Scientists at Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) have predicted cloudy sky, thunderstorms and an advent of monsoon in most part of the nation. We have been witnessing occasional downpour mixed with dust storm in the northern part of the country. Also, the southern and western parts of the nation have seen a consistent rainfall.
Consequently, slightest to major damage to our vehicles shall not be a remote imagination. This is that time of the year when the vehicle owners incur maximum maintenance costs owing to heavy waterfalls, water logging, car skidding and accidents.
Past trends show that the road accidents increase during monsoon. In addition to that, the dust storms equipped with heavy rains makes our cars and two-wheeler prone to damages from an accidental fall of trees and unwarranted collision.
It is important to hedge the financial risk associated with this uncertainty through insurance. A study reveals that more than 50% of the vehicles plying the Indian roads do not have a proper policy. It happens sometimes, out of ignorance and often times, out of neglect.
You are probably aware that buying car insurance is mandatory by law (as per motor vehicles act). If not, heavy fines or even imprisonment will be imposed upon you. Basically, there are two types of car insurance policies – third-party liability car insurance and comprehensive car insurance policy. Buying a third-party policy is mandatory by law. Third-party car insurance is a type of four-wheeler insurance that offers financial protection to you in case of damages or injuries caused by your vehicle to another person, their vehicle or their property. Simply put, the owner is the first party; an insurer is the second party and the person involved in the accident with the insured car is the third-party.
But, comprehensive car insurance is a combination of third-party liability insurance and own-damage cover. “ The basic comprehensive car Insurance policy covers the losses due to damage of the car due of natural calamities like flood, earthquake, dust storms, hurricane etc. The important point to note is, that insurance policy covers losses which are due to impact. Regular wear and tear, breakdown etc are not covered in the basic insurance policy. There are multiple scenarios which may arise specifically in monsoon or dust storm like damage of parts, engine lock due to water-logging. While damage to Car due to impact is covered, there are few disputed scenarios as well,” says Animesh Das, product strategy head of Acko General Insurance.
One of the disputed scenarios is the “Hydro-static Lock” of the Engine, which happens when the Car Engine stops working due to potholes and water logging. One must avoid driving their car in case of heavy rains, dust storms, specifically in the water-flooded area. If your Car gets stuck in a waterlogged area, then avoid cranking and igniting the engine again. Ideally, one should look for the alternate option of travel and get the vehicle towed to the nearest service center. Insurers count the engine cease due to water logging as negligence and may reject your claim. And the claim cost for engine may range from a lakh to even more in case of high-end cars, adds Animesh.
The comprehensive policy does not cover damages when driving without a valid license, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, loss of personal belongings in the car. Also, in a comprehensive car insurance, at the time of claim, insurer factors in depreciation value of the vehicle to calculate the amount payable. Meaning the difference between the market value of the new part and depreciated part has to be paid by the insured.
As a remedy, the insurance company offers add on like zero depreciation cover also called “zero dep” policy; it offers complete coverage without factoring in depreciation. Since, this policy comes with complete coverage hence, it costs more.
Now –a- days, having a motor insurance is not cumbersome. Fin-tech startups have disrupted the way insurance business has been carried out. You can file a claim online with a click and have your car repaired and sent home in three days. It is advisable to be safe than sorry.
Get your vehicles properly insured if you haven’t and do check for renewals and Add-Ons for full coverage.