Your car is one of your precious possessions, and protecting it from damage is your responsibility. Hence, a comprehensive car insurance plan is the most recommended option. It safeguards your vehicle from third-party liabilities and own damage as well.
But with a plethora of options available in the market, choosing the best car insurance plan can be a daunting task. Therefore, it is essential that you do thorough research before buying the policy. Reading this article will help you choose the best car insurance plan in India to safeguard your vehicle.
Let us begin!
Steps for Choosing the Best Car Insurance Plan in India
Choosing the right car insurance plan for your vehicle is no rocket science. All you need is a basic understanding of your insurance-related requirements and market dynamics. Following the points below will help you choose the right car insurance plan that best suits your needs.
Compare car insurance online
There are various tools available online that allow you to compare different car insurance plans. You can compare factors such as premiums charged, coverage of the policy, exclusions, features and benefits of the plan, and more. This evaluation will help you understand the different plans in detail, and allow you to select the one that best fulfils your requirements.
Insurer’s customer service
One of the most important factors to take into consideration when buying car insurance is the customer service of the insurer. Adhere to this checklist when analysing the insurers –
Number of years the insurer is providing this service
Online and offline customer reviews
The functionality of the customer service team
Availability of car insurance online
Claim settlement stats of the insurer
Having detailed information about the insurer will help in choosing the right policy.
To enhance the coverage of your existing comprehensive car insurance plan, you get to choose additional covers. Some of the common car insurance add-ons to look for are zero depreciation cover, return to invoice cover, roadside assistance cover, engine protection cover, no claim bonus protection cover, etc.
Cost-effectiveness of the policy
While third-party car insurance plans are available at a low premium cost, the policy offers limited coverage. Hence, it is advisable to choose comprehensive car insurance. Many insurers offer comprehensive car insurance at a nominal cost. You also get the option to extend the coverage with add-on covers at a reasonable amount.
Premium to benefit ratio
The premium to benefit ratio is nothing but a comparative view of features and premiums. In other words, if you get an additional benefit without having to pay any extra premium, you should consider taking it. For instance, some insurers offer free roadside assistance worth INR 500 at no extra premium.
In effect to the above pointers, you should also take into consideration the following things –
When buying car insurance, assess your insurance needs and get clarity on the coverage needed.
Choose to compare car insurance plans at neutral financial websites
Choose a car insurance plan that fulfils your needs and is offered by a trustworthy insurer with a good claim settlement ratio
Renew your car insurance plan before expiry and pay the premiums on time
That way, you can enjoy the maximum benefits from your car insurance plan.
Factors Affecting Your Car Insurance Premiums
Several factors affect the car insurance premium. Some of these are as follows –
Risk related to the vehicle: The make and model of the car, which includes the cubic capacity and fuel type of the vehicle are a few parameters that determine the car insurance premiums. Moreover, cars that are used for commercial purposes have higher premiums as insurers usually get a more significant number of claims on these vehicles. Also, diesel cars have a 10-15% higher premium rate compared to petrol-based cars.
Risk related to your area of residency: If you live in a accident-prone area, the premiums charged will be high. Also, those living in metropolitan cities have to pay higher premiums compared to those living on the outskirts.
Risk related to your driving skills: Your driving skills play a vital role in determining the car insurance premiums too. If you have a record of driving recklessly, then your insurer will consider you as a high-risk applicant and charge high premiums.
Key Areas Where You May Go Wrong When Choosing a Car Insurance Plan
Value of the car: Often, to reduce the car insurance premiums, people tend to reduce the Insured Declared Value (IDV) of the car. However, in times of need, the car is treated as total write off. Hence, it is highly advisable to determine the right insured declared value of the car when buying the car insurance plan, even if it means a slightly higher premium payout.
Lapse of the policy: When the car insurance plan lapses, the insurer offers you a grace period. Within this period, you have to get the policy renewed so as to retain the earned benefits (if any). Failing to renew your plan within the said period will lead to loss of benefits.
It is necessary that you carefully go through the policy features and benefits, the number of network garages offered by your insurer, add-on covers, and the claim settlement ratio of the insurer. Along with this, taking care of the above-explained aspects will ensure that you are choosing the best car insurance for your vehicle.
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