After purchasing your car, the first thing you should do is buy car insurance. Driving without an active and valid car insurance policy is illegal in India. The Motor Vehicles Act lays down that all cars plying on Indian roads should have at least a third-party insurance cover. But you should buy car insurance, not just because it is mandatory but also because it can help you save lots of money in case an unfortunate event causes heavy damage to your car.
Getting insurance for your car can save you money in a lot of ways and cover you against the damages caused by different calamities like earthquakes, riots, theft etc. Most insurance providers also provide the No Claim Bonus, where, if you haven’t made a claim during the policy period, you will be provided with a no claim bonus on renewals. The process of choosing suitable car insurance is a delicate and difficult one. You will need to sit down with your car insurance agent and discuss all the coverage plans available for you.
5 questions you should ask your car insurance agent are listed below:
- Am I getting all the coverage I need?
In India, as mentioned, car owners need to buy at least a third-party liability cover. However, to ensure complete coverage for your car against theft and damages and personal accident cover for you, along with a third-party cover, it is advisable to buy a comprehensive cover. Once this criterion is met, you can ask your insurance agent to provide you with all the add-on options which are best suited for your individual needs. It is your insurance agent’s duty to explain how each of these will affect your car insurance policy.
For example, a luxury car will need Zero Depreciation Cover, along with a comprehensive car insurance cover, to cover all the high-priced components.
- Am I getting all the offers and discounts I can?
The cost of a car insurance policy will depend on the coverage, policy and the add-ons you have selected. A calculation called the ‘risk rating’ is used for determining the likeliness you will claim the policy in the future. Different aspects like age of the car, make and model, geographical location, cubic capacity, previous claim history, etc. will help in determining the price of the premium.
To make the premium policies much more appealing to the customers, insurance companies add different discounts and offers to the policies. Apart from asking the insurance agent, you should also research on your own about the different offers available for you to redeem in your car insurance policy. Also, if you are moving your insurance policy from one provider to another, you can transfer your accumulated No Claim Bonus as well. Do not forget to get your agent’s help with this.
- What additional costs will I have to pay if I am in an accident?
If you were in a car accident, apart from your insurance policy, how much would you have to pay for accident-related expenses? This will depend on your policy limits, deductibles, coverage and also specific circumstances of the accident. If the accident wasn’t your fault, the driver or the individual who was the cause of the accident, their insurance company will be held responsible for any damages or injury.
But if you do not have an insurance policy, then you’ll have to bear the cost of the repairs. If you were the cause of the accident, your car insurance would provide coverage for repairs, legal, medical and other expenses. Thus, it is important to go over all the scenarios with your insurance agent, so you can build an insurance policy that best suits your needs. This policy should involve a policy limit, deductible and a premium that you can afford.
- What is covered if my car is damaged or is involved in an accident?
A lot of car insurance holders live under the delusion that if they are involved in a car accident all of the charges from the towing of the car to the repair will be covered. The harsh truth is, without the correct policy coverage, you may not have access to these advantages.
Third-party car insurance would pay for damage to someone else’s vehicle if you caused the accident. Own-damage coverage is needed for covering and replacing your own car for accident-related damage. Comprehensive coverage is the policy that is used to cover everything from own-damage, third-party liabilities as well as personal accident cover for owner-driver. You should make sure you ask the agent about other coverage like rental reimbursement and roadside assistance. You should also enquire about underinsured/uninsured insurance in the event the individual who hit you does not have insurance or insufficient coverage.
- What will be covered if my car is in an accident and someone is injured or dies?
The protection of passengers, drivers and pedestrians in an accident is the top priority. This is why a personal accident cover on your insurance is considered to be very important. It also covers expenses like medical bills and hospitalisation charges.
Make sure you discuss policy limits with your insurance agent before buying car insurance. One essential thing you should never forget is that you will be personally responsible for covering the costs above this limit.
Thus, it is an absolute necessity for you to sit down with your car insurance agent and discuss all the possible scenarios, features, coverage plans, fees and features that you are liable to get. Car insurance, if crafted carefully, can save you tons of money and you will not have to dip into your savings.