You sign up/renew for a motor policy year after year. But what if we told you that you do not know all that you need to know about your car insurance? Take a look into this to know what benefits you may be missing out on.
Motor insurance makes you feel safer and more secured on the road, assuring you that you don’t pay much for damages that happen to your vehicle, especially for no fault of yours. That said, all of us are smart enough to own motor insurance partly because we are extremely susceptible to damaging our vehicle however careful a driver we are, and partly because it is mandatory.
But are you convinced that you have read through your policy entirely well, enough to know what you are paying for and what you are not? I say, there are a few things you may not know. There are policies and benefit plans, tailor made for situations that you are probable to run into and you may not know if and how to use your right benefit in your policy.
For eg: Did you know that if you are a member of the ARAI (Automobile Research Association of India), you get a discount on your premium? (See, this is why you need Coverfox on your side to tell you where and how you can save money)
Let’s run by a few scenarios which include the most commonly forgotten or missed out aspects in car insurance policies.
Scene 1: Your towing fee could be waived off. You are a fairly confident driver but not completely confident of facing the highways and its speed yet. And as luck would have it, before you thought you can master the art of driving, you meet with an accident your way back home from work on the highway. You run the car into the divider and your car wheel gets bent. Now, it’s past 10.30 pm and your first sign of logical thinking is to find a temporary solution for the car problem and get back home safely. You manage to somehow find a garage on that highway and arrange to get your car towed to their shop. But he wants Rs.1100 just for towing it back to the shop. He says he lacks the manual labour and it would cost him more to get boys from elsewhere to work. You negotiate and bring it down to Rs.1000.
It’s still a lot but owing to lack of choice, you are forced to give in. What you may not know here is, if in case of an accident, you can claim your towing charges under your basic cover. So essentially, you get a cap of Rs.1500 for towing alone, no matter how many ever times you need you car towed. Whether it’s Rs.100 per towing for 15 tows or Rs.1500 for one towing, your towing charges are covered in your policy and remains so for every year of your policy renewal.
Scene 2: You won’t lose your NCB if you renew your policy within 3 months of your policy expiry You had gone on a holiday for a month, outside India. Imagine that your motor insurance policy has run out almost two weeks ago, despite having reminders for it very clearly – at home. You have been a considerate driver, cautious on the road and meticulous about the policy so far that you have accumulated NCB for over 4 years. (If in case you do not know about No Claim Bonus, read a little about it here and here.) You may already be aware that NCB can be transferred from one policy to another at the time of car insurance renewal, if you haven’t made any claim on the policy during that year.
Imagine how much you stand to lose, if you do not transfer your NCB. As it is, you stand to lose your policy and other benefits if you do not renew it soon. Over that, you may lose that entire accumulated bonus that you earned, thanks to your careful driving. Worry not, because there is a 90-day period from your policy expiry date before which you can renew your policy and still avail the bonus without the risk of losing out on a discount of 50%, if not more.
Scene 3: Have you ever had to apply/renew something without the need for any documents? Here, you can. You simply hate the documentation part of any applying process. You have been there several times before. The last time you had to renew your policy, you arranged your documents in line, filled out huge forms over and again to only hear the person sitting at the counter say you haven’t brought some necessary document. And you had even applied permission at work to get the work done, that particular day! Can you believe you will have to do all that all over again?? No, you don’t have to.
There is a simpler, easier, more accessible and less expensive option of renewing online. With the help of card payments, without having to produce any documentation, your policy can get renewed online. How many times have we heard someone say ‘how internet has simplified our lives’ before and simply nodded in agreement?
Scene 4: Short term insurance for temporary needs You have moved to Mumbai and you don’t own a car. You are a bike-person and have managed to do with it so far. But just as you thought you are faring well, the infamous Bombay rains started. Your colleague has an unused car back home and has agreed to lend you for the time-being, may be for the season. It’s a fair deal – you maintain it, pay for the fuel until you use it. But he says he has not taken any policy for that car yet since it’s mostly unused. You cannot risk driving without insurance papers neither can you afford to pay out the car policy since your colleague has made no plans of continuing to pay the premium.
This is where a very convenient system of short term insurance for 1 month proves to be useful. You can secure the car by availing this option, even if the period is as less as one month. But, this cost for this policy will be 20% of your actual yearly premium, thereby showing how long term insurance works well always, both financially or otherwise. So, don’t be that colleague here. It’s always better to make sure even your unused vehicle is insured at all times.
Scene 5: Anti-theft device installation can prove good for both your vehicle and your insurance policy Your cousin’s brand new car got stolen and it broke your heart. If only he had checked on it a little more responsibly, this wouldn’t have happened. More and more people have been buying cars, and vehicle theft has also steadily risen. The anti-theft device is the only safe measure you can opt for, to secure your car apart from being overly careful with it. The device, like it suggests, protects you from the possibility of being stolen.
More importantly, installing an ARAI (Automobile Research Association of India) approved anti-theft device allows you a specified amount of discount on your premium. This way, there is fall in the number of claims to the insurers, thereby benefitting their company as well.
Scene 6: Limit your coverage on property damage to third party and get a discount on third party premium The third party premium is as the name suggest: a comprehensive cover to compensate for claims you make for third parties for the damages that may occur to the person (injury, death or property damage) in case of an accident. Imagine you driving down a slippery road from a hill station and owing to the slope, your car skid and swerved off at a sharp corner. You and your family are fine and your last minute turn saved your car. But while you did that, you ran into the fence of a house, damaging the few things inside their compound. This is where your third party insurance will kick in. You can pay for the loss/damage on the third party with the help of your insurance. Every policy comes inclusive of a third-party cover and a cover to guard your own car too. While this may not be breaking news for you, there is more. Say, you are a very careful driver with a very high presence of mind and you are convinced that you can avert such third-party-claim-situations.
You can then, request that your limit for this coverage be lowered down to Rs.6000. This will fetch you a discount on the premium you pay towards the third party cover. Now, that’s something new? The discount is not more than Rs.100, so it is advisable to go with the full coverage if you own a car. However, it’s necessary that we reiterate how the same would be more effective if you are a bike owner. You can assume the damage to be lesser than what a car could do. Thus, this discount would make more sense for a bike.
Scene 7: You can get insurance add-ons to insure accessories and other aspects of your car. You have a CNG/LPG car and you thought it wasn’t necessary to insure it. You thought the basic cover you got for the car will suffice? Then, you are wrong and must read this. There are separate add-ons available to protect the various features of your car. When you go all out and buy a fancy car with expensive fittings, it’s important that they are as protected as your car is. In case of accidents or damage, the basic cover is not going to protect the jazzy, latest gadgets you have installed in your car. Whether it is the latest stereo model, the talking GPS unit or just your engine which is not covered in your base policy, it is only practical that your electrical/non-electrical car accessories are also insured, separately.
We all hit ‘I agree’ without much thought when it comes to terms and conditions for anything online. But an insurance policy treated like that can not only leave you vulnerable to losing more money than you ought to pay, but also risks the hidden benefits that you are entitled to under your motor policy. You do not have to walk on fire to fine-comb these details out. That’s why Coverfox is on your side, doing your homework for you. However, it is necessary that you know what you are signing-up for.
So shed those inhibitions, get all your doubts cleared and be the kingmaker of your policy. Coverfox is only too happy to show you how. These benefits have been tailor-made to suit your needs – enjoy them! It’s better to be safe than sorry, right? The next time you sign or renew your motor policy, you know pretty damn well how you wouldn’t lose out just because you simply didn’t know enough!