Having the right motor insurance is as important as having the right car for you. Most people in India go for car policy that they are recommended as they do not understand the basic concepts behind it. Here are the simple explanations behind car insurance that one needs to know.
Let us start with the basic. Motor insurance broadly refers to any moving vehicle whether it be two wheeler, three, four wheeler or more. It can be commercial and private. Under Motor Insurance policy in India these are of three categories – Car Insurance, Two Wheeler Insurance and Commercial Vehicle Insurance.
Motor Insurance Cover
Under the Motor Insurance policy the insurer will get cover on his or her vehicle. These conditions of damage are Accidental external means like fire, explosion, self- ignition, lightning, burglary/housebreaking / theft and malicious act and terrorism acts. It will be insured against damage while in transit by rail/ road, inland waterways, lift, elevator or air, land slide or rock slide. It covers Riot and Strike (practically most claims go unpaid if one’s car is damaged on a ‘bandh’). Your car is protected against natural calamities like earthquake, flood, storm, cyclone, hurricane, tempest, inundation, hailstorm, frost. However actual coverage will depend upon the type of insurance you have opted for.
Two wheeler Insurance
As per the rules laid by the Indian Motor Tariff, Two wheeler Insurance has to provide a compulsory personal accident cover to the insurer amounting Rs. 1 lakh. If you want, you can also extend this accident cover for passengers also. This type of insurance is useful as it also protects the rider or insurer against any legal liabilities that can come up due to damage or death to the third party.
Commercial Vehicle Insurance
Any vehicle that is not for personal use and you get any form of money, rent or return from it will be insured under this type of insurance. Common vehicles will be the lorry, trucks, bus and autos, heavy and light commercial vehicles, and any multi utility vehicles. Even agricultural vehicles like tractors and also ambulances come under Commercial Vehicle Insurance.
Whenever you buy a car for your personal use, car insurance is compulsorily to do at least for third party. What this car insurance does for you is that it will compensate for your car in the case of its damage. Damage can be through by accident, fire, or natural calamity. It also covers terrorist attacks and bomb explosion along with theft. It will also help you pay for any claim against damage to the third party.
Different banks and insurance providers will, on extra premium will also safeguard your loss or damage to any car accessories.
Third Party Car Insurance
We should first understand what third party means in terms of insurance. If you buy a car and get insurance from, say from HDFC Ergo, then you are the first party and HDFC Ergo is the second party. In the unfortunate event that you hurt or damage a person or his property and he puts forth his claim, that person will be the third party.
Third Party car insurance is the basic coverage that is mandatory in India. If you are at fault and if you cause hurt or damage to a third party, it compensates against any legal responsibility. It covers the damage to a third party person or property. Personal accident cover for owner-driver is compulsorily included in this policy.
Comprehensive Car Insurance
A comprehensive coverage is a bigger form of coverage than the basic third party insurance. It gives you full protection for your car. As the third party does not cover against theft, personal accident or damages to car in riot and natural disasters but by this insurance type you get all of these covered. You can add on for engine coverage, car depreciation or medical expenses as well. In a nutshell the policyholder will get any kind of coverage with extra premium. Generally premium and luxury cars are recommended to have this type of insurance covered.
Motor Insurance void
Under the Motor Insurance Policy, you cannot claim if you drive without a valid driving license or were under influence of intoxicating liquor/ drugs. Your car will not be covered if accident taking place beyond geographical limits. It will also be void if the vehicle was used for unlawful purposes or if there is an electrical/mechanical breakdown which is not directly covered.
Checklist before motor insurance
Before buying any insurance policy for your car you must note three essential points. You must first confirm if the insurance selling company is registered with IRDA or not.
You can buy a policy from the company directly or through an agent. If you are getting the policy through an agent, make sure that he is genuine. He should be a licensed agent or broker with an ID card.
Always read the policy brochure before signing up. You will actually know what the policy covers and does not cover.