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Motor insurance: For a smooth ride in the monsoon

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By Ashwini Dubey

The monsoon rainfall has started, and so have traffic jams, waterlogging and reduced visibility. While the rainy season is a good time for a cuppa and a long drive, one also needs to be overly cognisant of the vehicle’s safety. If we talk about the state of road accidents in India, the stats are alarming. As per the recent report by the World Bank, India only has 1% of the world’s vehicles but ranks the highest when it comes to deaths by road accidents. The vulnerability of such risks only tends to get higher during the monsoon.

To protect vehicle owners against mishaps, the law has made third-party motor insurance mandatory. For new car owners, the rule mandates a one-year comprehensive plus three-year third-party policy while buying a car. In the second and third years, the customer just needs to buy a standalone own damage (SAOD) policy. But this provides only a partial shield. An accident, specifically on slippery road conditions, can cause damage beyond that. Therefore, opting for comprehensive insurance and upgrading the add-on riders ensures guaranteed extended safety.

Here are a few valuable riders that should be a part of your motor insurance policy this monsoon:

Engine protection cover

An engine is one of the most vital elements as it powers the vehicle. Yet the non-accidental damage to it doesn’t get covered under the basic policy, not even in a comprehensive one. Consequently, getting this rider, especially for a country like India that has varied climatic conditions, becomes vital. Insurance companies provide hydrostatic coverage as part of this rider to protect against the outcomes of consequential losses. For instance, during heavy rains, if your vehicle gets plunged into the water and the engine suffers water ingression, the engine protection rider will come in handy. Especially if you have a new car, you must get this cover for long-lasting engine life. It also protects from other standard issues like oil spills, leaking cooling system parts, etc.

Nil or zero depreciation cover

A car’s worth depreciates with every passing day. Even on the next day of purchase, it devalues by about 5%. Thus, when filing a claim, insurance firms will regard the declined value of replacement parts as the current value and compensate you accordingly. However, by purchasing this commonly known bumper-to-bumper cover, you can redirect the depreciation liability of your wheels and their parts to the insurance company. Furthermore, a zero depreciation add-on rider guards all vehicle components at 100% except for tubes, batteries and tyres, which are covered at 50%.

Consumables cover

When purchasing a car, we are often mindful of certain expenses beforehand. These are tyre changes, regular maintenance, etc. However, a car is intricate machinery that requires consumables like bolts, screws, coolant, lubricant, grease, etc, to help its four-wheeled, sturdy metal body run smoothly. Therefore, by adding the consumables rider to a comprehensive car insurance policy for up to a 60-month-old car, you can get reimbursed for expenses incurred on these parts during their repair.

Tyre protection cover

Your car runs on wheels, so never compromise on the tyre protection. The tyre protection cover protects your wheels against risks like tyre bursts, cuts, labour charges for refitting, etc. Also, when the traction is severely compromised during heavy downpour, having a sturdy wheel band becomes paramount. This, however, will not cover minor puncture repairs, manufacturing defects, rebalancing, and alignment of tyres.

No-claim bonus protection cover

A no-claim bonus (NCB) is a reward from the insurance company for taking extra care of your vehicle. By not filing a single claim during the entire tenure of the policy term, the insurance company offers you an attractive discount or lower premiums when renewing or porting the policy. But this bonus stands nil even if you file a small claim. So, by opting for NCB protection cover, you can keep the NCB benefit intact even if you make a claim. One stands to earn up to 20-50% for up to five claim-free policy years, so this is a valuable add-on for you, especially if you are a seasoned, careful driver.

To conclude, your vehicle is your companion on good or bad roads. While it protects you from certain hazards, it is equally crucial or you to ensure its safety as well. Therefore, don’t forget to add these suitable supplementary covers to have a smooth ride this monsoon.

(The author is head, Motor Insurance Renewals, Policybazaar.com)

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