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

Instructions to Opt For the Right Car Insurance Policy

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According to the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, it is mandatory that every vehicle being driven on the road be insured. Although third-party car insurance is compulsory in India, opting for a comprehensive car insurance is as per one’s wish. All car buyers are flooded with a number of car insurance policies, making it difficult to choose. Choosing the right insurance policy can be a bit tricky, especially if you aren’t exactly adept at understanding the ‘fine print’. So how can you choose the best car insurance policy available in the market? Before we list the tricks to choose the right car insurance plan, let us know more about car insurance.

What is car insurance?

Car insurance is a contract between you and your insurance company. It is when you agree to pay the premium and the insurance company in return agrees to pay for your losses as defined in your insurance policy. Car insurance covers expenses related to the damage of a property, liabilities raised by an accident, and medical expenses.  Most car insurance policies are for six months to one year. When your car insurance policy is about to expire, your insurance company will notify you via email or phone to renew it by paying the premium amount.

Ways to choose the right car insurance policy:

When you buy a car, your car dealer will offer you a wide range of car insurance plans. It is easy to choose one from the options given to you. But don’t let the excitement of buying a new car cloud your judgement. When it comes to buying a car insurance plan for your dream set of wheels, you will have to research a lot, shop around, get some real-time reviews, and then choose a policy that matches your requirements. Make a well-informed decision when you choose the insurance cover for your prestigious possession as this will protect you from the huge bills you may incur if you meet with an accident. A comprehensive car insurance policy not only covers the losses incurred by you due to an accident but also protects you from third-party liabilities and legal bills.

  • Shop around
  • When it comes to partying, we all hop from one club to another as we do not wish to miss out on the good things the second club has to offer. Likewise, while shopping for a car insurance, make sure that you compare various car insurance policies before you choose one. Do not restrict yourself to choose from the insurance plans offered to you by your car dealer. You can compare various car insurance plans online and narrow down your search of selecting the correct car insurance plan by filtering it as per your requirements.  Apart from saving a lot of money and time, shopping car insurance online gives you numerous options. So compare car insurance before you finalize one and give a thumbs-up for your wise decision.

  • Don’t ignore the add-ons
  • What are add-ons? We all know that a comprehensive car insurance cover includes damage to your car, loss, and theft of your vehicle as well as third party cover. However, if you pay a little extra on your premium, you can benefit from some additional benefits on your car insurance plan. These additional covers are called add-ons. Add-ons are not mandatory but optional. You can decide if you want an add-on or not. Some of the popular add-ons offered by car insurance companies in India are Depreciation Waiver Cover, Windshield Glass cover, Personal Accident Cover, Loss of Baggage Cover, and Engine Protector Cover. Give importance to add-ons and choose the ones you need wisely.

  • Make sure you have a free look period
  • Free look period is the time frame you get from the insurance company to read the policy related documents and decide if you want to keep the policy or not. If you do not like the terms and conditions of your car insurance policy, you can return the policy within the free look period and ask for a refund. You will not be charged with a penalty if you return the policy within the free look period. Always choose a car insurance policy with free look option so that you have abundant time in hand to decide if you want to continue with the policy or not.

  • Ask for discounts
  • Do not be shy to ask discounts. It can help you save some money. Did you know you can earn upfront discounts for being a good and safe driver? Many car insurance companies offer discounts for a safe driver with a long safe driving record. They also consider older and married drivers to be responsible on roads. Take advantage of this and ask for discounts. If you have a car with sufficient safety features like anti-theft alarm, airbags, and ABS system, you can negotiate your car insurance premium. Insurance companies tend to offer discounts for people having cars with adequate safety features. For this reason, consider buying a car with high safety features as it not only safeguards you during an accident but also reduces your car premiums.

  • Discuss the Insured Declared Value
  • Insured Declared Value or the IDV is one of the major factors that decides the premium of the car. What do you mean by Insured Declared Value? Simply put, Insured Declared Value is the current market value of your car. It is the highest sum payable by the insurer for your car insurance policy. In other words, it is the maximum amount you can claim in case of total loss or in case of theft within your policy period. Always ensure the premium charged is correct because lower the IDV, lower would be the premium. If your IDV is stated incorrectly in your policy document, you will have to shell out a lot from your own pocket. Before selecting a car insurance policy, discuss the Insured Declared Value of your car with your insurer.

  • No claim bonus
  • Insurance companies reward their policyholders for every claim-free year. They encourage their customers to not make claims and to drive safe. No-claim bonus is a discount the insurance company gives you if you do not make a claim during the term year. For example, if you do not make any car insurance claims claims for one year, your insurer will give you about 25% discount on your premium when you renew it. No-claim bonus is given to the policyholder and not the vehicle, so, even if you switch your cars, you will get this benefit. You can also use your no-claim bonus when you switch insurance providers. The percentage of the discount given increases with every claim-free year. So, when you choose a car insurance policy, make sure your insurance provider offers no-claim bonus option.

  • Claim Settlement Ratio
  • Always make sure that you buy a car insurance policy from an insurance company that has a good claim settlement ratio. What is a claim settlement ratio? Claim settlement ratio refers to the number of car insurance claims received by a company and the number of claims settled by them. Avoid purchasing a car insurance plan from an insurance company that has a bad claim settlement ratio. This means that the number of claims unsettled is more than that number of claims that are settled. This is very important because when you make a claim, you wouldn’t want it to be rejected for petty reasons.

  • Cashless facility
  • Many insurance companies these days offer cashless facility to their customers. They have authorised garages throughout the country and all a customer has to do is take their car to one of the listed garages and get it repaired. This way, they do not have to pay cash upfront, submit a claim, and wait for the reimbursement. This saves a lot of time and makes it hassle-free as customers do not have to go through the tedious claim process. When you choose a car insurance policy, make sure you have cashless facility available.

  • Read the fine prints
  • Before finalising on your car insurance, make sure you read the fine print of your insurance policy carefully. Make sure you are not paying high premiums and are still undercovered. Read the “Exclusion” part of the policy document word-to-word as it lists out the things the insurance company will not cover.

    If you planning to buy a new car policy or switch your insurance provider, make use of third-party websites like BankBazaar. This website not only allows you to compare several car insurance policies online buy also lets you apply for it immediately.

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

Claim Reviews

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  • Reliance General Car Insurance
    "Its Good"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    For my old policy I paid the amount of Rs.8000 it was comprehensive plan from front to back bumper was covered, I have chevrlot drive suv. The process was easy and I got the insurance paper from the company on time. I used to make the payment through online.
    Was this review helpful? 1
    , chennai
    Reviewed on Feb 22, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Better than better"
    0.5 4.5/5 "Excellent!"
    I have taken a car insurance in ICICI Lombard and till now have not compared but at the time of purchasing it was good. I have not gone for claim and there is no requirement for the customer service. I have received the insurance paper. The policy coverage is one year. It is a zero dep plan.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , faridabad
    Reviewed on Feb 21, 2019
  • Iffco Tokio Car Insurance
    "Good Policy"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    I have a car insurance with IFFCO TOKYO from more than 1 year. I paid a premium of Rs 17000-18000 for first year and Rs 13000 for second year. This policy has full coverage with 0% depreciation and i have no claim experience so far.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , hyderabad
    Reviewed on Feb 20, 2019
  • Royal Sundaram Car Insurance
    "Good service"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    For the past three years i am using the royal sundaram Car insurance , i had not gone for any claim till now and there is no issue in my vehicle . I feel okay with the royal sundaram client service .
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , hyderabad
    Reviewed on Feb 19, 2019
  • Oriental Insurance Car Insurance
    "Good Policy"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I hold a car insurance with Oriental insurance from last 1 year, a premium of Rs 5000 has to be paid for this insurance policy. There was no claim experience taken so far with this insurance. This policy has 50% coverage and i am satisfied with it.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , ahmednagar
    Reviewed on Feb 19, 2019
  • Bajaj Allianz Car Insurance
    "I have bought my two wheeler insurance policy from Bajaj All"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    There is no reason for choosing the car insurance from Bajaj Insurance. Till now i' have not claimed anything from them. Around 3 years I've renewing the policy with the same company. I'm not sure about the premium amount i paid. I never spoke with the customer care service so far.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , mumbai
    Reviewed on Feb 19, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Very Good Policy"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I had taken this insurance policy a long time back and i have been paying the premium on an annual basis. The premium amount has not been too high and the payment method is pretty simple which is done online. I had made some claims two to three times and the services where quite good.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , pune
    Reviewed on Feb 18, 2019
  • Oriental Insurance Car Insurance
    "Good Car insurance"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I have bought my car insurance from Oriental company. Based on the lower premium and claim ratio, i have chosen this company. I never interacted with their customer care. I pay the premium amount of Rs. 10000. This car covered with the bumper to bumper facility.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , mumbai
    Reviewed on Feb 17, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Best Policy"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    I got Car insurance from Icici Lombard general insurance through As The premium amount is nominal one am satisfied with it , as it has low premium amount with cashless garages comprehensive cover with bumper to bumper coverage .Customer service and response is good . I pay it annually through online banking
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , chennai
    Reviewed on Feb 15, 2019
  • Royal Sundaram Car Insurance
    "Not satisfied with the service"
    0.5 1.0/5 "Really Bad"
    I had taken this insurance policy a while back and the experience with them has not been that good. For making the claim it had taken almost 20 days which was not good and it was not convenient. The services of then has to be improved and their customer care has to be improved and the staffs should be more responsible.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , hyderabad
    Reviewed on Feb 13, 2019
  • HDFC Ergo Car Insurance
    "Excellent Policy"
    0.5 3.5/5 "Pretty good"
    I had taken this insurance policy a long time back and i had been paying the premium on an annual basis. The premium amount was around 30,000 and the payment method has been simple. There has been a single claim which i had made so far and the services where very good and there has not been any difficulty faced.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , hyderabad
    Reviewed on Feb 13, 2019
  • Royal Sundaram Car Insurance
    "Satisfactory"
    0.5 4.5/5 "Excellent!"
    I have chosen Royal Sundaram for car insurance and done a online comparison. I have received the insurance paper. The premium was reasonable and the policy period is one year. They have good garages and also they are giving me n-number of claims can be done in a year. It is a comprehensive plan.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , ghaziabad
    Reviewed on Feb 13, 2019
  • review Car Insurance
    "Average "
    0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
    I took my car insurance in Kotak General Insurance because I have account with them. The premium was reasonable. The claim experience was bit tough and it was not beneficiary. The customer service was good but need to improve the garages for cashless. The policy coverage was good but my experience was not satisfactory.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , ghaziabad
    Reviewed on Feb 13, 2019
  • Shriram Car Insurance
    "Good"
    0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
    I took my car insurance in Shriram General Insurance before 3 years. Its not purchased based on the premium because one of my relative is working here. The customer service was good. The policy coverage is also good. It is a one year policy and first party insurance.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , hyderabad
    Reviewed on Feb 13, 2019
  • Reliance General Car Insurance
    "GOOD POLICY"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I have taken the car insurance policy with the RELIANCE GENERAL INSURANCE where the premium is nominal when compared to the others also the IDV value is good with this policy. They have provided the policy coverage of bumper to bumper with this policy.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , namakkal
    Reviewed on Feb 12, 2019
  • United India Car Insurance
    "GOOD"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I have taken the car insurance policy with the UNITED INDIA INSURANCE where i have no claim experience with this insurance policy. I am using it since from last 3 years where the premium is lower compared to the others along with that they offers good IDV value.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Feb 12, 2019
  • review Car Insurance
    "Smart protection"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    My showroom guy issued car policy from Bharati Axa, I didn't compare the cost of the policy. Its zero depreciation plan, bumper to bumper protection is there. They give 24 hours service, road side assistance its all standard. With best IDV on my Honda I20 car.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , thane
    Reviewed on Feb 12, 2019
  • New India Car Insurance
    "Best policy"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    I took car insurance with New India Assurance for 1 year, a premium of Rs 5000 has to be paid for this insurance policy. There was no claim experience so far with this insurance. This policy has full coverage and the customer service is very good.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , nasik
    Reviewed on Feb 11, 2019
  • Bajaj Allianz Car Insurance
    "Its Good but they need to provide less claim settlement"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    Bajaj Allianz cost of the car policy is reasonable, last year I paid the amount of Rs. 9000, now I need to pay Rs. 10,000 it has the benefits of zero dep and two times I have claimed it, first time my front mirror got damaged then second time back bumper got damaged. Only I paid the fine of Rs. 1000. Remaining they have taken care but claim settlement value is less, it should be 100%.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Feb 11, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Good"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I have purchased car insurance with ICICI Lombard. The premium was less when compared to others. I am using the service for one year. It is a third party insurance and it has bumper to bumper offer with zero dep and road side assistance. I have no claim and the hard copy have not received. I paid 13K through online to purchase the policy.
    Was this review helpful? 1
    , chennai
    Reviewed on Feb 09, 2019
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