Car Insurance

Car Insurance

A car is often the first material achievement of adulthood. While we all spend endless hours weighing various aspects of cars, comparing models and prices and efficiencies, we ignore an important aspect of our car’s safety—Its insurance.

Since the Indian Government has made it compulsory to get all cars insured, we simply buy whatever cheap car insurance is available in the market. With this path, it is easy to fall into the same trap year after year. We think insurance is just a piece of paper, and all policy options are the same.

While one should definitely look for the lowest car insurance premium, there are various aspects that should be considered while buying a policy.

  • -> Firstly, the policy features should be selected based on the car. One’s first love may have been their father’s old Maruti, but getting the same policy features for a new high-end car, even though the sum insured will be higher, would be inadequate.
  • -> The most basic form of car insurance in India is the third party policy. If the insured’s car damages another car, this policy will cover the expenses incurred for the third party’s car. It only covers losses under this category, and no other kinds of damages are covered under this kind of insurance.
  • -> A comprehensive policy, unlike a third party policy, will cover the various uncertainties of the world. Every major city in the country has had torrential rains and floods in recent years. We have all seen footage of cars floating like toys in the water. Storms have uprooted trees that unfortunately fell on vehicles in the vicinity. A policy that covers damage in any of these (or other unfortunate) events, aside from loss due to collisions, is a necessity today.
  • -> The features of the policy should respect the worth of the car, its age, and the cost of its repairs. If a car is beginning to get old and is likely to need more maintenance, or if it has pricey spares, a policy that provides engine cover and covers the cost of consumables is a good idea.
  • -> For a recently bought car, a policy with the zero depreciation (zero-dep) feature is typically useful. It will ensure that the cost of any damaged parts will be completely reimbursed by the insurer, without deducting anything from the payable amount (on account of aging). For instance, if a damaged part costs Rs.10,000 to replace with a zero-dep policy, the insurer will reimburse the entire 10,000. But, with a normal policy, the reimbursement is lower, depending on the age of the car.
    Zero-dep comes at a cost, but the cost is usually recovered if any of the key parts in the car need replacement during the coverage period. Given this cost-benefit balance, most insurance companies do not offer the zero-dep feature to older cars, which is a reason why new car owners should avail the facility in the window it is available.
  • -> No Claim Bonus (NCB) is given to the insurance holder for every year without any claims and can be used to get a discount on the insurance premium. Even while changing the insurer or getting a new car, an NCB can be transferred, and a discount can be claimed on the new policy or car.
  • -> Insurance companies are simplifying the claim process by creating a network of empaneled cashless garages (CG), which enable getting repairs done without paying cash upfront and without going through a reimbursement process.

While it may not be as exciting as buying a car, buying car insurance is an equally important decision, and today’s consumers should wisely choose a policy that is most suited to their individual needs.

Winter Chill and Motor Care – 9 tips to take care of your vehicle this winter

Winter
cold can freeze even the most unlikely of objects, especially vehicles plying
on high altitude roads. Hence proper vehicle care and maintenance is a must.

We
have listed down few checklist pointers for this winter

1.
Oil change – 
Motor
oil is one of the most important fluids. Hence ensure you start your winter
with a high quality clean oil to keep the engine lubricated, irrespective of
the temperatures. Of course the decision to change motor oil will depend on the
miles you usually cover and the type of motor oil in use. You have to choose
between mineral based oil and synthetic oil. according to experts in winters
using synthetic oil serves well.

2.
Tyres – 
Properly
inflated tires maximise the traction on wet or icy roads and are a good
protection against potholes. Replace worn out tires as well specially in
winters. Keep a tire gauge handy in the car. All season tires harden up below 7
degree C. Use winter tires with studs ( for snow prone areas), which stay soft,
if you are traveling to high altitudes prone to single digit temperature.

3.
Battery charge –
 Cold
temperatures can reduce battery power by almost 50 %. Check the batteries and
remove any corrosion if any on the connections. Also the terminals should fit
snugly with no loose connections. Its a known fact that batteries give little
notice before dying, hence carry a handheld hydrometer to gauge the voltage .

4.
Radiator fluid –
 Ensure
that your radiator has a quality anti freeze fluid. There should be a proper
premix of water and coolant.

5.
Wipers and Windshield –
 Change your wipers once a year as snow, sleet, rain
and ice can pose visibility issues. Never wash frosted windshield with hot
water as it can end up in cracking the windshield. Keep quality antifreeze
wiper fluid for clear vision.

6.
Engine care – 
Engines
in old models take a longer time to heat up and then provide subsequent cabin
heat. New models have an option to directly provide heat to the interiors
before getting the engine warmed up. It’s always prudent to start the engine
for few minutes before turning on the heater to avoid long term engine damage.

7.
Duration of trips – 
Repeated short trips in cold weather like taking kids
to/from school, visit to the local shop end up in the vehicle never warming up
sufficiently to burn off accumulated water vapour leading to your exhaust
system rusting prematurely.

8.
Emergency kit – 
Items
to include in your winter safety kit apart from the regular all year first aid
kit are

a.
Flashlight , Blanket , leather gloves and winter hat
b. Bag of sand in case your tires get stuck in snow or slush
c. Leak proof container for coolant and a small shovel, ice scarper and a
brush.
d. Most importantly – Snacks.

9.
Jammed door locks –
 Always
keep glycerine packs at various places like office drawers, garage etc so that
you are able to open jammed car door without breaking the keys.

Bottom
line – Get your car maintenance done on a regular basis, especially when the
climate changes and Happy Winter

Why one should opt for bundled Auto Insurance

Buying a car for the first time or switching to new model is always an exciting feeling. While opting for a car, it is very significant to think about protecting it at the same time. Buying an optimum auto insurance plan can benefit you in many ways thereby saving your expenses that can be incurred during any accidents, fire, theft, natural or man-made perils, third-party losses or coverage for car owners.

Nowadays, it is mandated to buy long-term insurance plan as per the new recommendations from the Supreme Court panel. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) have directed the insurance companies to offer three year and five-year third party liability covers for new bikes and cars respectively. There are many insurers who have already hit the market as per the new recommendations while on the other hand, most insurers are still in the process of launching products that conform to the new rules.

Presently, two-wheeler and four-wheeler buyers have varied options to choose from. They can either go for third-party cover for three years (does not covers the vehicle if damaged). Or else if one has to opt for own damage, he/she can go with a bundled product which comes with one-year own damage cover and three-year third party or can go with a comprehensive cover for three years that covers third-party liability or own damage for that period. As per the current developments and expert’s suggestion, it is best to go with the bundled product that has only one-year damage cover.

Bundled products make sense because when the insurers are offered on an annual renewal, the costs of the premiums would fall if the individuals had no claims during the policy year. Suppose, if an individual changes vehicles, he or she can get an NCB certificate from the insurer and use the accumulated bonus to bring down the premiums on the new car insurance.

Another important reason why opting for these bundled products is a wise decision is that the individuals get the freedom to move from one insurer to the other from the second year itself. In case, you buy a bundled product with one-year damage and three-year third-party liability, you get the option of changing the insurer later.

Additionally, there are no standalone own damage products as of now, however, most experts from the insurance industry feel that the regulator is soon going to allow such products as well. An individual would be able to continue the third-party cover purchased when buying the vehicle while he or she can go for own damage cover from another insurer.

Moreover, a long tenure comprehensive product will also have a high upfront cost.

For instance, if you are buying a car (Maruti Suzuki) with one-year own damage and three-year third-party, it will cost up to Rs. 24,349 or 5 percent of the insurance declared value. On the other hand, the comprehensive three–year product premium would go around Rs.50, 123 or say 11 percent of IDV. Also, the third party cost might vary from one state to another state to another.

Why is it important to renew car insurance policy within the time frame?

People often make a wise choice by investing in insurance but this is not where your responsibilities come to an end. You need to pay timely premiums and renew your policy on time to make sure that your policy does not lapse on time and you get the perks of your policy.

So if you are still wondering what would happen if you do not renew your policy on time and it lapse. As it is rightly said that,  “A Stitch in Time Save Nine”. Here are a few reasons why you should renew your policy on time.

To Enjoy the perks of Tax Benefits

Your insurance policy offers you tax benefits along with the coverage on the premium amount you pay. However, if you do not renew your policy on time or fail to pay the premiums on time then you are ceased of the tax benefits that your insurance policy offers.

Helps you with the low premium benefits

The insurer takes the following factors into account before it zeros down on your premium amount. Those factors include your age, lifestyle and your medical history. Since when you are younger you ought to pay less premium cost as the age factor. In addition, renewing your policy before it lapses ensures that your premiums remain constant to the first availed amount. So, timely renewal of insurance can help you in enjoying low premium benefits.

There is no need of medical tests while renewing your policy

Few insurers make it mandatory for the insured to undergo a series of medical tests for the first time while they buy insurance. However, there is a plus point that you need not go for any medical tests while renewing your policy. But this thing is only possible if you renew your policy on time. If you fail to renew the policy on time, then you would be considered as a new entrant and will have to go again for a series of medical tests.

Serves your purpose of buying the Insurance

Life is very unpredictable and any mishap or unwelcome situations can come your way at any point of time. In case your insurance policy is active you get the benefits of the coverage. However, if you haven’t renewed your premium on time you might have defeated all the purpose of buying your insurance.

In addition to all the above factors one more important factor is in the event of calamity, you won’t be covered if your policy lapses due to non-renewal of your policy on time.

At last, some important facts that need to consider before buying insurance is that not all policies come with a renewal option. Hence, investing about the renewal option becomes very mandatory since buying a policy without renewal option means you will have to pay higher premiums the next time you buy the policy. Investing in a policy with renew-ability provision assures that the same assured amount and wholesome coverage as your original policy and at the same time removes the hassles of new medical tests.

Top 5 Way to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance

A few years ago, buying a car was one of the significant events in the life of any individuals. But with rising income for middle class and easy credit available across all sections of society, buying a car is like buying any other thing from the supermarket. But the fact that nobody wants to overpay especially when it comes to insurance remains the same in both the times. Beyond the cost of maintenance, servicing and other expenses, the cost of the car insurance bothers the most. So, one can opt for the best possible way mentioned below to get the cheapest car insurance.

Compare premium and purchase policy online

When it comes to getting the cheap car insurance, you have the best option to compare with the proficient and reliable web aggregators like Policybazaar and Probus Insurance. The only way to ensure that you are getting the best deal is to shop around for rates instead of trusting the vehicle dealer for the insurance he advices to you buy while purchasing the vehicle. However, one should also look that the insurers are not blindfolding you with the premium amounts without including GST. In such case, you can completely rely on a company like Probus Insurance, where they keep themselves as an open book for their end customers by displaying the right amount inclusive of GST.

Look out for No Claim Bonus (NCB)

The No Claim Bonus add-on is an optional add-on that can be attached to your car insurance policywhich will protect the no claim bonus up to a certain limit. With the help of NCB add-on, you can go on to claim your NCB discount of your accumulated percentage slab even if you have made a claim. This add-on covers a pre-defined number of claims that can be made by owner of the car without affecting the NCB at all.

Check for discounts or schemes

Car insurance companies always come with discounts and new schemes including price breaking for their valuable customers. Don’t be swayed with the long list of possible discounts, you can compare with multiple car insurance online for the best and lowest premiums.

Renew Policy before it lapses

One might be in the misconception that if the policy has lapsed and premium is not paid on time then it can be renewed at any point of time. But the fact is if the policy is not paid on time, the NCB would be fortified and even the policyholder would not get the perks of a discount and will have to pay higher premiums next time he /she buy the policy. Furthermore, the policyholder is subjected to high risk arising out of the accident.

State the right Insured Declared Value (IDV)

Insured Declared Value is the maximum sum assured which is fixed by the insurer and is given in case of theft or total loss of the vehicle. It is always advisable to declare the right IDV which will ensure that they get the right amount when the claim arises. People often declare lower IDV just to reduce the premiums. However, such an approach would lead to a higher loss in an unfortunate event of claims or theft of the vehicle.

A few years ago, buying a car was one of the significant events in the life of any individuals. But with rising income for middle class and easy credit available across all sections of society, buying a car is like buying any other thing from the supermarket. But the fact that nobody wants to overpay especially when it comes to insurance remains the same in both the times. Beyond the cost of maintenance, servicing and other expenses, the cost of the car insurance bothers the most. So, one can opt for the best possible way mentioned below to get the cheapest car insurance.

Compare premium and purchase policy online

When it comes to getting the cheap car insurance, you have the best option to compare with the proficient and reliable web aggregators like Policybazaar and Probus Insurance. The only way to ensure that you are getting the best deal is to shop around for rates instead of trusting the vehicle dealer for the insurance he advices to you buy while purchasing the vehicle. However, one should also look that the insurers are not blindfolding you with the premium amounts without including GST. In such case, you can completely rely on a company like Probus Insurance, where they keep themselves as an open book for their end customers by displaying the right amount inclusive of GST.

Look out for No Claim Bonus (NCB)

The No Claim Bonus add-on is an optional add-on that can be attached to your car insurance policy which will protect the no claim bonus up to a certain limit. With the help of NCB add-on, you can go on to claim your NCB discount of your accumulated percentage slab even if you have made a claim. This add-on covers a pre-defined number of claims that can be made by owner of the car without affecting the NCB at all.

Check for discounts or schemes

Car insurance companies always come with discounts and new schemes including price breaking for their valuable customers. Don’t be swayed with the long list of possible discounts, you can compare with multiple car insurance online for the best and lowest premiums.

Renew Policy before it lapses

One might be in the misconception that if the policy has lapsed and premium is not paid on time then it can be renewed at any point of time. But the fact is if the policy is not paid on time, the NCB would be fortified and even the policyholder would not get the perks of a discount and will have to pay higher premiums next time he /she buy the policy. Furthermore, the policyholder is subjected to high risk arising out of the accident.

State the right Insured Declared Value (IDV)

Insured Declared Value is the maximum sum assured which is fixed by the insurer and is given in case of theft or total loss of the vehicle. It is always advisable to declare the right IDV which will ensure that they get the right amount when the claim arises. People often declare lower IDV just to reduce the premiums. However, such an approach would lead to a higher loss in an unfortunate event of claims or theft of the vehicle.

Make Your Vehicles Monsoon-Ready by Choosing the Right Policy

Despite monsoon been one of the most pleasant seasons, it comes with several issues such as water logging, road blockage and many more. Also, it is accompanied by the sight of submerged or damaged vehicles due to a number of reasons such as poor urban planning or severe lack of unpreparedness and other related reasons.

However, this heavy downpour has a major impact on vehicles, also leading to huge expenses in some cases. In such situation, when the vehicle owner claims for compensation, it is usually dismissed by the insurer alleging that the vehicles were damaged due to natural calamity.

The best option in such situation is opting for comprehensive vehicle insurance plans which provide options for add-ons. This policy covers all type of damages. In addition, it covers the cost of repairing any damages caused to the insured car. The “Engine Protection Cover” is the most vital add-on every vehicle owner must opt for. Furthermore, in any monsoon-related incidents such as the collapsing of building, falling of trees due to heavy wind or rain, etc, one can go for Return To Invoice (RTI). It will cover the gap between the insured declared value and the invoice value of the car/vehicle.

Although the cost of add-on of the vehicle insurance may increase the premium by some percent; it is strictly recommended for people living in the cities where water logging is common.

Apart from this, the two major add-ons that provide complete protection are Nil Depreciation and Accessories Cover. Also, the vehicle owner can ask for compensation under this add-on in the situation where water has damaged high tech parts such as music systems, seats of the vehicles, screens etc.

It is really the time to put your feet down and go with such policy that is not only cost-saving but also provides the peace of mind.

Include ‘add-ons’ in your basic car insurance policy to sail in monsoon

Monsoon is the season which is eagerly awaited in India as Indian agriculture and river systems are dependent on monsoon. But for people in urban India it gives huge respite from summer heat, but monsoon also brings along various challenges. In the past few years, India as a country has seen rise in floods which can be caused due to climate change, tsunami or cloud bursting. Such situations have triggered not only human loss but also huge economic losses. 

To ride through such losses, Insurance always comes handy, especially motor insurance during the monsoon season in India.  Every year, due to the heavy floods in some or the other part of the country, insurance companies gets vehicle damage claims worth thousands of crores. For example, in Chennai floods in 2015, general insurance sector had seen claims worth over Rs 3,000-3,500 crore for vehicle insurance.

However, many times in such situation claims get rejected as most of the policyholders have standard motor insurance cover. One must choose car insurance policy carefully so that it will not have any impact during the monsoon. Basic policy covers accidental damages and host of other things like loss or damage to car due to natural calamities or against man made calamities. However, policyholder should always buy add-on covers like engine protect cover, roadside assistance covers and consumable cover among others.

Buying such add-on covers might increase the premiums by 15-20% over the base policy as that is own damage and third part liability. Such add-ons can give huge respite to policyholders during the times when there is excessive flooding and not having such add ons might increase the cost of repairing the car.

Among the add-ons, engine protect cover is one of the must haves for the policyholder as basic car insurance doesn’t cover the damages to the engine. Such covers don’t give claims in case the damaged is caused by accident but will pay for losses if engine is damaged due to water entering in it.

Apart from engine protect cover, one should also have road side assistance cover which will help policyholder round the clock assistance during any accident or in case of emergency. It also offers towing and arranging mechanic among other important factors. Even repairs of car takes lot of money if there is problem arising after the monsoon or floods type situation. The cost of consumables like repairing brake, changing engine oil, upgrading nuts and bolts would cost big money. But if this add-on is also bought than policyholders will get reimbursements by the insurers. One can also look at having no claim bonus protect cover which can be used to get a discount in renewal premiums if policyholder doesn’t make any claims in a year.

So next time if you are buying your car insurance policy or getting it renewed, pleasebdo buy additional add-on covers which will benefit both car as well as the policyholder.

How to choose Car Insurance Policy during monsoon?

The feeling of buying a car is always great whether you are buying a new one or an old one. As this decision involves a lot of money, people invest a lot of time to research. From narrowing down on the exact make of the car to the trim variant, we measure everything against a heightened sense of satisfaction and select the best model at the best price which also suits our budget.

While the efforts we put on research before buying a car is huge, it is always a wise decision to spend a few minutes in choosing the right car insurance policy. Instead of just settling down with the insurance policy that is suggested by the car dealer, it is always recommended that you clearly understand the importance of choosing the best car insurance and put some extra efforts in finding the best insurance plans that suits you. Car insurance policy provides the best safety net when things go wrong or when you face any unforeseen situation. So, it is always advisable to keep the following points in mind before choosing a car insurance policy during monsoon.

Include your car accessory in the insurance cover

If you love to accessorize your car then that’s a good thing, but at the same time, you need to consider including them in the insurance cover. Since during the monsoon, there are high chances of vehicles getting submerged or damaged thereby damaging the accessories at the same time.  Those accessories could be branded alloys, additional audio equipment, etc.).

Opt for third party cover on old cars

It is always considered to opt for third-party cover for old cars because, by the time they are 7 to 10 years, their resale value is quite lower as compared to the coverage offered. So it is better not to spend more money on excess premium.

Hunt for the best car insurance online

Each insurer has designed a variety of insurance policies based on the car make, analysis regarding the claims etc. The premium you pay towards insuring your car is never written in stone so you can always compare with the various car insurance quotes available online to get the policy at the best price.

Look for a zero depreciation add-on cover

It is advisable to go for a zero depreciation add-on. Under this add-on, you get comprehensive coverage without factoring in for depreciation. For example, if your car is damaged following a collision, then you can file for a claim and the insurer would cover the entire cost.

Do not forget the fine prints

People often get tempted with the low premiums without reading the fine prints in entirety. It is always advisable to read the terms and conditions before buying a plan. In this case, it might involve an investment of a little more time but it will be worth in the long run.

Check the credibility of the insurer

Always check for the credibility of the insurer. This ensures that your claims are settled on time. The company you are opting for should be financially stable with a good credit history. You must also look up for reviews from websites or check if there are any consumer complaints. In such regard, even word of mouth opinions would be quite beneficial or one can also check for the car insurance online. Also, it is always better to go in for an insurer with a good name and reputation.

How Big Data Contributes to the Insurance Industry

Insurance is of significant importance for every individual as it deals with shielding our lives and assets. Big Data analytics is a prime part of the innovations happening in the Insurance Industry. It provides an aid to the Insurance Industry by helping them take the right decision with intuitive insights. It epitomizes what an Industry can do if offered with the accurate insights.As the Insurance Industry is data dependent, Big Data helps by providing abundance information collected from various sources such as call centre data, customer e-mails, social media, user forums and user behavior while logged into the insurers’ sites. 

The Big Data can help in risk assessment through the predictive modeling. This methodology can help insurers identify whether the drivers are likely to be involved in an accident or have their car stolen by combining the behavioral data with the road conditions. In addition, when a customer intends to buycar insurance, the insurer can acquire information from which they can calculate the safety levels for driving in the buyer’s proximity and can also know his prior driving records.

Big Data has also proven itself as a helping hand to the Insurance Industry in cracking down on fraud. Through Data Management and Predictive modeling, it is now possible to improve fraud detection and criminal activity. Here, the variables in every claim are matched against the profiles of past claims which were fraudulent. If such a match is found, the claim is pinned for further investigation.

Another important usage of Big Data is that it plays an important role in automating simple processes such as compliance check, data entry or repetitive tasks. With an increase in the usage of big data technologies, these simple tasks even opened ways to more complicated skills such as loan underwriting, reconciliation, assessment of property, verification of the claim, receiving customer insights and fraud detection. With a move towards more intelligent automation, insurers can now save both time and money with the help of machine learning which trains data to improve algorithms and predictive analysis.

Big Data helps in acquiring an absolute understanding of customer behaviors, habits and requirements from various sources for insurers to help them predict future behaviors, to offer suitable products and to identify the correct segmentation. After a complete insight into the customer behavior, insurers became more efficient in offering targeted products and services thus indirectly helping in marketing. Through this collected data one can offer personalized services and products such as lower-priced premiums, contacting the customer for special offers when they are likely to leave or even offering a family package.

Gaining customer insight with big data analytics provides predictions about when a customer is likely to leave or helps in shaping a customer’s policy. Moreover, it helps develop trusted relationships and engaged customers with the correct information. Also, it can help the organizations answer frequent questions asked by the customer to the organization. As a result of this strategic learning, insurers are able to achieve positive outcomes such as solving customer problems in real-time with the right approach and also help them in focusing on improving customer experience.