The overwhelming incidence of road accidents in India only indicate the importance of a comprehensive motor insurance policy for every vehicle that hits the road. As per the Motor Vehicles Act, it is necessary for all car owners to have vehicle insurance. The insurance will protect the car owner from financial liabilities such as lawsuits, car repair costs, fire damages, and vehicle theft. Most insurance companies also offer additional benefits such as personal accident cover for the named passengers, No Claim Bonus protection, zero depreciation cover, etc. in the form of add-on insurance coverage.
Commercial entities are also required to buy motor insurance to protect third-parties and their own drivers from accidents. All in all, every vehicle on the road, irrespective of whether it is used for private or commercial purposes needs motor insurance. However, it is crucial that you buy it from a trusted source, as there have been several instances of car insurance fraud in the country, resulting in heavy losses to the stakeholders.
Why Should You Check The Authenticity Of The Insurer?
If you are being offered extremely attractive premium rates on a car insurance policy, you may be tempted to buy the same. However, you should understand the coverage offered by the plan and check the reliability of the insurer in the market before you sign on the dotted line.
Imagine a situation wherein you got involved in a car accident and you realise the fact that there were additional terms/exclusions in the policy document that prevents you from claiming insurance for the damages! In order to avoid such instances, it is best to be well aware of your motor insurance coverage - even if that means you have to unravel the meaning of complicated financial jargons in the policy documentation.
You also have to investigate on the genuineness of the insurance agent from whom you will be purchasing motor insurance. There have been several reports in newspapers detailing insurance fraud through fake policies. So checking the genuineness of the policy you buy is a very crucial step.
How To Check The Authenticity Of The Policy
Listed below are some steps in which you can check whether your motor insurance plan is genuine or not:
- Check the existence of the policy online - You can get details of most car insurance products by visiting the websites of insurance companies. You can also receive this information from policy comparison websites.
- Buy from the insurer directly - The presence of intermediaries such as agents in car insurance sales makes the premiums go up, owing to processing and distribution costs. If you buy insurance directly from the website of the insurer, you stand to gain through lower premiums. The online purchase process is also deemed safer than traditional offline channels. In case you are buying from an agent, you should check his/her license as a safety measure.
- Get in touch with the insurer - The website of the insurance company usually has a toll-free number on which you can call to get clarifications for your queries. You can call the insurer to understand whether the policy you will be purchasing from an agent is valid or not. Alternatively, you can send an email to the insurer for the same. You can also walk in to the nearest branch of the insurance company and request for validation of the policy.
- Pay via cheque or credit card - It is recommended that you always pay the motor insurance premium through a cheque or a credit card. The payment process is safer when you do it online. This way, the payment will be made directly to the insurance company, and you will also have a record of the payment.
- Procure the premium payment receipt - Another important thing to do at the time of policy purchase is to ask for a receipt when you make the payment. In case the payment is done through a cheque, you should verify whether the cheque details such as bank name and account information are updated correctly in the receipt you get.
- Check essential information - Make sure that all the essential information about the policy is mentioned correctly. This includes the clauses pertaining to Insured Declared Value (IDV), No Claim Bonus (NCB), and deductibles. This is particularly important when you are getting the policy at a discounted rate. It could be possible that the insurance agent manipulated the NCB and IDV values to decrease the premium quote. In case you discover that the NCB or IDV is not mentioned as per your discussion with the agent, you should visit the insurance company to get it rectified. This is a crucial step to avoid hassles later on.
- Sign the proposal yourself - After you have verified all the terms and conditions of the policy and the details updated in your proposal form, you should sign it yourself. The proposal form usually contains details about the car’s engine capacity, fuel type, and existing policy details. It is recommended that you fill the form yourself, but in case you are unable to do so, you should sign it personally.
- Install QR code reading app - A QR code reading app on your mobile phone can evaluate the genuineness of your policy. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has mandated all motor insurance policies to have a QR code. Once a person scans the QR code, he/she will receive information regarding the policy on a real-time basis.
The aforementioned tips will help you to drive worry-free as your money would be invested safely in a reliable insurance plan. This way, you can enjoy the policy benefits at the time of an accident without any unpleasant revelations.
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