Buying two wheeler insurance can be tricky. But not if you ask the right questions before buying. Here's what you need to seek the answers for.
When it comes to choosing two wheeler insurance, sometimes it's just comfortable to opt for what your friends use, or the insurance company whose commercial you've seen the most on TV. Apparently, that's not the safest bet. Like any business, all insurance companies have varying rates, plus they significantly differ in everything—from their coverage to their hours of operation to their claims settlement ratio. So, shopping around is necessary to get a good deal with proper coverage and service for you.
If you're new to two wheeler insurance and don't know much about it, keeping the below list of 10 questions close by can put you on track while evaluating your coverage options and will also help in choosing the policy that's just right for you.
1. What is the value of my two wheeler and how is it determined?
The value you are referring here is called Insured Declared Value (IDV) which is the maximum amount you’ll be compensated in case of total loss or theft of your two wheeler. The IDV of the two wheeler is calculated by manufacturer's listed selling price and adjusted for depreciation (as per the schedule below). Similarly, the IDV for the accessories which are not factory-fitted is calculated separately, if they need to be included in the coverage at an extra cost.
Depreciation schedule of a Two Wheeler:
|Age Of The Vehicle||% Of Depreciation For Fixing IDV of The Two Wheeler|
|Not exceeding 6 months||5%|
|Exceeding 6 months but not exceeding 1 year||15%|
|Exceeding 1 year but not exceeding 2 years||20%|
|Exceeding 2 years but not exceeding 3 years||30%|
|Exceeding 3 years but not exceeding 4 years||40%|
|Exceeding 4 years but not exceeding 5 years||50%|
Points to remember:
- The IDV has a direct impact on the premium. Higher the IDV—higher is the premium.
- Opting for lower IDV just to save on premium might lead to insufficient coverage amount, in case of a claim.
2. What forms of coverage are mandatory?
As per the Motor Vehicles Act (1988), it shall be binding to possess at least a Third Party Liability Insurance for any motor vehicle plying on Indian roads. However, it may be noted that the Third Party Liability Insurance covers any damages or injuries caused to any third party due to your vehicle. It does not cover any damages caused to your own two wheeler.
3. What optional coverage is available for my two wheeler?
To safeguard your two wheeler completely, you must buy a comprehensive policy that not only covers any injury/damages to the third party but also includes any damages caused to your own vehicle. Likewise, an add-on cover such as Zero Depreciation will also ensure that your valid claim is paid in full, apart from certain compulsory deductions, without taking the depreciation factor into consideration. Repair/ replacement of certain parts that are made of plastic, fiber, glass, etc. is calculated on depreciation basis as per the IRDA norms. However, with this add-on cover, you need not worry about that.
4. How can I get the best rate for my two wheeler insurance?
The premium you would need to shell towards your two wheeler insurance purely depends on the coverage options you choose. The rates for the Third Party Liability Insurance is laid down by the IRDA however if you wish to opt for comprehensive coverage, the premiums vary basis the coverage and the discounts you are eligible for.
However, to get the best rate, ensure the following:
- Choose the right IDV: Remember, higher the IDV—higher is the premium. So decide appropriately.
- Avail No Claim Bonus: You are entitled to up to 50% of discount on your own-damage premium over 5 consecutive claim-free years. So, avoid making small claims.
- Install Security Devices: Anti-theft devices approved by ARAI (Pune) makes you eligible for extra discount.
- Become AAI member: If you are a member of AAI (Automobile Association of India), you can ask for an additional discount.
5. What is Deductible? Will it affect my coverage/premium?
The deductible is the part of the claim amount that you bear before the insurance company pitches in its share. In Motor Insurance, there are two types of deductibles – Compulsory & Voluntary. Compulsory Deductibles are pre-defined by the IRDA depending on the cubic capacity of your two wheeler’s engine. However, you can choose your Voluntary Deductible. The higher you opt, the lower will be your premium. Evaluate appropriately depending upon your affordability to bear the amount during the claim.
6. What are the major inclusions & exclusions of my coverage?
Well, the detailed Terms & Conditions of your two wheeler insurance is mentioned in the policy wordings which is readily available online. However, below are some major inclusions and exclusions of two wheeler insurance:
Inclusions: Damages caused to your vehicle due to following reasons are usually covered.
- Fire, explosion, self-ignition, lightning
- Riot & Strike
- Flood, storm, cyclone, hurricane, etc.
- Accidental external means
- While in transit by rail, road, inland waterways, lift, elevator & air
- Landslide/rock slide
Exclusions: Damages caused to your vehicle due to following reasons are usually not covered.
- Riding without valid driver's license
- Riding under the influence of alcohol/drugs
- Accident taking place beyond geographical limits
- While your two wheeler is used for unlawful purposes
- Electrical/mechanical breakdowns
7. What if there are any incorrect details printed on the policy? What is the process for recording such changes?
If any incorrect details are printed on your two wheeler insurance policy, you can get the same rectified by intimating your insurance company. You might have to submit certain documents to support the changes. Your insurance company will then carry out the necessary modifications in the form of an Endorsement that you can attach to the original policy document for reference. The time required to implement such changes varies between 3-7 business days.
8. How can I make a claim?
Your policy document outlines the details of the procedure you must follow while raising the claim. However, just for your quick reference, you must contact the insurance company on their toll-free number about the mishap as early as possible, preferably within 24 hours. The insurance company will ask for all the required details, raise a claim and share the Claim Reference Number with you. Following this, a surveyor will inspect your vehicle to assess the damages and estimate the claim amount you’ll be compensated. Once this is done, you can then proceed with the repairs of your two wheeler. Provision of a cashless is entirely at the discretion of the insurance company.
9. If any other vehicle dashes my two wheeler, how do I claim on its third-party liability insurance?
To make any third-party claims, you need to call the local police at the spot of accident, file an FIR and secure a copy for your records. Secondly, you need to ask for the insurance documents of the vehicle who dashed your two wheeler. Also, note details like driver’s information & his driving license number, witness names, and contact numbers (if any), etc. After you have received all required documents/information, file a claim in the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal in your area. Basis the information available, witness testimonials, and the impact of the accident on you and your two wheeler, the court will then decide on your compensation amount. Please note that such cases take a long time to resolve, and hence it’s advised to solve them amicably without involving the Tribunal.
10. Why should I buy the two wheeler insurance online?
Buying insurance online has numerous benefits –
- Free and user-friendly platform to compare the quotes and evaluate coverage options
- Efficient and friendly customer advisory team to assist with any concerns you may have
- Quick and reliable post-sales services
- Prompt assistance with the claims and related concerns
With these questions and subsequent answers, we hope that you are equipped with the necessary knowledge to make a well-informed decision about the right coverage for your prized possession. After all, insufficient insurance coverage should be the last thing on your mind while vroom-ing your way around!