Global NCAP is an organisation that provides ratings for new cars based on crash tests these vehicles are subjected to. The organisation has announced an award program, referred to as ‘Safer Choice’ in India. The new car in the market that conforms to the highest levels of safety will be conferred this award. The Auto Expo 2018 that showcased upcoming cars, two-wheelers, and fascinating concepts of the future witnessed this announcement.
NCAP Tests and Rating
Over the past few years, New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) has tested cars made in India for the mass market and has awarded ratings to them. Most of these vehicles have scored between 0 and 4 stars. The 5-star rating has not yet been awarded to any mass-market Indian car. Some of the top-rated cars are the Toyota Etios, Volkswagen Polo, and the Tata Zest. All three cars have scored 4 stars for driver safety in the NCAP test.
The Safer Choice award is a step forward in the campaign for safer cars in India. The progress in car safety in the country is commendable, as witnessed by the favourable ratings cars have been receiving in the last three years since the launch of the NCAP crash test results in 2014 in New Delhi.
- When the first NCAP test result was launched in India, it showed extreme lack of safety devices in cars. Most of the vehicles tested scored 0.
- Subsequently, automakers have made drastic changes to their models, incorporating safety measures such as more airbags and a safer package.
- The Indian government has also leveraged safety in vehicles and will be announcing new crash regulations in the near future. The government is also looking to make Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Program (ESP) mandatory in all cars.
NCAP Test Parameters
For a car to get a 5 star classification through NCAP testing, it will have to abide by a range of parameters. These are as follows:
- The car should get a score of 5 stars for the protection of adults.
- The minimum score it needs for child occupant protection is 4 stars.
- The vehicle should have ESP as a standard or an optional functionality, and ESP should be present on at least 20% of the cars in its range.
- The vehicle will have to be in alignment with pedestrian safety standards.
Will I Be Able To Save Premium By Buying One Of These Cars?
Most car insurance companies offer lower premiums for vehicles that are equipped with the latest security features. So, it is natural to think that owning one of the top rated cars (as per NCAP testing) will help you save on insurance premiums. However this is far from the truth.
The reality is that there is no direct relationship between the safety rating and the insurance premium. The NCAP rating focuses on how well the driver and passenger is protected in the event of a serious crash. It also evaluates the car’s safety devices on account of how a crash is prevented. As far as the motor insurance industry is concerned, it is found that most claims are raised for low-impact crashes with less severity. Most of the claim payouts made by insurers are also for these type of crashes.
In fact, car insurance companies decide on the premium based on several other factors along with safety features, such as the IDV of the vehicle, the age and profession of the owner, his/her driving history, area of registration, etc. That is why a high-end car loaded with safety features would still be expensive to insure.
Instead of focusing on the insurance premium savings, you should think about the safety of your family on the roads. Hence, it is worth considering the purchase of a car that has a great NCAP rating. After all, safety features are installed in a car to safeguard the life of the occupants and the vehicle itself, not to help the owner save on insurance premium. The latter should only be a secondary thought.
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