Motor insurance is an insurance policy that covers the policyholder in case of financial losses – resulting from an accident or other damages – sustained by the insured vehicle. A comprehensive motor insurance policy covers damages to third-party and third-party property along with compensating for own losses as well.
Is motor insurance mandatory?
Yes, it is. According to Sec 146 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, it is imperative that you purchase motor insurance prior to taking your vehicle out on the roads. Should you not want to buy a comprehensive insurance plan, getting third-party policy coverage is the bare minimum that you are mandated to acquire for your vehicle to ply.
What does the policy cover?
With a motor insurance policy, you will be usually covered against the following:
- Damages and losses, resulting from natural calamities such as earthquake, floods, fire, lightning, landslide, hurricane, etc.
- Damages that result from human intervention, including burglary, theft, riots, strike or any other activity born of malicious intent.
- Third-party legal liabilities owing to damages (both bodily injuries and death) caused to third-party as well as financial losses to a third-party property.
What is the amount covered?
Usually, vehicles are insured at a fixed Insured Declared Value (IDV). In other terms, IDV is the current value of your vehicle in the market. IDV is higher for a new vehicle and with time it depreciates.
Factors affecting motor insurance premiums
Understanding some of the major factors that affect motor insurance premiums can lead you to make an informed decision:
Type of cover
A comprehensive insurance policy that covers both insured vehicle as well as a third-party would attach higher premiums as opposed to its third-party counterpart.
Your area of residence is one of the crucial determinants of motor insurance premiums in India. For instance, should you be a resident of a metropolitan city in the country, chances are vandalism and accidents would be more as compared to smaller Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. This leads insurance providers to set increased premiums on your motor insurance policy.
Installed safety features
Should your vehicle be equipped with additional safety features, such as anti-theft devices, airbags, GPS tracking system, alarm and anti-lock braking features, insurers consider your efforts towards securing your car and set discounted (read affordable) premiums accordingly.
Having installed expensive gadgets – such as alloy wheels, roof rails and its likes – in your vehicle, chances are you could be looking at increased premiums. Should you want coverage for these features as well, it is recommended that you get them installed by the respective car dealer at the time of purchase.
No Claim Bonus
No Claim Bonus (NCB) is the reward that you would be eligible for should you drive responsibly the year round and not file for damages. Also, it’s prudent to keep off claiming in case of minor damages – fixing a broken windshield, for instance.
Motor insurance gives you peace of mind as you know you’ve a financial backing in case of damages suffered by your vehicle in case of any untoward incident.