• Car Insurance Online: Renew or Buy Car Insurance Policy 2022

    Car Insurance
    • Protect yourself with third party or comprehensive cover
    • Use bumper to bumper policies to reduce your liability
    • Enjoy facilities like zero depreciation and roadside assistance covers

    Car insurance offers comprehensive coverage or third-party liability protection to policyholders following an accident, mishap, or damage to the vehicle.

    Car insurance is basically a contract between a customer and an insurance company. The insurance provider agrees to pay the customer for the losses defined in the policy, in exchange for the premium that the customer pays.

    • Auto insurance offers liability coverage on third-party property and life. This implies that if a third-party incurs a loss in a car accident that was caused by the insured car, the car insurance company will bear the expenses.
    • Some policies also offer medical coverage, either in the form of riders or as a built-in aspect of the insurance cover. Medical coverage pays predominantly for the cost of treatment of injuries, compensation for lost wages, rehabilitation expenses, and funeral costs.
    • Coverage under a car insurance policy includes damage to the vehicle or theft, as well.

    Below are some of the Insurers available in India

    Insurance Provider
    Some Common Features
    AvailableThird Party Cover 24x7 Spot Assistance Add On Covers
    99.28% Grievances Resolved Ratio 62.20% Incurred Claim Ratio*
    No Claim Bonus Special features Wear and Tear Exclusions
    Available - Rs.7.5 lakhs Third Party Cover No Claim Bonus (NCB) Protector Add On Covers
    99.81% Grievances Resolved Ratio 81.74% Incurred Claim Ratio*
    24/7 Claim Assistance Special features Staged Accidents Exclusions
    Available - Rs.7.5 lakhs Third Party Cover NCB Protection Add On Covers
    100% Grievances Resolved Ratio 84.37% Incurred Claim Ratio*
    Round-the-clock Support Special features Consequential Loss Exclusions
    Available - Rs.7.5 lakhs Third Party Cover Cover for Car Accessories Add On Covers
    99.94% Grievances Resolved Ratio 79.19% Incurred Claim Ratio*
    24x7 Claims Support Special features Consequential Loss Exclusions
    Available Third Party Cover Depreciation Cover Add On Covers
    99.06% Grievances Resolved Ratio 77.29% Incurred Claim Ratio*
    Personal Accident Cover Special features Consequential Loss Exclusions
    Available - Rs.7.5 lakhs Third Party Cover Loss of Accessories Cover Add On Covers
    96.11% Grievances Resolved Ratio 121.67% Incurred Claim Ratio*
    Liability Cover Special features Consequential Loss Exclusions
    Available - Rs.7.5 lakhs Third Party Cover Depreciation Waiver Cover Add On Covers
    99.28% Grievances Resolved Ratio 84.99% Incurred Claim Ratio*
    Free Roadside Assistance Special features Wear and Tear Exclusions
    Available Third Party Cover Roadside Assistance Cover Add On Covers
    100% Grievances Resolved Ratio 80.66% Incurred Claim Ratio*
    No Claim Bonus Special features Consequential Loss Exclusions

    *Source: Company Websites and IRDAI data

    Types of car insurance policies in India

    Car Insurance
    Car Insurance

    Car insurance policies are usually valid for 1 year, following which they will have to be renewed. Policies can be broadly classified into two types, i.e., third-party liability insurance and comprehensive insurance. These two products vary primarily on the extent of insurance cover they offer.

    1. Third-party liability insurance - These policies offer limited coverage, as is evident from the name. The cover under these plans includes protection against injury of third-party and damage to his/her property. These policies do not offer coverage for losses incurred by the insured vehicle or its owner. The Indian legal system makes the third-party liability insurance cover mandatory for all vehicles.

      The basic inclusions of third-party liability cover are as follows:

      • Liabilities towards damage to third-party vehicle involved in the mishap
      • Liabilities towards injuries to third-party personnel involved in the mishap

      The basic exclusions of a third-party liability cover are as follows:

      • Liabilities towards damage to own vehicle involved in the mishap
      • Liabilities towards injuries to third-party personnel involved in the mishap
    2. Comprehensive car insurance - This insurance plan offers a large amount of insurance coverage to the vehicle. This includes third-party liability cover and own-damage cover. Own-damage cover offers protection from damage to the vehicle and injuries to the owner-driver when the car is involved in an accident. Comprehensive car insurance also provides coverage against the following incidents:
      • Damage or loss due to natural calamities, such as earthquake, lightning, typhoon, flood, storm, hurricane, cyclone, landslide, etc.
      • Damage or loss caused by man-made calamities, such  as theft, burglary, riot, terrorist activity, or strike.
      • Damages incurred by the vehicle while in transit through rail, water, or road.
      • Personal accident cover, which includes events of permanent disability or death of the driver. Some insurance companies also offer optional accidental insurance cover for co-passengers.

      Since comprehensive car insurance offers wide coverage, it is very popular in spite of the higher premiums. It is advisable for every car-owner to be adequately protected through comprehensive car insurance.

      The basic Inclusions of a comprehensive coverage:

      • Liabilities towards damage to third-party vehicle involved in the mishap
      • Liabilities towards injuries to third-party personnel involved in the mishap
      • Liabilities towards damage to own vehicle involved in the mishap
      • Liabilities towards injuries to third-party personnel involved in the mishap

    Documents Required to Buy Auto Insurance

    Car insurance companies usually request you to furnish the following documents while purchasing car insurance online:

    • Driving license - This indicates that you can legally drive and hence, are eligible to buy car insurance. It also enables insurance companies to assess your driving record before offering you the policy. A good driving record will bring down your insurance premiums.
    • Bank information - Insurance companies may run a credit check before issuing you a policy. Your bank account details are important for this.
    • Vehicle details - The insurance company will need to know the details of your car in order to decide on a premium. The latest models with good safety features usually cost less to insure when compared to older models.
    • Other details - The car insurance provider will also request you to provide general information, such as your name, address, date of birth, etc.

    Top Car Insurance Companies in India

    When choosing a car insurance policy, choosing the right insurer is imperative. We’ve listed the top 5 car insurance companies solely based on their incurred claim ratio and net earned premium in FY 2017-2018 as reported by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).

    1. New India Assurance Co. Ltd.

      Having a presence in 28 countries and headquartered in Mumbai, in FY 2017-2018, the New India Assurance Co. Limited earned a net premium of Rs.9,074.26 crore with an incurred claim ratio of 79.68%. Listed below are some of the benefits of availing a car insurance policy from New India Assurance Co. Limited:

    2. Customers can purchase a car insurance policy as per their choice online on the website of the insurer.
    3. New India Assurance has a dedicated team that acknowledges grievances within 72 hours and settles the problem within 15 days from the day of receiving the complaint.
    4. Cashless claim settlement at all network garages of New India Assurance.
    5. Once a claim to cover damages caused to a vehicle is made, the claim assistance team will make a decision within 72 hours.
    6. Quick and hassle-free claim settlement process.
    7. United India Car Insurance

      In FY 2017-2018, United India Car Insurance earned a net premium of Rs.5,748.32 crore with an incurred claim ratio of 91.72%. With United India Car Insurance being one of the oldest insurers in India, having been set up in 1938, listed below are some of the key benefits of availing a car insurance policy from United India Car Insurance:

    8. Cashless claim settlement at all its network garages.
    9. Customers can buy a car insurance policy and renew it online on the website of United India Car Insurance.
    10. Customers can lodge a complaint online on the website of United India Car Insurance.
    11. On the website of United India Car Insurance, policyholders can locate the nearest network garage and can also check the status of their policy.
    12. United India Car Insurance offers a third-party car insurance policy, comprehensive car insurance policy and a personal accident cover as well.
    13. National Car Insurance

      National Car Insurance earned a net premium of Rs.5,008.23 crore in FY 2017-2018 with an incurred claim ratio of 121.67%. Some of the benefits of availing a car insurance policy from National Car Insurance are listed below:

    14. Customers can buy their car insurance policy online on the website of the insurer with just a few clicks. Existing policyholders can renew their car insurance policy online as well.
    15. Customers can choose between a third-party liability car insurance policy or a comprehensive car insurance policy.
    16. Policyholders can avail the benefit of the cashless claim settlement at all the network garages of the insurer.
    17. Hassle-free claim settlement process.
    18. Premium discounts for those who have not made a claim the entire policy period and for customers that choose the voluntary deductibles option.
    19. ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Limited

      In FY 2017-2018, ICICI Lombard Car Insurance’s net earned premium totaled to a staggering Rs.4,142.19 crore. ICICI Lombard also reported an incurred claim ratio of 77.44% in FY 2017-2018. Listed below are the key benefits of availing a car insurance policy from ICICI Lombard Car Insurance:

    20. Instant and hassle-free claim settlement process.
    21. 24/7 roadside assistance with free pick-up and towing facility.
    22. 6 months assurance on all repairs done at ICICI Lombard Car Insurance network garages.
    23. More than 3,600 network garages where policyholders can avail the benefit of a cashless claim settlement to repair damages caused to their car following an accident or mishap.
    24. Loss assessment survey will be conducted within 4 hours following an accident.
    25. Oriental Car Insurance

      Founded in 1947, Oriental Car Insurance is also one of the oldest insurers In India. In FY 2017-2018, Oriental Car Insurance earned a net premium of Rs.4,000.26 crore with a claim settlement ratio of 68.19%. Listed below are some of the key benefits of availing a car insurance policy from Oriental Car Insurance:

    26. Customers can buy a car insurance policy in minutes on the website of Oriental Insurance.
    27. On the website of Oriental Insurance, policyholders can renew their car insurance policy in a few seconds and can even locate the nearest network garage.
    28. Policyholders can avail the benefit of the cashless claim settlement at all the network garages of Oriental Car Insurance across the country.
    29. The claim settlement process is seamless.
    30. Policyholders have a number of add-on covers that are offered by Oriental Insurance to choose from in order to enhance their coverage.

    Statistics of Car Insurance companies (2017-18)

    The table below highlights the various aspects related to Car insurance companies in India during 2017-18.

    Insurance Company Incurred Claim Ratio* Status Of Grievances* Solvency Ratio*
    Bajaj Allianz General Insurance 62.20% 99.48% 2.76
    Bharati Axa General Insurance 81.74% 100% 1.86
    Cholamandalam MS General 79.65% 99.55% 1.61
    Future Generali India Insurance 76.50% 99.73% 1.69
    HDFC ERGO General Insurance 84.37% 100% 2.06
    ICICI Lombard General Insurance 77.44% 98.91% 2.05
    IFFCO Tokio General Insurance 79.19% 98.47% 1.62
    Liberty General Insurance 69.62% 100% 2.40
    Magma HDI General Insurance 81.71% 55.86% 2.01
    National Insurance 121.67% 97.07% 1.55
    The New India Assurance 79.68% 99.94% 2.58
    The Oriental Insurance 68.19% 73.83% 1.66
    Reliance General Insurance 81.47% 98.49% 1.68
    Royal Sundaram Alliance General 84.99% 99.74% 2.21
    SBI General Insurance 91.75% 96.01% 2.54
    Shriram General Insurance 94.56% 100% 2.35
    Universal Sompo General Insurance 80.66% 100% 2.30
    United India Insurance 91.72% 96.59% 1.54

    “Based on IRDA Annual Report 2017-18”

    Incurred Claim Ratio*:

    Incurred Claim Ratio is the total sum of all the claims that have been settled by the car insurance firm divided by the total sum of insurance premiums that have been collected by the insurer in the same period.

    Incurred Claims Ratio is an indicator of the insurer's ability to settle the claims.

    Status Of Grievances*:

    The total percentage of customer grievances that have been resolved out of the total number of the registered grievances during the year.

    Solvency Ratio*:

    Solvency Ratio is an indicator of the insurance firm's ability to settle its long-term debts.

    • Vital to note

      Motor Third-Party Insurance To Be Easily Available as Per The Supreme Court’s Ruling

      The Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety has recently directed the union territories and states to perform periodic checks to determine whether or not the vehicles plying on the roads are insured with a third-party insurance cover. In case they find someone without a third-party motor insurance, they have been advised to retain the uninsured vehicle until a legitimate third-party insurance certificate can be produced by the vehicle owner. A number of states have reported back that the insurers have a tedious process for motor third-party policy issuance which makes it difficult for the vehicle owners to buy one without going through unnecessary hassles. The tedious process involves inspection of the vehicle.

      To ensure instant and hassle-free issuance of third-party liability policy, the insurers have been advised to religiously follow the below given directions:

      • Insurers should make the motor third-party insurance policy available for purchase online.
      • Insurers should work together with the police officials to facilitate issuance/renewal of third-party liability cover to owners of the uninsured vehicles.
      • Insurers should in no case deny a request for issuance/renewal of third-party liability cover and should ensure easy availability of motor third-party insurance.


      Note: The information mentioned above has been taken from the notification provided by the IRDAI on 1 January 2018.

    How to Purchase Car Insurance Online?

    You can buy car insurance plans directly from the website of insurance companies. Alternatively, you can make use of the facility offered by neutral third-party financial websites. The advantage of buying policies from financial aggregators like BankBazaarInsurance include:

    • You can be assured of a seamless experience with minimal paperwork.
    • You will be able to compare the offerings in the market and make a judicious decision.
    • You will get the expert assistance of the intermediary in resolving claims and other issues.
    • The payment process is fast, secure, and completely hassle-free.

    Here are the *steps to be followed when purchasing or renewing car insurance policy online:

    When purchasing the car insurance policy online:

    • Visit the website to purchase the insurance policy
    • Click on the motor insurance tab present on the main page
    • Select the car insurance plan you want to purchase from the options available for private vehicle or commercial vehicle
    • After selecting the plan, click on the “buy now” tab
    • The page will get redirected to another page that has the “Insurance for new vehicle” tab which you have to click on
    • On clicking the above mentioned tab, another page will open asking for your details, such as your phone number, your name, etc.
    • Next, provide the registration number of your vehicle and click on the “purchase” tab
    • This will redirect you to the payment page where you can use debit card or credit card or netbanking to purchase the car insurance policy

    When renewing the car insurance policy online:

    • Visit the official website to purchase the insurance policy
    • Click on the motor insurance tab present on the main page
    • Select the car insurance plan you want to renew from the options available for private vehicle or commercial vehicle
    • After selecting the plan, click on the “buy now” tab
    • On the next page, click on the “Renew the policy” tab
    • Enter your the registration number of your vehicle and your existing Bajaj Allianz policy number on the next page
    • Click on the “proceed to renew” tab present on the next page
    • This will redirect you to the payment page where you can use debit card or credit card or netbanking to purchase the car insurance policy

    *Please note that the above steps vary from insurer to insurer.

    Car Insurance Claim Procedure

    A car insurance claim is an application for compensation to the insurer pertaining to the terms of your insurance policy post a mishap. A car insurance claim can be cashless claim or reimbursement claim.

    • Cashless Claim

    Under this type of claim, the insured can get his/her car fixed at an authorised garage post a mishap and the insurer will pay the garage for the repairs.

    • Reimbursement Claim

    Under this type of claim, the insured can get his/her car fixed at any unauthorised garage post mishap for which he/she has to pay the garage. Later the amount is reimbursed by the insurer after receiving the payment receipt.

    How to claim on your car insurance policy

    With a new car comes a number of added expenses. Some of these include the operating and maintenance costs of the vehicle, which cannot be avoided. An unfortunate incident such as an accident or theft may set you back by a huge amount, unless your car is equipped with a comprehensive auto insurance plan. Read on to understand the procedure for raising car insurance claims in India.

    1. Claims for own-damage: If your car was involved in an accident, you should follow these steps to claim for damages:
      1. Inform the insurance company - You should get in touch with the insurer at the earliest. Most insurers follow strict timelines, as would be mentioned in the policy documentation. If you had bought the plan from a third-party website, you can contact them as well.
      2. File an FIR - Although it may not be mandatory for claim settlements, it is advisable to lodge an FIR.
      3. Evaluation of the damage - Once the insurance company has been notified, an inspection of your vehicle will be scheduled. A representative from the insurance company will inspect your car and have it moved to the nearest network garage.
      4. Claim settlement - After the survey, your insurer will analyse the claim request and send an approval to the garage. The garage will have to provide an estimated cost for the vehicle repair and timelines for the same. The insurer will be in touch with the network garage for an overall view of the extent of damage and the way in which the repair work is proceeding. You will have to bear the compulsory deductible and variable deductible components, as stated in the policy document. Once the expenses are settled, you can drive your repaired car home.
    2. Claims pertaining to third-party liability: If you are responsible for an accident in which a third-party suffers injuries or damage to property, here is what you need to do:
      1. Lodge an FIR - Following the accident, either you or the third-party should lodge an FIR at the nearest police station. Keep a copy of the FIR for future reference as well.
      2. Share policy document - You should mandatorily share a copy of your car insurance policy with the third-party, so that he/she can raise a claim on it.
      3. Claim at Motor Tribunal - According to the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, third-party liability claims are raised at the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT). The claim can be raised by the third-party at the tribunal closest to his/her residence or yours.

      Listed below are certain points to note involving third-party claims:

      • Compensation for disablement or death of the third-party is dependent on several factors, including the affected person’s earning capacity.
      • Insurers pay a maximum amount of Rs.7.5 lakh as liability towards property damage. If the compensation amount is higher than that, the car-owner will have to bear the extra amount.
      • Several parties are involved in a third-party liability claim. This could lead to the entire process extending for a long duration. Hence, it is advisable to see if the situation can be settled amicably outside the tribunal.
    3. Claims for theft: It is important to understand the process of claim settlement when a theft is involved.
      1. If you find that your car has been stolen, you will have to first file an FIR at the nearest police station.
      2. You should then intimate your insurance provider and raise a claim. When raising claims, you should submit the following documentation:
        1. A copy of your car’s registration certificate (RC)
        2. A copy of your driving license
        3. A copy of the FIR
        4. The first 2 pages of your car insurance policy
        5. A detailed letter that is addressed to the RTO

    Partial Claim Settlement

    There may be instances where your insurance company may pay a part of the claim amount but not the entire value. This occurs when your insurer has assessed that the level of damage suffered by your car is not as huge as you have reported. It also depends on the claim specifics, terms and conditions, and the type of coverage.

    In order to avoid such a scenario, you should be familiar with the policy terms and conditions before raising a claim.

    Documents Required for Car Insurance Claim Settlement

    If you are reporting a claim under motor insurance, you should first get in touch with the insurance company at its customer care number. The details you need to provide when raising a claim are:

    • Insurance policy number
    • Your contact number
    • Name of the policyholder
    • Time and date of the accident
    • Vehicle number
    • Location of the loss
    • Model and make of the car
    • A short description of how the accident occurred
    • Extent of the loss
    • Name of the garage with contact details
    • Contact details and name of the third-party in the event of a third-party liability claim

    Other documents that you need to keep handy are:

    1. For accident damages:
      1. Proof of insurance
      2. Tax receipt and a copy of the registration book (The originals may be needed for verification later)
      3. Copy of the driving license of the insured driver
      4. FIR (For third-party liability claims)
      5. Estimated cost of repair at the garage
      6. Repair bills and receipts after payment is made at the garage
      7. Claims Discharge Cum Satisfaction Voucher, signed across a revenue stamp (Only for a cashless claim)
    2. For theft cases:
      1. Original policy document or certificate
      2. Original registration book with endorsement of theft from the RTO
      3. Original tax payment receipt
      4. Details of the previous insurance
        1. Policy number
        2. Insurance provider
        3. Duration of insurance
      5. All keys, warranty card, and service booklets
      6. FIR
      7. Acknowledged copy of the letter to the RTO intimating theft and classifying the vehicle as ‘Non-use’
    3. For liability claims:
      1. Form 35 signed by the financer, undated and blank
      2. Form 28, 29, and 30 that have been signed by the policyholder
      3. Consent towards the claim settlement from the policyholder and financer
      4. Letter of subrogation
      5. Claim Discharge Voucher signed across a revenue stamp
      6. NOC of the financer if the claim is settled in favour of the policyholder

    The above lists are only indicative. The insurance company may request for additional information or documents, if required. The insurer may also send a representative to verify facts, if needed.

    Car Insurance Claim Denials

    Your car is probably your most expensive asset, after your property and investment in financial instruments. Hence, it makes sense to have it insured from theft, natural calamities, man-made damages, and accidents. Third-party liability insurance is also mandatory in India.

    However, auto insurance claims are often rejected by insurers. A majority of these rejections are due to the ignorance of the policyholder, or even negligence.

    Reading through the terms and conditions in the policy document is an important activity that you should do as soon as you buy the plan. This way you will be equipped with a good understanding of the coverage that really helps at the time of a claim.

    Listed below are some of the main reasons for rejection of car insurance claims:

    • Making repairs without informing the insurer - If you are involved in an accident, it is crucial to inform your insurer of the same at the earliest. Authorised representatives from the insurance company will inspect the damages and estimate the cost of repair. However, if you get your car repaired on your own without intimating the insurer, the reimbursement claim may be rejected. This is because the insurance company will be unable to trace the accident, damages incurred, and the magnitude of repair work done on the car.
    • Not adhering to timelines - If you do not inform the insurance company of the accidental loss within the specified timeline, then your claim may be rejected by the insurer. Insurance providers usually mandate that an accident should be reported within 48 hours.
    • Driving without license - If you did not have a valid driving license at the time of the accident, the insurer will reject your claim.
    • Not transferring old car insurance to your name - If you have purchased a used car and forgot to transfer the car insurance in your name, your motor insurance claim is eligible for rejection.
    • Using private vehicle commercially - Your auto insurance claim will be rejected if you were using your private car for a commercial activity at the time of the accident. In case you wish to use the vehicle for commercial purposes, you should get an appropriate commercial car insurance policy.
    • Driving after administration of alcohol or drugs - At the time of the accident, if you were drunk or under the influence of drugs, your car insurance claim will be rejected.
    • Consequential loss - Consider a situation where your car has an engine oil leakage that you ignored and continued driving. If you encounter an engine seizure due to this negligence, it is termed as a consequential loss. In this case, your car insurance claim will certainly be rejected.
    • Damages due to electrical or mechanical breakdown - If your car was damaged due to a mechanical or electrical breakdown, you cannot raise a claim for the loss.
    • Normal wear and tear - The natural depreciation of car parts due to usage cannot be avoided. If the damage specified in the claim was due to this depreciation, then it can be rejected by the insurance company.
    • Negligence leading to theft - You are liable to take good care of your vehicle and safeguard it from damage or loss. If the insurance company has proof that your negligence has led to a theft for which the claim was raised, the claim can be invalidated by the insurer.
    • Not updating insurer about LPG/CNG kit - If you have installed an LPG/CNG kit in your vehicle, you should inform the insurance company at the earliest. Such an installation will require additional premium. If you fail to intimate the insurer about it, your claim will be invalidated.
    • Inaccuracy in submitted information - Ensure that you provide all accurate information at the time of raising a claim. Otherwise, your claim could be rejected by the insurer.

    Tips to Negotiate a Car Insurance Claim

    It’s important you should have a general idea on how to negotiate your car insurance claim with the insurance provider. You should be aware of the fact that insurance companies usually try to minimise the amount that they pay out as claim settlement. If you are overwhelmed at the thought of negotiating with your insurer, you can always seek the assistance of a good lawyer. You can also avail the service of an attorney if you have been refused a fair settlement.

    The following pointers will help you negotiate an auto insurance claim in a fair manner:

    • Raise the claim at the earliest - If you are involved in an auto accident, you should intimate your insurer immediately. This way, you can recall all the details of the accident in an accurate manner and update the insurance company on the injuries/property damage.
    • Recollect the accident accurately and record it - You should ideally keep a record of the accident in a chronological manner. The file should contain the police report, record of doctor’s visits, car repair bills, or anything else that you deem worthy of being collected. If you have the documents readily available, you can use these during your negotiations.
    • Calculate the amount that you stand to receive - Before you send a letter to your insurer regarding the claim, assess the amount of damage your car has incurred and the total expenses associated with the accident. When determining the claim amount you stand to gain, take the following into account:
      • The expenses corresponding to medical care
      • The loss in income that you suffered as a result of your injuries
      • The cost of replacing your car or getting it repaired
      • The cost of repairing any other property that was damaged
      • If you are permanently disabled or need long-term medical assistance, estimate the amount for the same
      • Put a value on the amount of pain you suffered after the accident

    Based on these factors, decide on a minimum amount that you will be able to accept as settlement. A car insurance attorney can help you in this assessment as well.

    • Send a demand letter to the insurer - After you are done with your claim amount calculation, you should send a letter to the insurance provider. Describe the accident in detail, elaborating on your injuries, the damage incurred by the vehicle, the treatment you availed, your health issues as a result of the accident, and any other losses you suffered. Then mention the amount of money you demand for the loss.

    The insurer would most probably offer you an amount that is lower than what you have demanded; so you should ask for compensation that is about 25%-75% more than what you would settle for. It is crucial that you have documentation that would support everything in your demand letter. Else, you may not get the entire amount that you deserve.

    • Do not accept the offer if you are not convinced - When the insurance company makes the first offer, it may be really low. This may even be a tactic from the insurer to check whether you are aware of the actual worth of the claim.

    In this scenario, you should ask the insurance adjustor to justify why the claim amount is so low. Respond to each of the points in the reply letter with proof of your expenses and why you cannot accept the proposal. You may also make a counteroffer that is reasonable and one that the insurance company is willing to accept.

    • Focus on the points that favour you - When you are negotiating on your car insurance claim, you should emphasize on your strongest points. If you are suffering from an injury that disrupts the quality of your life, discuss how this will affect you and your family financially and emotionally. If you have missed employment due to the injuries, focus on the loss of income. Make sure that the insurance company is aware of the difficulties you will be facing as an outcome of the accident, and that you are only demanding fair compensation.
    • Take notes of the negotiations - You should take detailed notes of the conversation you have with your insurer. You should also request the insurance company to record all settlement offers in writing. If you finally agree on a claim value, make sure that it is recorded in a contract signed by all stakeholders.
    • Take the help of an attorney if needed - After negotiations, if you are still unable to arrive at a fair settlement, you may require the assistance of a lawyer who may file a personal injury lawsuit.

    Problems with Motor Insurance Claims

    Policyholders often make the mistake of considering car insurance claim settlements as a smooth process. But expecting that the insurance company would honour your claims in a straightforward manner is naive. You should know that there are bound to be problems from the start to the end. You should also be prepared to deal with these problems as they come.

    Listed below are some car insurance problems that may delay a claim settlement:

    • Failing to report the incident quickly - The longer a policyholder waits to file a claim, the harder it becomes to get a fair settlement. You should report a claim at the earliest, so that you are not faced with more queries, problems, and ambiguities in the future.
    • Failing to record all information - Auto insurers will not be able to arrive at a conclusion if you do not provide all details of the accident. They would want to know how the accident took place, who was involved, and what the damages are. If you are able to record this information accurately and produce proof of the same, your claim settlement process will be a lot more smooth. You may need to take pictures at the time of the accident, call the police, and get details from witnesses to make accurate records.
    • Determining fault - If two cars are involved in an accident, it is natural for each driver to shift the blame on the other. Even if a driver accepts responsibility for an accident, he/she may change the stand after talking to his/her insurer. You will always have to be prepared for such accusations when you are involved in an accident.
    • Not being aware of the claim process - It is important that you know the steps to follow when raising a car insurance claim. So, be cautious at each step and make sure that you furnish all details to avoid unexpected issues. Otherwise, you may be relying solely on your insurance provider to lead you through.
    • Failure to buy sufficient insurance cover - If your car is involved in an accident and you do not have sufficient coverage, you would have to bear the expenses from your own pocket. So be adequately insured.
    • Not providing accurate details while purchasing the policy - Several customers lie to their insurers in order to get lower premiums. The truth will be revealed when you raise a claim, and at that point of time, you will certainly take a hard hit. So, always furnish accurate information when buying an insurance plan.
    • Choosing a garage that is not affiliated to the insurer - Insurance companies usually allow you to pick a service centre of your choice. You need not get the car repaired at a network garage. But you should ensure that the cost of repair at your local garage is not over the top. Choosing network garages for accident repairs is useful as you can get the car repaired without having to pay up front. Also the finances will be directly settled between the insurer and the network garage.
    • Ambiguous terms and conditions - The policy documentation may include ambiguous terms and conditions. So, after the policy purchase you should read through the document carefully and get clarifications from the insurer, if necessary.
    • Low offers during negotiations - It is known that claim adjustors would initially provide policyholders a low offer during claim settlement negotiations. Their focus would be on minimising the cost to the company. So before you start negotiations, you should personally work out the minimum amount you would settle for.
    • Delayed claim settlements - People usually wait for the claim payout, without actually checking with the insurer on how the entire process is going forward. If you feel that there is a delay in claim settlement, you should contact the insurer and enquire about the same. Check if there is anything that the insurer is waiting for from your end. It is alright to chase up and ask questions.

    How does your Car Insurance Claim Affect the Premium?

    Many people are of the opinion that filing a car insurance claim will have an adverse impact on their premiums in the future. Based on the circumstances under which the accident took place, you car insurance rates may increase or decrease when you file a claim. Let us take a look at the various types of claims and the corresponding impact on premiums:

    • Comprehensive insurance claims - If you have raised a claim for damages incurred through natural or man-made calamities, your policy rates will not see an increase the following year.
    • Collision insurance claims - If you file a claim for expenses incurred after a collision, your insurance premium for the next year may increase. The extent of increase in premium is based on the severity of the accident and whether you were at fault or not. The insurance company may even refuse to renew the policy in certain cases.
    • Liability insurance claims - Liability claims indicate that your car has caused damage to third-party property or life, placing you in the high-risk bracket for insurance. In this scenario also, your insurance premium may increase.

    Why is Bumper to Bumper (Zero depreciation car insurance ) Insurance So Popular?

    This rider policy is favoured by most of the Indian car owners because of the advantage it offers by protecting the market value of the car against depreciation. The high-end cars tend to be more expensive than the other models, hence it is considered an asset by many to have Bumper to Bumper insurance policy added to one’s base policy.

    Zero Depreciation Car Insurance Vs Comprehensive Coverage

    Zero depreciation cover, also known as bumper to bumper insurance, can be added as an optional coverage to your base car insurance plan. The difference between a comprehensive car insurance policy and a plan with zero depreciation cover is as shown below:

    Parameters Comprehensive Cover Zero Depreciation Cover
    Premium Varies based on the coverage chosen, the policyholder’s history, and the insurance company. Zero depreciation cover can be added to the comprehensive plan by paying an additional premium.
    Claim settlement At the time of a claim, the sum assured is based on the Insured Declared Value of the vehicle. The value of the depreciated parts are not part of the coverage. So, the policyholder does not receive the entire cost of repair. If this cover is opted for, the policyholder receives the entire expenses incurred, including cost of depreciated parts.
    Age of the vehicle This cover is offered for old and new vehicles. The zero depreciation rider can be taken only for vehicles that are less than 5 years old.

    What is IDV and why is it important?

    Insured Declared Value (IDV) is your car’s current market value. It is also the highest amount that you can receive from a car insurance claim. This includes situations where you have incurred a total loss or damage beyond repair.

    The insurance company will arrive at the IDV by assessing the following information:

    • The registration details of the vehicle
    • The city where the car was registered
    • The registration date or date of first purchase
    • The current registration type, i.e., company or individual owner
    • The make and model of the car and the manufacturer
    • The cubic capacity of the car’s engine
    • The vehicle description
    • The ex-showroom price of the car, i.e., the actual cost of the car plus tax

    The IDV of a vehicle above 5 years of age is usually based on the mutual agreement between the policyholder and the insurer.

    As the owner of a car, you should be aware of its IDV. You should never understate the IDV of your car. Lower IDV implies that you will pay lesser premium on your car insurance; however, you will get lesser insurance cover as well. Similarly, you should never overstate the IDV to increase the insurance coverage.

    The insurance premium that you pay is directly proportional to the IDV of the car. So, as the vehicle ages, the IDV reduces and so does the premium. The depreciation is based on the following schedule:

    Age of the car Depreciation
    1st year (new car) 5% depreciation is considered. Car insurance is offered at 95% of the ex-showroom price.
    At the 2nd year renewal 20% depreciation is considered. Car insurance is offered at 80% of the ex-showroom price.
    At the 3rd year renewal 30% depreciation is considered. Car insurance is offered at 70% of the ex-showroom price.
    At the 4th year renewal 40% depreciation is considered. Car insurance is offered at 60% of the ex-showroom price.
    At the 5th year renewal 50% depreciation is considered. Car insurance is offered at 50% of the ex-showroom price.
    At the 6th year renewal 10% to 15% depreciation on the IDV of the previous year is considered. This amount is deducted each subsequent year. Car insurance is offered appropriately.

    How Much is No-Claim Bonus for Car Insurance in India?

    There are certain aspects of NCB that you should be aware of in order to utilise it effectively:

    • NCB is available to the policyholder only when he/she renews the car insurance policy.
    • As indicated above, NCB belongs to the policyholder, not the car.
    • NCB is not transferable between people, except in the rare instance where the legal heir inherits the vehicle at the death of the policyholder. The car ownership and insurance in this case will be transferred to the heir. Along with it, the NCB will be moved.
    • The NCB discount is offered only on the own-damage part of the premium. The third-party liability premium is not affected by it.
    • It is tempting to raise claims for every small dent that surfaces on your vehicle’s body. However, you should be very careful when you do so. Once you raise a claim, your hard-earned NCB resets to the original value. So, be prudent when making a decision on the claim. Compare the estimated claim value with the reduction in premium that will be provided by the NCB. If the claim amount is smaller than the NCB discount, then you should ideally pay for the repair from your pocket. Also, if you have an old car that you are preparing to sell, you should forgo small claims to preserve the NCB.

    The NCB rate grid followed by most insurance companies in India is as follows:

    NCB after 1 claim-free year 20% discount in premium
    NCB after 2 consecutive claim-free years 25% discount in premium
    NCB after 3 consecutive claim-free years 35% discount in premium
    NCB after 4 consecutive claim-free years 45% discount in premium
    NCB after 5 consecutive claim-free years 50% discount in premium

      Impact of GST On Car Insurance

      The GST for the insurance sector is set at 18%. Earlier, before the introduction of GST, the tax for the insurance sector was set at 15% tax. The 3% increase in tax affects the consumers in terms of paying higher car insurance premium at the time of policy purchase and policy renewal.

      Read more about Impact of GST On Car Insurance...

    How to Verify the Authenticity of Your Motor Insurance Policy?

    Sometimes it so happens that the insurance policy you purchase turns out to be a fake one. Buying the insurance policy doesn’t end at just buying it, it is of vital importance that you also cross-check the insurance policy documents before signing or buying it so as to ensure the authenticity of the insurance policy. The steps below will help you recognise a fake insurance policy:

    • Contact your insurer

      Contact the insurer via proper channels. When you visit the official website or branch office, ensure that they are genuine. In case of websites, ensure that they are secure and original site of the insurer and not a fake one. When it comes to visiting a branch office, ensure that they hold the genuine certificate stating them as a genuine branch office of the specific insurer. In case you are going via third-party insurance agents/dealers, ensure that they hold a genuine licence that allows them to sell insurance policies. When contacting the insurer, get the phone number/toll-free number for customer care via the official website.

    • Ask for receipt

      Ask for the invoice copy of the insurance premium when you buy the insurance. The premium paid will be present in the insurance document itself but it is vital that you have an invoice stating the correct insurance premium amount.

    • Check the information provided

      When you receive the insurance policy, check the deductibles (like compulsory deductibles, voluntary excess), NCB (no claim bonus) and IDV (insured's declared value) mentioned in the document to ensure that the insurance policy is genuine.

    • Ensure that you sign on the proposal form

      When you receive the insurance proposal form, make sure you sign the form yourself and not allow anyone else to sign on your behalf.

    • Compare the policy with online site

      Visit online websites of the insurers and check the various insurance options available to you. Compare them and choose the one that best suits your insurance needs.

    • Check all the details

      It is your responsibility as a prospective policyholder to ensure everything that you discussed and agreed with the insurer or the insurance agent is laid out correctly in the document. You have to take your time and read through the document. Also ensure that the insurer details provided in the document are correct. Your personal details mentioned in the document also need to be correct.

    • QR code

      Every car insurance policy has a QR code as it has been made mandatory by the Insurance regulatory and development authority of India (IRDAI). If you have a smartphone, install an app that reads the QR code. You can get the insurance details by scanning the specific QR code of your insurance policy.

    • Key information to note

      Auto Dealers To Upload MISP Details To The IIB’s Website

      The Auto Dealers have always been an integral part of the insurance market in India. Other than selling cars, they have always played a prominent role in offering motor insurances for vehicles.

      The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) introduced guidelines for Motor Insurance Service Providers (MISPs) on 31 August 2017 that are to be followed religiously by the auto dealers when providing motor insurance policies.

      Insurance firms and insurance agents have been instructed to upload the details of all the MISPs they are planning to appoint along with the spokesperson and salesmen for each MISP. The details are to be uploaded to the Insurance Information Bureau of India’s (IIB) online portal in a standard format that would allow the document to be shared with the MISPs as well

      The auto dealers would be allowed to upload the requested MISP details etc. starting from November 1, 2017.


      Note: The information mentioned above has been taken from the notification provided by the IRDAI on 1 November 2017.

    How to Renew an Expired Car Insurance Policy

    It is crucial to renew your car insurance on time, as it keeps you away from unexpected circumstances and monetary liabilities. If a car insurance plan is not renewed on time, it is referred to as a lapsed policy. An expired policy is not desirable due to the following reasons:

    • When a policy expires, it is not valid anymore. If you drive with an expired car insurance policy, you may be slapped with penalties or even face legal action.
    • If you hold expired car insurance, you may incur heavy financial losses in the event of an accident.
    • The longer you wait for the renewal of your auto insurance plan, the more cumbersome the entire process becomes. When renewing an expired policy, you will also have to pay for the survey of your vehicle.
    • If a car insurance plan is in lapsed status for more than 3 months, you may lose your accrued NCB.

    Listed below are steps for renewing your expired car insurance:

    Step 1 - Get in touch with your insurance company at the earliest. Your insurer will be able to advise you on the next steps, and even prevent a situation where you may have to bear a penalty.

    Step 2 - Do not drive the car until the insurance is renewed.

    Step 3 - Renewing your car insurance plan online is a good option, so that the policy will be reinstated within hours. In case you are looking to buy a new insurance policy, you can do the necessary research and evaluate different plans through online comparison tools available at third-party financial websites.

    Step 4 - Once you have decided on a plan, contact the insurer to understand about the documentation needed.

    Step 5 - Get an appointment for survey of the vehicle at the earliest. This step is mandated by most insurers as your insurance coverage has expired. A representative from the insurance company will review pre-existing damages of your car before providing approval for motor insurance.

    Step 6 - Within 24 hours of getting the approval from the surveyor, you should buy the policy.

    Car Insurance Renewal Checklist

    When renewing your car insurance policy, you should keep your expired policy and a copy of the Registration Certificate (RC) handy. Moreover, you need to be ready with other details such as the city where the car was registered, the address of the RTO, date of first registration, car model number and company, etc.

    This list is just indicative; so you should check with your insurance company for the complete list of documentation required.

    How to Go for Online Car Insurance Renewal

    Renewing car insurance online is a quick and hassle-free process. Listed below are the steps you need to follow for the same:

    • Log in to the insurer’s website and select the option for policy renewal. You may be required to clarify if you are a new customer or an existing one.
    • You will get an application form that will have to be filled out accurately and submitted. The form should be updated with the details of the expired policy; so keep that handy.
    • The next step is the payment. Premium payment can be done through debit or credit card.
    • Once the payment has been made, the insurance company will verify the information you have submitted in the form. You will then receive an acknowledgement of the renewal request.

    Another great way to buy car insurance is through the websites of neutral financial aggregators. You will receive expert guidance from these companies in identifying a policy suited for your needs.

    Hassle-Free Online Car Insurance Renewal

    Renewing car insurance online is a very convenient method. It is quick, reliable, and highly secure. Moreover, you have the option to compare policies across several insurance companies and select one that is best suited for your car. You should make use of this facility as much as possible.

    Cancelling a Car Insurance Renewal

    Car insurance providers offer customers a ‘cooling off’ period of about 2 weeks within which they can cancel their policies. So, if the customer decides to change his/her mind about the current insurer or finds a better deal from another insurance company, he/she can proceed without any obligations in the first 14 days of the coverage.

    After the cooling off period has lapsed, the insurer will charge customers a specific amount for cancellation, based on the number of months of coverage already provided. However, customers are usually not offered refunds after 8 months of the policy period.

    The cancellation process is quite straightforward. The policyholder has to intimate the car insurance company of the return of policy through email or by calling its customer service desk. He/she would have to send a letter to the insurer with the policy as well. The reasons for policy return would have to be clearly stated in the letter.

    Once the request is processed, the cancellation is done within a week.

    Why Compare Car Insurance Policies from BankbazaarInsurance

    BBI is a third-party website that offers a number of advantages when it comes to buying a car insurance:

    • It is easier and convenient to buy insurance policy via BBI as the website offers a number of policies to choose from. You can compare each policy on the same platform without having to search the internet extensively.
    • The website has an in-built premium calculator that helps you get the correct quote. The site links you to the insurer directly once you get the quote.
    • The site offers assistance 24X7 throughout. You can reach the customer representatives or visit the website to avail any kind of help with your insurance policy.
    • Their online website has a large database that imparts information and knowledge to the consumer on any topic related to insurance.
    • BankbazaarInsurance makes sure you, as a policyholder get the best insurance at the best price.
    • The site also provides a number of offers on different insurance schemes that you can avail.
    • You can also apply for the transfer of insurance policy from one insurer to another via BBI without having to visit different insurer website.
    • Policy renewal is easy when you compare insurance policies on BBI, this enables you to choose a good insurance policy while renewing.
    • Serves as an integrated website for all your insurance concerns.

    The inclusions and exclusions associated with third-party liability insurance are shown below:

    What is covered What is not covered
    Liability for third-party injury - If you cause injury to an individual in an accident, your insurance company will compensate that person. Injury to self - You will not be offered coverage for your injuries in an accident.
    Liability for third-party property damage - If you cause damage to someone’s property in an accident, your insurance company will pay for the expenses. Damages to your car - If your car is damaged in an accident or stolen, you will not receive any compensation from your insurer.

    For comprehensive car insurance, the inclusions and exclusions are as detailed below:

    What is covered What is not covered
    Own-damage cover - Apart from third-party liability cover, you can claim for damages incurred by your car in an accident. Policy not in-force - It is critical to renew your car insurance on time. If your vehicle is involved in an accident after the expiry of the policy and before renewal, the losses incurred will not be covered.
    Personal accident cover - If you have been injured in an accident, you will receive compensation from your insurer. This will greatly reduce your financial burden during this taxing time. Nuclear risk and war - If your vehicle is damaged due to radiation, war, terror attacks, hostilities, or invasion, you will not be covered.
    Coverage against natural calamities - This includes protection against earthquakes, floods, landslides, etc. Usage of alcohol and other intoxicants - If the driver of the insured car is found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident, the expenses incurred will not be covered.
    Stolen car - If your insured car has been stolen, the insurer will pay the Insured Declared Value (IDV) of the vehicle as mentioned in the policy document. Consequential damage - Consider a scenario in which you find that there is an oil leak and in spite of that, you drive the vehicle. If the gearbox fails, it is considered as consequential damage. The policy will not offer you coverage in this situation.
    Man-made disasters - The insurance company will protect your vehicle from man-made hazards like terrorism, strikes, riots, fire, etc. Deliberate accidental loss - If you stage an accident or perform any other fraudulent activity, the policy does not cover the losses.
    Malicious acts - Underage drivers, a person driving without a valid license, or driving on the wrong side of the road are considered as malicious acts that are not offered coverage under an auto insurance plan.
    Commercial vehicle - Insurance companies offer different insurance plans for private and commercial vehicles. If you try to perform any manipulations on this front, your claim request could be rejected.

    Most insurers offer you the facility to include some excluded events on payment of additional premium. The following coverage can hence be added to the base plan:

    • Wear and tear - Losses due to wear and tear are usually not covered under car insurance policies. The IDV of your car is revised downwards on an annual basis to account for depreciation. If you opt for a zero depreciation add-on cover for your vehicle, depreciation will not be considered on the value of the damaged parts. This includes metal, rubber, fiberglass, and plastic parts.
    • Electrical and mechanical breakdown - Adding an engine protector cover will ensure that the vehicle is protected against mechanical and electrical breakdown. This is particularly useful for your car if you stay in an area that is prone to flooding.
    • Extended accident cover - Personal accident cover is offered for the owner-driver under all comprehensive car insurance policies. However, this cover is not available for the passengers. By paying extra premium, you can add the passenger cover to your base policy. This will offer insurance coverage for the passengers as well.

    Insurance companies today offer value-added services such as instant quotes for prospective customers. This helps them understand the exact premium that they will be required to pay for the insurance coverage.

    A premium calculator is an in-built tool present on the official third-party insurance websites and official websites of insurers. A premium calculator is used to calculate and quotes the insurance premium instantly.

    Auto insurance premium is based on a number of factors, some of which include:

    • Year of manufacture of the vehicle - This determines the age of the car. Older cars will have lower insurance premiums in comparison to cars that are relatively new.
    • Place of registration of the car - Your residential location and the place where you got your car registered also has an impact on your motor insurance premium. Insurance companies have come up with the concept of ‘insurance zones’, based on the vulnerability of a vehicle to loss or damage while operating in that area. Urban drivers usually pay more for their car insurance than car-owners in rural areas or small towns. This is because the possibility of theft, vandalism, and accidents are higher in the cities.
    • Current showroom price - The premium amount that you pay largely depends on the Insured Declared Value (IDV), which is essentially the market value of the car. Therefore, if the cost of the car is high, then the insurance premium will also be on the higher side.
    • Model of the car - Imported brands and cars such as high-end sedans and SUVs will be charged more premium than hatchbacks. Similarly, for diesel vehicles the premium is higher than that of petrol cars. If a car has expensive or rare spare parts, the insurance premium of the vehicle will be higher as well.
    • Purpose of the car - Car insurance providers offer personal and commercial insurance policies. If a car is used for commercial purposes, it will attract higher insurance premiums.
    • Safety devices - Modern cars are equipped with safety features such as airbags, robust locks, advanced braking systems, and anti-theft devices. Insurance companies tend to increase the premiums for vehicles that are more susceptible to damage, theft, and occupant injury. You are eligible get a discount in premium of up to 2.5% if your car is safe. However, the features included in it should be approved by the Automobile Research Association of India (ARAI). Hence, you should research well and equip our car with safety features for reduced premiums.
    • Claims history - If you raise a claim against your vehicle insurance, the premium for the subsequent year is likely to go up. If you abstain from raising claims, you will be rewarded with a No-Claim Bonus (NCB) that translates into a reduction in premium for the following year.

    Apart from the above factors, your credit history, your driving record, the total distance your car has been driven, and the regularity of your car’s servicing also has an influence on the premium you pay towards auto insurance.

    How to Decide on the Right Coverage

    When you are deciding on a car insurance policy, you should keep two things in mind:

    • Your ability to pay the premium on time - If you have existing loans or any such monetary obligations, you should assess your capacity to meet the premium due for your auto insurance. You should also note that third-party liability insurance is the minimum cover legally. If you opt for anything above this, you should check if you can afford it.
    • Additional coverage - You may want to opt for an all-inclusive insurance plan for your car, so that you can avail wider protection. Based on the type of situation you want to cover, the premium amount will vary. The types of covers you can opt for are as follows:
      • Personal injury protection - You can choose to avail protection for yourself or other passengers in the car against injuries/death in accidents.
      • Coverage for being uninsured or underinsured - This covers the expenses incurred if you are hit by another vehicle that is either not insured or underinsured.
      • Collision cover - This offers coverage for repairs done to the car after it was involved in an accident.
      • Cover for car accessories - You can choose additional coverage for protecting your car accessories such as air conditioner or music system.

    As the car ages, its value will go down as well. This translates into a lower premium for the vehicle’s comprehensive insurance policy. However, if you have only purchased third-party liability cover, the premium amount will not vary with the age of the car; it depends on the engine capacity that remains constant.

    How to Lower your Car Insurance Premium

    With the recent GST implementation, car insurance premiums have seen a definitive hike. In order to ensure that you get the best deal on your auto insurance policy, you should keep the following tips in mind:

    • Policy lapsation - If your motor insurance policy moves into the lapsed status, you may not qualify for NCB which lowers your future premium. So, ensure that you follow the payment timelines strictly.
    • Option of deductibles - Increasing the amount corresponding to voluntary deductibles will reduce your auto insurance premium. However, when you opt for deductibles you should ensure that you decide on an amount that you can pay comfortably at the time of a claim.
    • Shop around - Assessing the different car insurance products available to you in the market is a sure-shot way of getting hold of a plan that best suits your needs. You can compare car insurance policies at websites like BankBazaarInsurance absolutely free of cost.
    • Decision on the coverage - Usually, auto insurance policies have predefined features. But if possible, opt out of features that you think will not be useful to you. You can save significantly on the premium by doing so.
    • Avoid claiming small amounts - Very small claims work against the objective of auto insurance. When you raise a small claim, you stand to lose the No-Claim Bonus that you have diligently accumulated over the years. If you observe 5 claim-free years, you may even get a discount in renewal premium of around 50% through NCB. In the case of some small claims, the final amount claimed may even be lesser than the processing fees and loss of NCB. So, refrain from making small claims to save on renewal premiums.
    • Old to new policy - If you are selling an old car, ensure that you procure the no-claim certificate from the insurer. You can reserve this bonus for a few years; so you don’t need to use it with the insurance of a new vehicle immediately. When you eventually buy a new car, you can utilise this benefit to get a reduction in premium on the new car insurance.
    • Installation of safety features - Equipping your car with steering wheel locks, anti-theft alarms, air bags etc. could translate into a 5% discount in your car insurance premium. If you are a member of the Automobile Association of India (AAI) or the Western India Automobile Association (WIAA) you can get further benefits on auto insurance.
    • Limiting customisations - Customising your vehicle with features such as spoilers, alloy wheels, automotive night vision, etc. may lead to higher car insurance premiums. Hence, it is advisable to limit your customisations as much as possible.
    • Loyalty - Most insurers offer discounts to customers who hold multiple insurance policies with the same company. This is a great way to lower your auto insurance premium.

    Buying car insurance policies online has become popular in India. The insurers are coming out with more innovative ways to make shopping for insurance an easy experience for the consumers. They have come up with apps for the same. There are several benefits of buying car insurance online:

    • Accessible from anywhere

    You can access the website or app of the insurer anytime, anywhere. Place and time is not a constraint if you have internet and can visit the site/app from the comfort of your home or any place you like.

    • Easy, hassle-free and less time-consuming

    The process of availing insurance has become easy, thanks to the websites and apps available. You can log into either, provide the necessary information, get the quote and buy the insurance if everything is okay. The whole process is hassle-free and takes very little time when compared to buying the insurance offline. You don't have to run around for documentation or visit the branch for anything. You can also avail help by chatting with the online assistant who will help resolve your issues, if any.

    • Comparing various options

    Now you can compare various insurance schemes at your convenience before buying the insurance. You have the luxury to choose the insurance that matches your needs without any fuss.

    • Low cost and paperless documentation

    When you purchase insurance online, you cut down on your cost when compared to buying insurance offline. The documentation process is paperless throughout. Also, consumers who avail insurance via online modes/online are given certain discounts on insurance premium as paperless documentation cuts down the insurer’s expense too.

    • Instant premium calculation and approval

    The insurer websites and apps come with a built-in tool called the premium calculator to calculate insurance premium instantly. The policyholder just needs to provide the necessary details and the calculator will do the rest. The insurer can verify the information you have provided online and approve your insurance claim when you raise it.

    • Easy endorsements

    Insurance endorsement is any change/correction you need to make in your existing policy. It’s easy to make endorsements online whenever you need to.

    • Free from agents

    You don’t have to deal with insurance agents when you buy the policy, you can directly get all the information you need from the website itself. This safeguards you from fake or fraudulent insurance policies.

    • Offers tranperancy

    Online offers you process transparency and provides you with all the clauses and other details mentioned in the insurance policy.

    • Backup of all policy documents at one place

    Every policy you buy is saved under your name in the website. You can access all your insurance data anytime from the website/app.

    • Easy and timely policy renewal

    Renewing the policy is also easy, less time-consuming and hassle free. Most of the websites or apps have a timely reminder system that alerts you when it’s time to renew your insurance policy.

    • Transfer of policy

    Transferring the existing or expired insurance to another insurer can be done easily without any fuss.

    Misconceptions about Purchasing Auto Insurance Online

    There are many who display reluctance in buying car insurance online. The overall lack of enthusiasm can be attributed to several factors.

    • Authenticity - All policies that are issued by a licensed broker, insurance company, or web aggregator are deemed authentic, as long as the intermediary is registered with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA). The IRDA ensures that there is no malpractice involved in policy sales through those channels. So, you can rest assured that your insurance policy will be a legitimate bond.
    • Reliability - As indicated above, online sales of all sorts of goods are flourishing in the country. The online mode of policy purchase is considered as a more convenient and cost-effective option. Since you perform banking activities, purchase of airline tickets, and do hotel bookings online, you can be assured that buying insurance packages online is equally safe. Third-party financial aggregator websites have stringent security policies and these comply with global security standards. This ensures that transactions through these websites are absolutely safe.
    • Geographical distance - Some users do not prefer to buy insurance plans from online portals, as they fear that the claims process may be difficult to follow-up on. The general perception is that if the insurer is within the city, the claim processing cycle will commence immediately as opposed to an online claim. But the truth is that an online insurance broker would assist you in following up on the claims process and make it so much easier.

    You have decided to get your dream set of wheels and are sieving through the discounts offered by manufacturers. You should note that this is the right time to shop for car insurance as well. It is crucial that you buy the right auto insurance policy and add-ons, so that you are adequately covered.

    Listed below are few things that you should keep in mind when buying motor insurance:

    • Assess the amount of coverage you need - Insurers offer auto insurance plans that provide third-party liability cover and comprehensive cover. Although it is advisable to buy a comprehensive insurance plan, you may opt for third-party liability cover if you deem it appropriate for your needs.
    • Check if you need add-on coverage - Even if there is a persistent insurance agent on your heels advising you to buy add-on coverage, you should buy it only if you feel the necessity. For instance, buying a waiver of depreciation cover is useful as it allows the claimant to receive the full claim amount, including the value of metal and plastic parts that have been replaced.
    • Be aware of the No-Claim Bonus (NCB) - If you do not make any claims in a policy year, the insurer rewards you with a No-Claim Bonus, which could result in a reduction in premium for the subsequent year. Some insurers offer you discounts up to 50% on the premium payable if you maintain a claim-free streak. This is a significant bonus and should be preserved as much as possible.
    • Explore the option of voluntary excess - Voluntary excess is the amount that you will bear from your own pocket in the event of a claim. This amount is agreed upon with the insurer at the inception of the policy. The advantage of opting for voluntary excess is that it would bring down your premium by a good amount.
    • Compare policies online before buying - As explained above, it is important that you explore the options available in the market when deciding on an insurance policy. You could even save up to 20% on the premium amount by doing so. You should also be aware of the fact that buying auto insurance online is a cheaper option. It is important to compare the offerings from your car dealer, insurance agent, and online portals before finalising on the plan.
    • Check if the insurer is offering cashless claim settlement facility - When picking an insurance company, make sure that it has a good reputation of settling claims on time. Also, ensure that the company is affiliated to network garages where you can avail cashless claim settlement. If you are getting your car repaired after an accident, a cashless process is totally hassle-free; so you should choose that option if you can.
    • Make sure you do not nullify the insurance while customising your vehicle - If you choose to customise your car, ensure that the changes do not make the insurance coverage void. You should stick to minimum cosmetic changes, so that your insurance is preserved. Do check with the insurance company on the limits pertaining to customisation.

    In an attempt to improve insurance penetration in the country, the government has been encouraging several authorised entities such as online brokers, banks, car dealers, etc. in distributing insurance. In order to understand the distribution landscape better, let us take a look at the main differences between insurance agents, brokers, and car dealers:

    Insurance agents Brokers Car Dealers
    An insurance agent is an entity authorised to represent the interest of the insurance company. The insurance broker is a representative of the customer, not the insurer. Car dealers are not licensed insurance distributors. They just act as intermediaries between the insurance company and the customer. They receive a commission from the tie-up between the car manufacturer and the insurance company.
    The current regulations indicate that a bank or agent cannot represent more than one insurer. Brokers have a fiduciary responsibility towards customers. This implies that there is a relationship of confidence and trust between the customer and the broker. Insurance policies bought from car dealers can be more expensive than those bought from brokers or through online modes.
    Agents are trained and licensed to sell insurance policies, but they cannot be held responsible for the advice they provide. In the event of a misguided advice, the insurance company will be held responsible. Brokers are ideally supposed to browse through the insurance products offered by various insurance companies and offer you the one that suits your needs. Effectively, they would keep your interest paramount. Brokers have greater accountability, when compared to agents. It is advisable to look beyond the insurance offered to you by the car dealer. If you shop around a bit, you will certainly find a better deal.
    An insurance provider can cancel the license of an agent, if he/she has been responsible for wrong advice or other such issues. A customer can file a complaint in the court against an insurance broker.

    Buying car insurance can be a daunting task if you are not adept at choosing the right coverage on your own. If you have a relatively new vehicle, then you will find auto insurance salesmen in plenty who would be willing to assist you in the matter. However, it is important that you choose a policy after good research and consideration.

    There are multiple third-party financial websites that enable you to compare car insurance schemes, free of cost. You should use this facility as much as possible and compare quotes from multiple insurers to find out who is putting forth the best deal. When you do online research on the offerings out there, you will be better equipped to make a decision. Online policy comparison is also a faster and more convenient method as opposed to discussion with an agent.

    Listed below are some things to consider while comparing auto insurance policies:

    • Compare coverage and cost - Generally, car insurance that offers less coverage would be priced lower as well. So, instead of searching for the cheapest car insurance you should look for the most affordable one. The ideal policy would maintain a healthy balance between the coverage offered and the price of the plan.
    • Consider the reputation of the insurance company - Assessing the claim history of an insurer is a sure-shot way of understanding its reliability and customer service. You should look for an insurer with a high claim settlement ratio, in addition to experience and a significant presence in the industry.
    • Know your policy - Ensure you know everything there is to know about the insurance policy you are about to avail. It is always in your best interest to gather all the available information about the insurance policy you are going to purchase or renew, this way you can avoid buying a policy that doesn’t satisfy your insurance needs. You can visit the nearest branch office of the insurer or visit their official website to gather the required information on the policy.

    Add-on plans offer insurance coverage for several events in addition to third-party liability cover and own-damage cover that a standard policy offers. Based on the type of vehicle you own there is a huge potential for you to save money at the time of a claim. Effectively, add-on plans make your auto insurance work better for you.

    The motor insurance add-on covers available in India are as follows:

    Zero depreciation cover This is one of the most popular riders in car insurance. This add-on entitles you to claim the entire cost of repairing damages that were caused in an accident. You will not be required to pay anything out of your own pocket. Effectively, this cover overrides the depreciation element associated with your car, and gives you the full value of the car as on the date of purchase. This add-on cover is available for cars that are up to 5 years old. Claim under the rider can be recorded up to 2 times during the policy term.
    Engine protect cover This rider is particularly useful for owners of new cars and high-end models. Insurance companies usually offer this cover for cars that are less than 3 years of age. The rider offers coverage for all engine-related repairs and is not only limited to accidents. The cost of engine repairs is usually very high. So buying the rider will be very useful if you stay in an area that is prone to waterlogging. Regular wear and tear of the vehicle and negligence on the part of the owner are exclusions under this rider.
    Return to invoice cover If your vehicle is equipped with this insurance cover, you will receive the original invoice value of the car (including road tax and registration charges) in the event of its theft or total loss. In effect, this rider does not take into account the IDV of your car; instead it pays you the market value. However, if the same model of car is available in the market at a lower cost than the purchase price, the current price is taken into account. This cover is usually offered for cars that are less than 3 years old. Imported vehicles may not be offered coverage under the rider.
    Loss of personal belongings cover This add-on enables you to avail compensation for the theft or loss of personal belongings such as electronic equipments, laptop, etc. from the locked car. The compensation received under this cover can be up to Rs.50,000.
    NCB protect cover If a policyholder does not make any claims during a policy year, he/she is rewarded with a No-Claim Bonus (NCB). The benefit is translated into a reduction in the premium for the following year. This bonus can accumulate for several years and amount to a considerable discount in premium. However, if the policyholder raises a claim, the NCB will be reset to the original value. On taking the NCB protect cover, the policyholder can preserve the accrued NCB even if he/she raises a claim. Some insurers limit the coverage under this rider to one own-damage or total loss claim in a year. Vehicles that are older than 3 years cannot avail this rider coverage.
    Roadside assistance cover Under this insurance cover, the policyholder will receive services such as towing, refuelling, flat tyre change, arranging for a mechanic, etc. in the event of car breakdowns. The facility is available round the clock as well. Some insurers offer this service at a nominal fee (i.e., as an add-on cover), while others have it in-built with the base plan. Several insurance companies offer this cover only for renewed policies, as opposed to fresh ones.
    Personal accident cover for passengers This add-on cover offers compensation to the passengers in the insured vehicle if they face death or partial and permanent disabilities in an accident. The maximum sum assured under this cover is usually Rs.1 lakh per insured member.
    Daily allowance If the insured car is stolen or is undergoing repairs in a garage, this add-on cover offers compensation to the driver so that he/she can hire another vehicle. The amount provided each day varies between Rs.500 and Rs.1,000, based on the model of the insured car. The amount is usually provided for 10-15 days. The exclusions under this rider are:
    • Non-availability of funds if the car is not repaired at a network garage
    • Non-availability of funds if the car is under repair for less than 3 days
    Consumables cover If your car is protected with this cover, you can avail compensation for the money you spend on screen washers, nuts and bolts, bearings, engine oil, etc. when you get the car repaired post an accident. Standard motor insurance policies do not offer compensation for the amount spent on these elements. Vehicles that are more than 3 years old are not eligible for this cover.
    Key replacement cover If you have opted for this add-on cover, the insurer compensates you for the expense of replacing your lock and key in the event of a theft involving your car.

    For most, buying a car implies spending a lot of time and effort in narrowing down on the most suitable model. However, not many prospective car owners show that discipline while purchasing an insurance policy for their cars. Most Indian car buyers look to secure the cheapest insurance mandated by law, and in the process they miss out on the most crucial aspects of buying auto insurance. Here are a few mistakes that you should avoid when buying motor insurance:

    • Comparing policies online - It is important to compare policies from different insurers to understand the coverage and costs.
    • Buying low premium policies - Policies with lower costs also have minimal coverage. You should assess if you would require a comprehensive car insurance cover based on the possible repair and maintenance expenses in the future.
    • Bundling insurance for discounts - Some insurers offer additional benefits to customers who opt for health, home, and auto insurance from the same company. This is a great way to save on your car insurance premium.
    • Opting for unnecessary add-ons - A standard policy package will come with several add-ons that may not offer the coverage needed for your car. So, you should avoid the temptation to buy unnecessary add-ons with your policy.
    • Disclosing driver details and history - Several factors pertaining to the driver and his/her driving history affect car insurance premiums. The driver’s age, history of accidents, safety accessories in the vehicle, usage of the car, etc. are some of the criteria that determine the premium. If you intend to hide a few details to avail low premium, you are actually putting yourself in danger. If the car insurance company finds out that you had not disclosed all facts accurately, the policy may be invalidated.
    • Reading the fine print - Once you have decided to buy a car insurance policy, you should carefully read the terms and conditions within to understand the extent of coverage. Otherwise, you would assume that several aspects fall under the coverage, when in fact, they don’t.

    Deductible or excess is essentially a portion of the claim amount that will be borne by the policyholder before the policy kicks in and pays out the remaining claim value. Deductibles can be classified into two types, i.e., compulsory and voluntary. The main differences between the two are elucidated in the table below:

    Compulsory deductible in car insurance Voluntary deductible in car insurance
    This is a fixed amount that is agreed upon at the time of policy inception. This is usually a small amount and is based on the age of the car, model, engine capacity, etc. This is the amount that the policyholder chooses to bear, based on his/her risk and affordability.
    The compulsory excess amount is compulsorily paid by the policyholder. In the event of a claim, the policyholder will have to pay the compulsory excess and the voluntary excess.
    Premiums will not be lowered on the basis of compulsory deductibles. The voluntary deductible amount chosen alters the premium for the policy. If you choose a high voluntary deductible, the premium will be relatively lower.
    This is a mandatory contribution in a claim. This is a purely optional contribution.

    Deductibles are part of comprehensive car insurance policies. Compulsory deductibles actually discourage policyholders from raising small claims. A high level of compulsory deductibles also ensures that drivers will focus more on road safety so as to avoid damages to the vehicle and subsequent claims.

    Individuals who are confident of their driving abilities or those who are able to pay money without difficulty in the event of an accident can opt for high voluntary deductibles. This will help them save a great deal on the premium.

    A number of cars today come with anti-theft devices. With the growing number of robberies, it has become imperative to install anti-theft devices in the cars. Anti-theft devices not only safeguard the cars but also lower the car insurance premium.

    There are different kinds of anti-theft devices available and they are categorised as below:

    • Keyless lock device

    This is one category of anti-theft devices that uses electronic coding to start the car instead of a mechanical key. You can start using the car only after you have provided the numeric code depending on the type of receiver used. If its a keyboard placed near the driver’s door, enter the code using the same and if a sensor is placed near the driver’s door, unlock the car by swiping the chip with the code over the sensor.

    • Steering wheel lock

    This is another smart device that protects your car from being stolen. As the name suggests, this device locks your steering wheel in a fixed position. No one can use the steering wheel without opening the lock.

    • Alarm

    This anti-theft device alerts the owner and people near the car with high-pitched sound when the car is being tampered with.

    • Electronic Immobilizers

    These are built-in transponders that send signals to the fuel pump and ignition system. The car cannot be operated unless the ignition starters are given proper signals.

    • Vehicle Tracking

    This particular device can be used to track the vehicle after it gets stolen. The device offers real-time GPS location of the stolen vehicle that can help you trace and retrieve the vehicle.

    • Gear Locks

    This is a device used to lock the gear in your car so that if your car is broken into, the thief will not be able to use the car.

    Based on the information given above and depending on the safety factor of the place where your vehicle is being parked at, your affordability, etc. choose a safety device that would protect your car from being stolen or getting involved in a mishap.

    Do New Cars Already Have Anti-Theft Devices?

    Most of the new high-end cars being launched in the market have some or the other anti-theft device installed in them.

    The cashless claim facility was initially a part of the health insurance industry. It has gradually gained popularity and has become an inherent part of the car insurance sector as well. The facility is very helpful to a policyholder who does not have a very high disposable income.

    In the event of an accident involving the insured car, the vehicle can be taken to a garage affiliated to the insurance company. Such service centres are referred to as network garages. The repair work done on the car will be completed in an efficient manner and the policyholder is not required to pay the bill. He/she would only have to bear a minimal part of the claim amount that corresponds to deductibles. The final bill is settled between the insurance company and the garage in a quick and hassle-free manner.

    Key features and benefits of cashless car insurance include:

    • Usually the services offered by network garages are better in comparison to local garages.
    • Cashless motor insurance essentially saves you a lot of time and effort and minimises the impact of overwhelming out-of-pocket expenses that come at a short notice.
    • When buying a comprehensive auto insurance policy, you should check if the insurer has a list of network garages where you can get your car repaired.
    • Some insurers also offer the cashless claim facility to used cars.
    • If authorised network garages are out of reach, then you can get the car repaired at a local garage and raise a reimbursement claim for the expenses. This way, you will have to pay for the repair work up front. You will receive the claim amount only after the insurer approves it.
    • The list of network garages will be provided on the insurance company’s website. You can also call its customer service helpdesk to identify the network garages in your area.
    • The most significant benefit of cashless claim facility is the relief that the insurer will directly handle the expenses without you having to pay up front. Most insurers also offer free pick-up, car wash services, and towing facilities as part of the package.

    Buying used cars is a practice that is becoming very popular in the current economic climate. Transferring car insurance is a part of the purchase process of the used car. The good news is that it is not difficult to do.

    When you buy a used car you have to transfer the registration certificate. You must treat this as a very important step in the car purchase process. The transfer of car insurance works along with the car ownership transfer. You can request your insurance company to process the car insurance transfer.

    The documents required for the transfer of car insurance are mentioned below:

    • Old insurance policy document
    • A copy of the new registration certificate (Form 29)
    • Application form for the new insurance
    • No Objection Clause (NOC) from the previous car owner/policyholder
    • The difference in the No-Claim Bonus amount
    • Inspection report, based on the survey done by the insurance company

    The NCB is an important aspect that should be given some thought when you transfer a car insurance policy. NCB is a reward given to the policyholder for observing claim-free years. It is not tagged to the vehicle. So, if you are buying a used car the NCB already accumulated on that car’s insurance policy cannot be transferred in your name. The NCB will remain with the previous owner and can be used by him/her on the insurance of his/her next car.

    The old car owner will have to request for an NCB retention letter to the insurance provider so as to preserve the NCB. The following documents will have to be submitted when applying for the NCB retention letter:

    • Letter requesting for the cancellation of policy
    • Application for the intimation and ownership transfer of the car (Form 30)
    • Original copy of the policy and certificate of insurance (Form 51)
    • A copy of the registration certificate book that shows the name of the new owner
    • Notice that indicates the transfer of ownership of the vehicle (Form 29)
    • Proof that the car was delivered to the new owner

    Once the car ownership is transferred, the insurance policy held by the previous owner is not valid anymore. It is mandatory that the registration and insurance documents are in alignment at the time of a claim.

    In India, the insurance of a used car can be transferred to either a new car owner or to a new vehicle owned by the same person. The procedures and documentation for the transfer is the same in both cases. It is advisable to analyse all documents and procedures ahead of time so that there are no issues during the actual policy transfer process.

    As per the guidelines set by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), the name of the policyholder and his/her address should be the same in the vehicle registration document and insurance policy document. In case the name and address doesn’t match, your claim will not be settled nor will your liabilities be covered by the insurer.

    You need to submit the following documents along with a Rs. 50 transfer fee to the insurer for transferring your car insurance transfer:

    • New copy of the registration certificate/form 29.
    • Inspection Report (to be carried out by the insurance company).
    • Old policy document.
    • New application form.
    • No Objection Clause (NOC) from the previous policy holder.
    • No Claims Bonus difference amount.

    Understanding the legal jargons in a car insurance policy document is quite a task in itself. To add to that, if you are faced with car insurance theories that do not sound right at all, you should be equipped to weed out the truth from fiction. Listed below are some auto insurance myths that will set you on the right path:

    Myth 1 - Buying car insurance is cumbersome.

    Purchase and renewal of car insurance can be done easily online at the insurer’s website or at third-party financial websites. It just takes a few minutes for the process. Some insurance companies today also have the Photo Quote option wherein you can submit a photograph of your current policy document and receive an instant quote for policy renewal.

    Myth 2 - Car insurance offers coverage only for accidents.

    In addition to accidents, car insurance also covers natural calamities such as floods, earthquakes, lightning, landslides, etc. Man-made disasters like theft, burglary, and damage in transit are also covered.

    Myth 3 - The car insurance claim process is very inconsistent.

    This is certainly not the case. You can raise claims online in a hassle-free manner. In order to raise a claim, the policyholder will have to log on to the insurer’s website and update a claim form. The progress of the claim can also be tracked online. Within 24 hours of claim registration, the insurance company will get back to you for document submission. You will receive the assistance of the insurer at every stage in the claim process.

    Myth 4 - If my insured car is involved in an accident, I can claim for an amount equivalent to the cost of a new car.

    No, this is not the way car insurance works. When the insurer calculates the current cost of your car (IDV), the depreciation amount is deducted from its original price. So, the maximum amount that you can receive under the insurance coverage is this value of your car post depreciation.

    The insurer makes sure that after you receive the claim amount, you will be in the same financial position as you were in before the damage. This indicates that the principle of indemnity rides on the insurance amount.

    Myth 5 - My friend was driving my car when the accident occurred. So, he is responsible for the damages.

    This is not true. The owner of the insured car will be responsible for all accidents the car is involved in, irrespective of who was driving it at that point of time.

    Myth 6 - My personal belongings inside the car are covered.

    In an accident if you incur loss/damage to personal belongings inside the car, you will not receive any reimbursement through car insurance.

    Insurance companies spend a lot of money on advertising to lure customers into buying their products. The promise of lower premiums and other benefits may be enticing to the common man. But assess the benefits that you are already enjoying with your current insurer before you think of switching. You may find that the perks of being loyal to your insurance company far outweigh the ones that you are promised by another insurer.

    Listed below are some of the rewards that are offered to customers for their loyalty:

    • Many insurance companies offer you longevity or tenure discount. This translates into a rate cut for a specific period of time. The amount of time you have to be insured with a company to be eligible for the discount varies. Some insurance providers also offer discounts when customers switch to avail their services. This discount may be more than the loyalty benefits offered by their previous insurance companies.
    • Some insurance providers offer accident forgiveness schemes that ensure your premiums are not raised the first time you are involved in an accident. However, there are several other clauses associated with this benefit, and not all insurers offer this facility.
    • Some insurance companies are more lenient in the event of minor accidents with longtime customers.
    • If a longtime customer is a little late in premium payment, some insurance companies waive penalties associated with the policy revival.

    Deciding on whether you should stay with your insurance provider or shift to another company is totally based on what you would gain and what you stand to lose.

    An endorsement refers to a correction or change made to the existing auto insurance plan. It is useful in cases where there is a change in the ownership of the car, addition of an LPG/CNG kit, addition of optional covers, increase in base policy coverage, removal or addition of electrical accessories, change in the geographical location, etc. The insurance company would not alter the original policy; instead they would provide an endorsement certificate to the policyholder.

    Endorsements can be classified as follows:

    • Premium bearing endorsements - This includes the following changes:
      • Correction of the ex-showroom price of the vehicle
      • Transfer of ownership
      • Installation of a CNG/LPG kit
      • Inclusion of Personal Accident Cover
      • Removal of an anti-theft device
      • Extension of the geographical area
      • Installation of non-electrical accessories
      • Installation of electrical accessories
      • Participation in a rally
      • Removal of automobile association membership
    • Non premium bearing endorsements - This includes the following changes:
      • Updating registration number
      • Nominee details correction
      • Correction in customer type
      • Correction in customer/corporate name or prefix
      • Correction in customer’s address, gender, or city
      • Alteration of the mobile number and contact details of the customer
      • Changes in lease agreement, hire purchase agreement, or hypothecation agreement

    Most car insurance customers switch between insurance companies at the occurrence of any of the following events:

    • Experience service that is below par
    • Identify an alternate insurer offering a better insurance package or lower premium
    • Understand that the current insurer does not offer some add-on covers that the customer needs

    Car owners are spoilt for choice when it comes to buying auto insurance. Switching to a new insurance company is a simple process that can be done at any time. You do not even have to wait for the current plan to expire before you change insurance.

    You can start by evaluating your insurance needs and then comparing policies online for the best rates and coverage. Once you have a new car insurance policy, you should cancel your old policy so that you do not get penalised for late payments on it.

    It is recommended that you shop for auto insurance deals every year. At a minimum, you should look out for better deals in the following circumstances:

    • Change in marital status - Once you are married your insurance needs may vary. You may require personal accident cover for the passengers, RTI cover, etc. It is advisable to check the car insurance policies available in the market at this point of time so that you know what you are eligible for.
    • New car - The most appropriate insurance company for your old car may not be the best option when it comes to your new car. Insurance providers offer policies based on the make, model, and age of the car.
    • Update in driving record - When traffic violations and claims reach a 3-year milestone, it is an ideal time to shop for a better price on your auto insurance. This is because insurance companies usually take your 3-year driving history immediately preceding the application for insurance. So if you have a clean track record for the past 3 years, you may get a better deal on your car insurance with another insurer.
    • Improvement in credit score - Car insurance is dependent on your credit score as well. If your score has improved, then you should let your current insurer know. Also, check what the other companies have to offer you at this point.
    • Age and experience - When a driver is above 25 years of age, he/she will be eligible for a lower rate on car insurance. Similarly, the driving experience of an individual will also have an impact on the premium. If you have been driving for 5 years or more, lower premium rates are usually available.

    When you decide to switch insurer:

    After you have analysed the various options available to you, you may decide to switch to a different insurance company. At this time, there are certain things you should keep in mind to ensure that the switching process is smooth:

    • Avoid a gap of even a day - You should ensure that there are no gaps between the end of the old insurance and the commencement of the new one. You should ideally cancel your old policy only after the new plan is effective.
    • Request for old policy cancellation - You should inform your old insurer that you will be cancelling the policy. Also, if you were paying through ECS, ensure that the payments towards the plan are stopped post cancellation.
    • Get refunds, if applicable - If you have prepaid the premium for your old car insurance, you are eligible to get a refund of the premium on a pro rata basis. You may be charged a fee for policy cancellation. So, remember to settle the final amount with the old insurance company after you cancel the plan.
    • Carry the new proof of insurance - Once you have a new car insurance policy in place, you should carry the proof of insurance with you at all times.

    Things to consider when switching insurers

    When you request for cancellation of your old car insurance policy and move to a new insurer, there are certain privileges that you cannot carry forward. This includes the following:

    • You may lose the loyalty benefits offered by your old insurance company. This is inclusive of accident forgiveness that some insurers offer.
    • Consider that you have a bundled package of car insurance and life insurance with an insurance company. When switching car insurance to another provider, you may have to bear higher rates on your life insurance that is still with the old insurance company. So you should consider shifting all your existing insurance policies to the new company, as you may end up saving more this way.
    • Ensure that you are aware of the full impact of shifting insurers, so that you can avoid surprises and have a smooth transition.
    • Ensure you compare different insurance policies to find one that fulfills all your insurance needs and falls within your budget.
    • Make sure you choose a well reputed insurer to make the policy switch.
    • Check for add-ons and additional features offered with the insurance policy.
    • Inform the insurer when you decide to make the switch because sometimes in order to retain an existing customer from leaving, insurers tend to offer better discounts and benefits with the insurance policy.

    The primary objective of a car insurance plan is to provide you financial protection if any unfortunate incident occurs. When you raise a claim under motor insurance you will be required to furnish your original policy contract. Hence, it is very important that you keep the document safe throughout the policy tenure.

    However, if you happen to misplace your car insurance policy document, you have to follow the steps mentioned below:

    • Submit an application for car insurance duplicate copy - You should write an application to your insurer with your name, policy number, date of issuance, type of cover, and whether the policy was assigned to another individual. You would also have to elaborate on the circumstances under which you lost the policy document. If the car insurance is held jointly, the application should be submitted jointly by all stakeholders.

    Insurance providers usually charge a small fee for issuing a duplicate copy of the policy. This amount has to be paid when you submit the application.

    • Put up an advertisement - Some insurance companies require that you publish an advertisement in the leading newspapers regarding the loss of the policy. The advertisement should be submitted to the company as well. The cost of publishing the advertisement is usually borne by the policyholder.
    • Sign indemnity bond - You will be required to sign an indemnity bond on non-judicial stamp paper of appropriate value. The bond should include your name and policy number. The indemnity bond should also be signed by two witnesses who are not your family members. Some insurers also insist that a surety bond is submitted.

    Once all the necessary documentation is duly submitted, a duplicate of the car insurance policy is issued within a week. The terms and conditions under the plan, nomination, and policy details will remain the same as that in the original policy.

    Under third-party liability insurance, a third-party can raise a claim for losses caused by your insured vehicle, such as property damage, injury, or death. The claim for compensation will be filed against your insurer. There is no limit on the liability claim for injury or death. But the maximum limit for liability on third-party property damage is Rs.7.5 lakh.

    If you are the third-party claiming damages from the person responsible for the accident, you have the following options:

    • In the event of an injury you can raise a claim for medical expenses. This includes claims for physical disfigurement or loss of earnings.
    • In the event of death, your dependents can raise the claim. The claim can also include reimbursement of medical expenses incurred for treatment before death.
    • If there was property damage, the loss would have to be quantified with the surveyor’s report, motor vehicle inspection record, and the original bills from the garage.

    If your claim is successful, you will receive the payment from the other person’s insurance company under his/her third-party liability insurance. Subrogation is the act by which the insurance company of one party, makes payment for accident expenses and claims this amount from the insurer of the other party. Subrogation is possible only with comprehensive insurance, and the insurer can decide whether to go for it or not.

    Claim Process for Third-Party Liability Insurance

    Raising a claim under third-party liability insurance is a daunting task. There are three steps to this process:

    • You should first file an FIR and get a charge sheet from the police.
    • Then you should approach a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal through a qualified lawyer.
    • The claim will be examined in court and a liability will be fixed.

    The complications in the claim process arise when the coverage of both parties are examined. Here, we have listed various permutations of situations when individual X has incurred damages to his car by individual Y’s car in an accident:

    Insurance coverage Legal solution
    Possibility 1 - Consider a scenario where X has only basic third-party insurance coverage for his car. He can claim compensation under Y’s third-party insurance. He should also establish that Y was negligent or responsible for the accident in court. If the court decides in favour of X, he may/may not get the full amount claimed. This is because Y’s insurer will only offer the compensation decided by the court. Also, X cannot claim for the remaining expenses under his own car insurance policy.
    Possibility 2 - Consider a situation where X has comprehensive motor insurance. X can choose any of the following options:
    • He can claim under the ‘own-damage cover’ of his insurance policy. This is the fastest and most convenient method, but it will result in NCB loss.
    • He can claim for third-party liability insurance with Y’s insurer and fight a case in court.
    • He can request his own insurance company to subrogate the case and fight on behalf of him. Subrogation will be at the discretion of the insurer.
    Possibility 3 - Consider a scenario in which both X and Y have comprehensive insurance coverage. The insurance company of X may not subrogate the claim unless it is a case of disability or death. All ‘vehicle damage’ claims should be ideally settled out of court, as the judicial process can be very time-consuming. Third-party claims for death take a long time to settle as well. In spite of this, if X is keen on approaching the tribunal he can do so. He should be able to furnish all documents required for the proceedings.

    GST has been referred to as the largest indirect tax reform in the history of independent India. After the GST implementation on 1 July 2017, in a memorable midnight ceremony at the iconic Central Hall of the Parliament, insurance products have become more expensive. This includes hike in car insurance premiums as well.

    As per the previous tax regime, car insurance products were charged service tax at the rate of 15%. Currently car insurance is charged GST at 18%, an increase of 3% in premium. So for instance, if you were paying a premium of Rs.10,000 before 1 July 2017, the service tax on it would have been Rs.1,500. This amount was paid in addition to the actual premium value. After GST implementation, you will be required to pay Rs.1,800 as GST. This implies that you will be paying an additional Rs.300 towards your car insurance policy.

    Insurance frauds usually involve raising false claims. However, there have been instances where the policy bought by the customer was fake. This phenomenon is more common in the car insurance domain when the policy was not bought from a registered agent.

    It would be very disappointing to discover at the time of a claim that the insurance policy you purchased was a fake one. Let us look at the ways in which you can avoid this misfortune:

    • Sign the application form - You should read the terms and conditions in the policy and sign on the application form yourself.
    • Get a receipt when buying - The insurance agent who sold you the policy should ideally provide you a receipt for premium payment when you have paid in cash. In case you do not receive it, you should specifically ask for one. It should be noted that some insurance companies do not provide a premium receipt unless it is specifically requested for.
    • Pay premium through cheque - Paying premiums through cheques is the safest option to avoid becoming a victim of fraudulence.
    • Check NCB, IDV, and deductibles - As soon as you receive the policy document, you should verify the No-Claim Bonus criteria, Insured Declared Value of your car, and the deductibles applicable. This will give you an idea of whether your car insurance policy is genuine or not.
    • Get in touch with the insurer - The most simple way in which you can check the genuineness of your policy is by contacting the insurance company. You may have purchased the plan from an agent or a car dealer. You can confirm policy details with the insurance company by sending it an email or calling its customer service desk. Alternatively, you can visit the branch office of the insurer to discuss about your policy.
    • Beware of offers with unusually low premium - You should be wary of buying insurance if it is offered to you at a very low premium. Once you receive the policy document, go through the inclusions and exclusions to understand if all your requirements have been recorded satisfactorily.
    • QR code - On your mobile phone you can install an app that reads QR codes to verify policy details. The IRDAI has mandated all car insurance policies to have a QR code. When you scan the QR code, you will receive information about the policy instantly.

    Consider that you have installed an LPG/CNG kit in your vehicle. Your insurance agent may not be aware of it, and hence, these may not be specifically mentioned in the application form. At the time of raising a claim, you will face difficulties for not having disclosed details about the LPG/CNG kit. Hence, it is important that you read the policy document thoroughly and declare customisations or safety features that you have added to your car.

    It is also advisable to buy insurance directly from the insurer or from a reputed online insurance broking company. The advancement in technology has made online car insurance purchase easier and more flexible.

    • When you buy auto insurance online, you can read the terms and conditions of the policy and get a printout or screenshot of the purchase receipt. This way, the possibility of fraud is mitigated to a large extent as well.
    • Purchasing motor insurance online is beneficial because you know that you are buying from a reputed organisation through a registered website. It is much better than buying from an insurance agent who may be a fraud.

    Your car insurance claim also contributes to your car insurance premium. The premium for your car insurance depends on your insurer, the kind of mishap which has taken place and whether your policy has the accident forgiveness facility. It is not necessary that a claim should affect your insurance premium but there is a good chance it will.

    Insurers usually consider the below factors to determine your car insurance premium rates:

    • The severity of the accident

    Your future insurance premium depends on the severity of a mishap. In case your vehicle gets involved in a mishap where it incurs severe damages, the payout made by the insurer will be high to cover such damages, which would motivate the insurer to charge you higher for your insurance policy prior to your policy renewal.

    • The at-fault driver

    In most of the cases, if the mishap was your fault, you will be charged a higher premium by the insurer otherwise your premium will remain the same. However, there are certain exceptions for such cases, a few are mentioned below:

    • A few insurers will increase your premium based on the fact that statistically there is a high chance if you getting involved in another mishap which would cost the insurer dearly.
    • In case you live in a no-fault state, your insurer will most likely increase your insurance premium regardless of who caused the mishap.
    • Your value to the insurer

    If you are an experienced driver with an equally good driving record, you are most likely to be a valuable customer to the insurer as the insurer won’t have to shell out money on you. In case you don’t have a good driving record and have raised claims before, insurers may tend to value you less because you are prone to get into accidents that results in the insurer paying for your liabilities depending on the severity of the incident. The premium for such drivers will be higher than that of experienced drivers.

    • Type of mishap

    In case your car gets stolen, you will be charged a higher insurance premium by the insurer as the insurer will have to pay your claim for stolen vehicle.

    • Your insurance firm

    Every insurer is different from another, hence, each insurer will have a set of guidelines for determining the car insurance premium rates, any change to your insurance premium will primarily depend on your insurer.

    • Accident Forgiveness Policies

    Few of the insurers offer accident forgiveness feature in the insurance policy. Under this feature, drivers with a good driving record can be involved in one accident without it resulting in an increase in premium post claim settlement.

    1. What documents should always be available in the vehicle for ready inspection?

      When driving on Indian roads, it is important to carry the following documents:

      • Registration Certificate of the car
      • Certificate of Insurance of the vehicle
      • Driver’s license
      • Certificate of emission test, i.e., Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certificate
      • If the vehicle is used for commercial purposes, you should also have the Certificate of Fitness and required permits

      Usually, it is sufficient to carry the photocopies of the above documents. In case you are travelling outside the state of registration of the vehicle, you should carry the original documents.

    2. Why car insurance premiums differ from company to company?

      Car insurance premiums vary based on different factors, and each insurance provider has its own yardstick for determining it. The premiums basically depend upon the insurer’s assessment of how risky the driver is, the cost the company incurs while conducting business, and the amount of claims the insurer would pay out during a financial year. Other factors that insurers use to determine the premium are:

      • The driving record of the applicant
      • The applicant’s age
      • Model and make of the car
      • Location where the car is usually parked
      • Location where the car is driven most of the time
      • Credit rating of the applicant
      • Claims history of the customer

      Insurers attribute different weightage to these deciding factors. Since every insurance provider rates a driver’s risk according to its own criteria, the quotes may vary significantly.

      Some companies may offer promotional rates to customers from time to time. This will also reduce the premium by a substantial amount.

    3. I have shifted to a new place. Is it necessary to update my address on my car insurance? How do I do it?

      You would have to inform your car insurance provider of the change in address. The insurer will not change the address in the original policy. Instead, it provides you an endorsement certificate. This would fall under the category of non premium bearing endorsements.

    4. I am eligible for a No-Claim Bonus (NCB). But I earned it when I went abroad. Can I still avail it?

      If your car insurance policy is in-force and you have observed a claim-free year, you are eligible for a No-Claim Bonus. Using this bonus, you can get a reduction in premium for the next policy year. If you plan to sell your car, you can get an NCB retention letter from the insurer that will preserve the NCB for 3 years. Within this time, you can use it on the insurance of another vehicle that you own.

    5. My car insurance policy application was rejected. What do I do?

      Car insurance applications are rarely rejected. Usually the insurer will offer you a policy with modified terms at an extra premium. If the customer suffers from a serious illness that is not permanent, the insurer may request him/her to submit the application after a few months. The policy will then be offered at a higher premium as well.

      In case an insurer has rejected your application, it is unlikely that another company will approve it. When you apply for a car insurance policy, the application form itself will have a column where you will have to update whether you had applied for a policy before and if there were any instances of rejection. In case the second insurer approves your policy application, you will be charged a premium that could be two to three times higher.

    6. How do car insurance payments work?

      When you purchase motor insurance, you will have to pay the premiums on the due date. Most car insurance companies offer flexible payment options that will be suited to everyone’s budget. If you are unable to pay the full amount in one go, you can opt to make regular payments at monthly, quarterly, or half-yearly frequencies. When a premium payment is due, you will be notified of the due date and payment amount. Some insurance providers offer you the option of paying online. This way you can benefit from not having to pay the service fee.

    7. How are car insurance claims paid?

      There is no set rule on how auto insurers process claims, so the procedure may differ greatly. However, most insurers undertake the following steps when processing claims:

      For cashless claims:

      • You should contact the insurance company as soon as the accident occurs.
      • Your car will be towed to a network garage in the vicinity.
      • A representative from the insurance company will assess the damage to your car. The network garage will also provide an estimated cost for repair.
      • Based on the type of coverage you have, you may receive a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired.
      • The final cost of repair will be communicated to the insurer by the garage. The amount will be settled between the insurance company and the service centre. You may have to pay a part of the claim amount corresponding to deductibles, based on your car insurance coverage.

      For reimbursement claims:

      • You will have to intimate the insurance company as soon as your car meets with an accident.
      • You should also gather enough details from the accident spot, so that you can justify your reimbursement claim.
      • The insurer will examine the damages incurred by your vehicle.
      • You should pay the garage for the repair work after it is completed.
      • Collect the bills so that you can raise a claim.
      • Submit the bills and all other relevant documentation to the insurance company for reimbursement.
      • The insurer will examine all aspects of the claim and revert with payment, if your claim is valid.

      In both the above cases, it is crucial to file an FIR after the accident and submit it to the insurer to support your claim.

    8. How do car insurance companies make money?

      In auto insurance, a customer pays a fixed sum of money to the insurance provider in exchange for financial assistance at some point in the future. However, the service may not be rendered at all.

      Car insurance companies make money through a clever combination of risk management and the use of funds in a strategic manner.

      • Insurers segregate policyholders into groups based on the risk they carry, i.e., driving history, type of car, etc. In each group there is a small percentage of policyholders who may endure an accident for which they file claims during the policy term.

      So consider an instance where a policyholder gets into an accident that results in a payout of Rs.1 lakh. If the policyholder has paid premium that amounts to Rs.12,000, this would indicate that the insurer is at a direct loss of Rs.88,000. But in reality, the insurer does not incur such a loss because managed risk spreads this financial burden over the remaining members of the group, who haven’t raised any claims.

      • Insurance companies work like banks i.e., they invest the money received from policyholders in investments that earn interests. The shared risk enables insurers to have a large amount of cash on hand for honouring claims. Investments are part of a financial strategy to ensure that the company has cash for claim payouts in the long-term.
      • In addition to the points above, car insurers also have a limit on payouts. These limits match the premiums paid. This is a strategy using which the company ensures that it does not make payments beyond a specific pre-defined amount.
    9. Are car insurance premiums going up?

      After the GST implementation on 1 July 2017, the total amount you pay for auto insurance has risen. This is because the service tax on the premiums paid earlier were 15%. Now that the service tax has been replaced by GST, the rate charged is 18%, an increase of 3% in total premium. In addition to that, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has recently indicated that car insurance premiums will rise by 16%-50% in 2018.

    10. Are car insurance claims public record?

      No, car insurance claims are not public records, these are business records that can be obtained through a subpoena.

    11. Are car insurance claims taxable?

      Taxability of a motor insurance claim payout depends on whether the amount received is ‘capital’ or ‘revenue’.

      • If the person receiving the compensation for a car accident is permanently disabled due to the accident, this amount is considered as ‘capital’ receipt, and hence, is not taxable.
      • If the disablement of the claimant is temporary, the claim payout is considered as a temporary income, i.e., ‘revenue’ that is taxable.
    12. Are car insurance payments tax deductible?

      The tax implications of car insurance payments are as follows:

      • The premium paid towards a motor insurance policy can be treated as an expense if the vehicle is used for commercial purposes. In this case, the policyholder can avail tax deductions on the premiums paid. There is also no maximum limit on the amount of premium that can be claimed as business expense.
      • If the car is used only for private purposes, the insurance premium paid is not considered as an expense. So, the policyholder cannot avail tax deductions.
      • If the car is partially used for private purposes and partially for business use, then the policyholder can receive tax deductions on the premiums paid. The deduction will be in proportion to the amount paid towards the commercial auto insurance premium.
    13. When does a car insurance policy expire?

      All auto insurance policies have a defined policy period. This is the duration for which the coverage is active. The start and end-dates of coverage are specified in the policy documentation. A policy term does not automatically begin at the start of a calendar year. The policy term for car insurance in India is 1 year and it depends on when the coverage under the plan commences.

    14. Why do car insurance premiums increase every year?

      Increase in car insurance premiums can be classified into two categories:

      • Factors under the control of the policyholder - This includes your claim history, accident record, value and type of the vehicle you drive, age, gender, and marital status. The premium also depends on the population, weather, and crime log in your locality.
      • Factors under the control of the insurance company - This is inclusive of the situations mentioned below:
        • Poor loss experience - If the insurance provider has experienced or anticipates poor loss, then the insurance premiums across the entire range of products would increase.
        • Hike in expenses - If an insurance company has seen that there is an increase in expenses, the premium rates will go up.
        • Poor investment performance - A series of poor performances in the market can compel investors to increase car insurance premiums.
        • Poor results in a segment of policyholders - If the insurance company observes a poor performance in a specific segment of policyholders then the premium for that segment will rise.
    15. What is the Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certificate validity for a new car?

      For vehicles that were purchased on or before 31 March 2010, i.e. old cars, the PUC Certificate will have to be renewed on a quarterly basis. For all vehicles purchased from 1 April 2010 onwards, i.e., new cars, the PUC Certificate will be valid for 1 year.

    16. How many times can I claim under car insurance in a year?

      There is no restriction on the number of auto insurance claims allowed in a year, as long as the policy is in force. However, there are restrictions on the number of claims raised under add-on covers such as zero depreciation, NCB protect, etc. You can check the policy terms and conditions for more details.

    17. Is it necessary to inform my insurer in case I fit a CNG/LPG kit in my car?

      Fitting a CNG or LPG kit in your vehicle is a major change which will have to reflect in your insurance policy as a policy endorsement. If you don’t inform your insurer regarding the kit, your insurance claim when raised will be denied and your insurance policy will be declared as void.

    18. What are the parameters used to calculate your car insurance premium?

      Your insurance policy is calculated based on certain parameters, a few of them are listed below:

      • Insured Declared Value (IDV) of your car
      • Riders you opt for
      • Make and model of your car
      • Your geographical location
      • Manufacturing year of your car
      • Accumulated No Claim Bonus (NCB)
    19. What is a third-party liability cover?

      Third-party car insurance is a legal agreement between the insurer and policyholder where the insurer promises to protect the policyholder from unforeseen liabilities due to third-party injuries, third-party vehicle damage and external property damage.

    20. What is a comprehensive cover?

      Comprehensive car insurance is a legal agreement between the insurer and policyholder where the insurer promises to protect the policyholder from unforeseen third-party as well as own damage liabilities.

    21. What documents have to be submitted at the time of claim request?

      The following are a few of the documents that need to be submitted at the time you raise the claim request:

      • Duly filled claim form
      • Invoices/bills that show the loss estimate
      • Copy of the vehicle’s RC
      • Repair invoice (for reimbursement claim only)
      • Copy of the FIR you filed at the time of mishap
    22. What is a voluntary deductible in car insurance?

      A voluntary deductible is part of the insured amount that you agree to pay from your side at the time of claim settlement.

    23. Does my geographical location impact my car insurance premium? If so, how?

      Yes, your geographical location impacts your insurance premium since the standard of living varies from one place to another. Places with high standard of living will have high insurance premiums too. Also, few of the place may be more accident prone than the others, in such cases the more accident prone areas will have higher insurance premium than the others.

    24. What is the endorsement process for an existing car insurance policy?

      If you have any correction/change to be made in your insurance policy, you can do it through policy endorsement. You will have to submit a letter with the details of your endorsement along with valid proof to your insurer.

    25. Between comprehensive cover and third-party liability cover, which one should I opt for?

      Third-party liability cover provides a limited insurance coverage whereas comprehensive cover offers an extensive insurance coverage. You can opt for either of the covers based on your insurance needs and the kind of car your own. As third-party coverage is limited, you can avail this insurance for low end cars or second-hand cars. When it comes to luxury cars, it is always wise to opt for a comprehensive cover as the cost of repair/replacement is high for such cars.

    26. What are some of the best add-ons available in the car insurance market?

      Car insurance comes with a number of add-on covers that add value to the base policy. Out of the add-ons available in the market, the most favoured ones are return-to-invoice cover, zero-depreciation cover, No Claim Bonus (NCB) protect and engine protect.

    27. How long is the car insurance policy tenure?

      A car insurance policy tenure is the time period during which your car insurance policy remains active unless you use the complete claim amount. Your car insurance policy can be for 1 year or 3 years depending on the car insurance policy being offered by the insurer.

    28. Is it possible to cancel my car insurance policy anytime?

      Yes, you can cancel your car insurance policy and get the existing insured amount debited to your account, provided you have not raised any claim 30 days prior to the policy expiry and have an alternate car insurance for which you can produce valid proof.

    29. What does depreciation mean in car insurance?

      Depreciation in car insurance refers to the reduction in the value of your car due to its regular wear and tear. Depreciation affects the car parts as well as the car on the whole. The depreciation rates vary for different car parts and cars. As your car ages, its value will also depreciate.

    30. What is a cover note?

      A cover note is a temporary document provided by the insurer to the insured until the original insurance policy is issued. The cover note will have the details of the policyholder and insurance policy and is valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.

    31. Is it possible to transfer the NCBs from my expired insurance policy?

      Yes, you can transfer your accumulated NCBs provided you have purchased the new insurance policy within 90 days of your previous policy expiry.

    32. How can I trim my car insurance premium?

      There are a number of discounts one can avail to reduce one's insurance premium, a few of the discounts are listed below:

      • No Claim Bonus (NCB).
      • If you are a member of one of the automobile associations of India.
      • If you own vintage cars that are certified by the Vintage and Classic Car Club of India.
      • If you have installed ARAI approved anti-theft devices in your car.
    33. In case I buy a second-hand car, is it ok to continue the car insurance policy in the previous car owners name even though the owner’s name in the RTO records reflect my name?

      No, once you buy a second hand car, it is necessary that you insure the new car in your name, else your claim request will be denied. For the car insurance to be valid, your name should reflect in the RTO records as well as your car insurance policy.

    34. What are consumables in car insurance?

      Consumables are certain substances used in vehicles; these are susceptible to wear and tear or must be replaced regularly. In other words, these items are either consumed completely or are unfit for future use. This includes nuts and bolts, screws, brake oil, engine oil, oil filter, fuel filter, lubricants, ball bearings, grease, air conditioner gas, washers, etc.

      A basic comprehensive car insurance plan does not offer coverage for consumables. Insurers offer add-on covers for insuring the car’s consumables. These riders need to be purchased separately by paying extra premiums. These can be added to the base plan to enhance the insurance coverage.

      Listed below are certain conditions that apply to the consumables add-on cover:

      1. For a consumables claim to be valid, the claim must fall under the own-damage part of the comprehensive cover.
      2. Repairs to the vehicle’s consumables should be undertaken within 3 days from the date of theft or loss. If you do not raise the claim within this time, it can be invalidated by the insurer.
      3. The consumables add-on cover is only available to cars that are below 5 years old.
    35. What is RTI in car insurance?

      Return to invoice (RTI) cover is an add-on insurance policy that bridges the gap between the Insured Declared Value of the car and its invoice value. It is an option that will offer you the on-road price of the car (at the time of purchase) in the event of a claim. The cost of RTI cover is about 10% more than the cost of a comprehensive car insurance plan. The RTI cover offers protection against a significant financial loss, such as a stolen car or a vehicle that is damaged beyond repair.

      If your vehicle was only protected by a comprehensive car insurance policy, you would have received the IDV of the vehicle as claim payout. The value pertaining to the depreciation of the vehicle would not be offered to you. The RTI add-on policy covers this gap.

      Here are a few things you need to keep in mind when availing a RTI cover:

      • You cannot raise claim for small vehicle damages using the RTI cover.
      • The RTI cover is most useful for covering financial losses that have risen as a result of the insured vehicle being stolen or the insured car being completely damaged.
      • You can opt for a RTI cover of you stay at a theft-prone area, and the chances of your vehicle getting damaged or stolen is high.
      • This cover gives the policyholder a relief from the depreciation factor of the vehicle.
      • The RTI cover is applicable only for vehicles that have been newly purchased or that are less than 3 years old.
    36. What is salvage and total loss in car insurance?

      Salvage is the total value or loss/damages to your car post a mishap. Total loss is when your car has undergone severe damage/wreck and is in a state where it can’t be repaired.

    37. What is the difference between cashless claim and reimbursement claim?

      A cashless claim is offered by the insurers who have tie-ups with certain authorised garages that can provide car services to the policyholder, post a mishap. Post all the repair work is done, the insurer settles the cost for the repairs directly with the garage.

      In case your insurer doesn’t offer cashless claim settlement or if you are unable to locate a cashless garage nearby post a mishap, you can take your car to the nearest garage for repairs and pay for the repairs yourself. After you have made the payment, collect the invoice and payment receipt, and submit them to your insurer. The insurer will review the submitted documents and reimburse the amount you spent for your car repairs.

    38. What documents do you have to submit in order to avail the cashless facility?

      You have to submit the following documents to avail the cashless claim service:

      • Your car’s original RC book.
      • A copy of your car’s RC book.
      • A copy of your driver’s licence.
      • A duly filled claim form.
      • Copy of the FIR lodged by you at the time of mishap

      Apart from the above basic documents, you also have to submit other necessary documents mentioned in your insurance policy document.

    39. What is an insurance certificate?

      Insurance certificate is a document issued by the insurer and contains all the relevant information about your insurance policy. Issuance of this document is mandatory as per the Central Motor Vehicles Rules and should always be present in the vehicle.

    40. After I sell my car, what happens to my car insurance?

      When you sell your car, you can either transfer your insurance policy to the buyer’s name or you can cancel your insurance policy. Either way, if you have accumulated No Claim Bonuses you can retain them and transfer them to your new insurance policy, if any, within 90 days of policy expiry.

    41. How can I incorporate any necessary changes to my car insurance policy?

      For any change or correction to be incorporated in your insurance policy, you need to submit an endorsement letter along with relevant proof and other necessary documents. The insurer, post review of the documents and letter you submitted will make the necessary changes in your policy.

    42. How can I add or delete the Hypothecation in my car insurance policy?

      To add a Hypothecation you need to submit your car’s endorsed RC copy or a letter from the respective bank.

      To delete a Hypothecation you need to submit your car’s endorsed RC copy to the bank or submit the relevant documents along with the NOC to your insurer.

    43. If I am buying a new car, how do I transfer my existing policy to the new vehicle?

      If you want to transfer your existing insurance policy to your new car you will have to contact the nearest branch office of the insurer and ask them to make the relevant changes to your insurance policy document which may include a change in the insurance premium too. You might also have to submit the sale letter and insurance policy document of your previous car.

    44. What is a No Claims Bonus (NCB)?

      No claim bonus is a discount on insurance premium offered by the insurer to the insured as a reward for every claim-free year. The percentage of discount provided increases with each year, for a maximum of 5 years. At the end of the first claim-free year you are eligible for a 20% discount which increases in the consecutive years upto a 50% discount provided at the end of the 5th claim-free year.

    45. Will my No Claims Bonus (NCB) earned overseas be accepted in India for the car insurance I purchase?

      Yes, your NCBs accumulated overseas will be accepted provided you purchase the car insurance in India within three years of your overseas insurance policy expiry.

    46. What is an IDV?

      IDV also known as Insured Declared Value is the market value of your car post depreciation at the commencement of your car insurance policy.

    47. Can I change my insurance policy from third-party liability to comprehensive cover?

      Yes you can switch from third-party liability cover to comprehensive cover at the time of policy renewal after your car passes the insurer authorised inspection.

    48. Can I renew my car insurance with another insurer?

      Yes, you can renew your car insurance with another insurer along with your accumulated NCBs .

    49. How do I transfer my car insurance to the new car owner?

      To transfer your insurance to the new car owner you need to submit the following documents to the insurer:

      • Sale of the Vehicle document
      • The new vehicle RC copy/form 29-30
      • Old insurance policy document
      • NOC from the previous policyholder
      • Insurance transfer fee of Rs. 50/- to be paid
      • New application form from the concerned branch office of the insurer
      • Vehicle inspection to be conducted post the document submission.
    50. Can I use the No Claims Bonuses accumulated while driving a company car?

      You can use the No Claim Bonuses provided the employer transfers the company car to your name. The employer will also have to submit the relevant documents for the same.

    What's next?

      • Owning a car is a dream for most of us, so why not choose a good insurance policy to protect that dream? With the number of various car insurance policies available in the market today, the task of choosing an appropriate car insurance policy could get a little daunting. Hence, it is important to jot down your your motor insurance expectations and accordingly compare different insurance policies. This will help you choose one that best serves your car insurance needs, one that protects you from unforeseen liabilities as well as offers you maximum benefits.

      • Online Car Insurance Renewal

        Renewing your car insurance policy is as important as purchasing a new one. Most of the vehicle owners forget to renew their car insurance on time which results in a lapse of the insurance policy thereby discontinuing the financial protection. Car insurance policy renewal can be done both online and offline. Policy can be renewed within a month of its expiry. You have the option of renewing your policy with a different insurer or switching from a third-party liability cover to a comprehensive cover when renewing your insurance policy.

      • Car Insurance Premium Calculator

        When you renew your car insurance policy online from the insurer’s official website or a third-party insurance website, you can use the premium calculator to calculate your car insurance premium. Premium calculator is nothing but a built-in tool that uses the information you provide for the calculating parameters to calculate and quote your car insurance premium. This makes it easy for you to decide which insurer to purchase/renew your car insurance policy from.

      • Top 8 Car Insurance Companies In India 2018-19

        It is important to do your research and compare different insurers as well as the insurance policies offered by them before you go ahead and purchase/renew your insurance policy. There are a number of parameters based on which you can determine which insurer satisfies your insurance needs the most. Top insurance providers are determined based on their incurred claim settlement ratio, status of grievances, solvency ratio, etc.

      • Zero Depreciation Cover

        Zero depreciation is one of the optional riders offered by the car insurers. This cover is also known as ‘Bumper to Bumper’ or ‘Nil depreciation’ cover because it subtracts the depreciation factor on car parts from the insurance coverage. This implies that in case of a mishap, you will get the full claim amount for the replacement/repair of the damaged car parts without the depreciation factor affecting the claim sum in anyway. Zero depreciation completely covers the replacement/repair of car parts that are made of fibre, metal, rubber or wood. The cover comes with certain exclusions such as not covering for engine damage caused by oil leakage or water ingression. Any mechanical or electrical breakdown, consumables or oil change are not covered under this policy. This cover is definitely necessary for luxury cars due to the high cost of replacement/repair.

      • Insured Declared Value (IDV)

      • Insured Declared Value is the present market value of your car after taking its depreciation into account. It is the maximum insured amount that the insurer can pay at the time of claim settlement.

        The IDV is determined based on the following details:

      • Geographical location where the car was registered
      • Date of vehicle registration
      • Type of the vehicle ownership
      • The make and model of the car
      • The engine capacity
      • The vehicle’s ex-showroom price
      • The equation to calculate the vehicle's IDV:
      • IDV = (Ex-showroom price- depreciation) + (Price of extra accessories-depreciation of the accessories)
      • Third Party Car Insurance and Comprehensive Cover

      • Car insurance can be of two kinds, third-party liability cover and comprehensive cover.

        Third-party liability cover:

        It is an agreement between the insurer and the insured where the insurer promises to cover the third-party liabilities incurred as a result of a mishap by the insured in exchange for an insurance premium. The insurance plan covers the following:

        • Liabilities towards injuries to the third party involved in the mishap
        • Liabilities towards damage/loss to a third party vehicle involved in the mishap
        • Liabilities towards external property damage
      • This insurance plan does not offer protection against Own Damage liabilities

        Comprehensive Car Insurance:

        It is an agreement between the insurer and the insured where the insurer promises to cover the third-party liabilities as well as the own damage liabilities incurred as a result of a mishap by the insured in exchange for an insurance premium. The insurance plan covers the following:

      • Liabilities towards injuries to the third party involved in the mishap
      • Liabilities towards damage/loss to a third party vehicle involved in the mishap
      • Liabilities towards external property damage
      • Liabilities towards own injuries
      • Liabilities towards damage/loss to own vehicle
      • No Claim Bonus (NCB) Protection Cover

      • No Claim Bonus is a discount on insurance premium awarded to the insured by the insurer for every claim-free year. In case the insured raises a claim request, the insured loses all the accumulated NCBs on his/her insurance policy. To protect the insured from losing the accumulated NCBs, one can add the No Claim Bonus Protect cover to the comprehensive car insurance plan. This way, even in the event of claim registration, the policyholder does not lose the accumulated NCBs.

      • Motor Insurance

      • Motor Insurance is a legal agreement between the insurer and the vehicle owner (policyholder) where the insurer promises to financially assure the insured at the time of a vehicle mishap like accident, natural calamities, etc. Motor insurance applies to cars, bike, trucks, etc. In India, under the law of Motor Vehicles Act, it is mandatory for every vehicle owner to insure his/her vehicle with at least a third-party motor insurance. Motor Insurance protects you from the liabilities you may incur due to a mishap while driving your vehicle. Motor insurances are of 2 kinds, comprehensive and third-party motor insurance.

      • Two Wheeler Insurance
      • Two-wheeler insurance, as the name suggests, is a motor insurance exclusively for two-wheelers. Two-wheeler insurance can be taken for a motorcycle/scooter. The increasing number of two-wheeler accidents has made it crucial to have a two-wheeler insurance. Also, as per the Motor Vehicles Act, it is mandatory to insure your two-wheeler with at least a third-party liability cover.

    News About Car Insurance

    • Hike in registration charges may lead to increase in motor vehicle prices

      The government proposal to increase registration charges may lead to an increase in the prices of motor vehicles. The current registration charge of Rs.600 may be increased to Rs.5000 for new vehicles. Renewal of vehicles which are 15 years and older may cost Rs.15,000 if the new prices come into effect. The price for registration for new two-wheelers was Rs.50 which will be Rs.1000 while renewal of two-wheeler registration will be Rs.2000. Commercial vehicles will also be affected with the earlier registration charges being Rs.1000 which is now being hiked to Rs.10,000 for new vehicles and Rs.20,000 for older vehicles. Imported cars too will have a higher registration charge, increasing from Rs.2500 to Rs.20,000. Another proposal is regular fitness tests for vehicles (diesel and petrol) which are older than 15 years. Registration will only be renewed if they are shown to be compliant with the norms of the fitness tests. Meanwhile, the government is encouraging older vehicles to be brought to scrappage centres by offering a benefit certificate. This will exempt owners from paying any registration charges when they buy a new car. It has also taken simultaneous steps to encourage sales of electric vehicles by offering exemptions on registration charges to owners as well as tax rebates to manufacturers.

      30 July 2019

    • New policy for scrapping vehicles submitted by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways

      A draft policy has been submitted by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways so that individuals who scarp their old vehicles to buy a new one do not have to pay any registration charges for the new vehicle. However, the scrapping certificate will have to be submitted. The certificate must also be issued by an agency that is government recognised.

      Mahindra has already teamed up with Metal Scrap Trade Corporation Ltd. (MSTC) to set up various scrapping centres. The new brand will be called CERO. It is also the first scrapping centre that is authorised in India. The automotive industry in India has been insistent on a scrapping policy as they believe it will help in increasing sales. Apart from an increase in sales, the scrapping policy is also expected to create more employment and business opportunities. However, the government recognised scrapping centres will have to be regulated as an incorrect scrapping procedure will have an environmental impact. The main aim of the scrapping policy is to bring down pollution. There are many old commercial vehicles that are being used that do not meet the current emission standards. The notification also states that there be an increase in registration fees and new renewals.

      29 July 2019

    • IRDAI permits motor insurance companies to offer separate own damage and third-party liability insurance covers

      The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) recently issued a circular stating that vehicle owners will not be required to purchase their own damage cover along with the third-party liability insurance policy from the same insurance firm, with effect from 1 September 2019.

      Earlier, policy buyers were required to purchase both the third-party liability insurance policy and the own damage cover from the same insurance firm. However, starting from 1 September 2019, policy buyers will be able to renew their own damage cover separately or purchase a new own damage cover from a new insurance provider.

      That said, insurance will offer you an own damage cover only if you already have a third-party insurance policy. Thus, when you renew or purchase an own damage cover, you will mandatorily have to provide all the details of your third-party insurance cover.

      2 July 2019

    • IRDAI to increase premium for third-party insurance; car prices to go up

      The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is planning to hike the third-party insurance for four-wheelers by a maximum of 12.5% while for two-wheelers, the insurance will be hiked by a maximum of 21.11%. The revision in the insurance rates will come into effect from 16 June 2019. The cover rates for third-party (TP) insurance for cars usually undergo revision from 1 April but this time, the revision will apply from 16 June onwards. As per the new regulations, vehicles with engine capacity below 1,000 cc will experience an increase of 12% in the TP insurance and so, will cost Rs.2,072. The existing rate was Rs.1,850. A 12.5% hike in the TP insurance will be experienced by vehicles having engine displacement between 1,000 cc and 1,500 cc, taking the new rate to Rs.3,221. For cars with engine capacity more than 1,500 cc, there will be no change in the rates and hence, will remain to be Rs.7,890. IRDAI has also hiked the TP insurance for private and public goods carrying vehicles and buses as well. In the meantime, e-rikshaws will not be witnessing any change in the insurance premiums.

      11 June 2019

    • Insurance regulator proposes hike in third-party motor insurance

      Last week, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) announced that it plans to hike the premium payable for third-party motor insurance by about 10% to 20%. This will be applicable to taxis, cars, and two-wheelers. This includes even insurance for trucks. Truck unions have, however, been asking for lower insurance premium rates. Since the insurance premiums were reduced by around 10% to 20% last year, the new rates are expected to bring the rates at par with the rates before last year’s premium rate revision. The IRDAI is likely to hold back on premium hikes for luxury cars and two-wheelers as the rates were already increased by more than 100% last year.

      As per the apex insurance regulator’s recent proposal, the insurance premium for 75 cc vehicles such as scooties, mopeds, and other two-wheelers are expected to increase by 13% to an amount equal to Rs.482. The premium rates for motorbikes and scooters with engine capacities between 75cc – 150cc, is to be increased by 4.4% to an amount equal to Rs.752. Since insurance penetration is low, the motor insurance sector is not very profitable. Often, the amount paid as claims is more than the amount collected. Therefore, some people are of the opinion that an increase in the insurance premiums will only further reduce insurance buying.

      27 May 2019

    • Hyundai sets up a relief task force in Cyclone Fani-hit areas

      Hyundai has stepped up to provide aid to Hyundai car owners in Cyclone Fani-hit states in the country. A relief task force has been set up by the company in Orissa and West Bengal, where the cyclone has left several vehicles damaged. Hyundai has sent out 21 tow trucks and 26 flatbed trucks to the affected areas to help car owners get their cars out of debris. As per reports, 40 technicians will work 24*7 to ensure the cars are usable once again.

      The company has said that it will provide a 50% discount on depreciation for insurance claims. Also, special discounts will be offered on lubricants and spare parts.

      10 May 2019

    • Internet enabled cars to prop up sales in future

      Internet enabled cars which will be launched soon in the Indian market and can be operated via sim cards will not only become a major product but will also improve the overall sales.

      The new age car can be controlled with the help of a sim card or E-sim. This technology is expected to bring major changes to different industries including the insurance sector.

      The higher variant car models may not become a hindrance in terms of sales as customers will get to enjoy various types of futuristic services. Apart from that, various auto and telecom companies will be able to enjoy higher tertiary revenues.

      Hyundai and MG Motors are two automobile companies who have announced that their upcoming models will sport this technology.

      2 May 2019

    • A first, Kotak Mahindra General Insurance offers cheaper car insurance premiums for women drivers

      In what would be joy for women across of the country and satisfaction, Kotak Mahindra General Insurance, have announced that they will be offering cheaper car insurance premiums for women drivers through their campaign, DriveLikeALady. According to the General Insurer, the reason that they decided to offer cheaper car insurance premiums to lady drivers is because they can statistically prove that women drivers are safer than men and that their attitude on the road is way better than men as well. According to Kotak Mahindra Insurance, they personally have received lower claims from women than men. Speaking at the launch of the campaign, and reporting to Times, the Managing Director of Mahesh Balasubramanian, said that women tend to be more caring, patient, poised and calmer than men. This also reflects in their driving behaviour. Therefore, if men were to imbibe this positive attitude, our roads will be a lot safer. This thought formed the genesis of Kotak General Insurance’s #DriveLikeALady campaign. In addition to this, our claims data clearly identifies women drivers as being safer and more mindful of the road and safety rules.

      25 April 2019

    • Non-revision of motor insurance to impact insurance companies

      The IRDAI did not revise the motor insurance premium this fiscal year though it does so every year. This is most likely going to affect the overall profitability of insurance companies. This is so because the general insurance business largely depends on the motor insurance segment. Insurance companies expected an increase in the premium rates as the collections this year were low and the claims were high. Since the premium rates have not been revised, certain insurers may resort to cutting down on discounts to make up for the loss in revenue. Usually, the IRDAI increases the premium rate by 10% to 40% depending on the vehicle for which the change in rate is being made. Insurers were expecting at least a marginal increase this year. It is said that this is the first time in many years that the apex regulator has extended the validity of the current rates until further notice.

      However, there were certain motor insurance premium hikes last year when the insurance regulator announced a new regulation which requires car owners to get a three-year long-term insurance policy and bike owners to get a five-year long-insurance policy.

      16 April 2019

    • Data shows women make fewer motor claims

      According to a data by Kotak General Insurance for a duration of one year from July 2017 to July 2018, it has been found that women make fewer motor claims which makes it profitable for insurance companies to have more women as customers.

      The loss ratio during the period was 46.94 per cent as compared to 60.69% for men.

      The claims ratio for petrol and diesel cars bear similar results for women and men. The data clearly shows that for every 100 rupees of premiums paid, men claimed Rs.70 while women claimed only Rs.48 for diesel cars. For petrol cars, the loss ratio for men was 53.59% and 46.30% for women.

      8 April 2019

    Recent Updates on Car Insurance

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