Car insurance is mandatory in India and there is no way you can postpone it. At the same time, it is also a confusing and cumbersome task.

To ease out the confusion, here we have a checklist of car insurance essentials that you must keep in mind:

  1. Car insurance policy covers two aspects- Third Party Liability cover and Comprehensive Cover.
    1. Third Party Liability cover is mandatory in India and covers any damage caused to third party by the accident of your vehicle. This includes third party injury, property damage or death.
    2. Comprehensive policy covers the owner and his vehicle against accidents, Damage or theft of the vehicle. It also includes damage caused due to accidents, floods, earthquakes, riots, etc.
  2. Remember to check the terms and conditions of the cover. For example, some companies do not cover your vehicle in case of damages if it was illegally parked.
  3. Your car insurance cover will not include loss or damage to car outside India, wear and tear, mechanical breakdown, electrical breakdown, damage cause by person who does not have a valid driving license and damage caused by a person who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other such substances.
  4. There are a number of insurance companies in the market that provide car insurance. Every company has its own special features and benefits. Understand these benefits before deciding.
  5. You could choose from government insurance agencies like Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. and New India Assurance Co. Ltd. or choose from the private players in the market like HDFC ERGO, Bajaj Allianz, IFFCO Tokio etc.
  6. Add-ons with car insurance help in increasing the insurance coverage. Important add-ons to consider include zero depreciation and engine and gear-box protection.
  7. Ascertain your vehicle’s Insured Declared Value (IDV). This is the compensation that the insurer promises to give, if your vehicle suffers a loss. This value is calculated by deducting depreciation for the manufacturer listed price of your vehicle. For vehicles that are more than 5 years old, this value is calculated by assessing the vehicle. This assessment is carried out by surveyors and car dealers.
  8. While deciding on the insurance cover, keep in mind the premium that has to be paid. It is more important in the case of add-ons as its premium is added to the base car insurance premium amount.
  9. You could look at buying car insurance policy online. There are insurance specialists that let you compare car insurance policy online to help you choose the most suited one.
  10. While claiming for insurance, remember to contact the car insurance company as soon as possible. Register the claim according to the company’s process with all required documents listed by the company. This includes claim form, insurance copy, registration form, etc.
  11. If you are looking forward to a cashless reimbursement, then make sure you take the vehicle to one of the network garages listed by the insurance company. Most companies provide reimbursement only when the vehicle is taken to one of their listed garages.
  12. In case you lose your original insurance papers, do not panic. Call the insurance agency and give them the required details to get a duplicate insurance copy. The information you need to give will all be mentioned in your insurance paper photocopy. In case you have lost the photocopy too, you can give the company the registration number or cheque number so that they can track the policy. Don’t forget to file a FIR of the lost documents. The company may ask for a photocopy of the FIR too.

Research well and compare car insurance policy before you decide on a suitable car insurance. Happy driving!

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