Irrespective of your driving experience or the number of cars you own, a question that pops up once in while is - Is buying Car Insurance a good Idea? This question can arise from two situations - 1) I don't raise claims. 2) I don't use my car much. Since buying car insurance is a prerequisite of driving a car, situation number one can be discarded. You have to buy a car insurance policy even if you are a safe driver.
Now, even if you do not use your car much and you park it in the vicinity of your residence, one cannot rule out the possibility of theft or natural calamities hitting the area. To understand this better, let's take a look at various features of a car insurance policy.
Different types of car insurance policies provide different features. If you opt for a comprehensive policy you will be covered for the following situations:
Own Damage: Own damage is the damage caused to your car. This can include damages arising out of an accident, natural calamities or manmade calamities. Damages caused to the insured car are not covered under a basic third-party car insurance policy. This is exactly why experts suggest you buy a comprehensive policy that can provide an all-around coverage.
Personal Accident Cover: A car insurance policy, irrespective of its type, will always have one additional coverage i.e. the Personal Accident Cover. It includes a death and disability cover for the owner/driver of rupees 15 lakh.
Third-party Liabilities: Financial and legal liabilities arising out of an accident are covered by your car insurance company. If your car hits another car causing damage or injuries, the financial cost related to this damage will be borne by the insurer. Similarly, any kind of third-party property damage or injuries is covered under a comprehensive car insurance policy.
Theft: Consider your car gets stolen overnight, it could come as a financial shock to buy a new car without being compensated for the stolen one. Car insurance will guard you against this financial threat. While buying the policy, you will be asked to set the Insured Declared (IDV) value of your car. If your vehicle is subjected to theft, you will be compensated with the IDV you had set earlier.
Fire: Damages to the insured car because of fire are covered under a comprehensive policy.
Additional Coverages: Buying a comprehensive policy allows you access to certain situations which are otherwise not covered under a third-party policy. You can buy additional coverage like Zero Depreciation which allows you the maximum claim amount, Accessories Cover that includes additional accessories under insurance, Engine Protection, etc.
Claims: With a comprehensive policy, you can either raise a cashless or a reimbursement claim if your car gets damaged. A cashless claim can be raised if you take your car for repairs at a network garage. This is a type of garage with whom your insurer has a tie-up. You do not have to worry about the paperwork or be ready with the money for getting the car repaired. On the other hand, if you take your car to your preferred garage which is not in your insurer’s network, you can raise a reimbursement claim. Here, you first pay for the repairs and then get them reimbursed from the insurance company.
To sum it up, you get a bunch of useful features if you buy a comprehensive policy for your car. Also, with car insurance, you can have the much-needed peace of mind (at least as far as your car is concerned!).
Buying car insurance online is the best way to get your car insured. It is the fastest and the easiest way of getting the job done. Compare this process to buying a Television online. You would choose the type, say LCD or LED, etc. Then you would look for the features offered, you will consider the brand as you want the best after-sales service, make an online payment and expect the delivery. Similarly, while buying car insurance online, you would select the type of policy, know the features, review the insurance company, make an online payment and if inspection is not required, expect your car insurance policy within minutes.
The author is the Head of Product Strategy - ACKO General Insurance.