Is it safe to buy Car Insurance online?
    When it comes to buying clothes, electronics, or even ordering food, online shopping has become the name of the game. While buying TVs, mobiles, and furniture online is common today, another product that is gaining traction in the digital world is car insurance.

    Buying insurance online is convenient, cheaper, and quick, but the single most overlooked factor is safety. Old school consumers or buyers not digitally savvy often wonder if it is safe to buy car insurance online as it involves online payments.

    Like any other online transaction, by taking some basic safety precautions you can ensure buying car insurance online is as safe and secure as net-banking or other online financial transactions.

    Safety is paramount for insurers and broker
    Safety is the top priority for all insurance companies selling policies online along with insurance broker. In the digital world, it is hard to brush security concerns under the carpet as repercussions can be massive. Hence, insurance companies make sure their web platforms are extremely secure enabling hack-proof online transactions.

    As a consumer seeking insurance products online, a conscious effort should be made to avoid any phishing attempts and ensure you are using only the official website of the insurer to avoid any security breaches.

    Tips to ensure safe online insurance purchase
    Apart from adopting basic online safe practices, following the below mentioned safety tips can ensure a secure online insurance purchase experience.

    • Buy insurance only from credible websites: A simple search for car insurance products is likely to throw up hundreds of options, if not more. Not all websites are equally credible in terms of safety, so care must be exercised to choose the right website. The two best options are either to opt for an insurer’s own website or make use of any of the credible insurance broker. The latter gives the added advantage of comparison of insurance quotes from multiple insurance companies, leading to better selection.
    • Check SSL certification: No matter which website you shortlist to buy car insurance, ensure the website is SSL-encrypted. Websites having Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security certificate ensures credibility that the website is both legitimate and can encode information safely. A simple way to check whether the website uses SSL encryption is to check the URL of the website. If the URL starts with ‘https’ instead of ‘http’, then the website is SSL encrypted.
    • Avoid public Wi-Fi networks to make financial transactions: When buying online, the internet connection you are using can also be a reason for data theft and thus a security risk. As a best practice, always make sure you use a secure personal Wi-Fi network that you trust while making any online financial transactions. So, public Wi-Fi connections like those offered by your nearest coffee parlor or library are best avoided.
    • Keep a screenshot of the financial transaction page: When making a financial transaction, keep a screenshot of the financial transaction page. If there is any lag between the website and the banking partner, cases of funds debited from the account but not reaching the insurance company can be resolved easily.

    With no broker or agent fee, buying insurance online comes with assured benefits of cost savings. As an insurance buyer, if you choose a credible website, all online financial transactions are executed over an encrypted network, assuring foolproof financial dealings.

    Online car insurance means more number of deals to choose from, easy comparison between various insurance companies, and time savings. Payments for insurance premiums can be made using debit cards, credit cards, or net banking safely managed through secured gateways.
    Myths of Car Insurance
    Car insurance has grown in popularity over the years thanks to growing awareness and options on offer for protective coverage. While a majority of car owners today make sure they opt for a comprehensive cover over and above the mandatory third party insurance, there are still common misconceptions about car insurance at large.

    We bust some of the common myths associated with car insurance so that you can take informed and smart decisions while buying.

    Myth 1: Comprehensive insurance is unnecessary
    While third party insurance is mandatory for all vehicles as per the Indian Motors Act, many insurance seekers mistakenly believe that taking a comprehensive insurance is unnecessary and waste of money.

    The fact is that third party insurance offers protection for legal liabilities for damages incurred to any third party or third party property only. No claim can be filed for any damages to the vehicle or its owner-driver. Third party insurance also cannot help in the event of car theft, hence a comprehensive insurance offers a broader cover, rendering your car insurance plan more protective.

    Myth 2: Only the driver is liable in the event of an accident
    The owner of the car is as much liable for any damages caused to a third person individual or property in the event of a car accident. The legal liabilities do not end with the driver. As a car owner, opting for a comprehensive cover can provide a personal accident cover for both the car owner and the driver.

    Myth 3: Comprehensive insurance covers everything
    A comprehensive insurance is much broader in terms of protection compared to third party insurance. Yet, it has many exclusions. To make sure you are covered effectively as per your needs, read the policy terms and conditions to know about inclusions and exclusions. You can also choose to opt for additional add-ons for a broader coverage as per your perceived risk factors.

    Myth 4: Car color is linked with insurance premium
    Many car owners believe that the color of their car is linked with their insurance premium. Fact is, cubic capacity (CC), the vehicle make, engine type, geographical location, etc are the parameters linked to the insurance premium costs, not the color of the vehicle. So, the next time you hear the notion of a red car being expensive in terms of insurance, know that everything from the make, model, body type, engine size, and age of the vehicle is connected to your car insurance premium, but not the color.

    Myth 5: You have to pay upfront and then seek claims in car insurance
    Unlike in the past, today many car insurers offer cashless repair at their networked garages. Effectively, this means that you only pay for what is not covered under your policy and the rest is paid directly by the insurer to the dealer, without your having to bear any costs.

    Myth 6: Car insurance has nothing to do with your credit score
    Before offering any insurance, insurers do check on the credit score of the individual to ascertain the financial health of the individual. So buying a car insurance policy is not entirely independent of your credit score as many insurance seekers like to believe.

    Myth 7: Getting car insurance is a cumbersome process
    Car insurance can now be bought online with the click of a button. The emergence of various insurance broker now allows you to compare car insurance quotes from multiple insurers at a single platform, pay the premium for the chosen policy online, and ensure protection for your car – all in minutes.

    Myth 8: Transfer of car insurance can result in loss of NCB
    While transferring your car insurance in the event of selling your car, the no claim bonus gets retained with you as an individual and as the policy holder. NCB is not policy-centric but is linked to you as an individual. The car insurance company seeks any additional funds in premium from the new owner to whom you transfer your car insurance while offering you the NCB advantage. As an insurance seeker or policy holder, know your facts and rights. They may come in handy while dealing with your car insurance policy and related processes.
    Important terminologies of Car Insurance
    Buying a car is one the defining moments in life for most consumers. With the easy availability of finance and car manufacturers trying to outdo each other in offering enticing options, millions of cars are being sold in India annually.

    However, every car that gets on to the road has to have insurance. While it's mandatory to have your vehicle insured as per the Motor Vehicles Act, it can get very confusing for insurance buyers as the process and the industry is riddled with jargon and acronyms.

    It’s important to understand various terms used by the insurance agent, broker, or by the insurer so that you can make an informed decision.

    We decode some of the terminology used in the insurance industry.

    First party and third party
    The most frequently used terms in the insurance industry lexicon are ‘first party’ and ‘third party’. It thus becomes important to know the difference between first party and third party insurance.

    It’s mandatory as per law to have at least third party insurance but you can also go for first party option.

    The ‘first party’ means the insured person (you), the ‘second party’ is the insurance company, and the ‘third party’ is any other person.

    In a first party policy, you are compensated for any loss caused by you or the third party to your vehicle, but in a third party policy any damage done by you to the other party (including legal liability) would be compensated by the insurance company and you would get no compensation for damage or loss incurred.

    Legal Liability
    This is the liability that arises out of any loss or damage, whether to life or property, that is incurred by anyone. Since it is legally enforceable, it’s called legal liability. Third party insurance covers such legal liability, hence it is mandated by law to have in place for all vehicles.

    Comprehensive Cover
    As the name suggests, it covers everything under the sun from accidental damage to the vehicle, earthquakes, fire, riots, theft, etc. However, unlike third party insurance, it is optional. If you do go for it, it will cost you more, but its recommended to take this cover since third party insurance is inbuilt in this and is thus offers broader cover.

    Insured Declared Value (IDV)
    In a nutshell, it is the maximum amount you could get in case of a claim. It is decided at the time of commencement of the policy and keeps changing every year as you go for renewal as the value of your vehicle depreciates annually.

    Compulsory Deductions
    The insurance company protects itself against frivolous and frequent claims by making the policyholder shoulder a small part of the damage or loss. Usually, it is less than a few thousand rupees. You stand to get nothing if your claim is below that amount.

    No claim Bonus
    If you have not made any claim in the expiring year on your first party insurance, the insurance company rewards you by giving you a discount on the premium due. The higher the number of claim-free years you have, the higher the discount you get, which can go up to 50% of your premium.

    Voluntary Excess
    If you voluntarily opt to pay a part of your claim if and when such a claim arises, then the insurance company gives you a discount on your premium. It comes in various slabs and you can opt the slab you want.

    Endorsement
    Any change, whether of ownership or any addition of accessories, is done by the way of endorsement in the policy document. An endorsement certificate and modified policy document will be issued by the insurer.

    reak in Insurance (Policy Lapse)
    If one forgets to renew the policy it lapses and no claim would be compensated. To renew the policy the vehicle needs to be inspected again and then the company would accept premium payment. The policy would be in force again.

    Personal Accident Cover
    The insured (vehicle owner) or the driver is covered for loss of life or permanent total disability due to accident while driving the vehicle. The standard personal accident cover offered is upto 2 lakhs, but the coverage can be increased by payment of additional premium. Other passengers could also be covered by taking additional accident cover.

    Add on cover
    One can opt for additional covers and benefits apart from the standard ones offered by the insurance company. Some common options available are depreciation waiver, engine Protection, no claim bonus cover, key replacement cover etc.

    These are the most commonly used insurance terms. Apart from these, there are other specific terminologies, insurance add-on features, and options, most of which are easy to understand if you have these basic terms under your belt.
    Useful Tips to Buy Car Insurance
    Buying car insurance in our country is a car owner’s mandate. It is a precautionary measure against any financial liabilities that might arise from accidents that the insured vehicle might have caused or be an unfortunate part of. While ‘third party insurance’ is compulsory by law, getting a ‘comprehensive insurance’ for your vehicle with suitable add-ons is always advisable.

    Before you wear that research hat of yours, go through the following useful tips that would aid you in buying a great policy for your dream car.

    a) Know your coverage types
    Even if you are buying a single policy for your car, a number of components should be considered as it decides the final cost. Injury liabilities, property damage liabilities, medical expenses along with protection from theft, vandalism, fire, flood, wind and other non-accidental causes will sum up to your cost of buying a comprehensive insurance for your car.

    b) Know your vehicle type
    Depending on the type of four wheeler you own, the insurer will set the policy prices. If you own a high end SUV or a fancy sports car, you will obviously end up paying higher premium. How expensive the vehicle is to repair and service, including accessories, parts and labour costs can also affect the price of your policy.

    c) Owner of the vehicle
    Now these factors are beyond your control, but then one should know that factors like age, gender and driving experience matter a lot while deciding on the insurance premium. So, basically a middle aged man having a riding experience of less than a year might end up paying more premiums as compared to one having more than 2 years of riding experience and aged between 35-40 years.

    d) Raise the deductible
    Your auto insurance premium can be reduced by increasing the deductible component, which is what you end up paying when a claim is made. It is advisable to pay only as much as one can afford, else paying too much defeats the purpose of insurance.

    e) Transfer your bonuses
    In case you don’t make a claim; you will be entitled for a no-claim bonus for every consecutive claim free year. Many of the policyholders are unaware of the fact that auto insurance is linked to the policy buyer and not to the vehicle. The accumulated bonuses can be transferred to the next car you buy, so when you sell your car retain the insurance in your name.

    f) Compare Premiums Online
    Most of the insurers now offer online services, there are online broker too, where you can compare all the available brands and their benefits. Don’t get fooled by free insurances provided by auto firms, they are typically for the first year and cannot be customised to your needs. Buying insurance online also saves time, offers discounts, and avoids nagging salesperson/brokers.

    With so many choices available for car insurance, make an informed decision after indepth research. Be it public company or private company, first be clear on your requirements. Private insurers may come up with value added services like roadside assistance, wider garage network for cashless repairs, towing services etc. Make sure how does it effect your premium. Additionally personal accident cover of passengers and drivers are also available, a good way to secure people who travel with you. Be truthful in your declaration on the proposal form to avoid any future ambiguity while making your claims.

    With many incorrect information in the market and aggressive brokers, it is always recommended to have everything in writing and get it cross checked before zeroing on to a particular policy for your car.
    Is Car Insurance From Govt Insurance Company Better Than Private Insurers?
    There is no way of escaping from insurance, for your car In India, as availing a motor insurance is a must as per the Motor Vehicle Act 1988. And to buy a suitable comprehensive insurance policy for your dream possession, the very basic ambiguity that goes into one’s mind is whether to go for a private insurer or a public insurance company?

    Though the basic concept of car insurance cover remains almost same across a private or a public insurer, their performance in terms of claim settlement, payment options, after sales support and customer care makes the difference. Top of this, every insurer would offer a host of valuable riders on the basic plan to make their offer more effective and attractive to the customer.

    Government owned insurance company as your car insurer
    The state owned insurance companies, which are protecting the vehicles of several Indians, continue to serve the nation in spite of private players’ entry in the auto insurance sector. Insurers like Oriental Insurance Co, New India Assurance Co, United India Insurance Co.

    With the backing of central government, these public sector insurers have a strong financial framework and this account to a huge trust value among its consumers. And with ratings of iAAA from ICRA, they become a strong contender in attracting vehicle owners. In a highly regulated market, their long historic presence and performance speaks volume and has high assurance quotient among policyholders.

    With high claim settlement ratio, faster settlements, valuable add-ons and efficient grievance redressal mechanism – public insurance companies have an edge over the private ones. However, lack of professionalism and failure to act promptly creates a bad patch to these insurers. Their bureaucratic ways handling things also goes against their names.

    Private insurance company as your car insurer
    The private insurers have grown faster in a decade or so with high professionalism and transparency into the system. ICICI Lombard, TATA AIA, HDFC ERGO, Bajaj Allianz are some the few private players which are giving tough competition to the state owned players. The big Indian corporate in joint venture with some of the worlds leading insurance players are able to establish the trust factor among Indian consumers.

    Besides the basic cover, most of these private players focused on value added services like roadside assistance, wider garage network for cashless repairs, free towing services, customer satisfaction, less documentation, claim assistance, unique add-ons and online services.

    With their faster professional services these private players took no time in customer acquisition. In fact they re-defined servicing in the auto insurance sector. Their online availability 24/7 without any brokers nagging for policies makes it a preferred choice.

    However, false promises, incorrect communication lead to enormous mistrust on these private players. Global economic conditions leading to fracture in the joint venture is also seen as a risk among policy holders.

    Be it private or public, all these players are under the tight scrutiny of IRDA. Hence, take your pick after a thorough research and enjoy your dream ride on your prized possession.
    E-Insurance account and its benefits
    How many times have you wondered what is going to happen if you lose the original copy of your car insurance policy? And what do you do if somehow the policy document is damaged?

    These and lot of other hassles arise because the insurance policy is in a physical format and has to be handled with utmost care but now there is solution –e insurance.

    If you have purchased a policy in the in the recent times, you have already opened an e-insurance account. IRDA has made it mandatory for all types of insurance policy to be issued in the digital format and an e-insurance account to be opened with every insurance policy.

    Let look at how that done and what are the benefits.

    E-insurance account: This is where your insurance policy is stored in digital format. This is a single point of reference for all your policies - be it life, health or general. It not only stores your policy all your documents that are required as per KYC norms, but you can also buy an insurance policy from this account.

    Insurance repository is the authorized company certified by IRDA to manage your account. At present there are 5 such entities, these are:

    • NSDL Database Management Limited
    • Central Insurance Repository Limited
    • SHCIL Projects Limited
    • Karvy Insurance Repository Limited
    • CAMS Repository Services Limited

    The process of opening an e-insurance account: The process is simple. You have to downloads the application form or get the same from any of the insurance companies offices. Fill it and attach all the required documents.

    The documents required are:
    • PAN card
    • Adhaar card
    • Date of birth proof
    • recent passport size photograph
    • cancelled cheque
    • Address proof.

    Once you submit these documents within a couple of days, you will get awelcome kit with your id and password, which you can use to login and manage your account.

    Who can open an e-account?
    Anyone can have an e-account or can convert an existing policy into demat form. Any new policy has to be in this account mandatorily.

    Benefits of e-insurance accounts
    • E-insurance is a one stop shop for your entire insurance needs. One can store multiple policies under one account.
    • One does not have to submit their KYC documents every time one buys a policy,your KYC documents would be stored in the e-account and that would be enough.
    • The opening of an account is totally free and your insurance company will pay the repositories for maintaining your records. Therefore, there is no cost burden on you maintain your account.
    • You can manage all your insurance needs like a change of address or change of nominee from this single account. You just need to submit the documents and the company would be notified of the same.
    • It is the safest way to store your policy, as you need not worry about loss or damage anymore.
    • There is a lot of flexibility with an e-insurance account. One can even appoint an authorized representative or nominee who will have the permission to access your account on your behalf.

    As demat of shares and mutual funds has revolutionized the sector, i the same way e-insurance is also set to change the way one has to handle their insurance and it’s a very welcome step.
    Does A Cheaper Premium A Guarantee Of Best Insurance Plan? 
    In this fast-paced life, a car insurance is the best way to keep your financial risk related to your car as minimum as possible. A comprehensive insurance policy takes care of all major aspects that are most vulnerable in case any damage to the car or any accident occurs.

    The insurance market in India is expanding every year. Car insurance is provided by all general insurance companies, including government owned general insurance companies. Over the last few years, the market is getting extremely competitive as the major players in car insurance are trying to expand in every possible way. Every insurance company has been trying to extend facilities of their respective insurance policies and also trying to attract more clients by lowering premiums.

    So, the question obviously arises, does a cheaper premium guarantee the best possible insurance plan? The matter requires a close look.

    What constitutes a good car insurance?
    You need to know, what makes a good car insurance. That is to say, what kind of insurance do you need for your car?

    To lower the risk on the road, you need a complete damage protection as also personal accident protection. Damage may occur to any third-party property. So, it is always feasible to look for the insurance that provides the following risk coverage:

    • Damage to the car
    • Damage to third party property
    • Personal accident coverage for the driver
    • Accident coverage for any third party.

    If your insurance provides all these coverages, then you are absolutely protected. Now, every comprehensive insurance policy provides these risk coverages, so if you are in search of a cheap comprehensive car insurance, you can compare the features within these aspects before finally selecting the cheapest of them.

    Add-ons increase the premium
    Some add-ons are really attractive, but many are not. So, if you are really interested about add-ons, then select the ones which are really beneficial for your car and lifestyle. Add-ons like nil depreciation, electronic circuit cover, assistance on theroad, are quite attractive and useful. But, if you don’t use your car for a long time each day or generally don’t go on any long journey with it, then road assistance, electronics circuit cover, engine damage cover, etc. are not so effective. Add-ons increase premium to some extent while selecting them to compare the add-ons of different companies.

    Tips to keep the car insurance expense cheaper
    You need to renew your insurance every year. So, compare the premiums of at least five companies while choosing one. You can do it online on insurance marketplaces. The benefits of insurance coverage go on increasing as your insurance get older. You can avail discounts for no claim in the second and consequent years. So, the selection of the insurance coverage on the first year is very important. Some insurance companies provide some other types of discounts if the car possesses some added features like anti-theft device attached to the car or motorized seat belts.

    So, you can have a wide opportunity to select the cheapest premium which provides the best insurance plan. Understanding the insurance plans and intelligent selection is vital.
    What Are The Exclusions In A Car Insurance Policy?
    t is quite exciting to purchase a new car with your family. It is a known fact that the future is uncertain and any kind of unexpected incident can occur at any time. Any such unwanted incident may lead to a lump sum financial loss, which can be fully or partially recompensed with the help of a good car insurance policy. A comprehensive car insurance policy includes the risk coverage for the car against multiple types of damage, personal accident coverage for the driver or owner of the car, and third-party coverage.

    Exclusions under a comprehensive car insurance policy
    Car insurance policy has become a mandatory part of any car running within the Indian territory. That is to say, you cannot drive a car if you don’t have insured it. Every car owner or the driver now knows the primary benefits of car insurance, but many of them are not aware of the exclusion under the policy. But if you are not aware of it, it may come as a surprise at the time of a claim.

    Here are the basic exclusions in a car insurance policy:
    • The damage or accident to the car or any damage to the third party occurred out the geographic region of the country doesn’t come under the purview of any comprehensive car insurance.
    • If damage to the car or accident thereof occurred for any activity that is not usual for the owner or the car, it is excluded from a normal car insurance. For example, if the car for general use is used for car racing and any accident occurred, then the insurance company will not pay any claim.
    • The car is driven by anyone other than the driver or owner and he or she faces an accident, the claim thereof is excluded. The definition of thedriver is normally clearly mentioned in the policy paper. For example, somebody is driving with no driving license, you can’t claim for any kinds of own-damage or third-party damage.
    • Any kinds of electrical or mechanical issues, depreciation, or normal wear and tear do not come under the purview of car insurance policy.
    • Damage or accident to the car due to foreign invasion, mutiny, nuclear war, radiation, civil war, etc are not covered under the car insurance in India.
    • Any kinds of deliberate accident are also excluded in car insurance. A deliberate car accident is one, which was known to the owner before the accident.
    • A consequential loss, which is not uncertain but due to a deliberate act may be knowingly or unknowingly, doesn’t come under the purview of the car insurance policy. For example, leakage in the oil tanker of the car due to rubbing against a speed breaker or damage to the engine due to hydrostatic loss when the car is started in a water-logged area is a consequential loss.

    Car insurance is a great option for you to protect your old or new car from different types of damage or unforeseeable accident. A car owner should have a complete knowledge on all basic exclusion points to avoid such types of issues for which he will not be able to claim for the damage.
    Dos and Don’ts While Buying Car Insurance Online
    The internet revolution today have changed the way make key financial decisions. In the bygone days, a good old insurance advisor would visit your home to advise and fill in your policy form. Then the bank that offered you car loan, or the dealership from which you bought the car, all these are still there to offer you a car insurance policy. But today many people prefer DIY in the online route.

    All leading insurance companies have their presence online, issuing instant policies making things swifter and convenient for you. However, no one might have told you about the do’s and don’t while buying policies online, which is why here we list the important among them:

    1.Do ensure your policy covers all your needs: Most people buy an instant policy offered online and keep renewing it year after year without reading too much into it. But it could mean that your policy doesn't cover your current needs. You need to review your policy with the current value of the vehicle, to make sure you get maximum coverage.

    2.Do ensure you get the best rate: Compare the plans offered by different insurance companies online before you say ‘Yes’ to an insurer. Also, if you haven't made a claim during a policy year, you are entitled for a No Claim Bonus which will help in reducing your premium amount. Make sure you transfer your No Claim Bonus to the new company, if changing insurer after one year.

    3.Search more on the insurance company: Choosing an insurance policy is not a decision based on the premium amount only. Before you buy a policy, do a bit of a background check on the company, their network with garages and their Claim Settlement Ratio (CSR) in the previous years. Talk to your friends, family, or read opinions about the company online.

    4.Don’t say yes to all add-ons: Apart from the standard insurance cover, there are several add-on plans available these days to attract buyers. Choose only what you really need. It is very tempting to buy a couple of them, as each of them are offering additional cover in certain specific likely situations. But it is a fact that you may not actually use most of them. So never buy add-ons without proper self review.

    5.Don't forget to get quotes from different companies: You may think its consuming but you should never buy insurance without comparing the premium rates of different companies. This way you can compare the specification of what each one has to offer along with the prices. Online insurance marketplaces are for your help here, making it very easy.

    6.Don’t shop on untrusted sites: There may be sites duplicating bank or insurance sites and many unauthorized third party sites selling insurance. Make sure that you shop on trusted third party sites and official sites of banks. Never follow some ad links and blindly make purchases giving your sensitive information.
    Penalties you need to pay if your car is not insured or your insurance has expired
    Every year thousands of people die on the road and as per estimates, and there are many uninsured vehicles on the roads which result in a lot of agony and pain for both the victims of accidents and the vehicle owners. The reason is noncompliance of the law or plain careless attitude of the consumer for taking insurance or renewing their policies on time.

    When one buys car insurance policy, it needs to be remembered that unlike life insurance, it is an annual contract between the insured and the insurance company which lapses if it is not renewed. All the benefits associated with the policy also cease to be applicable if the policy lapses.

    Is insurance mandatory?
    When a policy is bought it clearly specifies the date and time from which is valid and till when the policy is in force.So it very important that it is renewed, otherwise the insured is exposed to a lot of liability legal as well as financial, in thecase of an accident or damage. If an unfortunate incident is happening in between the gap between a lapsed policy and the renewed policy, even if it is an hour two, you are not eligible for claiming compensation.

    What is policy lapse in car insurance?
    Car insurance is valid for a year. For example if a policy is taken on the 1st day of January, its validity starts from 1.00am of Jan 1st till 12am of December 31st of the same year. Renewal application and premium payment needs to be made at least a week before the expiry date. There could be several reasons why the policy lapses, and in some cases the insurance can be cancelled due to various reasons like:

    • Non-payment of premium or bounce of premium cheque
    • Late payment of premium
    • Serious traffic violations and accident history
    • Registration of vehicle expires
    • Two policies live during the same period

    Let’s look at the liabilities one may incur in case the policy has not been renewed or is in lapsed state.

    Legal liabilities in case of a lapsed policy
    As per the Motor Vehicle Act, a comprehensive insurance is mandatory for new vehicles and third-party policy is mandatory for all vehicles. The vehicle could be impounded and also the court may impose a prison term of up to 3 months, if this is violated. Also, your license and registration may be revoked.

    Moreover, if there is a loss of life of a third party, or damage to third party property caused by your vehicle, you are legally liable to pay the financial losses incurred by them / claimed by them out of your pocket. So in case, the policy has lapsed and some serious accident occurs you are in for a lot of trouble.

    Financial penalties in case of a lapsed policy
    If the vehicle has been damaged or stolen and policy is in lapsed state, then all the repair and loss has to be borne by you. As per section 197 of the Motor Vehicle Act, a fine of Rs.1000 and an imprisonment of 3 months can be imposed.

    The government of India has proposed a new the Road Transport and Safety Bill 2014 which will replace the Motor Vehicle Act.This bill has proposed steep penalties for driving without insurance

    • Two-wheelers:Rs.10,000 
    • Light Motor Vehicle & Three wheelers:Rs.25,000
    • Other Categories of Motor Vehicles:Rs.75,000

    Non-renewal of the policy has other ramifications also when one wants to renew it.If it’s a third party insurance the process is easy and one can renew it by just paying the premium. However, in thecase of an own damage (first party) policy, the vehicle would be inspected physically before renewal, and if there are any issues then the premium amount can go up or worse insurance could be declined.

    If the policy is lapsed beyond 90 days, it will also cancel the No Claim Bonus rebate that one gets on the policy which could also mean that one ends up paying a higher premium. If the policy has been canceled due to excessive traffic violations, then the cost of renewal can go up substantially or worse the company may refuse to renew your policy. In that case, you have to look for a new insurer and be paying a higher premium.

    Ensuring timely renewal of insurance policy is not just a legal or financial necessity, but also a social responsibility one has if one wants to drive the vehicle safe on the road. So don’t forget to renew your policy on time.
    What is a cover note in car insurance? Is it a valid insurance document?
    Have you booked your new car? As per Motor Vehicle Act’s mandate, the insurance for your automobile must also be shortlisted by now, if not bought. And if within a couple of days you are going to buy that car insurance policy, either online or offline; then get yourself acquainted with some basics.

    Generally from the time you would pay the car insurance premium, till the time you get the original certificate from the insurance company, you might end up waiting for a minimum of 15 days to a maximum of 30 days. And this is the period when your insurer is obliged to issue a Cover Note on approval of your insurance policy.

    What is a Cover Note?
    A Cover Note is a temporary document and an interim receipt issued by the insurer. This is sent whilst the insurance company’s underwriter completes the paperwork or looks closely and scrutinise the risks of issuing an insurance policy. It is often known as an Interim Protection Note and should contain the same terms and conditions as that of the future policy to be issued in favour of the policyholder. This is a commercial practice on temporary basis and might vary with a period of 15 – 30 days.

    Insurance companies generally empower their agents to grant cover notes, after satisfying themselves about the acceptability of the proposal, which remains valid for a short period of 15 – 30 days. Section 145 (b) of Motor Vehicle Act, clearly defines certificate of insurance which also includes a cover note complying with prescribed requirements, and hence it is a valid legal document.

    As per Section 147 (4) of Motor Vehicle Act 1988 – Insurance Company is strictly liable if a policy is not issued to a car owner within the specified time mentioned in the Cover Note. Any claim arising during this short period has to be compensated by the insurer according to the T&Cs of the cover note. Please make sure that the Cover Note is duly stamped and signed, without which it is inadmissible as an evidence – this is as per section 35 of Indian Stamp Act 1899.

    What should you do when you get a Cover Note?
    Once you get the cover note, it is recommended that you verify the flowing details.
    • Make and registration number of your car
    • Engine and chassis number of your four wheeler
    • Engine capacity and seating capacity of your car
    • Insured declared value of your vehicle, as well as the accessories involved (car audio, CNG kit etc)

    What happens next?
    Shortly after issuing a cover note, the insurer should forward your permanent documents in form of certificate of insurance, a schedule and/or policy document and a policy booklet. In case the cover note expires and permanent documents are yet to be issued, then insurer should send an extension of cover note – take a note of all the start and expiry dates carefully. Call the insurance company and intimate them about the delay.

    Cover note is a temporary substitute for a policy document. You are eligible to lodge a claim if your cover note is valid and the company is liable to pay you the claim amount all the facilities provided other terms and conditions are satisfied.
    What is break in renewal policy?
    In our country it’s an offence to drive an uninsured vehicle. Knowing the same, no one would want to risk shelling out money from their pocket – if their car meets even a minor accident, or a traffic police stops them for routine check up.

    Hence, it is always better to keep a tab on your vehicle insurance and know in advance when it about to lapse is. Before completion of one year of your policy, make sure it is renewed before the expiration date.

    At the time of availing an insurance, you must have noticed that the policy clearly stating the date of commencement and end date. Generally the insurance cover gets applicable from the midnight, so you need to make a note of the expiration date and renew it timely. On account of missing the deadline even by a single day, your policy will have a break – which means you have to buy a policy afresh and that could come with higher premium or even face a rejection.

    There are two vital components in a comprehensive car insurance policy –

    (a)Third party liability cover
    (b)Own damage cover

    For Third Party Liability Cover
    This is a cover in the policy that insures damages to life or property of a third party due to your vehicle. This is compulsory to have, without which you are not entitled to take your car on the road. This cover is not impacted much by a break in the policy renewal, as being a mandatory cover with fixed premium; the insurer will offer you the cover even after a break. But not to forget, that any claims made during the time your car is without insurance, will not be entertained by the insurance company.

    For Own Damage Cover
    This is a tedious process. In case of a break in the policy, the insurance company will have a thorough inspection of your vehicle along with photographs. These all are documented to check for any per-existing damages to the vehicle, which the insurer will not cover going forward. However, on total loss like theft, the insurer will pay the entire sum insured.

    Under this cover, insurer also reserves the right to revoke no-claim bonus or offer you a lower bonus if the policy is lapsed beyond 90 days. A no-claim bonus is the one where a discount is provided on your premiums for each consecutive year where no claims are made. Hence, on renewal of policy each year, the insurer offers you a discount in tune to 50% of the premium on the premium. So, eventually you end up paying higher premium in case no-claim bonus is denied. And above all, if your car has too many damages, then the insurer can opt for refusing to insure altogether.

    Buying a break-in policy is not that difficult, but if the period is more than 90 days, then it is a tedious process and loss in some benefits. One has to also carry forward compulsory deductibles.

    With so many disadvantages for a break-in, it is always better to keep in mind the expiry date of your car insurance and keep enjoying the smooth drive behind the wheel.
    Can I pay premium for more than 1 year at one go? (Car Insurance)
    Multiyear long term insurance plans are one of the new significant and popular norms in the vehicle insurance industry. While currently multiyear insurance policy is only available for two-wheelers and not for cars and other four-wheelers, insurance regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is considering various proposals to extend the facility for motor insurance in the near future.

    Motors Vehicle Act makes all car owners to mandatorily seek third party insurance for their vehicle before driving them on Indian roads. The third party insurance rates for cars are fixed by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India annually. With long term insurance plans, such an annual revision of third party insurance premiums will not apply to vehicle owners hence IRDAI is looking to find a suitable option to ensure long term insurance plans are beneficial for both insurers and vehicle owners.

    The long term insurance policies when introduced are likely to be offered only for private cars and not for vehicles being used as commercial vehicles. The reason behind this is the fact that commercial vehicles have a higher claim percentage compared to private cars. So with a long term policy where the premium for the insurance policy gets locked for a long term of three year tenure, it may lead to monetary losses for the insurers at large.

    Long term insurance for cars: Everything you need to know
    • Currently car insurance is available for policy tenure of one year only.
    • The 3rd party insurance premium is revised every year as per IRDAI guidelines.
    • IRDAI is considering a proposal for introduction of long term insurance for private cars.
    • Commercial vehicles are unlikely to be a part of any such long term insurance plan as and when introduced.
    • As of now long term insurance policies are available only for two–wheelers with policy tenure of up to three years.
    • Long term insurance offers ease of continued protection and increase the number of comprehensively insured vehicles on the roads.
    • IRDAI may come out with both 3 year as well as 5 year insurance plans for private cars but there is no definite time period for any such offering.
    • IRDAI guidelines will ensure long term policies are beneficial to both the car owners as well as the insurance company involved.

    What are the post sales services after buying car insurance?
    Buying a car insurance policy is not easy as there are so many insurance providers looking to get your attention with attractive packages and discounts. You need to be aware of few things before you buy a car insurance policy. First and foremost, there are two types of car insurance policy – Liability Only and Comprehensive insurance plan.

    Liability Only plan gives you coverage against risks or damages to life, injury or property to third party only and is not settled by the insurance company, but a third party pool. It is mandatory to buy this plan under the Motor Vehicles Act. Comprehensive plan offers additional protection against damages to the car or the owner besides the third party. Insurance companies only sell third party policies, but there are no after sales service involved in it except reminder for policy renewals.

    Once you have zeroed in on which plan you want to buy, you need to compare a few features of the various policies provided by different insurance providers. You need to compare the Insured Declared Value offered by the insurer, coverage options, quotes, available riders and claim settlement practice.

    But that’s not enough. In some cases, you also need to look at the post-sale services offered after buying the car insurance policy. If an insurance company is providing after-sales services on a car insurance, it makes the policy worth it as you get additional benefits that would help you in future.

    So, what are the post sales services after buying a car insurance?
    Roadside Assistance: It’s natural for a machine to break down and you need to tow it to the nearest garage for repairs. A new machine won’t give you any such problems initially. But depending on its use and wear and tear, it may break down at times. In those situations, you might need help. Roadside Assistance is one such feature that provides you with car towing and breakdown services. And few insurance companies provide it free of cost.

    Cashless facility: Thanks to demonetisation, most of the transactions are being done electronically. The dependence on cash has been reduced. Besides, ATMs are running dry most of the times. Hence, a cashless facility is a must after-sale service to look forward to when buying a car insurance. Some insurance providers give cashless facility to over 3000-plus garages. This exempts you from the burden of any cash transaction and then looking to get the bills reimbursed.

    Easy renewal policy online: You have done all the hard work of getting a car insurance. But you would not like to run the second time to get your insurance renewed. So, before buying the car insurance for the first time, just check with the provider whether they provide an easy renewal system online that can happen at the click of a mouse.

    Support: Most insurance providers will rub their hands off after selling the policy to you. But buying a car insurance is just the first step towards a safer journey and claiming damages if anything happens. But how will you go about it? Check if the insurance provider has a good customer support system. Some insurance providers give 24*7 customer support, online or telephonic. They will also provide you instant claims assistance and SMS updates and 24*7 spot assistance as well. This will help you fall back on someone if you need any help.
    What if garage near you doesn’t fall in the network list of your Insurer while making a claim?
    A common denominator with almost every general insurance company offering motor insurance is their expanding network of cashless networked garages. A visit to any insurer’s website will have extensive details on the number of such affiliated cashless garages pan India. With growing popularity of cashless motor insurance, the higher the number of such garages, the better it is for the policy holder and insurer alike.

    However, what if you opt for a cashless car insurance policy and your car breaks down with no such networked garage in sight? A sudden emergency or technical fault far away from any networked garage may leave you vulnerable.

    Here is a look your options to preempt or confront such a scenario.

    Opt for the insurer with widest networked garage reach
    The many advantages of cashless insurance, including no upfront payment hassles and the consequent wait for a claim approval, means that cashless insurance should not be given up on just because of networked garage non-availability. The best option is to compare the number of cashless networked garages affiliated with each insurer at the time of seeking car insurance policy. Today, many insurers have search options on their website and mobile apps giving exact details of the number of cashless networked garages in proximity. Choose the insurer offering you a cashless garage near your home or the locations you normally travel to.

    Check if your insurer offers the option of reimbursement claim
    Many car insurance policies allow the policyholders the dual benefits of availing both cashless and reimbursement claims. If your policy allows for such an option, you can get the car repaired at any garage of your choice, pay the bill, and then claim from the insurer. This option is not available with all insurers, hence check with your insurance company about the possibility of reimbursement claim should you fail to find a cashless garage nearby.

    Opt for Roadside Assistance add-on
    Another good option is to opt for a roadside assistance add-on, which would mean you do not have to worry about being stranded in any area far away from the networked garage. All you need to do is inform the insurer who will arrange for your transport as well as for your vehicle to reach the nearest cashless garage. On the downside, opting for a roadside assistance add-on is likely to increase your premium costs.

    Avoid cashless insurance if you trust your car with only select service engineers
    If you have a very expensive car, and are not comfortable trusting any and all service engineers and want you car to be repaired by a specific engineer, opting for a reimbursement policy is a better option. While cashless car insurance has been growing in popularity, there is still a case for seeking reimbursement policy should you be not very comfortable with cashless insurance.

    Tips if no garage nearby are in the networked list
    Here are some tips to help you if you find no networked garage offering cashless insurance near you:

    • Check the nearby networked garage using your insurer’s website, mobile app, or customer care number. The nearest cashless garage can offer a tow-in facility if not very far.
    • Check if your insurer offers reimbursement claims. If yes, you can get the car repaired from a nearby garage and file claims as per your policy.
    • As per your on-road assistance add-on facility, opt for road assistance by calling the customer care helpline of your insurer to ensure you and car can reach the nearest cashless garage with ease.

    IS PUC (Pollution Under control) check mandate for Car Insurance? What are the penalties if one don’t have this?
    Pollution caused by vehicle smoke is a huge concern and the effects of the same is clearly demonstrated by what has happened to the city of New Delhi due to pollution.Ultimately the Supreme Court had to take drastic actions to control the same. The government on its part has made it mandatory for every vehicle on the road to comply with the laid down pollution norms but it up to the citizens of the country to follow them.

    Every vehicle owner should be aware that there are certain documents that you need to carry with you while driving.Though everybody knows that having a valid driving license is mandatory, there are two other documents which are mandatory- a valid insurance and a PUC certificate.

    What is PUC?
    PUC stands for Pollution Under Control, it’s a certification issued by a competent authority which certifies that the vehicle is following the pollution control requirements mandated by the law.

    Is PUC mandatory?
    Undergoing a PUC test and obtaining a valid certificate is mandatory for all vehicles as per the Central Motor Vehicle Rule, 1989. Any competent authority can demand the same anytime one is on the road.

    Validity and Issuance
    All new vehicles are issued a PUC certificate which is valid for 1 year and all the other vehicles are also issued PUC after they undergo a test which is also valid for one year. Subsequent tests are to be done at 6 months periods and valid PUC has to be obtained.

    Cost for PUC test
    The cost of the test is minimal.It ranges from Rs.60 to Rs.100 for different types of vehicles.

    Information on PUC certificate
    The information mentioned on the PU Ccertificate is

    • The serial number of the certificate
    • The license plate number of the vehicle tested
    • The date of test
    • The date of expiry of the Certificate
    • The test readings

    Where is the test conducted?
    It can be conducted anywhere by an authorized testing center or even at petrol pumps which have such a center. Nowadays PUC testing center are mobile and you can conduct the test on any highway where such centers are there.

    PUC Test procedure
    For diesel vehicles, the accelerator is fully pressed and the readings of pollution levels are observed an average of five readings is considered as the final reading.

    For petrol vehicles, the car is kept idling without pressing the accelerator and only one reading is enough.

    Penalties
    If the vehicle does not meet the required norms the registration number of the same is informed to the RTO, Deputy RTO or assistant RTO within one day.

    A vehicle found without carrying a valid PUC certificate will be fined with a fine of Rs.1000 as per Section 190(2) of the Motor Vehicles Act as a first-time offense. Subsequent violations would be fined at Rs.2000.

    A competent authority if deems that the vehicle is polluting the environment, then the certificate is canceled and a new one has to be obtained within a week. Failing which, the owner would be prosecuted under Section 190(2) of the Motor Vehicles Act.

    So not only is it a requirement by law, but also one’s duty as a citizen to keep the pollution level under control.
    Car Insurance statistics in Indian Economy
    The growing financial income of the average Indian, the easy availability of car loans and improving awareness towards seeking a comprehensive car insurance has meant that motor insurance is today one of the well performing sectors.

    The numbers of new motor insurance policies issued along with the premium underwritten have both witnessed a steady rise as a result. As per IRDAI figures, the premium underwritten in the non life insurance business witnessed an increase from Rs. 42549.48 Crores for public sector insurers in 2014-15 to Rs. 47691 Crores in 2015-16.

    Another independent report by industry body ASSOCHAM reveals that the gross direct premium earned by general insurance companies from motor vehicle insurance in the own damage category is likely to reach Rs. 38,200 crore mark by the end of 2017.

    The number of new policies issued by various non life insurance companies also witnessed an increase in 2015-16 in the published IRDAI report compared to 2014-15 figures. Public sector non life insurance companies issued a total of 8414 Lakh insurance policies in 2015-16 while the private sector insurer issued 2389 Lakh policies. The numbers are up from 8207 Lakhs policies issued by public sector insurer in 2014-15 and 2200 Lakhs by private players in the same time frame.

    Car Insurance figures and numbers at a glance
    • Premium Underwritten (Rs in Crores) for public sector non life insurance companies in India stood at 47691 Croros in 2015-16.
    • Premium Underwritten (Rs in Crores) for private non life insurance companies in India stood at 39694 Crores in 2015-16.
    • Public sector non life insurance companies issues 8414 Lakhs policies in 2015-16
    • Private sector non life insurance companies issues 2389 Lakhs policies in 2015-16
    • Percentage of grievances reported versus grievances resolved during the year 2015-16 for public sector companies was at 99.49%.
    • Percentage of grievances reported versus grievances resolved during the year 2015-16 for private sector companies was at 101.65%.

    The rising number of road accident deaths, the growing inflation leading to expensive repair costs and optimum protection offered by various add-on covers has all been contributing factors to a rise in the number of car owners opting for a comprehensive insurance.

    The possibility of a long term insurance in the private car insurance segment just like in the two-wheeler insurance segment is likely to enhance the figures even higher offering multiple benefits and cost saving on premiums in the long term.
  • Q: Is taking car insurance compulsory?
    A: Car insurance policy is classified into two categories namely third party insurance and comprehensive insurance. Opting for a third party insurance is compulsory as per the Indian Motors Act, while opting for a comprehensive insurance is optional.
    Q: Is my car covered for theft under third party insurance?
    A: Third party insurance offers protection only for any third party damages to individuals or property. No claims are entertained for theft or damages caused to your own vehicle or self in the event of a car accident.
    Q: Is it advisable to seek car insurance from the dealer?
    A: Car insurance can be bought off the shelf from a car dealer but such insurance plans are usually expensive on account of dealer commissions. Instead, purchasing car insurance online can be more cost effective.
    Q: What are the documents required to seek car insurance?
    A: Buying a car insurance policy requires minimal documentation. Documents required for buying insurance for a new car include a valid driving license as part of your identity proof, a copy of Registration Certificate of your vehicle, and a proof of residence. All the documents must be accompanied by a duly signed proposal form and insurance premium cheque.
    Q: What is third party insurance?
    A: Third party insurance is an insurance cover that offers protection to any third party that may get affected in the event of a motor accident. Essentially, third party insurance covers any bodily harm or injury caused to a third party including damage to a person or property. It is mandatory to have third party insurance before you can drive a vehicle on the road.
    Q: What is comprehensive car insurance?
    A: Comprehensive car insurance offers a wider insurance cover including protection for self and car along with third party coverage and personal accident coverage for the driver. Comprehensive cover also offers protective component towards any accidental fires, thefts, or natural calamities.
    Q: What is covered under car insurance policy?
    A: The protection depends on the type of car insurance you have opted. A third party cover offers limited protection and covers damages for third party and property damages. A comprehensive insurance covers own damages including collision and non-collision damages as per selected policy and add-ons.
    Q: How long is a car insurance policy valid?
    A: The policy period starts on a particular day defined on the purchase of the policy. Most policies are valid for one year although some insurers are now offering long term policies valid for 3 years.
    Q: How is the car insurance premium calculated?
    A: Insurers take into account the type of car insurance opted, age of the car, the cubic capacity of the engine along with the insured declared value (IDV), and geographical location as fundamental parameters to arrive at the final premium rate.
    Q: What is NCB?
    A: NCB corresponds to ‘No Claim Bonus’, which is a discount offered by insurers for policy holders who do not file for any claim in the previous periods of insurance.
    Q: Can I transfer insurance when I sell my car?
    A: Yes, you can transfer the car insurance policy in the name of the buyer by getting in touch with your insurance company. Insurers charge a nominal fee for transfer of insurance along with pro-rata recovery of NCB from the date of transfer till policy expiry.
    Q: What documents are required for filing a claim?
    A: The documents to be submitted depend on the type of claim being exercised by the car insurance policy holder. A copy of the police FIR in the event of any accidental claims, a copy of driving license of the driver along with copy of the Registration Certificate (RC) of the vehicle are required for all insurance claims. A copy of the 'non traceable report' given by the police and details of intimation to the RTO as acknowledged copy of letter addressed to RTO intimating theft and making vehicle 'NON-USE' are required for theft claims along with other documents.
    Q: Can I pay premium in installments?
    A: No. Insurance premiums need to be paid upfront and no installments are permissible.
    Q: What is a cover note?
    A: A cover note is a temporary Insurance document establishing proof of Insurance. A cover note is valid for 60 days from the date of its issuance and is replaced by an insurance policy.
    Q: How can I renew my car insurance policy?
    A: You can renew your insurance policy online or offline depending on your convenience. You can also renew your motor insurance policy through the dealer or agent from where you bought your policy initially.
    Q: Am I eligible for NCB if I renew my car insurance policy with another insurance company?
    A: Yes. You can renew your policy from any insurance company and can still retain the NCB. NCB is awarded to the vehicle owner and not to the vehicle. You have to request the previous insurer to issue a No Claim Bonus certificate to the new insurance company mentioning the NCB percentage you are eligible for.
    Q: What is the process of availing cashless claim facility?
    A: You have to look for a nearby garage affiliated with your insurance company and send the vehicle for repair there only. The list of affiliated garages will be available on company’s website. Alternatively, you can contact the helpline also. By producing your insurance documents, you can avail all applicable facilities. The service centre / garage will arrange for survey and claim process with the insurance company. Alternatively you can also inform the insurance company about the damage or the accident by calling at the toll-free customer care number.
    Q: What is a deliberate accident in insurance parlance?
    A: As the term suggests, it is not an actual accident but caused deliberately by violating any traffic rule or driving in such a way that the damage to the car is inevitable, like driving the car from the wrong side, violating the signal, drunken driving or planned accidents as per evidence.
    Q: Can I insure electrical circuits and devices in the car?
    A: Yes, you can insure electrical circuits and devices in the car through the add-on facility. That means you need to pay an extra premium for the same.
    Q: What is “own-damage” coverage?
    A: Own-damage is the damage caused to a car in an accident or in any incident covered under the car insurance policy. The insurance premium is calculated separately for own-damage insurance.
    Q: Can I choose between reimbursement or cashless facility?
    A: You can choose either of them. If the networked garage is nearby you can opt the cashless option.
    Q: What all insurance related services I can avail online?
    A: You can avail all insurance related services online. It includes purchasing policy, renewing policy, reporting claim, requesting for endorsements and getting your queries answered. You can purchase and renew insurance online from the company’s website or from insurance marketplaces. You can make payments online through direct bank debit, using credit cards or with mobile payments, and also check the status of your insurance online.
    Q: Can I request for policy cancellation?
    A: Yes, you can refund the policy within the first 14 days of getting the policy paper which is known as the “cooling off” period. The company will provide you an application format which you have to submit. A processing charge will be deducted as per the company rule.
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