Natural disasters/calamities are beyond the control of human beings and these calamities often occur when we least expect them. One cannot forecast nor control such hazards, therefore, the practical way out of such situations is to be prepared.
Even though monsoon is one of the eagerly-awaited seasons in India that gives us relief from the summer heat, it comes with its own set of challenges. For instance, heavy rainfall areas i.e., flood-prone areas, witness enormous losses during monsoon seasons and people also face various challenges when it comes to driving their own vehicle.
Parthanil Ghosh, President, Motor Business, HDFC ERGO General Insurance, says, “The root cause why a majority of car owners end up spending a significant proportion of finances is lack of awareness and delays in taking precautionary measures.”
He further adds, “Though as per government mandate, every vehicle owner should have a valid insurance policy, still, more than 50 per cent of the vehicles do not have insurance and in time of contingencies, these vehicle owners tend to spend out of their pocket for repairs and damages.”
Therefore, experts say, to avoid such situations, it is imperative to buy comprehensive motor insurance along with all relevant add-ons and regularly renew the same to avoid any kind of financial losses for your vehicle.
Here are some of the important add-ons to look at to stay safe during the monsoons;
Engine and gearbox protection cover – Driving vehicles in a waterlogged situation might cause water to enter the engine, damaging the engine, battery and gearbox. Repairs and replacement costs for the engine are usually expensive. This add-on package will offer protection against expenses that are incurred on repairs and replacement of parts.
Consumables cover – Irreparable damage could be caused to the vehicle due to the accumulated moisture during the monsoon. This add-on covers repairs and replacement of most consumables like oil, nuts, bolts, screws, washers among others.
Roadside Assistance Service (RSA) cover – Experts says this is one of the most vital and needed add-on cover during current times.
Ghosh adds, “With the pandemic stranding our vehicles, car batteries may have run out of charge. This cover offers emergency vehicle service to policyholders, on-road or even if the car is parked in the garage at home.”
The following services can be availed under this cover-
- Mechanic on the spot – A mechanic is sent to the spot where the policyholder’s vehicle is stranded to help with the necessary repairs
- Towing service – If necessary, the insurance company will arrange for a towing van to tow the policyholder’s vehicle to the nearest garage.
- Battery breakdown– In case the car battery fails due to weather conditions, a technician is sent to jumpstart the policyholder’s vehicle.
- Replacing a flat tyre – The policyholder needs to contact the insurer, if they have a flat tyre or in case it may have gone bald, to solve the problem on the spot.
- Spare key – In case of misplacing or having left the key inside the car, the policyholder can ask the insurer will arrange for a spare set of keys from his/her residence
- Return to Invoice – In case of a total loss or theft, the Return to Invoice add-on cover pays the insured back the original purchase value (i.e. the on-road price) of the car. Ghosh says, “Unlike the Insured Declared Value (IDV) based policy coverage, this cover bridges the gap between the depreciated value (IDV) and the invoice value of the car along with the registration fees and other applicable taxes. This is an important cover, especially in regions that are prone to natural calamities such as floods, which may lead to total loss of the vehicle.”
Experts also advise vehicle owners to insure their vehicles with these two specific add-on covers –
Zero-depreciation cover – This add-on cover ensures that the policyholder receives compensation in case of an accident or a breakdown, basis the value insured while purchasing the vehicle or insurance. Here, the depreciation amount of the vehicle is not considered.
No Claim Bonus Protection – In monsoons, a vehicle owner usually applies for claims such as minor damages such as a broken bumper or rear-view mirror damage due to heavy winds or rain. Therefore, a No-claim bonus add-on ensures that a customer gets the claim even in case of any claims made during the previous year.
Ghosh adds, “Natural disasters/calamities are beyond the control of human beings and these calamities often occur when we least expect them. One cannot forecast nor control such hazards, therefore, the practical way out of such situations is to be prepared.”
Hence, take necessary precautions to stay financially protected and periodically renew your motor insurance policy.