How to Choose Your Car Insurance?

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Once you have made the big decision to choose a car you love, it is important that you insure it. With the myriad options available in the car insurance space in the country, buying the right car insurance policy is no less than a challenge. Therefore, before you square down on which is the motor insurance that matters to you, it is very important for to do a significant amount of research. Again, even to do this research you should know what are the things that you need to look out for. As a cardinal rule, never ever buy a policy in a hurry. Ensure that you get what you are looking for. Do not hesitate changing your previous insurer if you are not getting the product you are looking for. And most importantly, do not ever let your policy expire and ensure you buy the next one before it expires. Again, every company rates each brand of cars differently: This is on the basis of their own claim history, statistical analyses and several other factors. They revise this rating frequently so comparing quotes from a few companies will help you fetch a better price. However do note that pricing should not be the only factor you should be considering while choosing a policy. We help you will a list of things to do and not do as well as a checklist before you buy your next car insurance.

Insurer’s Reputation: The market image of the vehicle insurance provider plays a very vital role as this gives you an idea about how reliable the company is. “One of the ways to pick a reliable car insurance provider is by looking at its market rank and track record. A car insurance company with bad track record of claim settlement would not be advisable when buying a car insurance policy,” advices Anand Shrikhande, Chief Executive Officer, QuickInsure.

Comprehensive v/s Third Party: Most of the car owners buy car insurance because it is mandatory, but very few know that only the third party component of the car insurance is mandatory. “A car insurance policy can be broken into two parts, Own Damage (OD) & Third Party (TP). OD part of the policy covers the damage & theft of car and is a good to have. TP cover potential damages one may cause to others. OD is typically more expensive. It is always recommended to buy a comprehensive policy that covers both OD & TP,” explains Ankur Agarwal, CEO, Car Owner Business, CarDekho.

Read the policy document: Never sign on any dotted line till you are sure of what you are being offered. “Always make it a point to read the policy wordings carefully for what is covered and not covered in the insurance plan. Pick a good insurance company with healthy claim settlement ratio, lowest claim processing time and 24×7 customer service,” advices Mahavir Chopra, Director – Health, Life & Strategic Initiatives, Coverfox.com.

Network garages: A car insurance policy must protect you from financial contingency in case of damage or loss of your vehicle. Shreyans Vijay, Co-Founder of Risk Free Life Insurance Broking says, “make sure you choose an insurance company that has a wide network of garages that allow for cashless claims. These are faster and involve less running around and are extremely convenient for you. You should always go with the company with best claim settlement ratio and an easy claims process. It is easy to figure these ones out, if you go online and do a quick search on the companies you are considering.”

Add-Ons: Always consider and choose the car insurance add-on covers suitable for you. These provide additional yet essential cover that your car deserves. Anil Rego, Founder & CEO, Right Horizons advices, “buy useful add-on covers: Seeking additional covers, on top of your comprehensive policy, based on your risk profile is the right way to maximize protection. There are good add-on covers such as nil depreciation, no claim bonus retention, engine electronic circuit protect, return to invoice and personal accident cover.”

Check Insured Declared Value(IDV): An important thing to keep in mind while choosing car insurance is the vehicle IDV as this is the highest sum payable by insurer in case of total damage of vehicle. “IDV is roughly equal to current value of your car after taking into account the depreciation over time.  It is very important to choose the right IDV for your vehicle – a lower IDV reduces your premium but unreasonable reduction will be counterproductive,” says Sushant Reddy, Founder & CEO, AskArvi.

Checklist

  • Compare quotes and features of various plans online.
  • Check reputation and claim settlement ratio of the insurer.
  • Check for 24 x 7 Customer Service with lowest claim processing time.
  • Look for additional services like 24×7 roadside assistance.
  • Good network of garages offering cashless service.
  • Add-ons being offered for added protection.
  • Avoid claiming for minor repairs, if you can, because every claim-free year gives you a no-claim bonus. This no-claim bonus turns zero if you make a claim (even if minor).
  • Do not select a policy without understanding the benefits and deductions fully.

This story appeared in Femina dated April 8, 2018 here:

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