Monsoon is one of the seasons which is eagerly awaited in India. It gives a huge respite from summer heat. However, monsoon also brings along various challenges especially when it comes to driving your vehicle during this season.
“Every year, due to the heavy floods in some or other parts of the country, insurance companies get vehicle damage claims worth thousands of crores. For example, in Chennai floods in 2015, general insurance sector had seen claims worth over Rs 3000-3500 crores for vehicle insurance,” said Rakesh Goyal, Director, Probus Insurance.
Most of the policies issued in auto insurance are standard policies and do not cover risks arising out of monsoon rains. Such insured vehicles if meet with a condition arising out of heavy rains, see the insurance claim rejected. One must choose car insurance policy carefully so that it will not have any impact during the monsoon. Basic policy covers accidental damages and host of other things like loss or damage to the car due to natural calamities or against man-made calamities. However, the policyholder should always buy add-on covers like engine protection cover, roadside assistance covers and consumable cover among others.
Tarun Mathur- Chief Business Officer, General Insurance, Policybazaar.com said that it is important to have a car insurance ready every monsoon as there is a definite risk of road accidents and vehicle damage due to various potholes and clogged roads. “A comprehensive car insurance (own damage + third party) will give you a protection for your car and third party car damage. However, in scenarios where you have specific problems like engine damage due to floods or car damage due to a tree falling, then add-on features like ‘engine-protect’ and ‘zero depreciation’ with your policy will help compensate for the complete losses without any deductions,” he said.
Engine Protection Cover
Among the add-on, engine protection cover is one of the must-have for the policyholder as basic car insurance doesn’t cover the damages to the engine. “Such covers don’t give claims in case there damaged is caused by accident but will pay for losses if the engine is damaged due to water entering in it,” said Goyal.
Roadside Assistance and Consumable Cover
Even repairs of the car take a lot of money if there is a problem arising from the monsoon or floods type situation. The cost of consumables like repairing brake, changing engine oil, upgrading nuts and bolts would cost big money. Therefore, under such a situation, one should also have roadside assistance cover which will help policyholder round the clock with assistance during an accident or in case of emergency. It also offers to tow and arranging mechanic among other important factors. Also, the policyholders get reimbursement against the cost of consumables by the insurers.
No Claim Bonus Protect Cover
It can be used to get a discount on renewal premiums if the policyholder doesn’t make any claim in a year. “No Claim Bonus for every claim free year where the customer who has not made any claim during the policy period gets a discount for the next policy year. The discount starts from 20% (for first claim free year) and can go up to maximum 50% if no claim has been made consecutively for 5 years,” said Mathur.
However, if you fail to renew the policy then your NCB will get dissolved after 90 days from the date of expiry. Also, if you cancel the policy before the completion of the policy period then you will not be entitled to the NCB gained.
Buying such add-on covers might increase the premiums by 15-20% over the base policy as which is own damage and third party liability. However, such add-on can give huge respite to policyholders during the times when there is excessive flooding and not having such an add-on might increase the cost of repairing the car.
So next time if you are buying your car insurance policy or getting it renewed, do take care to buy additional add-on covers which will benefit both cars as well as the policyholder.