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Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy

In India, car insurance is a mandatory requirement by law. The minimum level of car insurance required to be able to use the vehicle on the roads is referred to as the third-party liability insurance. However, it is highly advised to be in possession of a comprehensive car insurance policy as it offers extensive protection to the car and its owner.

What Is Comprehensive Car Insurance?

Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy

Comprehensive car insurance is a standalone motor insurance policy that provides complete protection for the vehicle owner. It usually includes three categories of coverage:

  1. Third-party liability insurance - This part of the comprehensive coverage safeguards the car owner from legal liability claims from third parties following an accident. So, if a vehicle insured with this coverage meets with an accident in which a third party was injured or faced death, the insurance policy will pay the third party/beneficiary for the losses. Liability insurance also covers third-party property damage up to certain limits. This insurance coverage is also available as a standalone policy and can be bought by cost-conscious car owners who do not drive too much.
  2. Own-damage insurance - This part of the comprehensive car insurance plan offers extensive protection to the insured car.
    1. It safeguards the vehicle from damages due to natural calamities such as hail storms, floods, lightning, earthquakes, etc.
    2. It protects the car from man-made disasters arising out of vandalism, riots, strikes, etc.
    3. It offers coverage for in-transit damages to the car while it was transported via road, rail, air, lift, inland waterways, etc.
    4. It safeguards the vehicle from theft, accidents, and fire.
  3. Personal accident cover for driver - The comprehensive car insurance policy also protects the owner-driver of the vehicle from accidental injuries and death. The passengers in the car are not offered this coverage. However, most insurance companies offer add-on coverage that can be bought separately to provide insurance protection to the passengers.

It should be noted that the comprehensive car insurance policy can be extended by attaching add-on covers to it. This will amplify the coverage offered by the plan, but at an additional cost. Some of the most popular car insurance add-on covers are the zero depreciation cover, engine protect cover, return to invoice cover, and roadside assistance cover. Add-on covers are also available to protect the personal belongings in a vehicle and retain the No Claim Bonus (NCB) in spite of a claim.

Features And Benefits Of Comprehensive Car Insurance:

  • If your vehicle is equipped with comprehensive coverage, you can claim from the insurance company for accidents that were your fault.
  • The full car insurance policy also protects the car owner when the fault of an accident can’t be proven. For instance, a car owner whose vehicle has suffered damages while parked from a hit-and-run accident will be offered compensation under this cover.
  • Without a comprehensive insurance plan the car owner will have to pay for all the damages suffered by the vehicle. If the car was stolen, he/she would not receive any compensation from the insurance company.
  • The comprehensive insurance plan provides the car owner complete peace of mind, as he/she will not have to pay for any expensive repair work. The car owner will be required to pay only the compulsory deductible and voluntary excess (if opted for) at the time of a claim.

Exclusions - What Is Not Covered Under A Comprehensive Car Insurance Plan?

Although the insurance policy is referred to as a “comprehensive” plan, it does not offer coverage for various incidents. The exclusions under a comprehensive car insurance plan are as follows:

  • Depreciation of the vehicle and its parts are not covered under this insurance policy.
  • Normal wear and tear of vehicle parts is not offered coverage.
  • Electrical and mechanical breakdown of the car is excluded from coverage.
  • Damages caused to the car when the driver was drunk or intoxicated with drugs are not included in the coverage.
  • Driving the car without a valid license will not be offered coverage.
  • Damages to the tubes and tyres are usually not offered coverage. But if the vehicle is also damaged at the same time, the insurer will pay 50% of the replacement cost.
  • Damages to the car due to mutiny, war, or nuclear risks are not covered under a full car insurance policy/package plan as it is commonly referred to.
  • Consequential losses are usually not covered under a comprehensive car insurance policy.
  • Damages to the vehicle outside the geographical limits mentioned in the policy documentation are not offered coverage.

Factors Affecting Premium Of A Comprehensive Policy:

The premium for a comprehensive car insurance policy is dependent on several factors:

NCB accrued If the car owner has accumulated a significant amount of No Claim Bonus, he/she will receive a good discount at the time of policy renewal.
Online policy When an individual purchases motor insurance online, the insurance company does away with the distribution and processing costs. Hence, the insurer is able to offer handsome discounts on online policies.
Automobile association membership If a car owner is a member of a recognised automobile association in India, such as Automobile Association of Southern India (AASI), Automobile Association of Upper India (AAUI), etc., he/she can receive a premium discount.
Installation of safety equipments If a vehicle has adequate safety equipments that are approved by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), the car owner will receive a car insurance premium discount.
Make and model of car Insurance companies offer various kinds of discounts based on the make and model of the vehicle and its age.
Driving record of the car owner If the car owner has a very good driving history, he/she is liable to receive a discount on motor insurance premium.

Apart from the above, opting for a higher voluntary deductible brings down the insurance premium. If the car owner has opted for add-on covers, he/she will have to pay a larger amount as premium.

Claim Settlement For Comprehensive Car Insurance:

The claim settlement process under a comprehensive car insurance policy varies from insurer to insurer. It is important to notify the insurance company of the mishap at the earliest. Most insurers provide a 48-hour window within which it is mandatory to report the incident.

The claimant should register an official claim by calling the insurance company. He/she should also notify the local police and log an FIR. This will be useful in the claim registering process with the insurer.

The updated claim form and vehicle registration forms will have to be submitted to the insurance company when raising a claim. In the event of theft of the car or death of a third party in an accident, it is mandatory to submit an FIR. Some insurers also allow claim registration online.

If the car was damaged in an accident, the car owner can choose to get it repaired at any of the network garages affiliated to the insurer. This way, he/she will have to pay only the deductibles and the cost of depreciation upfront. The insurance company will settle the expenses directly with the network garage. This is referred to as a cashless claim settlement.

Comprehensive Car Insurance FAQs:

  1. Is comprehensive car insurance more expensive than liability-only plan?
  2. A comprehensive insurance policy need not be more expensive than a third-party liability plan. In most cases, it is, but there are instances wherein you can benefit from a reasonable premium for such a plan. For instance, if you opt for a high voluntary deductible at the time of purchasing insurance, you can save considerably on premium. If you also purchase the plan online, you may be liable to receive attractive discounts on the policy. This way, the cost of a comprehensive car insurance policy may be lower than a third-party liability plan.

  3. Is there a limit on the amount I can claim under comprehensive car insurance?
  4. There is a limit on the maximum amount your insurance company will pay towards an own-damage claim. This is usually the market value of the vehicle at that point of time. This is also referred to as the Insured Declared Value (IDV). So, for example, if your car is stolen, the insurance company will pay the depreciated value of the vehicle. To replace the car with a newer make and model, you will have to pay a certain amount from your own pocket, apart from the reimbursement provided by the insurer.

    In the case of a third-party liability claim that involves the death of a third party, there is no limit on the amount that the insurer will offer as claim payout. This will be decided in court.

  5. Can I shift from a third-party liability insurance policy to a comprehensive plan?
  6. Yes, that is possible. In case you are taking a comprehensive plan from the same insurance company, you can call the insurer and request for a switch. The insurer may send a surveyor to get the vehicle inspected before the change in insurance policy is implemented.

    It is also possible to shift between insurers. You will have to inform your current insurance company about your intention to shift, at least 1 month in advance. This will enable a seamless transfer without any gap in insurance.

  7. Does comprehensive car insurance cover animal damages?
  8. Yes it does. You will have to inform the insurer as soon as you detect animal damage on your car. The insurance company will get the vehicle surveyed to assess whether the damages were actually due to an animal attack. The claim processing will happen as usual.

  9. Is it necessary to buy comprehensive motor insurance for an old car?
  10. Comprehensive car insurance covers various risks, including fire, windshield damage, accidents, natural calamities, etc. that are beyond the control of the vehicle owner. These damages can cost just as much to repair, irrespective of whether the car is old or new. Hence, it is advisable to protect your vehicle with a comprehensive cover, particularly if you use it very often.

GST Update: GST of 18% is applicable on car insurance effective from the 1st of July, 2017

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Car Insurance Reviews

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  • New India Car Insurance
    "Good in claim settlement"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    Last year I met with an accident, they done it very well. My car front bumper and radiator was damaged, I got the cash less garages the just taken one week of time to reflect the issue. I paid the premium of 11,000 for zero depreciation plan its fully covered.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , ghaziabad
    Reviewed on Jul 19, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard
    ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Premium should be reduced"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    I took car policy from ICICI Lombard, the policy cost is bit higher compared to others. I paid premium around Rs. 18,000 for one year comprehensive plan. It would be great if they reduced the cost of the premium so that many customer can avail their service.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , noida
    Reviewed on Jul 19, 2019
  • New India Car Insurance
    "Needs improvement on the claim process"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I had chosen New India Assurance for my car insurance because I know a employee so I get some waiver off on the premium. I had claims on my previous car and the experience was not good. They need to improve on the benefits because I need to pay first for the cliam process then they send a cheque after 1 or 1.5 months that too after analyzing. I get 80% and sometimes 85% of the claim.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , gurgaon
    Reviewed on Jul 19, 2019
  • New India Car Insurance
    "Good Experience"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    I purchased zero depreciation car insurance with New India Assurance, the cost is reasonable. Last year I paid the premium of Rs. 14,000 for one year policy its for four years old car. They got tie up with many service centers, the service is good I can reach at any time.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , mumbai
    Reviewed on Jul 18, 2019
  • Royal Sundaram Car Insurance
    "Useful Policy"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    My agency people where i took the car, they have proposed the policy from Royal Sundaram. I paid the premium amount of Rs. 13K nearly. My claim experience is very good and they have processed the claim within 1 day and its a 100% covered policy and i didn't pay anything from my pocket.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , coimbatore
    Reviewed on Jul 18, 2019
  • United India Car Insurance
    "For new car, don't go for it"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    The amount they are charging is less thats the reason i opted the car insurance policy from united India. I pay the premium amount of Rs. 2500. This is a third party insurance policy. Through consultancy, i used to renew my policy. I have not applied for any claim so far.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Jul 16, 2019
  • HDFC Ergo Car Insurance
    "Whichever policy, Go for Zero dept"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    My car insurance policy was with HDFC ergo because it was recommended by my dealer. I had claim experience and it was cashless and good. I did not pay anything from my pocket within 3 days, they have processed the claim and handed over my vehicle. It was a zero depreciation policy.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , greater noida
    Reviewed on Jul 15, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Good policy "
    0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
    Every time, i used to visit their showroom to renew my car insurance policy. I'm receiving the no claim bonus. This is a bumper to bumper covered policy. I pay the premium amount of Rs. 10000 and I'm not sure about the IDV value. They are providing the hard copy of the documents immediately. I do not have any claim experience.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , greater noida
    Reviewed on Jul 15, 2019
  • HDFC Ergo Car Insurance
    "Good"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    HDFC ERGO GENERAL INSURANCE is the company where I have taken the car insurance policy for life time policy, the premium amount is nominal I use to yearly basis. I use to do payment through an online. Their service is good. They used to process the claim as soon as possible and they will take care of the claim.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , hyderabad
    Reviewed on Jul 13, 2019
  • Royal Sundaram Car Insurance
    "Should be transparent"
    0.5 1.0/5 "Really Bad"
    I met with an accident, I had to get it claim because I have Royal Sundaram car policy it was bumper to bumper at the time of enrollment they said its fully covered. But when I went for the claim, the insurer said car engine was not covered. Then I fought with Royal sundaram Insurance company. They quoted 1.40 lakh claim value and they made me to pay Rs. 70,000 from my end. However the additional cost of engine protection is just around Rs. 400 but I paid the premium of Rs. 20,000. I am very disappointed with them because they are not transparent. So I suggest to all, before going policy make sure whether its fully covered.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , chennai
    Reviewed on Jul 13, 2019
  • Royal Sundaram Car Insurance
    "Policy not up to the mark"
    0.5 3.5/5 "Pretty good"
    The policy was overall good but end of the day i was not satisfied with the policy. When i purchase the policy, they said its a zero depreciation policy and its nil dept. But when i applied the claim, they have given me a claim only for 50%. In that, my car steering was not covered, Some engine parts and bumper was not covered.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , hyderabad
    Reviewed on Jul 13, 2019
  • New India Car Insurance
    "GOOD"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I have bee using the car insurance policy with NEW INDIA ASSURANCE where the customer support is prompt by giving the information regrading the policy expiry date. I had no claim also the IDV value is good provided with the insurance policy.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , mumbai
    Reviewed on Jul 10, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "GOOD"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I have purchased the two wheeler insurance policy with the ICICI LOMBARD GENERAL INSURANCE where i had no claim experience with the policy. The premium paid was nominal also the IDV value is good with the policy. The service is good with the policy.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Jul 10, 2019
  • National Insurance Car Insurance
    "Good Claim Experience"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I believe the premium is lesser for National Insurance car policy and they have good claim ratio when compared to private sector but the service needs to be improved. I done a claim there a small damage within a week time they came and took the details and within 15 days I got the reimbursement. I paid last premium of Rs. 10,461 for my Maruthi Baleno car.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , pune
    Reviewed on Jul 09, 2019
  • Oriental Insurance Car Insurance
    "GOOD"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I am using the policy since from last 2 years with ORIENTAL INSURANCE where they have given coverage is for bumper to bumper. The premium paid was nominal and the IDV value was good also there was a road side assistance. No claim bonus is there with the policy.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Jul 08, 2019
  • Bajaj Allianz Car Insurance
    "Good policy"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    When i purchased my new car, i have bought the car insurance from Bajaj Allianz. I have made th premium amount of Rs. 33000 for the coverage amount of Rs. 9 lakhs. I do not applied for any claim till now. For the premium amount has taken along with the loan amount.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , kochi
    Reviewed on Jul 06, 2019
  • New India Car Insurance
    "Need to improve the service"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    Taken my car insurance from New India. My dealer has given the policy with them and I'm continuing with the same company. I pay the premium amount of Rs. 16000 for the coverage amount of Rs. 7.50 lakhs. I haven't got my no claim bonus. When i informed about the same, they were not ready to provide proper response.
    Was this review helpful? 1
    , kochi
    Reviewed on Jul 06, 2019
  • National Insurance Car Insurance
    "Excellent car insurance policy"
    0.5 4.5/5 "Excellent!"
    I went to the dealer and he had a tie up with the National Insurance company hence i have chosen them. I paid the premium amount of Rs. 22000. They have provided me a coverage amount of Rs. 4 lakhs. They have provided me a hard copy of the documents. Its a zero depreciation policy. I get a facilities of no claim bonus, roadside assistance.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , rewari
    Reviewed on Jul 05, 2019
  • HDFC Ergo Car Insurance
    "GOOD"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    HDFC ERGO GENERAL INSURANCE is the company where i am using the car insurance policy since from last 6 months also the premium paid was nominal added on that the IDV value is nominal with the policy. The policy coverage is for bumper to bumper with the policy.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , jamnagar
    Reviewed on Jul 05, 2019
  • review Car Insurance
    "EXCELLENT"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    I have been using the car insurance policy with the BHARTI AXA GENERAL INSURANCE where i have no claim experience also the premium paid was nominal also the IDV value was good with the policy. The policy coverage is for full also it is a good policy.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Jul 05, 2019
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