Monsoon Time! Your car insurance policy may not be sufficient – Here’s why

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Published: June 12, 2020 11:47 AM

The insured should always be mindful of not starting the engine in a waterlogged condition as it may cause the engine to seize and cause permanent damage to the engine.

car insurance policy, Monsoon Car Care Tips, engine protect add-on, are Engine Protection Cover, Zero-depreciation,The onset of monsoon marks the commencement of the four-month-long rainy season.

Monsoon is going to arrive soon in most parts of the country. According to the India Meteorological Department, the monsoon is likely to hit the west coast of India between June 10th and 14th with isolated to very heavy rainfall. Although due to COVID-19, people are driving a lot less, however, if you are one who needs to travel in your own car, it’s time to be ready to face the water-logging conditions.

Before you venture out and face the wrath of the monsoon, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before moving out of your parking space.

Make sure you have a comprehensive car insurance policy which takes care of any damage to the vehicle and which also ensures any claim for damage to a third-party. But will an own-damage cover with a third-party cover be sufficient in the monsoon? Let’s find out.

“No, Normal comprehensive policy although cover flood, inundation, storm damages but do not cover loss or damages to the engine due to hydrostatic lock or starvation of lubricants which may commonly happen during monsoon,” informs Arun Singh Bhadauria – Head Motor, Universal Sompo General Insurance.

So, what is the way out? As a car owner make sure you have coverage against damages caused by engine seizure in a waterlogged area. Such a cover is available as an Add-on i.e. an optional feature or a cover that can be added to the base policy. The add-on is known by different names by insures such as Engine Protect, Engine Safe etc. “This add-on cover takes care of the consequential damage that may arise out of water ingression or leakage of a lubricant or oil to the engine parts or the gear parts of the car leading to damage to the engine or its parts,” says Roopam Asthana, CEO and the Whole Time Director of Liberty General Insurance.

If you are stuck in a waterlogged location, this is one important thing you should never do – “The insured should always be mindful of not starting the engine in a waterlogged condition as it may cause the engine to seize and cause permanent damage to the engine and/or its parts.,” cautions Asthana.

How exactly the floodwater impacts your car and how the add-on cover provides protection – Bhadauria explains, “ The Add-on provides cover against loss or damage to the engine due to hydrostatic lock. The engine is damaged when it is cranked while the vehicle is inside the water and the water level is above silencer. The water ingress in the chamber of the engine and when cranked, there is no space in the chamber so the possibility of breakage of the piston and connecting rod. Sometime when the vehicle passes through water puddle the engine hit the puddle and lubricant is leaked. The leakage could not be noticed by the driver and ultimately engine ceases due to overheating.”

And remember, such consequential damage is not covered under the base policy but only if one has the Add-on cover. In monsoon, there are other add-ons as well, that one may consider attaching to the base policy. “Specific add-ons that become more important during monsoons are Engine Protection Cover, Zero-depreciation, Consumable expenses and Roadside assistance,” adds Animesh Das, Head of Product Strategy – Acko General insurance.

Arun Singh Bhadauria shares some important monsoon car care tips for safe driving:

  • Drive slowly as the monsoon can result in low grip and poor visibility. Driving slower than usual would ensure reaction time not affecting in case there is a need to counter obstruction of some sort.
  • Ensure to change your wipers before the start of monsoon. The make of wiper should be as recommended by the OEM.
  • Keep windscreen washing liquid topped up in the rain as it is crucial to keep your windscreen as clean as possible. Adding a bit of soap solution can also help keep the dirt and grime off your car.
  • The defogger is to be used while driving in the monsoon. If the car is not equipped with defogger, then turn the blower in full speed and move the intake to fresh air mode positioning the vent to the front defogger position. Please note cleaning the condensation with a towel could leave streaks.
  • Check your tyres and double-check spare tyre. A general belief is to get the front tyre changed but getting only front tyre change is more dangerous since worn tyre may result in oversteer or under braking and may result in an unfortunate accident.
  • Turn on hazard light and Drive near the centre lane, as far as possible, in water logging area is safest, as this lane has least possible of waterlogging or patches of still water.
  • While driving through the waterlogged area drive slow with constant throttles and braking be avoided as far as possible.
  • Keep a safe distance and ensure not to stall the engine, in case it happened don’t try to restart if the water is half of the tyre rim.

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