Your money: Five tips for renewing your motor insurance policy

By Pankaj Verma

Motor insurance, much like most other general insurance policies, are annual covers and must be renewed upon expiry. Under the Motor Vehicles Act it is mandatory for every vehicle plying on roads to have a third-party motor insurance policy. The insured can opt for a comprehensive policy or other add-ons to ensure adequate and comprehensive coverage. Here are some important facts to consider before renewing your motor insurance.

Know the insured declared value of your car
The insured declared value (IDV) is an important factor to consider when purchasing or renewing the motor policy. It is the maximum value that one receives in the event of theft or total vehicle damage. The IDV affects the amount of premium paid and is thus important to understand. More often, one is drawn to the lower premiums offered by various companies during policy renewals. However, it is important to understand that a lower premium often comes at the expense of a lower IDV leading to insufficient coverage and a negative impact on the future claim amount.

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Check for no-claim bonus
No-claim bonus (NCB) is a discount provided if the insured does not file a claim during the preceding full annual policy term. General insurance companies in India offer up to 50% of the discount as NCB benefit for five consecutive years of no claims. The NCB benefit is only available on the Own Damage (OD) premium and not on the total premium payable, which includes the third party premium amount.

Read the term & conditions
At the time of renewal, check the terms and other details to avoid any misinterpretation, as this may influence the coverage you receive. You can also renew the policy by expanding the coverage if the current policy does not meet your needs or shift the policy to another insurer for better coverage, add-ons and service without losing NCB.

Get a list of network garages
Every motor insurance company has tie-ups with garages located throughout the country. These garages are known as insurance company network garages. Motor insurance companies offer cashless car insurance policies for repairs at these network garages to make the claim settlement process simple. The bill is settled in a cashless manner by the partner garages directly with the insurance company. As a result, except for his share of liabilities, the policyholder is not required to pay the repair amount.

Add-ons for extra benefit
To mitigate losses that are frequently not covered by standard motor insurance coverage, you can take add-ons such as depreciation reimbursement, NCB protection, basic roadside assistance, engine guard, inconvenience allowance, cover for consumables, emergency medical expense, enhanced personal accident cover for passengers, and so on. These additional coverages, which can be added to a vehicle policy for a small fee, can be extremely beneficial.

Purchasing motor insurance is a significant decision that requires a thorough examination of the available options as well as the necessary add-on coverage. Renewing it on time requires proper evaluation to receive the eligible benefits.

The writer is head, Underwriting, SBI General Insurance

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