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CAR INSURANCE

The All-In-One Guide to Car Insurance Add-Ons

Aniket Thakkar Aniket Thakkar 06 May 2016

Want to crack a good motor insurance deal by picking the right add-on covers? Take a look at this comprehensive guide. Find out which add-on is essential for you.

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Buying a policy online can be tricky, right? After all, you’re spoilt with choices to compare and pick the one that suits you the best.

While choosing the best policy with the lowest premium, we often neglect the add-on covers offered to us along with the basic coverage.

Not anymore! You need to make some smart choices to get better coverage.

Want to know how? This car insurance add-on cover guide says it all!

Car insurance add-on covers can save the day!

Some may ask, isn’t buying add-ons a waste of money? Nope! If your car needs it, then it’s only acts as your savior.

Remember one thing! Your car defines who you are and your interests in life.

For example: An avid traveler won’t stop raving about their SUV because it battles tough road conditions. Likewise, a working professional would look for a simple and compact hatchback that can drive him smoothly to work. Also, something that allows him hassle-free parking.

If the car matches the owner’s needs, so should the car insurance policy, isn’t it?

Discounts would surely help you lower the price. But, what about the coverage? Is your car being covered to its optimum? You need to figure that out!

Having said that, let’s move on to understanding the different types of add-on covers.

Essential Add-On Covers to Customize Your Policy

1. NCB Protector

You do know that for a claim-free year, you can get rewarded in the form of no claim bonus discounts up to 50%. Now, imagine you haven’t made a claim. Your cousin or relative borrows your car and wrecks it! You’d end up losing the entire hard-earned NCB discount.

If you’re confident of your driving skills? Already accumulated an NCB of up to 25% or more? Afraid of losing your NCB due to a stupid accident?

This add-on cover is meant for you!

Fortunately, with the NCB Protector add-on cover, even if you file a claim twice, you won’t lose the NCB.

How does the NCB Protector work?

  • The NCB Protector add-on cover protects your accrued no claim bonus.
  • In the event of an own damage claim made for partial loss, total loss or theft of your vehicle, forego your NCB for making the claim
  • The no-claim bonus will not get crushed for the first two claims made during the year
  • You won’t be eligible for discount the next year under the current slab of NCB

Who should buy it?

If you are someone living in or often travelling to an accident-prone area, consider paying an extra cost of this add-on. This will help you protect your NCB discount better.

Avail this add-on based on your scenario and requirements. When considering this add-on, note that you're paying to protect your NCB discount and not reduce the premium amount.

2. Engine Protection

Talk about our Indian streets! During monsoon, they are predominantly water logged. Your car might have an issue if the water enters the engine. Engine damages are not covered under your normal comprehensive policy. So you definitely need this add-on if you stay in a flood-prone area. It comes at an added cost but totally worth it!

Why protect the engine?

  • Most expensive part
  • Repairing it can be a real costly affair
  • Significant labor and material charges

The add-on shields against engine damage due to:

  • Leakage of lubricating oil
  • Damage to gear box
  • Water ingression
  • Hydrostatic lock – When you repeatedly try to start a moist engine, it can cause an engine failure

NOTE: Cranking the engine while the car’s submerged under water can trigger ignition damaging the engine. This is considered as a deliberate act of damage to the engine. Sadly, it’s an exclusion to the base policy.

How does it work?

Let’s take the case of a standard hatchback:

The repair or replacements of engine parts like crankshaft, piston and pins, cylinder, etc. can cost you a hefty Rs. 1,05,000 or more. This is exclusive of the metal and plastic part costs, which could be an additional Rs. 20,000.

If you had a comprehensive car insurance policy only:

You’d have to pay the entire engine repair costs and a part of metal and plastic parts.

However, if you also had the engine protector add-on cover:

Your insurance company would settle the entire amount for engine repairs or replacement.

Now you decide what makes better sense? Taking this add-on cover or not?

3. Zero Depreciation (#MostRecommended)

Raging and endlessly sickening traffic issues! That’s how it works in large Indian cities. You end up driving bumper-to-bumper most of the times.

This increases the chances of collisions and damages.

Fortunately, the most popular add-on cover - Depreciation' or 'Bumper to Bumper' comes to your rescue!

It’s a widely sold add-on cover by car insurance companies. With this add-on benefit, you receive a full claim on the value of parts that are required to be replaced after an accident.

Receiving a full claim on a replaced car part post an accident, is a win-win situation, isn't it?

How does it work?

Your standard car policy covers only 50-100% expenses for replacing damaged parts. This includes fiber, plastic, and other metal parts. Paying for each and every minor dent and replacement can turn out to be a mighty expensive ordeal. Even parts that aren’t fiber or plastic are depreciated.

Without a Zero Depreciation Cover, during the claim, you pay a difference from your own pocket. This is to cover the costs for the repair/replacement of the depreciated parts of your car.

With this cover, you are at peace. You receive complete coverage even of depreciated amount deducted on parts to be replaced. The Zero-Dep add-on cover is beneficial if:

  • You’re new to driving
  • You’ve got a brand new car
  • You own a luxury car (whose replacement parts cost a bomb!)

The catch!

Usually, a Zero Depreciation add-on feature is offered by your insurer for a period of first five years from the date of purchase of the car.

If your car is more than five-years-old, we’re sorry! No zero-dep cover for you.

4. Consumables Cover

Did you know that there are certain materials in your car that are called as consumables?

These consumables consist of bolts, nuts, screws, washers, brake fluid, etc. Your regular car insurance policy may not cover expenses related to consumables.

What does this add-on really do?

It offers to compensate towards the replacement costs of consumable items used during the repair. And this is something that your regular insurance plan does not provide!

For whom is it best suggested?

High-end luxury cars whose cost of consumables are very expensive!

Is there a catch here?

This cover may or may not be available for older cars.

5. Invoice Protection

Your insurer settles the claim on the Insured Declared Value (IDV), which is calculated basis the depreciation of the car. In this cover, the claim will be settled basis the invoice value and not the IDV.

When is it handy?

If your car gets stolen or has total loss due to an unfortunate accident, you get compensated on the road price. This is the original invoice value of your car including the registration charges and the road tax paid.

The catch:

Not available for cars older than three years. This clause varies from on insurer to another.

6. Personal Accident Cover

A person dies in an accident every four minutes in India. Shocking, isn’t it?

Generally, the personal accident cover insures the car and the driver. But what if your friend or relative drives your car and meets with an accident? With this add-on, you receive a cover of up to Rs. 2 lakh for death, permanent disability and partial disabilities.

Heard of the Passenger Cover?

This doesn’t fall under add-on covers. But, you need to know why it’s essential to buy it an extra price. If you are someone who travels with your family, especially elderly or very young family members, then a passenger cover is a must.

In case of accidental injuries, it covers the passengers as well. If you mostly travel alone, you can choose to ignore this additional cover.

7. Accessories Cover

Car accessories enhance the beauty of your car, isn’t it?

But, you need to get the valuable accessories insured, especially if you live in a theft-prone area. Or perhaps a place that is vulnerable to natural disasters.

All you need to do is opt for ‘loss of accessories’ add-on cover that comes along with your car insurance policy.

Accessories are categorized as electrical and non-electrical. But, not each and every accessory may be covered under your optional extension coverage. (This varies from one insurer to another).

How to know which accessory to insure?

Usually it’s the expensive accessories that should be insured. However, before shopping for them, speak to your insurance provider. Figure out which all accessories can be insured the next time you renew your policy.

8. Roadside Assistance Cover (RSA)

Picture a situation - you are stranded in the middle of a highway with no help at hand. Scary, huh? With this cover, you need not be.

A single phone call, the insurer will arrange all emergency services. Some of them being towing, medical assistance, battery jump start, arrangement for fuel, etc.

What are the benefits of this add-on?

  • Battery jump start
  • Towing service
  • Spare key arrangements
  • Phone assistance
  • Emergency fuel
  • Minor repairing
  • Alternative transport/ accommodation

The catch:

There’s no catch here. Very convenient if you are one of those enthusiastic travelers.

Know this before buying your desired add-on cover.

Buying an add-on cover should depend on your driving experience. Actually, it depends on a lot of other factors. Keep these factors in mind before opting for add-ons:

  • City you reside
  • The type of car (Sedan, MUV, Hatchback, etc.)
  • Make of car (The car model)
  • Car’s manufacturing year
  • Average Distance travelled a day/Mileage
  • Primary Concern faced (Chaotic traffic, heavy rains, foggy winters, etc.)
  • Problems faced (water logging, potholes, etc.)

Coverfox helps you make the right choice.

Are you still game for buying a standard car insurance policy, when you can alter it with suitable add-on covers? No, right!

Don’t worry. Our experts are here to assist you with the right add-ons as per your car and preference.

You can us on our toll free number - 1800 209 9930 and speak to an advisor to learn which add-on is right for you.

Remember: Stop moving with the crowd. Start evaluating what suits you best!

Go the made-to-measure way with the right add-on covers in your car insurance policy.

Still need more information? This creative piece explaining the top 4 popular add-ons should get your started.

Aniket Thakkar
Written by Aniket Thakkar
He lives off TV shows, movies, junk food, comics and sarcasm. When he is not working as a freelance imaginary friend to other beings like him, he works as VP of Marketing at Coverfox.