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Car Insurance Policy
What is car insurance? Car Insurance is a contract between a car owner and a car insurance company wherein the insurer promises to protect the car owner from financial losses relating to his/her car arising due to a misfortunate event like a road accident, theft, fire, natural calamities, man-made calamities, vandalism, etc. In return for this promise, the four wheeler owner pays an amount known as four wheeler insurance premium to the insurance company. There are three types of four wheeler insurance in India namely Third Party Car Insurance Policy, Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy, and Standalone Own-Damage Car Insurance Policy. As per the Indian Motor Tariff, it is mandatory for every car owner in India to own at least a third party car insurance policy. Driving a car without a valid third party car insurance policy is a legal offense in India which attracts a fine of Rs. 2,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 3 months. An insurance cover for the own-damage of the four wheeler insurance is not mandatory, but a recommended cover. This is because it protects the insured from financial losses in case of damage(s) caused to his/her car due to an accident. A comprehensive car insurance policy offers the benefit of both third party car insurance policy as well as standalone own-damage car insurance policy. Which means, it provides the policyholder with complete coverage. The coverage of a car insurance policy can be extended with the help of add-on covers. A car insurance add-on is an extra cover that provides additional coverage to the insured’s car. One of the most popular 4 wheeler insurance add-ons is a zero depreciation cover. By default, the cost of depreciation incurred by a car is not covered under a car insurance plan. However, by opting for a zero depreciation cover, a policyholder can get his/her car covered against depreciation and save a lot of money. Similarly, there are other useful add-ons like car engine cover, tyre cover, roadside assistance, etc. Like every insurance plan, a four wheeler insurance plan also comes with a validity period with a fixed expiry day. Car insurance plans come with short-term (1 year) validity as well as with long-term (3 years and 5 years) validity tenure. Driving car without a valid insurance policy is a legal offence, thus policyholders should always renew their 4 wheeler insurance policy in time and never let it lapse.
Types of Car Insurance in India
Comprehensive Car Insurance
Comprehensive car insurance policy is a cover under which an insurance company is liable to pay for damages incurred towards a third party as well as for the own-damages sustained by the insured’s car. A comprehensive car insurance policy offers the most extensive coverage to the policyholder. In addition to road accidents, the policy is applicable in the event of natural calamities, man-made disasters, self-ignition or lightning, explosion, fire, theft, etc. A policyholder can extend the coverage of a comprehensive car insurance plan with the help of add-on covers such as zero depreciation cover, engine cover, roadside assistance cover that one can purchase voluntarily by paying an extra premium. You are already paying for car insurance for third-party cover. It makes better sense in spending a little extra to cover a whole list of possible accident situations. It is true that a comprehensive car insurance policy offers a wider coverage than a third party car insurance policy or a standalone own-damage car insurance policy, but it is not necessary that a comprehensive health insurance policy will always be as expensive as it has benefits which make its premium worth it.
Third Party Car Insurance
Third party car insurance policy is a mandatory requirement for driving a car in India. Under this cover, the four wheeler insurance company is liable to pay for the bodily injuries, permanent disability, temporary disability as well as death of the third party caused by an accident involving the insured’s car. Also known as third-party liability insurance, the third party car insurance policy provides coverage for property damage incurred by the third party up to Rs. 7.5 lakh. The policy does not provide coverage for damages incurred by the insured car. With a third party car insurance plan, a policyholder can also purchase a legal liability cover of up to Rs. 2 lakh for a hired driver of the insured's car against an extra premium. A personal accident cover of up to Rs. 2 lakh can also be purchased for the unnamed passengers of the insured's car with this plan. If caught without the mandatory third party cover, then the driver will be punished with a fine of Rs. 2,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 3 months. So, a third party car insurance policy not only saves the policyholder from losses in times of a misfortune event, but also enables him/her to drive legally on the Indian roads.
Standalone Own-Damage Car Insurance
In September 2019, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) introduced the standalone Own damage car insurance policy. Under this plan, the insured gets insurance coverage only for the own-damages sustained by his/her four wheeler in a road accident, natural/man-made calamity, fire, explosion, theft or any other mishap. A standalone own-damage car insurance policy aims at offering the insured the flexibility in terms of the insurer they want to choose. In order to stay compliant with the rules of the Indian Motor Tariff, one can purchase a third party car insurance policy either from the same insurance company or a different one. The insured can extend coverage by purchasing add-on cover(s) along with a standalone own-damage car insurance policy. These may include zero depreciation cover, No Claim Bonus (NCB), emergency assistance cover, return to invoice, engine and gearbox protector, key replacement cover, loss of use-downtime protection and cost of consumable items. Even with add-on cover(s), a standalone own-damage car insurance policy can be purchased at competitive premium.
FAQs About Car Insurance Policy
What is car insurance policy?
Car Insurance/Four Wheeler Insurance is an agreement between an insurance company and a car owner under which the former provides an insurance cover to the policyholder for financial damages incurred by his/her car in unforeseen events. Depending on the coverage, there are three types of car insurance plans - third party car insurance policy, standalone own-damage car insurance and comprehensive car insurance policy.
Why should I buy car insurance?
There are a number of benefits of owning car insurance. Firstly, it helps you meet the legal requirement of owning at least a third party car insurance cover. Moreover, a car insurance policy helps you meet financial liabilities that may arise towards a third party or own-damages to your car due to a road accident or any other unfortunate event.
What are the different types of car insurance policy in India?
On the basis of coverage, there are three types of car insurance in India - third party car insurance policy, standalone own damage car insurance policy, and comprehensive car insurance policy. While a third party (also known as liability only policy) provides coverage for third party liabilities only, a comprehensive car insurance policy provides coverage for own damages in addition to third party liabilities. A standalone own-damage cover provides coverage only for own-damages incurred by the insured’s car.
How much is car insurance premium?
The premium for third party car insurance depends on the engine capacity of the car and is fixed by the IRDAI. However, the premium for standalone own-damage and comprehensive car insurance policies varies from car to car depending on a number of factors such as car's MMV (Make, Model and Variant), RTO location, engine capacity, registration city, fuel type, etc.
What if my car insurance policy gets expired?
Every car insurance comes with a validity period, post which you need to renew it to continue to enjoy its benefits. However, even if you miss to get your car insurance plan renewed by the expiry date, you can still get it renewed till the next 90 days from the date of expiry. After the expiry of this 90-day period, a car insurance cannot be renewed. In such a case, you need to purchase a new car insurance policy.
How to find my car insurance policy number?
Car insurance policy number is a unique 8 to 10 digit number, given by your car insurance company for the identification of your insurance account. It is generally written on your insurance card or statements issued by the insurance company. The number remains the same as long as your policy is active with the respective insurance provider.
Which is best car insurance company in India 2021?
There are a number of factors which make a car insurance company better than its peers. One such important factor is Claim Settlement Ratio (CSR). It is the percentage of claims settled by a car insurance company out of the total number of claims received by it during a financial year. In the financial year 2018-19 the insurance companies which registered the highest claim settlement ratio are IFFCO Tokio General Insurance (96.44%), Royal Sundaram General Insurance (94.07%), and Oriental Insurance Company (93.16%).
Is car insurance mandatory in India?
As per the Indian Motor Tariff, every car owner in the country is compulsorily required to own at least a third party car insurance cover. Absence of a valid third party car insurance plan is a punishable offence which attracts a fine of Rs. 2,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 3 months for the first offence.
How is car insurance premium calculated?
The premium of third party car insurance plans is determined by the IRDAI, whereas the premium for standalone own-damage and comprehensive plans vary from insurance company to insurance company. Following are some factors which affect the premium for own-damage four wheeler insurance cover:
- Insured Declared Value – The Insured Declared Value (IDV) is the current market value of the four wheeler. It is one of the important factors which affect the calculation of the premium as IDV is the amount which insurance companies pay the policyholder in the event of total loss of car. Higher IDV attracts a higher premium.
- Engine Cubic Capacity – The premium of a car insurance plan is also a function of the car’s engine cubic capacity. Greater the car’s cubic capacity, higher is the premium.
- Age of the Car – With time the value of the four wheeler reduces due to depreciation. The normal wear and tear reduce the value of the car in the market due to which its insurance premium also reduces. Thus, greater the age, lower the premium.
- Make, Model and Variant – The make, model and variant of the car affects the IDV of the car which eventually affects the car insurance premium. For different make, model and variants of the car, the different premium is applicable.
- RTO Location – Another important factor is the RTO location of the car. It gives the insurance company an idea about the density of traffic in the area/city where the car will be driven and thus the probability of road accidents and other mishaps.
Can car insurance be transferred to the new owner at the purchase of a second hand four wheeler?
Yes, the four wheeler insurance can be transferred from the old owner to the new owner in case the sale of a second-hand car. As per the Indian Motor Tariff, the policy transfer should be completed within 14 days from the car’s purchase date.
Can one car owner buy two policies for the same car?
No, one car owner can not have two insurance policies for the same four-wheeler. However, a third-party insurance plan and own damage cover can be purchased separately for a four-wheeler, in place of a comprehensive four wheeler insurance policy.
How to claim car insurance online?
A car insurance claim can be made online by following the below-mentioned steps:
- Step 1: Register the claim by visiting the website or mobile app
- Step 2: After claim registration, the car’s owner gets a claim registration number
- Step 3: After claim registration, the four wheeler insurance company sends a surveyor the place of accident/mishap to assess the extent of damage. The policyholder needs to submit the required documents at this stage to the surveyor to proceed with the claim.
- Step 4: The damaged four wheeler is then sent to a garage for repairs. Depending on the type of garage, the payment for the claim will be made.
- Step 5: If a network garage is chosen, the bill is directly settled by the four wheeler insurance company with the garage. In case, the garage is not a part of the insurance company’s cashless garages network, the policyholder needs to settle the bill which is later reimbursed by the insurance company.
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*Standard T&C Apply. All savings/offers are provided by the Insurers, which are subject to modification .For more details on risk factors, terms and conditions, please read the sales brochure of respective insurers carefully before concluding a sale. Tax benefits are subject to changes in applicable tax laws. Girnar Insurance Brokers Private Limited, (CIN: U66010RJ2016PTC054811, Regd .Off: Girnar 21, Govind Marg, Moti Doongari Road, Dharam Singh Circle, Jaipur, Rajasthan- 302004; Corp. Off: 11th Floor, Tower B, Emaar Digital Greens, Golf Course Extension Road, Sector-61, Gurugram-122102, Haryana. IRDAI License no 588. Direct Broker (Life & General) valid till 19th March 2023. Email - email@example.com ; Helpline number: 7551196989.