Insurance is like a spare tyre. You may not require it, but not having one is not an option.

5 tips for an informed car insurance purchase

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Shopping for a car insurance policy is not an easy affair. Selecting the most suitable cover involves understanding the policy benefits, reading the policy documentation and comparing motor insurance quotes from multiple insurance providers.

Here we have consolidated a list of best practises that you can follow to get optimum benefits from your policy:

  1. Understand the different types of car insurances

    Car insurance plans provided by insurers in India can be mainly divided into two types:

    • Third-party car insurance - This insurance policy provides you protection against damages caused to a third-party when you are at fault.
    • Comprehensive car insurance policy - This type of insurance covers damages to your car from natural calamities and theft, and offers protection from personal accidents and legal liability to a third-party.
  2. Identify the factors that affect car insurance premium

    Although most car insurance policies look very similar on the outside, they will have widely varying clauses that need to be understood well, before you sign on the dotted line. You also need to understand the factors that impact your insurance premium. These factors are usually influenced by risks that insurers assess, and can be segregated into the following categories:

    • Risk related to the car - The premium that a policyholder pays depends on the brand of the car, the engine displacement, type of fuel, etc. The age of the car and its IDV are also influential in deciding the premium.
    • Place where the vehicle was registered - If the car owner got the vehicle registered in an urban area, he is liable to pay higher premiums. This is because such regions are more susceptible to thefts, accidents and vandalism.
    • The car owner’s driving history - If a driver has an accident-free history, he will be required to pay lesser premium for the policy than someone with a poor accident record.
    • The credit record of the car owner - Maintaining a good credit history is useful for availing a cheaper car insurance.
  3. Determine the ways in which car insurance costs can be minimised

    Car insurance premiums can be reduced to a great extent by opting for deductibles, and maintaining a claim-free record.

    • Deductibles - Car insurance providers allow you to select deductibles and other add-on coverages. The details of deductibles in your insurance decides the premium that you will be required to pay.
    • No-Claim Bonus (NCB) - A No-Claim Bonus is given to a policyholder by an insurer for not making claims in a policy year. The NCB is a very valuable factor, as it can amount to a discount of around 20-50% on premium, when you consistently maintain a claim-free record.
  4. Opt for add-on covers

    There are certain add-on covers that you can opt for in order to enhance the benefits of your car insurance:

    • Zero depreciation cover - Also referred to as Nil Depreciation or Bumper to Bumper Cover, this insurance does not consider the depreciation of car parts. In a normal comprehensive car insurance policy without this add-on, the insurance provider reimburses only the value of car parts after depreciation. This add-on provides you the benefit of availing the claim amount without considering depreciation.
    • Personal accident cover - This cover offers reimbursement in the event of death or serious injuries sustained by the policyholder, after an accident.
    • Add-on insurance is also available to include coverage for roadside assistance, consequential engine damage, loss of personal belongings, and key replacement. However, these covers are not available for vehicles more than 5 years old.
  5. Ensure appropriate car valuation is done

    The Insured Declared Value (IDV) of a car is considered as its agreed value between the insurer and the policyholder if a total loss (TL) or a constructive total loss (CTL) occurs. There have been instances where IDVs have been declared to be much lower than the actual value, in an attempt to reduce premiums. But this could turn out to be highly unfavourable for the policyholder, as he would have to bear a substantial loss at the time of a claim. Hence, a small amount of savings on the premium may not always provide you optimum long-term benefits.

    In addition to the pointers above, it is inevitable that you do a good amount of research online to identify the insurance plan that best suits your needs. Based on your research, you should make an informed decision on a suitable car insurance policy.

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

Claim Reviews

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  • Royal Sundaram Car Insurance
    "Average"
    0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
    I took my car insurance with Royal Sundaram. I never contacted the customer service. It is a default insurance from the showroom. The premium is high because I go for bumper to bumper offer, road side assistance, zeo dep. It is a first party insurance and no claim. The policy period is one year.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Jan 19, 2019
  • SBI General Car Insurance
    "Good Policy"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    The showroom people has offered me a car insurance policy with SBI. I have made a premium amount of Rs. 22000. They have given me a coverage value of 100%. Total IDV value is 90% of the car value. I have no claim experience till now. The documentation process was done by showroom.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Jan 19, 2019
  • National Insurance Car Insurance
    "Smart protection with National"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    The major factor to chose National Insurance because of the premium is economic, I took the policy for 3 years the IDV value remains the same for the whole tenure. The customer support is good on time they activated the policy. I have Tata Tiago , its around four months vehicle. Its zero depreciation comprehensive plan. I taken the policy through showroom.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , lucknow
    Reviewed on Jan 19, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Satisfied with the policy"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    My car insurance is with ICICI Lombard. The customer services are good and I got the policy documents on time. The policy coverage is good and there are features of a road side assistance is there. The premium is economical too. Good overall.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Jan 19, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Need to reduce the premium"
    0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
    I had a car insurance from ICICI LOMBARD which was offered by the showroom at the time of purchasing the vehicle. I felt the insurance premium is very high compared to others. I got a reminder call from the customer service at the time of renewal. It has zero dep for one year.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Jan 19, 2019
  • Tata AIG Car Insurance
    "Excellent"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    I took my car insurance from TATA AIG through online channel. They have given lesser premium with zero dep and it includes road side assistance. The customer service is very good. The policy period is one year. I have no claim experience. It is a first party insurance.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Jan 19, 2019
  • Tata AIG Car Insurance
    "Satisfied policy"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    TATA AIG is the best company to take the car insurance. Since long time i have taken this insurance. The customer care people used to call me to renew the policy and they used to policy renewal letter. I will do payment through online. Several times i have claimed the policy and i have received very good response.
    Was this review helpful? 1
    , hyderabad
    Reviewed on Jan 18, 2019
  • Universal Sompo Car Insurance
    "Excellent Service"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    I had taken this insurance policy a long time back and it has been a good insurance policy. I had been paying the premium online and the payment method has been convenient. There has been a claim made once and the claiming method has been simple.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , navi mumbai
    Reviewed on Jan 18, 2019
  • New India Car Insurance
    "Comprehensive benefit policy"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    My car insurance was taken from New India. I don't speak with their customer care since i don't require it. I had a claim experience which is a easy process without any tension. As per their policy, the maximum claim amount settled. Since they are providing good services i have opted this policy. They have given me a road side assistance and bumper to bumper facility.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , chennai
    Reviewed on Jan 18, 2019
  • Bajaj Allianz Car Insurance
    "Good to Go with Bajaj"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    The conditions and the insured which they are providing is good, I have insured Ford Car with Bajaj Allianz, the premium amount is reasonable but they can reduce it. Its 1.5 year old year but still the insurer providing 24 hours service, cash less garages and they have tie up with many centers, the response is great.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Jan 17, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Premium should be standard as per market"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I never used the policy if something happen I claim it, I didn't interact with the customer care but I get the reminder message for car renewal. I have insured my maruthi Suzuki riz with ICICI Lombard, The premium is higher but still they are good.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Jan 14, 2019
  • HDFC Ergo Car Insurance
    "Very good"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    Even my car was insured with HDFC Ergo. It is a second-end car and have chosen the third party insurance. I have not done any claim so far. The premium is reasonable. It offers bumper to bumper facility and road side assistance. The policy period is 2 years.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Jan 14, 2019
  • Tata AIG Car Insurance
    "Good Insurer"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    My financier suggested the Tata Aig general insurance, the premium is economical for the car policy. I have honda amaze car it got insured with them. The insurance company is providing 24 hours service, cash less garages, brake down service for the tenure of four years. On time I got the papers from the Tata Aig.
    Was this review helpful? 1
    , tirupur
    Reviewed on Jan 10, 2019
  • Tata AIG Car Insurance
    "Good Insurer"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    My financier suggested the Tata Aig general insurance, the premium is economical for the car policy. I have honda amaze car it got insured with them. The insurance company is providing 24 hours service, cash less garages, brake down service for the tenure of four years. On time I got the papers from the Tata Aig.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , mumbai
    Reviewed on Jan 10, 2019
  • National Insurance Car Insurance
    "Excellent Service"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    I had taken this Insurance policy for my Maruti Car and i had been paying the premium on an annual basis. The premium amount has not been too high and there has been cash less garages available with this insurance policy. Their customer support has also been helpful at times.
    Was this review helpful? 1
    , pune
    Reviewed on Jan 09, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Nice Policy"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    My car was insured with ICICI Lombard. Last year i have purchased this insurance policy. My wife has referred me about this policy. I pay the premium amount of Rs. 13500. They have given me a convenient IDV value. I had no claim experience so far.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Jan 09, 2019
  • New India Car Insurance
    "Need to improve the service"
    0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
    I'm not satisfied with the service provided by new India. I have bought the car insurance policy. They closed their branch on every weekends hence its difficult to renew the policy. I have been paying the premium amount of Rs. 14000 which is a competitive price. They have given the IDV value of Rs. 1.50 lakhs.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , mangalore
    Reviewed on Jan 09, 2019
  • New India Car Insurance
    "Average Car Insurance"
    0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
    My car insured with the New India Insurance company. I have been renewing the policy with the same company for 3 years. I have paid the premium amount of Rs. 7000 and they have offered me a satisfied coverage value. The documentation process was fine
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , mangalore
    Reviewed on Jan 09, 2019
  • review Car Insurance
    "Its Good"
    0.5 3.5/5 "Pretty good"
    Last year I had car policy with Bharthi axa whenever I try to renew it ask my poliy no, whenever I mention the same, it shows the its incorrect. If I try to reach the customer care its not reachable. I done the claim, some minor damage back side of the car, they have processing fee 1500. Remaining all taken care by the insurer.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Jan 08, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Great Policy"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    ICICI Lombard has a good brand value hence i have selected the car insurance policy with this card and the dealer has also recommended about this policy. I pay the premium amount of Rs. 9000 and this is a 100% coverage with bumper to bumper facility. I'm not sure about the IDV value. Its easy to renew the policy.
    Was this review helpful? 2
    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Jan 08, 2019
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