Auto insurance tips to protect your car this monsoon

It has been observed that there is a spurt in motor insurance claims during the rainy season. Some of the reasons for this is waterlogging, slippery roads and poor visibility that damage the engines and vehicles on the roads. So it is wise to , before the arrival of the monsoons.

However, you should be aware of the fact that negligent driving through waterlogged roads can result in rejection of insurance claims. For instance, consider that your car is parked in a basement that is flooded, and the engines are stalled. If water enters the engine through the exhaust pipes, there is a risk of engine failure. In such a situation, if you inform your insurer and request for an inspection on the spot, you are likely to get the claim amount reimbursed, along with the towing and inspection charges. But trying to start the engine would be considered as negligence from your part, as per car insurance guidelines. In this case, you stand a chance to face a claim rejection.

So, here are a few pointers on motor insurance that could help you avoid denial of claims:

  1. Equip your car with an Engine Protector Add-on Coverage

    As mentioned above, trying to start your engine when it is stalled in water-logged territory will cause more damage to the engine, resulting in claim refusals. To protect your vehicle from such a situation, it is good to opt for an Engine-Protector add-on insurance coverage.

    This add-on cover, apart from safeguarding the engine, provides you protection against gearbox damage or oil leak as well. It is also advised that cars with low rise are protected under this cover to reduce the risk of engine seizure. This coverage can be easily added to your basic motor insurance plan, and is available at affordable rates.

  2. Get a Roadside Assistance Cover

    If your car is stalled due to waterlogging, you need to contact the insurer to get it towed to a service center. In such a scenario, if your car is protected by a Roadside Assistance Cover, you will receive reimbursement for this towing charge.

  3. Zero Depreciation Cover for added protection

    This is a very useful cover that ensures that you receive your entire claim amount. Depreciation on car parts that are replaced, such as the bumper, can reduce your claim amount to a great extent. However, adding this cover to your car insurance policy will ensure that this is avoided, and you will be liable to receive the entire amount. It should be noted that this coverage is not applicable for cars that are more than 5 years old.

    The cost of the zero depreciation cover depends on the Insured Declared Value of the vehicle. Usually the cost is between 0.20% and 0.25% of the IDV of the car.

    Things to remember

    Here are a few safe-driving tips to help you wade through waterlogged roads during the monsoons:

    • When the water level on the road is above your tyre, you need to stop driving through that street and look for an alternative route. This is because the force of water could be more than the weight of the vehicle itself, and could cause damages to the engine.
    • When driving through waterlogged areas, always start driving in first gear. Then press the accelerator gently for increasing the engine RPM; this prevents blocks in the silencer. To reduce the speed of the car, you should use the clutch, without letting the engine speed go down. When you cross the waterlogged zone, accelerate again to clean the silencer.
    • When the roads are slippery, make sure that you maintain a safe distance from other vehicles on the road. In case it is raining heavily, keep the fog lights on.
    • If your car is damaged in the rains, inform your insurance company within 48 hours. This way your claim will be evaluated at an expedited rate and legal issues will be sorted out faster.
    • When you are driving in the rain, you should reduce the speed and give way to other motorists on the road, as part of defensive driving.
    • Wherever possible, look to drive through the middle of the road. The depth at the middle is, more often than not, the least when compared to the sides.

    Armed with the above tips, you would be able to avoid mishaps, and safeguard your car during the rainy season.

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

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