It has been a while since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. After about two years of repetitive lockdowns, travel restrictions, limited social interactions and more, things are getting back to normal. Gradually, educational institutions and offices are opening for regular operations. Road-trip enthusiasts are looking ahead to the next exciting destination. This also means that people are starting to use their vehicles for their daily commute and long drives. Therefore, it is time to go through the vehicle insurance checklist to avoid any unnecessary hassles while on the go.
Remember, driving without valid motor insurance can attract penalties. For a stress-free driving experience, make sure to check the following before taking your vehicle out on the road:
- Renew your car insurance
If you are caught driving a car without valid insurance, you may get into trouble with the authorities. If you already have an insurance policy, make sure it is valid at all times. Renew it on time to ensure you are always covered. Check the long-term car insurance papers and the renewal dates to avoid break-ins in the policy.
- Avoid buying the cheapest plan
While buying car insurance, you will get numerous options to choose from. Selecting the plan with the lowest premium is not the right decision, as you may lose more than you expect. If you compare the plans carefully, you will notice that a policy with a low premium does not cover many things. It may look beneficial initially, but you will have to pay the major part of the expenses out of your pocket in the face of a mishap involving your vehicle. Your insurer will pay only the balance amount.
- Exclusions of the policy
Before buying a policy, go through the exclusions carefully to know what the insurer will cover. This would help you select insurance that provides maximum coverage. Compare the features, benefits, discounts etc., offered by different insurers and buy insurance online based on your needs and budget.
- A third-party car insurance policy provides limited coverage
A third-party liability policy is mandatory. Its premium is affordable, and your car is covered against the losses related to a third-party injury or property damage.
You may buy this policy thinking you will be avoiding liabilities in the future. But this is fine as long as your car is not damaged in an accident. If your car gets badly damaged, you will not get any compensation under a third-party policy. The entire cost of repairing your car will have to be borne by you. So, get an own-damage four-wheeler insurance or a comprehensive policy for wider coverage.
- A comprehensive car policy will provide extensive coverage
A comprehensive policy has features of both a third-party car insurance and own damage cover. You can also buy suitable add-on covers along with this policy. In case of damage beyond repair or car theft, this policy would help you get the entire sum insured, equal to the IDV (Insured Declared Value) or market value of the car.
- Add-on covers
You should choose the add-ons carefully depending on your requirement and budget. Research well before selecting the add-ons. Nowadays, almost all insurers have their websites, and you can find several comprehensive plans and add-on policies along with the prices.
- Compare different insurers
Some insurers would give you the option of customised plans. You will also get discounts from your insurer if you buy car insurance online. Besides, there are many quote-comparison websites where you can compare different insurance products on the same web page and choose the ones you like.
- No Claim Bonus
You can get a good discount on your car insurance premium every year, and that too at an increasing rate by being a responsible driver during the policy period. This discount is called No Claim Bonus or NCB. It applies to the own damage (OD) and comprehensive policies only and comes with the condition that you should not have made any claim during the previous policy period. It starts at a rate of 20% of the premium amount after you complete one claim-free year and can go as high as 50%. The NCB can increase for every claim-free year up to 5 years.
Get on with driving your car or riding your bike after a long gap due to COVID-19 restrictions, but before you take the vehicles out, check your bike insurance policy or car insurance to see if it is still valid. Alternatively, get a new policy after considering add-on covers, the extent of coverage, NCB etc., to get maximum benefits.