Buying/Renewing Car Insurance? 15 Add-Ons to Consider

Ramesh from New Delhi is a travelling fanatic and almost every weekend travels with his wife and 2 kids to nearby places in the capital city. Being an expert driver and also a good money manager, he has good experience in handling various faults and never missed carrying car repair tool kit. This includes malfunctioning of minor electrical repair, replacing car tyre, etc. He also has a good motor insurance policy, as mandatory by Indian law.

However unaware of perils of driving, recently on his trip to Leh-Ladakh with the family and other friends, severe malfunctioning of the car left everyone in the family stranded and towing to the nearest service station for repair was the only option left. And the nearby service station was far away and despite of calling the station for help, it was not available at that point of time. Never in his driving experience had he faced such a breakdown because of which he had to leave the car in the middle. Although he was travelling in group, he couldn’t leave the car that way and had to cancel his further journey. And at the same time he had to shell out good amount of money to get the car work fine. Know the reasons why car insurance is expensive in India?

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So question arises how Ramesh could’ve averted this? The answer is by buying add-on cover for car. Let’s explore the essential rider or add-on cover every car owner should buy:

  1. Towing assistance: The solution to Ramesh’s problem was towing the car to the nearest service station. However not everytime you will find service station near to the location where you need it. For this, auto insurance companies offer towing assistance. Their crew members will tow the car to the nearest service or police station or home as per the situation. So point to be noted is towing add-on is must to have. You can never predict, when your car would need it.
  2. Roadside assistance: Although Ramesh had expertise in repairing minor faults in the car, this time even his experience didn’t help due to the severity of the problem. The main support offered by insurers through roadside assistance service is repairing minor electrical and mechanical faults on the spot which are less time consuming.
  3. Flat tyre service: It’s very easy to replace the car tyre provided you are carrying spare tyre also called as stepney. However what will you do when two tyres go flat (puncture) or suffer blowout at the same time or even stepney blows out? So the best addon that takes care is flat tyre repair and is covered under roadside assistance.
  4. Emergency fuel delivery: Take example of Ramesh, during his journey had the car halted due to fuel shortage. Although when people travel they always fuel their tank in sufficient quantity. But faulty fuel gauge or when engine starts consuming more than expected fuel, can drain the fuel speedily. Through emergency fuel delivery add-on, covered under road side assistance, insurance companies will send vehicle technician with upto 5 litres of fuel to the insured person. Remember that fuel is chargeable. But that should never ever be a concern. It’s always to be at a safe place than remain stranded in a secluded place.
  5. Vehicle key service: Ideally everyone has additional set of keys. But take example of Ramesh, had he lost keys and additional key was not handy at that point of time. What he would have done? The only option was to reach back home and get the keys. But that would have been risky. So by opting for vehicle key service, technician will come and open the car without the keys. If that is also not possible, then additional keys kept at home would be collected by the technician from the insured person’s home/office and delivered to the place where required.
  6. Cab services: When you are left stranded in unknown place due to car breakdown, insurer will arrange a cab at the location. And in addition to this, their team will take care of your car.
  7. Accommodation: Certain severe conditions in car take lot of time for repair. In such situations, insurance companies provide assistance to accommodate the insured person at nearest hotel which is near to the car breakdown spot.
  8. Pick up of vehicle in case of driver disability: No one would ever think of disability arising while driving or facing any type of health problem because of which insured cannot continue driving. Insurance companies can come to rescue even during such bad time. They will assist in picking up and delivering the car to the desired location.
  9. Shipment of spares: On spot repair might often need spares to be delivered at the location of damage of the car. Insurer in such cases will help the insured by arranging the required spare parts and delivering to the desired location.
  10. Zero depreciation: Claimed amount in a normal car insurance policy, does not pay the insured completely as insurers take into consideration the depreciation value of the vehicle and its various parts. These include parts such as plastics, fibre, leather, metal parts etc. which naturally will not hold same value as car ages. So when car is damaged and new parts are used, the difference between the current cost of the parts and deprecated ones are borne by the insured. Why would insurance company make losses for themselves by fully paying for new value of the parts? But by taking zero dep cover, insured will get the complete claim amount and cost of parts such as metal, plastic, and fibre will be borne by the insurer. This is the must to have add-on cover for every car owner especially beginner or new car owner.
  11. Engine and electronic circuit cover: Must recommended especially during monsoon seasons during which internal parts of engine, gear box, power steering are most likely to get damaged. So it’s best recommended to buy engine protection cover along with the car insurance so that cost of repair arising due to damage to the most critical part of the car is borne by the insurance company.
  12. No claim bonus protection: It is a reward given in the form of less premium given by insurance company to the insured. Every year at the time of renewal, NCB is provided for those car owners who do not claim in the previous year. Basically safe drivers are rewarded. But there is an add-on called as NCB retention. This addon cover allows insured to avail full discount when claim is made in the previous but within a pre-defined limit.
  13. Return to invoice: Who wouldn’t want to receive maximum amount of money via claim. Ideally when you basic buy car insurance and it gets damaged then insured declared value (IDV) is taken into considered to calculate the value of the car. But when you opt for return to invoice add-on, the amount received via claim will be the gap between insured value of the car and the value of the car when it was purchased. So bottomline is claimant will get higher sum from the insurance company.
  14. Loss of personal belongings: Thefts are very common. It can happen from your home, pocket, & vehicle etc. But do you know that, when your personal items such as laptops, mobile phone, and other electronic gadgets get stolen from your car, you can claim? There is an addon which offers coverage for loss of personal belongings from the insured car. It is recommended to frequent travelers the most.
  15. Daily cash allowance: DCA is a very common term in health insurance. But in case of motor insurance too, insured person will get benefit in the form of money when the car is in the workshop for repair for pre-fixed number of days.

So remember to relevant add on covers while buying or renewing your car insurance. It costs little higher but saves money in the time of need.

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