When looking to buy a car, one would spend several days researching on the internet for the best deals on cars. The factors of prime importance would be the make and model, the safety features included, mileage, and style quotient, to name a few. After several days of thorough market research and analysis of customer reviews, one would decide on an appropriate vehicle. However, it is often found that due diligence is not given for selecting a suitable car insurance plan. More often than not, the car insurance plan recommended by the dealership would be the one you choose to insure your car with.
The significance of buying adequate amount of insurance is understood when you are part of an incident for which you would be required to raise a claim. Unfortunately, there is no point in fretting and getting disappointed at that time. Hence, it is best to equip your car with sufficient level of insurance coverage at the time of purchase itself.
The next question that arises in the mind of an insurance customer is this - How can I buy the best car insurance policy? Here, we unravel the complexities involved in making a wise car insurance purchase decision.
Selecting A Car Insurance Plan
Choosing the best car insurance plan for your needs is not rocket science; you just need to have an understanding of your insurance requirements and the market dynamics.
- Policy comparison online - When there are a plethora of car insurance companies offering various plans, it may be difficult to come to a conclusive decision. This is where the facility of online insurance comparison comes to your assistance. You can compare insurance plans from various providers at neutral financial websites. This facility is offered completely free of additional charges by the insurance aggregator websites. You can assess the amount of coverage and tally it with the premium quote for each plan in the market. This way, you will be able to identify the plan that offers maximum value for money.
Customer service - This is one of the most important factors that you have to take into consideration when buying car insurance. To make things easy, stick to the following checklist when analysing the credentials of the insurance company:
- Number of years in the business and reputation
- Online and offline customer reviews
- Customer service team and its functioning
- Availability of online policy
- Claim settlement statistics
- Options for flexible coverage - When looking to buy the best car insurance policy, flexible coverage is of significance as well. As the customer base is very vast, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ type of policy. You should select a car insurance plan based on your specific insurance needs. An insurance company that offers the facility of flexi-coverage should be given priority over the others. This implies that if the insurer offers pre-existing packages that it is willing to customise for your needs, you should consider that as a positive sign.
- Cost effectiveness - Although third-party liability-only policies can be bought at low costs, such schemes also offer limited coverage. It is best to buy a plan that is sturdy (in terms of coverage) at a reasonable cost. You can choose appropriate add-on covers based on your situation as well. As indicated above, comparing insurance plans between companies is a great way to narrow down on a suitable plan.
- Smooth service distribution - An insurance company that has a wide distribution network is desirable. The insurer should ideally be accessible to customers on a 24x7 basis.
In effect, the steps you should take for identifying the most suitable insurance plan are as follows:
- Assess your insurance needs and get a clear picture of the requirements.
- Compare insurance plans between companies at neutral financial websites.
- Select the most suitable plan from a reliable insurance company that provides great customer service and has a good claim settlement ratio.
- Keep track of your car insurance renewal date and pay your premiums on time. This way, you can enjoy maximum benefits from your policy.
In addition to the above points, it is crucial to read through your car insurance policy documentation thoroughly. This will help you get a clear idea of the insurance coverage offered by the plan and the exclusions.
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GST Update: GST of 18% is applicable on car insurance effective from the 1st of July, 2017