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Sinking Car Visuals Haunting You? Here’s How To Stay Afloat With Comprehensive Insurance

BankBazaar.com logo BankBazaar.com 21-06-2021 Adhil Shetty

© Provided by BankBazaar.com Monsoons in India usually bring respite from the scorching summers. However, persistent rainfall in many cities also brings a set of problems. A recent video from Mumbai went viral showing a car that slowly disappeared into a sinkhole after torrential rains. It was a scary sight not only for the car owner but also for millions who watched the video. The incident highlights the need to be aware of the dangers of natural disasters to not just our lives but also our important assets. It also reminds us that while we have little control over the course of nature, we can certainly adopt measures that provide us financial relief if there’s a crisis— namely, insurance.

While the car in the viral video was eventually pulled out with the help of the local officials, it’s almost certain that its submergence led to serious damages. A comprehensive car insurance policy is created anticipating such risks and the financial costs vehicle owners must bear after an unexpected event such as this.

As per the Motor Vehicles Act of India, all vehicles running on the road must be insured. The new Motor Vehicle Act 2019 imposes a fine of Rs.2000 for driving without car insurance. Thus, car owners must have an insurance policy that covers them for varied damages.

Types Of Automobile Insurance Products

There are mainly two types of auto insurance products available in the market – comprehensive car insurance policy and third-party car insurance. As the name suggests, a comprehensive car insurance policy provides greater coverage by not only covering the costs of the damage to your car but also covering the costs incurred due to damages to a third party – any party apart from you and the insurance provider. It provides protection against theft, fire damage, burglary, and losses due to man-made and natural disasters. Besides, there are some additional covers you can opt for at an extra cost to fortify your comprehensive car insurance policy.

Third-party insurance is mandatory by law and covers you against legal liabilities for the damage you may cause to a third party. It includes injury, damage, disability, and death of a third party caused by your vehicle. However, you cannot claim insurance for injuries suffered or repairs of damages to your car. These will be covered only by a comprehensive insurance policy. That said, a comprehensive insurance policy also covers all liabilities covered under a third-party insurance plan.

The Scope Of Losses Covered By A Comprehensive Policy

Generally, a comprehensive car policy enables you to file a claim for damages caused to most car parts. You can claim damages caused to your car’s seats, windshields or any other parts, say, due to floods, cyclones, hailstorms, etc. But you may not be able to claim losses for the damages done to your car’s engine due to water ingress because of monsoon or floods. If the engine is damaged due to waterlogging or because of the hydrostatic lock when your vehicle is submerged, the damages may not be covered under a standard comprehensive plan. However, an engine protection add-on cover, offered as a paid optional facility to your basic comprehensive plan, can help you in such situations. The add-on cover, available under different names in the market, can safeguard your finances in case the engine is damaged due to waterlogging.

In case your vehicle is washed away or completely lost during a natural calamity such as floods, earthquake, etc., you can claim for the losses according to the terms and conditions of your chosen insurance product.

Consider These Add-Ons To Strengthen Your Policy

While a comprehensive insurance policy may cover most damages, you may have to buy additional covers or add-ons to protect yourself against robbery, engine damages, costs of breakdown assistance, etc.

These add-ons could ensure peace of mind for you at nominal costs. Add-ons such as engine protection can cover damages due to waterlogging. A personal accident cover compensates for injuries or death during an accident. A breakdown assistance add-on helps in situations such as breakdowns, puncture, loss of keys, car doors getting locked, etc.

As your vehicle ages, its value depreciates. A zero depreciation add-on cover is offered to provide complete coverage on the purchase price of the car rather than on its depreciating value. Typically, it is offered with new cars.

Besides these, you can also go for accessories cover add-ons that will help you claim damage for valuable accessories such as LCD display, stereo, reverse camera, etc. You can go for a consumable protection cover that can help you claim damages for repairs or replacements of nuts and bolts, screws, air conditioner gas, bearings, engine oil, oil filter, fuel filter, brake oil and other associated parts.

Car Tips To Follow During Monsoons

If you live in a waterlogging-prone area, you must be careful where you park your vehicle or while driving on waterlogged roads. Do not try to start a stalled car in a waterlogged area because this could damage the engine. After the damage, take your car to an authorised garage and not a local mechanic as the insurance company may recognise only authentic parts replacements and not the unauthorised ones. When driving during the monsoons, keep the windows slightly open and the central locking system unlocked.

Finally

Buying a comprehensive car insurance policy with critical add-ons instead of just a mandatory third-party plan is desirable to reduce the impact of the associated financial risks. Doing so would cost you a bit more, but the benefits would be worth it in times of crisis. To ensure you get the best deal, compare different insurance products and go for the one that best meets your requirements. However, don’t just blindly settle for the policy with the cheapest premiums but also consider the policy features and the insurer’s claim settlement track record while finalising your purchase decision.

The writer is CEO, BankBazaar.com, an online marketplace for loans, credit cards and more.

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