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Insurance

Motor Insurance

The word insurance is a bit confusing. Let us simplify motor insurance for you and reduce this confusion. Buying an insurance policy becomes compulsory insurance in India by law, if you drive a car or ride a bike. Read on to find more about a Motor Insurance Policy:

What Is Motor Insurance?

    • Motor insurance, also known as auto insurance, is an insurance coverage for bikes, cars, trucks and other commercial vehicles.
    • It offers to pay for or compensate you for any loss or damage to your vehicle listed below. It also covers any damage caused to another individual, vehicle or their property.

A motor insurance policy covers damages to the vehicle due to:

    • Accidents/collisions
    • Theft
    • Fire
    • Vandalism or sabotage
    • Riot and strike
    • Earthquake
    • Terrorism acts
    • Flood, storm, cyclone, lightning
    • Landslide

When Does Motor Insurance Come Handy?

The examples below showcase how Motor insurance helps in different situations. However, Situation 3 tells us how important it is that you choose the right Motor Insurance policy. For that, however, you need more information about Motor Insurance policies. This brings us to the types of motor insurance.

  Situation 1 Situation 2 Situation 3
Scenario You decide to spend the weekend at your farmhouse in the outskirts of the city.
It is a beautiful Sunday morning until you realise that your car is missing from the garage.
What?! Rs 5.5 lakh vanished in thin air.
You just got your licence. You hit the roads despite your father’s warning.
Everything goes well until a child suddenly crosses the road. The child is safe, but you bump into another bike.
It could easily cost you Rs 50,000 in medical bills and repair.
It’s Diwali! The entire country is lit up. The kids in your colony burst all kinds of crackers. You are in the celebratory mood until a cracker strikes the unattended petrol tank of your Tourist vehicle. Your car catches fire. Thankfully, the fire was doused immediately. The damage could still cost nearly Rs 75,000 to repair.
How insurance helps? You do not have to shell out from your pocket in case of damages. But only when your vehicle is insured. Your dad’s choice of a Comprehensive bike insurance came in handy. Choosing the correct insurance policy matters. Not all insurance types offer wide-spread coverage.
Benefits of being insured Thanks to your Comprehensive Car insurance policy that covers theft, you receive money equivalent to your car’s value (IDV) back. Won’t you buy a new car with this money? Your Bike Insurance Personal Accident cover pays for your medical bills; the Own Damage cover compensates for the bike’s repair. Plus, the ‘Third party’ cover pays for the damages caused to the other two wheeler. You check with your insurance company. However, it turns out that the policy you have only covers for Third-party damage during collisions. You end up paying from your pocket. This could have been avoided.

Types Of Motor Insurance

There are many types of motor insurance policies available. Each vehicle type like car, bike, commercial vehicles etc has its own insurance policy.

Irrespective of the vehicle type, Motor insurance policies are mainly of two types which depend on what kind of liabilities the insurance covers.

Type Third-Party Policy Comprehensive Policy
What does it cover? It covers damages caused to another person, their vehicle or property due to collision or accidents. It covers damages caused to you, your vehicle, or a third party due to collisions, theft, sabotage, natural calamities, man-made calamities or even fire.
What is not covered? It does not cover damages to your own vehicle or bodily injuries which you may suffer. It covers all kinds of damages, except for the loss suffered while drinking under the influence of alcohol or drugs or without a policy or license.

What is The Cost of a Motor Insurance Policy?

The cost of a motor insurance policy depends on a number of different factors such as the type of insurance policy, IDV of the vehicle, manufacturing year of the vehicle, etc. This cost is nothing but the amount you pay as the premium of the policy.

Here is a list of factors on which the cost of a motor insurance policy depends:

  • The Value of the Vehicle
  • The Type of Insurance
  • The Age of the Vehicle
  • Your Claim History
  • Add-on Covers
  • Security Features

Let’s understand each factor in detail:

The Value of the Vehicle

  • Your premium depends on the market value of your vehicle. This is known as the Insured Declared Value (IDV). IDV in insurance means the maximum amount that the insurer pays during a claim.
  • The higher the IDV of your car, the higher the sum-assured. This pushes up your premium costs.

The Type of Insurance

  • Different motor insurance policies offer varying coverage.
  • The greater the coverage, the higher the premium.
  • A third-party insurance only covers damage to another vehicle, person or property.
  • A comprehensive insurance, meanwhile, covers third-party damage as well as own damage.

So, a third-party insurance is cheaper than comprehensive insurance.

The Age of The Vehicle

  • The older the vehicle, the lower will be it’s market value.
  • However, age could make your vehicle more susceptible to damages, thus, increasing your premium amount.
  • This is why the insurer examines your vehicle thoroughly before processing your policy application.

Your Claim History

  • The number of times you make a claim in a year affects your premium amount.
  • A great number of claims can increase the premium amount.
  • If in any active policy year, you do not make a claim, you will get a bonus in form of discounts on your premium amount.
  • This bonus is called a No Claim Bonus (NCB).

Add-on covers

  • The extra services and coverage that you ask for, add to the cost of your premium.
  • The more the add-ons, the higher is the premium.

Security features

  • A vehicle with anti-theft system and other security features lowers the risk of loss.
  • This can lead to a lower premium cost.

How Do I Buy Motor Insurance?

These are 4 easy steps that will help you in buying a motor insurance to secure yourself and your vehicle.

  • Assess your needs
  • Make comparisons
  • Select the right plan
  • Pay the premium
  1. Assess your Needs
  • Know your personal needs and those of the vehicle.
  • Keep all the required documents in order.
  • Get important details such as the manufacturing date, engine specifications, etc.
  • You must also know your vehicle’s market value. It is the maximum sum assured.
  1. Make Comparisons
  • Check the different types of plans available.
  • Compare the benefits that the insurance companies offer.
  • See if there are add-ons that suit your needs.
  • Read the exclusions thoroughly.
  1. Select the Right Plan
  • By this step, you will be clear about what you expect from an insurance policy.
  • Select the plan that best suits your needs.
  • Compare quotes from various insurers to get the best deal.
  • Reach out to the company which offered the selected plan.
  1. Pay The Premium
  • Your policy becomes active only when you pay the premium.
  • Fill in the required application form and pay the premium amount.
  • You can do this online on the insurance company’s website.
  • You can also buy it from an insurance broker.

The whole idea of buying an insurance policy is protecting you against uncertainties.
Make sure that you read the policy documents carefully to have a thorough understanding of the coverage.

A Quick Guide to Buying New Car Insurance

The owner of a new car is supposed to buy a new car insurance policy as it is mandatory by Indian law. If a new car insurance policy is not purchased, he/she would be liable to pay a fine or face imprisonment. Here is a quick guide on how you can buy a new car insurance policy for your car:

Online

Nowadays, buying a new car insurance policy online is the easiest and the quickest way of getting a car insured. You can compare various car insurance policies and select the one that suits your needs. Simply enter your car’s registration number, and other related details as well as your personal details on the car insurance page. You will be asked to set the IDV of your car and then you can select Add-ons. After making the payment, a new car insurance policy will be sent as a soft copy at your registered email address. Feel free to print the copies and use as required.

Offline

Buying a new car insurance policy offline is time-consuming. You need to get in touch with the insurance company or their agent, to inquire about the best features available. Then you need to fill an application form. If your request is approved, a new car insurance policy will be sent to you via post. This can take around 5 to 7 working days.

What are all these Terms and Conditions?

Let us quickly run you through the terms and conditions of motor insurance:

Term Meaning
Add-ons Add-ons are additional services and coverage that you can ask for which can increase your premium amount.
Break in Insurance When you do not renew your policy in time, it lapses. This results in a ‘break in insurance’ and then you have to buy a fresh policy.
Cover Note This temporary document can be treated as the certificate of insurance until the insurer issues your policy document.
Deductible This is a fixed part of your vehicle repair bill that you must pay from your pocket which can be as little an amount as Rs 1,000.
Endorsement It is a written document attached to your insurance policy that adds to or subtracts from the benefits mentioned in the policy document. Such an endorsement becomes the final policy wordings.
First-party coverage This term is used in the case of Comprehensive insurance policies, which means that your plan covers you and your vehicle for ‘Own damage’.
Grace Period It is the period after your policy expiration date. If you pay the premium within this timeframe, your policy gets ‘renewed’. Otherwise, you have to buy a fresh insurance policy.
Independent Agent An insurance agent who is not directly employed by any insurance company. Such an agent can represent more than one insurance companies.
Lapse It is the termination of the motor insurance policy due to non-payment of a premium.
Misrepresentation It is a false, incorrect or an incomplete statement made while buying the policy.
No Claim Refund It is the amount of the premium promised to be refunded to you in the event of not making a claim during the entire policy period.
Policy Period It is the time period during which the insurance policy is in force.
Rider This is the same as an Add-on.
Surcharge It is an increase in the premium amount due to accidents that happen because of your fault.
Third party Any person other than you, another vehicle or property involved in an accident is known as the Third party.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage It covers the injuries suffered by you and the damages caused to your vehicle due to an accident involving an uninsured driver.
VIN Vehicle Identification Number or VIN is a unique identification number assigned to your car.
Zero Depreciation The value of your vehicle reduces due to wear & tear and ageing. With an add-on, the insurer ignores such depreciation and pays the whole vehicle value to you during claims.

How To File A Claim?

Here’s how you can file a claim:

a) Third-Party Claim

  • If your vehicle causes damage to a third-party, ensure that you immediately report the accident to the police as well as your insurance company.
  • If you are the victim of the accident, you must get the insurance details of the third-party vehicle and inform their insurer.
  • After getting a notice from the third-party or the insured, the insurer will transfer the matter to a tribunal.
  • The tribunal decides the penalty amount. The insurance company then pays or compensates this amount.

b) Own Damage Claim

  • In case of damage to your vehicle, inform your insurance company within a week.
  • Any delay could result in claim rejection.
  • An independent surveyor examines the vehicle to assess the reason and the extent of the damage.
  • You or the insurance company will then take the vehicle to the nearest garage.
  • After a thorough examination of the incident, your insurer will send an approval.
  • You pay a minimum amount of the bill. The rest will be taken care of by your insurer.
  • Or if you pay the whole bill amount, the insurer will compensate you.

c) Theft Claim

  • Inform your insurer and the police.
  • Submit documents such as the copy of your vehicle’s registration certificate, your driving licence, etc.
  • Some insurance companies also ask you to submit the keys of your vehicle.
  • After a reasonable amount of time, if the police still cannot locate your car, it issues a non-traceable certificate.
  • Your insurance company then proceeds towards settling your claim.
  • It will compensate you for an amount equivalent to your car’s value.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my No Claim Bonus be transferred if I change my insurer?

  • You will be entitled to your bonus earned during the previous policy period.
  • For this, you must submit a proof of the bonus earned.
  • A renewal notice from your current insurer or your expiring policy can be provided as a proof

How can I reduce my motor insurance premium amount?

There are many ways to reduce your motor insurance premium. If you own a car, follow the topics mentioned on car insurance. Bike owners can check the topics mentioned on Two Wheeler Insurance.

When can my motor insurance claim be rejected?

Your insurance company has the right to reject your claim in the following cases:

  • You fail to inform the insurer about the incident within a reasonable time period.
  • You have a second-hand vehicle, but the seller hasn’t transferred the insurance policy in your name.
  • In your insurer’s view, the vehicle is too old to be repaired.
  • You repair the vehicle before or without informing the insurer.
  • In a case of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or without a valid driver’s license.
  • If your insurance policy does not cover the liability.

What are the documents required to be submitted while making a motor insurance claim?

Generally, you would require the following documents:

  • A copy of your vehicle’s registration certificate
  • A duly signed claim form
  • A copy of the FIR (in case of third party liabilities or stolen vehicle)
  • Original repair invoice and payment receipt (in case of reimbursement claim)
  • Original estimate of the loss

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is like a seat belt, especially when you travel abroad. Just as a plane’s seat belt is a precautionary measure during turbulence, travel insurance is a precautionary measure during your entire trip. Unknown locations can throw up unexpected challenges and travel insurance will help you overcome some of those without increasing your blood pressure.

Understanding Travel Insurance

Travel insurance protects you financially in case things do not happen as planned when you are on a trip. For example, you can lose your baggage while going abroad. Travel insurance will help you to minimize the impact of such a financial blow. Your domestic or international trip will be insured based upon the type of insurance plan you choose.

Mostly, people go for travel insurance in order to insure risks such as lost baggage, loss of passport, flight delay, emergency hospitalization expenses, etc. You can opt for a single trip, multi-trip, senior citizen plan, or a student-friendly plan.

Why Should You Purchase A Travel Insurance Policy?

The prime reason to purchase a travel insurance policy is to be stress free. Be it an office trip or a vacation, you are exposed to certain risks while travelling. With travel insurance by your side, you can rest assured that even if there is a problem, you will have support in the form of insurance.

Environmental and political conditions are different in different countries. Situation can change drastically and you can get caught in the mix for no fault of yours. In such situations, travel insurance ensures that you do not suffer financial losses due to an extended stay or missed flights. Health hazards can be detrimental to your trip. The cost of treatment in foreign countries is extremely high. If one doesn’t have insurance in such a case, it can be financially draining.

Some countries have made it mandatory for tourists to purchase a travel insurance plan before visiting their land. This fact emphasis the importance of travel insurance like no other. However, it is not just a box that needs to be ticked while you are about to visit abroad. You need to understand your travel itinerary, look at the risks you might be exposed to, and choose an appropriate plan to cover those situations.

Things To Keep In Mind While Purchasing Travel Insurance

  • Purchase your travel insurance plan keeping in mind your destination.
  • Select the type of plan based on the number of days you are going to stay.
  • Your purpose of visit can also play a role in selecting the type of policy. Example, Student Insurance Plan for youngsters venturing outside India for studies.
  • Think of what you are supposed to do during your visit. Is it an adventurous trip or one where you are just going to relax on the beach?
  • Is your house going to be vacant while you are abroad? Consider if you want to get an Add-on insurance cover to insure your property while you are in a different country.
  • Do you have an existing medical condition? Discuss it with your insurance company, you might be required to undergo a health check-up.
  • Once you understand your requirements, research online, choose your insurance provider and the select right insurance plan.

Health Insurance

Insurance is the best way of securing yourself financially in case of sudden mishaps. Insurance dost not mean that you wish ill for yourself, but you are simply taking precaution for the future. All forms of insurance are important, but health insurance probably holds higher priority. For those who are new to health insurance, let’s begin with the basics:

What Is Health Insurance?

Health insurance is a part of General Insurance. Do not confuse Health Insurance with Life or Term Insurance. Even though, all the three are related to a person’s well being they do not belong to the same category of insurance policies. Health insurance is supposed to lend financial help for short or quick health issues resulting in medical attention. Whereas, Life and Term insurance are long-term policies that assure a lumpsum amount of money after certain conditions are met.

You might have heard of mediclaim policies which prove to be helpful in case of hospitalization. These mediclaim policies are a part of Health Insurance. It provides a financial support, not only in case of hospitalizations but also for an array of things associated with your health.

What Are The Types Of Health Insurance Plans?

The type of a Health Insurance policy depends upon the coverage it offers. Here are the different types of Health Insurance policies available in India:

Personal Accident Insurance

With this plan, you can safeguard yourself financially in case of major accidents that leads to temporary or permanent disability. In case of death of the policyholder, the next of kin is given a lump sum amount.

Mediclaim or Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans

This is a comprehensive plan that covers the cost of hospitalization up to a predefined limit. It is possible to add your family members to this plan.

Family Floater Plans

As the name suggests, this is a consolidated plan which covers the whole family. Thus, members of a family need not buy separate health insurance plans.

Health Insurance Plans for Senior Citizens

This plan is specially designed for the cost of treating elderly people as their health issues might not be similar to other people. With health insurance, a senior citizen can avail medical facilities seamlessly.

Critical Illness Plans

Nowadays, it is possible to financially safeguard yourself beforehand if you feel you are susceptible to certain critical illnesses. Specific illnesses like cancer, stroke, a heart attack can be covered under this plan as the cost of treatment of these illnesses is higher in the advanced stages as compared to others.

Disease-Specific Plans

This plan is similar to a Critical Illness Plan, however, the difference is that a Disease-Specific Plan covers the cost of treatment from the very beginning of the diagnosis of an illness.

Daily Cash Benefit Plans

You can set a fixed amount for the daily spend during hospitalization with the help of a Daily Cash Benefit Health Insurance. The amount paid will be as per the terms and conditions of the health insurance plan.

Top-up and Super Top-up Plans

Every health insurance plan has a limit till which it can pay for the cost of treatment and hospitalization. Top-up and Super Top-up Plans are beneficial if you have exhausted this limit. A top-up plan will help you pay the remaining amount after the limit of your health insurance plan is met. A super top-up plan works in a similar manner but irrespective of the limit or number of claims you make in one policy year.