Whether it is a breakdown due to being stranded on a flooded street or rusting of exposed metallic car parts, monsoons can create havoc for you and your car. Your general car insurance does cover accident damages but a lot of monsoon-specific car damages like the ones brought on by conditions like hydrostatic lock aren’t inclusive. Hydrostatic lock is a condition that hinders the functioning of an engine due to water ingression. Damages caused by monsoon are seen as consequential or indirect damages as these aren’t actively caused by the rains but by the owner’s negligence. For instance, driving through a waterlogged area and failing to take adequate care of the engine, metal, or electrical parts might cause damages. The best way to mitigate these losses is by getting additional add-on covers while buying/ renewing car insurance policy.
Engine protector cover
A general insurance policy might pay for engine repairs in case of an accident but does not cover engine repairs that could be essential otherwise, like in the case of damages due to flooding and/or accidental leakage of lubricating oil. An engine protector cover—taken for cars that are not more than three years old—compensates for all such non-accident-related repairs and replacements. The premium for an engine protector cover isn’t substantial but it varies from one insurance provider to another. Since an engine protector cover also factors in hydrostatic lock repairs, you need not purchase a separate hydrostatic lock cover.
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Roadside assistance cover
Another useful rider could be roadside assistance cover. Imagine being stranded in the middle of a flooded road with no help in sight. In such a situation, a roadside assistance cover will be a saving grace as the insurance company’s vendors come to your rescue and take it to the nearest garage.
The cost of getting a roadside assistance rider would be just a few hundred rupees.
Zero depreciation cover
Skidding and low visibility during monsoon increase the chances of accidents, which can either mildly or severely damage parts of the car like bumpers, rear view mirrors, fenders, etc. Since these parts are susceptible to depreciation already, this can bring down the claim amount if the parts are already depreciated. Avoid this by insuring your vehicle with zero dep add-on cover. With a zero depreciation cover, you can be assured of a full-claim settlement by paying additional premium which can approximately run up to 20% more. This cover is only applicable on cars that are not more than five years old from the date of purchase.
Parag Gupta -The writer is chief underwriting officer, Bharti AXA General Insurance