5 add-on covers that you must buy with your car insurance

Published: September 21, 2016 10:53 AM

Buying car insurance is harrowing. And if that’s not enough then buying a comprehensive plan with all the necessary insurance riders is equally important.

5 add-on covers that you must buy with your car insuranceBuying car insurance is harrowing. And if that’s not enough then buying a comprehensive plan with all the necessary insurance riders is equally important. (Photo: Reuters)

Buying a car is fantastic. Buying car insurance is harrowing. And if that’s not enough then buying a comprehensive plan with all the necessary insurance riders is equally important. If you have been sailing in the same boat, then we are happy to help. We list down five very basic but extremely crucial add-on covers that you must have in your comprehensive car insurance.

Zero Depreciation Cover or Bumper to Bumper

This is one of the most basic but important rider that you must buy along with the basic car insurance plan. A zero depreciation cover, or popularly called as zero-dep/bumper to bumper, ensures that you receive full claim on the value of parts that are damaged due to an accident. So for instance, your car meets an accident unfortunately and various parts, which include the bumper, side panels, door, among others, is severely damaged and thus needs to be replaced. Now, if you send your car to the dealer for repairing, thinking that your insurer will foot the complete bill, because you have a comprehensive car insurance cover that is without this rider, you are in for a shock.

According to the basic car insurance policies, the depreciated value of the parts that is being replaced will be reimbursed and not the actual value. Hence the zero-dep cover allows you to replace the damaged parts without worrying about paying for them from your own pockets. But a thing to remember is that this cover is majorly available for cars less than 5 year old.

Consumables Cover

In addition to the Zero Depreciation cover, a lot of insurer have also started to offer consumables. Consumables shall mean those items or substances which have specific use and when applied to their respective uses are deemed to be consumed completely and/or are deemed to be unfit for future use. These items include engine oil, gear box oil, power steering oil, coolant , AC gas oil , brake oil , AC refrigerant , battery electrolyte , windshield washer fluid,radiator coolant, nut & bolt, screw, oil filter, fuel filter, bearings, washers, clip, wheel balancing weights , and items of similar nature excluding fuel.

Roadside Assistance Cover

This is another basic add-on cover that one should have with the basic auto insurance plan. As the name suggests, this cover offers roadside assistance to the policyholder in case of any emergency. For instance, your car breaks down in the middle of a highway, then you can simply inform on the insurer’s road side assistance toll free number about your situation and they will send assistance for towing your car. Now you might wonder towing is also available in insurance policy so why do I need this cover? Remember insurance policy covers only accidental damages which means it does not cover any mechanical/electrical failure due to normal usage of car, whereas this add-on covers towing in each and every condition. Apart from towing service, this cover also offers services such as refueling, flat-tyre replacement, duplicate key assistance, on spot minor repairs among others depending on the plan taken. Also, a couple of insurers such as Reliance General Insurance, Bajaj Allianz and Royal Sundaram General Insurance offer this cover as a standard policy feature. So while these services may appear to be inconsequential, in times of needs, a cover such as this will be your savior.

Engine Protection Cover

Forgot the long jams and waterlogged roads? If yes, then let’s refresh your memory a bit. It’s raining heavily and you are stuck in a waterlogged road. You have switched off your engine because the car hasn’t moved an inch in the past 30 minutes. The traffic moves a bit and you turn on the engine but hey, it’s not working. You realise that water has seeped into the engine and has damaged the engine. And in such a case, who do you think will pay for the engine replacement? If you have car insurance without this cover, then please don’t expect the insurer to pay for it. But if you were wise enough to buy this add-on along with your car insurance, then pat your back. You are safe. Just ensure that you don’t crank the engine if it has stopped, as cranking it repeatedly will only damage the engine further.

Apart from water ingression, this covers the consequential damage to the internal child parts of the engine arising out of water ingression/leakage of lubricating oil and/or damage to gear box of the insured vehicle arising out of leakage of lubricating oil due to accidental means.

Return to Invoice Cover

Very important! This is a cover that you must have. This add-on ensures that you get full value of your car in case of theft. To better explain, this cover ascertains that you get the original invoice value that includes the registration charges and road tax. Usually, if you do not have this cover, what you would get is the Insured Declared Value (IDV), which is the Ex -showroom value minus the depreciation. This add-on pays the difference between the original on-road price of the car and the approved claim amount for the car in case of total loss of insured vehicle. One must remember that usually, this cover is offered for first three years from the date of purchase.

So you see, while you may have zeroed in-on the insurance plan you will buy for your car, but just buying a vanilla-plain cover is not enough. You need much more to really protect your prized possession. After all, you never know when you would need them.

Neeraj Gupta is Associate Director, PolicyBazaar.com

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