Auto Insurance: 7 things you must ponder while getting your vehicle insured

By: | Published: July 25, 2018 1:16 PM

Auto insurance can be one of the most overlooked to-do-list. So much so that we don't ponder before buying or renewing the policy. However, there are multiple variables one must keep in mind before getting an auto insurance.

Financial Express/ auto insurance Auto insurance can be one of the most overlooked item in one?s to-do-list

Renewal of a car or bike insurance may not seem an important decision. Hence, most of us don’t ponder much before while buying or renewing a car or bike insurance policy. Lifestyle or requirements change over the year. Even your residence may change over the year and there can be many reasons for renewing and reconsidering the vehicle Insurance.

Here are the things one must ponder before buying or renewing an insurance policy:

Comprehensive over third-party

Car and bike insurance is of two types in India. The first type of insurance is Third-party Liability Insurance and the other is Comprehensive Insurance. Buying the former type of insurance policy is mandatory by law in our country. However, the coverage provided is hardly sufficient for car and bike owners as it only provides a cover for damages caused to other people or their property. On the other hand, a Comprehensive policy provides coverage for the insured car/bike along with third-party benefits and add-ons.

 Watch out how you drive

Your driving habits play an important role in determining the cost of your vehicle insurance policy. If you are a rash driver, you could have an active claim history resulting in a higher insurance premium. If you are a passive driver, you might not file a claim frequently. Consequently, the cost of buying car/bike insurance would be lower for you. This is because of the addition or subtraction of the No Claim Bonus (NCB). It is a discount given on the cost of your car/bike’s insurance policy for not raising a claim in the previous policy year. NCB can reach up to a 50% discount on the price of insurance. However, as soon as a claim is raised, NCB can drop straight to zero.

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Buy what you need

It is advised to gauge your requirements before buying or renewing your car or bike insurance policy. Here are some questions for your reference, which can help you narrow down on the policy:

  • How much do I drive on an average?
  • Do I travel with co-passengers frequently?
  • Did I add any new accessories to my vehicle recently?
  • Is the area of my residence prone to natural calamities?
  • Do I frequently carry expensive personal belongings while driving?

Asking yourself such type of questions will help you find the right type of car/bike insurance.

 Take add-ons for extra coverage

Add-ons are coverages with which you can customize your car or bike insurance policy. Since they provide specific coverage, buying these extra coverage options depends upon you. If you buy an Add-on which you do not require, you will be spending extra money on your car/bike insurance unnecessary. Some of the popular Add-ons are:

  • Zero Depreciation or Bumper to Bumper Add-on
  • Accessories cover
  • Engine protection Add-on
  • Roadside Assistance Add-on
  • Key Protection Add-on
  • NCB Protect Cover
  • Consumables Cover

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Don’t forget the deductibles

A deductible is an amount you need to pay as your contribution in the claim amount. Deductibles are of two types – Voluntary and Compulsory. You can decide the amount of voluntary deductible you wish to pay. Deductibles decrease the cost of insurance. However, promising a higher voluntary deductible to your insurer can result in a low claim amount. Compulsory Deductible is to be paid compulsorily at the time of claim. This amount depends upon the cubic capacity of your car’s/bike’s engine.

Please don’t ignore the price

Giving priority to sufficient coverage instead of price will be highly beneficial at the time of claims. The right car or bike insurance policy will be the one with adequate coverage and a fair price. Nowadays, insurance providers have policy comparison tools available online. You can use these tools to adjust the factors affecting your car insurance premium and then buy the policy which best suits your requirements and budget.

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A little background about the insurance company

Vehicle insurance is not only about buying the right policy. Insurance provider also matters. An insurance policy is a document which promises a financial cover in the time of mishaps, related to the insured car or bike. Thus, remember to take a look at the insurance company’s profile before buying the policy. Other important things to consider are promptness for providing services, price, user reviews, the frequency of settling claims, etc.

Buying an insurance policy for your car or bike is not as tedious as it was a few years back. This is because of the power of the internet and the convenience of using smartphones. Previously people did not have access to these things. They had to rely on insurance agents to help them buy the policy. This sometimes resulted in inexpensive policies. But now, using the above points, you can easily buy the right policy which would be rich in coverage while demanding a fair price.

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