According to the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, all cars in India need to carry valid third-party coverage, protecting third party interests. This coverage pays the liability that the owner of the car must suffer, in case the car injures or kills a third party, or damages any third party property. But there is no cover provided by third-party insurance for the car if it suffers any damages. That’s where the Own Damage car insurance makes an entrance.
Own Damage car insurance covers the damages suffered by the car due to natural or man-made causes, or if it is stolen. In such cases, the Own Damage insurance covers financial losses suffered by the car owner. Although basic car insurance refers to a third-party insurance policy, it does not cover the damages suffered by the car.
Hence, while third party cover is essential, one should opt for an Own Damage car insurance for a holistic coverage on the car.
Benefits of Own Damage Car Insurance
1. All-round Coverage: Whether the car suffers damages due to an accident, natural calamity or man-made reasons, the Own Damage car insurance compensates for it financially. The policy reimburses the repair costs of the car, including all minor and major damages. This is a great cover to have for owners of premium luxury cars due to its exorbitant repair costs.
2. Coverage Against Theft: There is always the possibility of a car being stolen. In a case of theft, the car owner may lose a lot of money if the car is not recovered. The Own Damage policy pays a lump sum amount in the claim, allowing you to replace your stolen car with a new one.
3. Annual Affordability: The Own Damage policy is valid for one year after which it may be renewed for continued coverage. The annual policy has an affordable premium which lets you rest assured of a comprehensive scope of coverage.
4. Easy Availability: An Own Damage policy can be purchased online in a few simple steps. You can also compare different plans and policies in the market and select a policy that offers maximum coverage at the lowest cost.
5. Multiple Add-ons: The Own Damage car insurance comes with a wide range of optional coverage benefits called add-ons. They widen the scope of coverage of the policy at minimal costs. You can choose suitable add-ons, increasing the coverage and claim amount. These add-ons also take care of any unfortunate damages through or to the car. For example: Zero Depreciation Cover, Engine Protection Cover, No Claim Bonus Protection Cover, Roadside Assistance Cover, etc.
6. No Claim Bonus: If you make no claims in your policy, you are entitled to get a no claim bonus upon renewal. This bonus provides a discount on the renewal premium. It starts from 20% for the first claim-free year and then continues to rise after every successive claim-free year. Up to 50% discount may be availed if no claims are made for five successive years.
7. Premium Discounts: Upon choosing the Own Damage policy, attractive discounts are provided for reducing the premium. Besides the No Claim bonus, discounts are also allowed for installation of safety devices, membership of an automobile association, selection of a voluntary deductible, etc.
(By Venkatesh Naidu, CEO, Bajaj Capital Insurance Broking Ltd)