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

7 Important Steps Before Buying Your First Car Insurance

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Most people buy car insurance after the purchase of the car itself. This is a big mistake that car buyers make inadvertently. This could, in fact, cost them more money than they actually budgeted. It is best to shop for auto insurance once you have an overall idea of the type of car you will be buying.

The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, makes it mandatory for all cars to have motor insurance. In this article, we have put together some essential tips to help you get hold of the most appropriate car insurance policy for your needs.

Step 1 - Understand The Different Types Of Coverage In Car Insurance:

In India, car insurance is available in two coverage options:

  1. Third-party liability insurance - This insurance plan offers protection from legal liabilities that arise out of accidental injuries, death, or property damage of a third party. The plan does not protect the insured car or its owner/driver.
  2. Comprehensive insurance - This insurance plan includes the following coverage:
    1. Own-damage cover - This protects the insured vehicle from damages due to natural calamities, man-made disasters, and accidents. Theft of the insured vehicle is also offered coverage. Damages to the car while in transit is covered under the insurance as well.
    2. Third-party liability insurance - This coverage is similar to that explained above for the standalone third-party liability insurance plan.
    3. Personal Accident cover - The comprehensive plan protects the owner-driver of the insured vehicle from injuries or death in an accident. However, this cover is not available for the named passengers in the vehicle.

Apart from the above, the coverage under a comprehensive car insurance policy can be extended by opting for add-on covers that safeguard the vehicle against specific risks. The car owner will have to buy add-on covers separately by paying extra premium.

It is evident that the comprehensive car insurance plan offers extensive coverage to the policyholder. Hence, if you are a new driver, it makes sense to opt for this policy.

Step 2 - Understand Your Insurance Requirements:

How much car insurance coverage you need depends on a host of factors. This includes the amount you owe to the car financer, the worth of your asset, the presence of dependents in your life, and the amount of money you can afford to bear at the unsettling time of an accident. Bear in mind that all car owners will have to be in possession of an auto insurance policy with third-party liability insurance cover. You should think about buying a comprehensive car insurance policy if you have financed the car or if you cannot easily replace it.

Take into consideration your budget and decide on appropriate add-on insurance coverage. For instance, if you live in an area prone to flooding, you should ideally buy an engine protect add-on cover to safeguard your vehicle’s engine. However, if you are on a tight budget, you can forgo the thought of buying this rider and park your car in an elevated or well-protected area instead.

Step 3 - Comparison Shop:

Irrespective of the type of insurance you are buying, it is essential to compare plans online. This facility is offered at several financial websites, free of extra charges. Once you get the estimated costs for different car insurance products, you can weigh out the cost with the coverage offered and decide on the most economical option. You should also consider the reputation of the insurer and its customer service. Look for an insurance company that has a robust incurred claims ratio and a great claim payment history.

Step 4 - Understand The Coverage Of The Policy You Buy:

The insurance policy documentation may be filled with legal jargons that may not make much sense to a first-time insurance buyer. But you should read the policy documents and get all your queries clarified with the insurance company. Pay close attention to the exclusions and understand the conditions stated as this will be beneficial to you at the time of a claim.

Step 5 - Check For Bundling Discounts:

In case you have purchased other insurance products (health insurance, home insurance, etc.) from an insurance company, you may receive bundling or loyalty discounts on car insurance if you buy it from the same insurer. Check if you are eligible for the same.

Step 6 - Assess Your Insurance Requirements Regularly:

As you progress through life, your insurance needs may vary. So, you should evaluate your insurance needs periodically and update the coverage you already have. This is applicable to all types of insurance products. On the subject of car insurance, you may need to buy a bigger car when your family extends beyond you and your spouse. Similarly, when you decide to become self-employed, you may want to cut down on your car insurance coverage for a specific period of time. Increase or decrease in income may also lead to changing insurance needs. In order to have the best possible coverage, it is necessary to review your insurance needs regularly and alter the coverage accordingly.

Step 7 - Do Not Let Your Insurance Lapse:

It is illegal to drive without an insurance policy. Hence it is important to ensure that there is no break in your auto insurance coverage. Some insurers may also refuse to insure your vehicle after a break in insurance. So, renew your car insurance policy on time and stay safe on the roads.

There are several factors that affect your auto insurance rates. This includes the area of registration of the vehicle, your age and gender, your marital status, the purpose of the car, and the make and model of the vehicle. So, the cost of your insurance policy may not be the same as that of your friend’s. Keep this in mind when buying car insurance.

Car Insurance Reviews

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  • HDFC Ergo Car Insurance
    "Very good"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    Even my car was insured with HDFC Ergo. It is a second-end car and have chosen the third party insurance. I have not done any claim so far. The premium is reasonable. It offers bumper to bumper facility and road side assistance. The policy period is 2 years.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Jan 14, 2019
  • Tata AIG Car Insurance
    "Good Insurer"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    My financier suggested the Tata Aig general insurance, the premium is economical for the car policy. I have honda amaze car it got insured with them. The insurance company is providing 24 hours service, cash less garages, brake down service for the tenure of four years. On time I got the papers from the Tata Aig.
    Was this review helpful? 1
    , tirupur
    Reviewed on Jan 10, 2019
  • Tata AIG Car Insurance
    "Good Insurer"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    My financier suggested the Tata Aig general insurance, the premium is economical for the car policy. I have honda amaze car it got insured with them. The insurance company is providing 24 hours service, cash less garages, brake down service for the tenure of four years. On time I got the papers from the Tata Aig.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , mumbai
    Reviewed on Jan 10, 2019
  • National Insurance Car Insurance
    "Excellent Service"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    I had taken this Insurance policy for my Maruti Car and i had been paying the premium on an annual basis. The premium amount has not been too high and there has been cash less garages available with this insurance policy. Their customer support has also been helpful at times.
    Was this review helpful? 1
    , pune
    Reviewed on Jan 09, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Nice Policy"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    My car was insured with ICICI Lombard. Last year i have purchased this insurance policy. My wife has referred me about this policy. I pay the premium amount of Rs. 13500. They have given me a convenient IDV value. I had no claim experience so far.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Jan 09, 2019
  • New India Car Insurance
    "Need to improve the service"
    0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
    I'm not satisfied with the service provided by new India. I have bought the car insurance policy. They closed their branch on every weekends hence its difficult to renew the policy. I have been paying the premium amount of Rs. 14000 which is a competitive price. They have given the IDV value of Rs. 1.50 lakhs.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , mangalore
    Reviewed on Jan 09, 2019
  • New India Car Insurance
    "Average Car Insurance"
    0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
    My car insured with the New India Insurance company. I have been renewing the policy with the same company for 3 years. I have paid the premium amount of Rs. 7000 and they have offered me a satisfied coverage value. The documentation process was fine
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , mangalore
    Reviewed on Jan 09, 2019
  • review Car Insurance
    "Its Good"
    0.5 3.5/5 "Pretty good"
    Last year I had car policy with Bharthi axa whenever I try to renew it ask my poliy no, whenever I mention the same, it shows the its incorrect. If I try to reach the customer care its not reachable. I done the claim, some minor damage back side of the car, they have processing fee 1500. Remaining all taken care by the insurer.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , bangalore
    Reviewed on Jan 08, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Great Policy"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    ICICI Lombard has a good brand value hence i have selected the car insurance policy with this card and the dealer has also recommended about this policy. I pay the premium amount of Rs. 9000 and this is a 100% coverage with bumper to bumper facility. I'm not sure about the IDV value. Its easy to renew the policy.
    Was this review helpful? 2
    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Jan 08, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Good"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    Previously my car was insured was with ICICI Lombard and it was offered by the showroom. I got a call from the representative for the policy renewal as reminder. I got the insurance paper. I have not done done a claim. It is a comprehensive with zero dep. The premium was high so changed my insurer.
    Was this review helpful? 1
    , mumbai
    Reviewed on Jan 08, 2019
  • Future Generali Car Insurance
    "Good"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I have taken a car insurance from Future Generali through online portal. The premium was reasonable and also they have provide bumper to bumper facility. The policy period is one year. There is no interaction between the customer service. I just gave my car for the claim so no experience.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , mumbai
    Reviewed on Jan 08, 2019
  • Oriental Insurance Car Insurance
    "Good insurance company"
    0.5 2.0/5 "Expected more"
    Dealer has referred me about this oriental car insurance when i purchase the vehicle. They have rejected the claim since the copy of FIT is not available. They have given me a coverage value upto Rs. 6 lakhs. For the past 3 years i have been renewed the policy with the same company.
    Was this review helpful? 1
    , chennai
    Reviewed on Jan 07, 2019
  • Iffco Tokio Car Insurance
    "Good Policy and you can try"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    Two months before, i have taken my car insurance policy with Iffco Tokio. Its a PAN India agreement policy for my Maruti Car. I don't remember about the coverage value. This is a zero depreciation policy. I paid the premium amount of Rs. 6500. I have not seen any add on and cashless garage facility.
    Was this review helpful? 1
    , chennai
    Reviewed on Jan 07, 2019
  • Reliance General Car Insurance
    "Its Excellent"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    My brother is working with Reliance hence I took my two wheeler policy from this insurance company. I have hyundai accent car, they are providing cash less garages for the damage. I have zero depreciation bumper to bumper policy for the term of one year.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , mumbai
    Reviewed on Jan 07, 2019
  • Reliance General Car Insurance
    "Good Policy"
    0.5 5.0/5 "Blown Away!"
    My car insurance policy was taken with reliance. The dealer has provided me a policy with this policy. This is a 100% coverage value which covers the bumper to bumper facility, They have given me a IDV value of Rs. 11 lakhs. I pay the premium amount of RS. 33000.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , thane
    Reviewed on Jan 04, 2019
  • HDFC Ergo Car Insurance
    "Good service provider"
    0.5 4.5/5 "Excellent!"
    The reason to avail HDFC Ergo policy, my banker have suggest this insurer for my car. They gave me the best insured value around Rs. 6 lakhs based on the vehicle age. I have Hyundai I20 car, they are providing 24/7 helpline and cashless service.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , chennai
    Reviewed on Jan 04, 2019
  • ICICI Lombard Car Insurance
    "Good Policy to take"
    0.5 3.0/5 "Satisfactory"
    My car was insured with ICICI Lombard. I pay the premium amount of Rs. 22000 and i have been renewing the policy continuously for 2 years. They have provided me a no claim bonus. Its covered with bumper to bumper facility. My dealer has recommended me about this policy when i purchase a car.
    Was this review helpful? 1
    , chennai
    Reviewed on Jan 03, 2019
  • Iffco Tokio Car Insurance
    "Good Policy"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I have a car insurance with IFFCO TOKYO from last 1 year, there was no claim experience so far with this insurance policy. I pay a premium of Rs 5500 for this car insurance. This is a first party insurance with 0% depreciation and the coverage value is good.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , new delhi
    Reviewed on Jan 03, 2019
  • Bajaj Allianz Car Insurance
    "Good Policy"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I have a car insurance policy with Bajaj allianz from last 2 years, a premium of Rs 13000 has to be paid for this insurance policy. There was no claim experience so far with this car insurance. This policy has full coverage with 0% depreciation.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , secunderabad
    Reviewed on Jan 03, 2019
  • Tata AIG Car Insurance
    "Good Policy"
    0.5 4.0/5 "Great!"
    I am having a car insurance with TATA AIG from last 1 year, a premium of Rs 7272 has to be paid for this car insurance policy. I did not claim anything so far from this insurance policy. I am happy with the plan benefits and policy coverage of this insurance.
    Was this review helpful? 0
    , hyderabad
    Reviewed on Jan 03, 2019
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