Owning a vehicle is the best way for travelling easily, especially in case of daily commuters. But with vehicle ownership comes a great responsibility of securing it and yourself. While Indian law mandates only insured vehicles on roads, the standard insurance coverage might not always offer the desired coverage. If you own a car or bike, you should always assess the standard policy terms to determine whether it provides the desired coverage.
People wanting greater coverage should invest in the right add-ons to optimize coverage terms. If you’re new to add-ons or aren’t sure which ones would be the best, take a look at the five add-ons every vehicle owner must consider buying.
1. Zero Depreciation Cover
Whenever a vehicle owner files for a claim after a road accident, the insurer deducts the depreciation amount related to car parts before releasing the final amount. If you want the insurance company to pay the full claim amount, ensure you buy the zero depreciation cover with your standard car policy. This add-on will ensure depreciation doesn’t lower your claim figure, and you don’t have to bear significant amount of the damage from your own pockets. People with high-value vehicles should definitely take this add-on.
2. Engine Cover
An engine is the heart of every vehicle, but it is also prone to irreversible damage in high-intensity accidents. Even slight engine fixes and repairs can be expensive, leading vehicle owners to spend a lot of money. Since engine damage is not covered in any standard vehicle insurance policy, investing in an engine cover is recommended. This rider add on will cover you against engine damage caused by various factors, like lubricating oil leakage, water ingression, road accidents, hydrostatic locks, etc.
3. Roadside Assistance
No matter how well-maintained your vehicle is, you cannot ignore the chances of sudden breakdowns. If you usually take your vehicle to work or drive it for leisure, having roadside assistance can be lifesaving. This add-on enables the insurers to provide quick roadside assistance to help you resume your travel effortlessly. Ranging from minor on-site repairs to towing,- this add-on covers all essential features. High-distance travellers should definitely invest in this add-on.
4. Return to Invoice
With the rising instances of vehicle thefts, it makes sense to secure yourself against potential losses. Losing a vehicle due to total damage or theft can be financially devastating, and may disrupt your savings and bank balance. Generally, a car or bike policy won’t cover the full damages/cost to the vehicle, unless the insured has taken a return to invoice cover. This add-on ensures the vehicle owner receives the full invoice price rather than the depreciated value.
5. Loss of Belongingness
People traveling in their own vehicles often carry expensive items, like laptops, mobile phones, etc. In case the vehicle gets severely damaged or stolen, the insurer is only liable to reimburse the financial damages related to the vehicle, not the belongings inside. If you often carry expensive items in your vehicle, it is best to insure them too under the loss of belongingness cover.
6. Types of Insurance Policies
In the vast landscape of vehicle insurance in India, understanding the different types of policies available is crucial to make an informed choice. Generally, there are three primary types of vehicle insurance policies: third-party liability insurance, comprehensive insurance, and standalone own-damage insurance. Each serves a distinct purpose, and add-ons can be strategically tailored to complement these policies.
7. Third-Party Liability Insurance
Third-party liability insurance is the minimum legal requirement for all vehicles in India. It provides coverage for damages or injuries caused to a third party due to an accident involving your vehicle. While this policy doesn’t cover your vehicle’s damages, it ensures compliance with the law.
8. Comprehensive Insurance
Comprehensive insurance is a more extensive policy that covers both third-party liability and damages to your own vehicle. It provides financial protection against a broader range of risks, including accidents, theft, natural disasters, and vandalism. For those looking for comprehensive coverage, add-ons can be fine-tuned to address specific needs, such as zero depreciation or engine protection.
9. Standalone Own-Damage Insurance
Standalone own-damage insurance focuses solely on covering damages to your vehicle, excluding third-party liabilities. This type of policy is often chosen by vehicle owners who are confident in their ability to handle third-party liabilities separately, perhaps through third-party liability insurance or as mandated by law.
10. How Add-Ons Complement These Policies
Add-ons, or riders, are supplemental coverage options that can be added to your base insurance policy to enhance protection. For instance, if you have a comprehensive policy, you can choose add-ons like zero depreciation to ensure that depreciation does not affect your claim amount. Similarly, if you have standalone own-damage insurance, you can select add-ons like roadside assistance for extra support in case of breakdowns.
11. Cost Considerations
While add-ons offer valuable benefits, it’s important to consider how they impact your insurance premium. Each add-on comes with an additional cost, which, when combined, can significantly influence the overall insurance premium. Therefore, it’s essential to align your choice of add-ons with your budget and coverage needs. Evaluate the cost-effectiveness of each add-on and choose those that provide the most value based on your circumstances.
12. Claim Process
The claim process can be a complex and time-consuming ordeal without the right add-ons. With add-ons like zero depreciation or engine cover, the claims process becomes smoother. For instance, with zero depreciation, you’ll receive the full claim amount without deductions for depreciation, ensuring you don’t have to bear significant costs for repairs or replacements. These add-ons simplify and expedite the claims process, offering peace of mind during challenging times.
13. Exclusions and Limitations
It’s vital to understand that add-ons may come with certain exclusions and limitations. Each add-on has specific terms and conditions that define what is covered and what is not. For example, an engine protection add-on may cover damage due to water ingression but not damage from negligence or unauthorized modifications. Before selecting add-ons, thoroughly read and comprehend the terms and conditions to manage expectations and avoid surprises during claims.
Upgrade Your Insurance Coverage to Minimise Financial Liabilities
Insuring vehicles under the right insurance and add-ons can save you from attracting penalties/fines from authorities, potential financial losses arising from vehicle damage, and gives you peace of mind. The market offers a wide range of vehicle insurance products, but not all standard policies provide the desired coverage. Vehicle owners demanding more security/coverage must invest in the right add-ons to safeguard their vehicle and themselves against potential damages/losses. If you want to drive with confidence, a sense of security, and worry-free mind, ensure that you get the right add-ons with your vehicle insurance.