Selecting the right car insurance requires the similar effort as selecting the car itself. While selecting a car the market research starts months prior and one test drives almost all the cars falling in one’s budget range. But the enthusiasm drops significantly when buying insurance for that priced possession. Many people in India still consider car insurance as a statutory obligation and settle for any run in the mill insurance policy or go for popular insurance company names rather than understanding what all things their policy covers.
The process to compare cars plans is very significant from saving upon premium as well as getting better plan features perspectives. In case of car insurance it is said that one must compare plans of at least three insurance companies. The more the merrier philosophy holds true in this case. Inviting quotes from a big number of companies always works in favor of the buyer as it helps plucking out the cheapest plan in the market.
A comprehensive car insurance policy covers the owner’s damages as well as the damages of the third parties who suffer loss due to collision. If your car is new then never commit the mistake of getting only third party insurance done, which is mandatory to have by the Indian law, as repair costs in case of accidents can be steep. Also, there are many add-ons over the regular OD (own damage) section of comprehensive car insurance policy that one should consider while selecting a plan. Important add-ons are:
• Depreciation Reimbursement: The depreciation on parts that have to be replaced because of damage is waived off under this add-on.
• Return to Invoice: The insurance company pays the difference between the claim admissible and the sale invoice price of the vehicle or new replacement value of the same make and model, whichever is less.
• No Claim Bonus Protection: NCB of over 25% is earned on a new vehicle or by no claims in previous two years. This NCB is protected under this add on provided there are up to 1 claim in a year and the policy is renewed on or before 90 days of the expiry of the policy.
• Repair of Glass, Rubber, Fiber & Plastic Parts: NCB is not affected when claim is filed to repair the glass, rubber, fiber & plastic parts instead of replacing them.
• Emergency Transport and Hotel Expenses: In events when the vehicle becomes UN-usable the cost of hotel accommodation at nearest place and return to home expenses are allowed up to 50% of the sum insured or Rs. 50,000, whichever is less under this add-on.
• Loss of Personal Belongings: Loss of personal belongings lying in the insured vehicle following an accident is covered.
• Key Replacement: Cost of replacement of lost vehicle keys is allowed.
• Daily Allowance: Cases where the damage takes place due to insured peril and the vehicle takes more than 3 days to get repaired, the insurer would pay allowance for hired transport up to 10 days for normal damages and up to 15 days for total loss. Per day allowance ranges from Rs.600 to Rs.2000 depending on the category of the vehicle.
• Engine Protector: Covers damages to the internal parts of the engine due to water ingress ion/leakage of lubricating oil and/or damage to gear box as a result of accident.
• Spot Assistance or Road Side Assistance: This cover provides a range of emergency services that the vehicle owner could face in daily use of vehicle. Some of these emergencies do not arise from an accident.
Based upon the category of vehicle and its usage one should decide what all add-ons one must ensure having in one’s car policy.
Study shows that people who compare car plans online save up to 30% on premium. Online car insurance plans are generally cheaper than offline counterparts because online plans eliminate the scope of agent commission. This brings down the premium considerably.