Go beyond the basic vehicle insurance

For most of us, buying a car is a dream come true. The feeling of buying your first car is irreplaceable. With the current prices, we undeniably spend lakhs of rupees to make this much-desired purchase. However, we always shied away from spending little extra on insuring the critical parts of your dream object which is over and above the basic vehicle insurance.

Vehicle insurance is a must but most of us are simply unaware of how much insurance is adequate for us to buy. A basic cover may or may not cover all the damage in case of a vehicle breakdown. Add-on plans available in the market offer separate insurance for various damages in addition to the basic damage. Various add-on covers, depending on different cars, can save you a lot of money during an accident, which otherwise burn a massive hole in one’s pocket.

There are a number of add-on covers available in the market. Below are few of them:

*Engine protect cover: Engine add-on cover is a cover that is specially designed for people who have either recently purchased high-end cars or have cars that are up to three year old. This cover not only compensates for damage due to accidents but also for engine-related repairs that are not related to accidents. This cover is a must for people living in a city/area that is prone to waterlogging.

*A hydrostatic lock cover: This cover arises out of engine damage caused due to ingression of water. Driving the car in waterlogged or flooded areas may cause the water to enter the engine resulting in the vehicle breakdown. Such occurrence is known as hydrostatic lock and could affect either high-end or low-end models.

One must be aware of the fact that damage caused to the engine by hydrostatic lock comes under the consequential loss category as per vehicle insurance regulations. Many of us don’t realise that engine damage in hydrostatic lock is due to consciously cranking the engine. This is also known as certain accident, i.e. damage done consciously. These kinds of damage done are not covered in a comprehensive vehicle insurance policy.

*Zero depreciation cover: The zero depreciation cover is another useful cover. This cover ensures that during an accident, the claimant will receive full claim without any deductions for depreciation on the value of the parts replaced. It is available on new cars and usually doesn’t cover cars that are more than five years old.

In case one doesn’t buy a zero depreciation cover, they will have to bear as much as 50% of expenses incurred on replacing parts. These add-on covers can be bought at the time of buying the policy or renewal.

*Roadside assistance cover: Another very useful cover offered to customers during their hour of need. It provides complete assistance in case of an emergency such as vehicle breakdown or accident manufacture. This will ensure customers derive maximum benefit out of their motor insurance policy. Unique features available of the new add-on cover include:

*Arrangement of accommodation in the event of the insured’s vehicle being immobilised due to a breakdown/accident

*Arrangement of alternative transport i.e. taxi to assist the insured in case of vehicle breakdown

*Breakdown support to help rectify minor mechanical faults over the phone or if required at the site. Arrangement of fuel in case of an emergency or vehicle breakdown

*Assistance to nearest garage over the phone and using GPS technology. Message relay to send SOS messages to the family members in case of vehicle breakdown.

It is highly recommended that one should always check with the insurance provider about the details of the policy before buying a cover. In case the provider does not cover the engine, it is highly advisable to buy these add-on covers.

An engine is the heart of the car; make sure it is adequately protected.

(The  writer is Head, Motorunderwriting claims and reinsurance at ICICI Lombard)

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