• Car Insurance Faq

Car Insurance gives protection to the vehicle owner against (i). damages to his/her vehicle and (ii). pays for any Third Party Liability determined as per law against the owner of the vehicle. Third Party Insurance is a statutory requirement. The owner of the vehicle is legally liable for any injury or damage to third party life or property caused by or arising out of the use of the vehicle in a public place. Driving a motor vehicle without insurance in a public place is a punishable offence in terms of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

Types of Car Insurance:

Broadly there are two types of insurances policies that offer Car Insurance cover:
  1. Liability Only Policy (Statutory requirement)
  2. Package Policy (Liability Only Policy + Damage to owner’s Vehicle usually called O.D Cover

Remember that if you take only a Liability Only Policy, damage to your vehicle will not be covered. Hence, it would be prudent to take a Package Policy which would give a wider cover, including cover for your vehicle.

What Car Insurance covers:

The damages to the vehicle due to the following perils are usually covered under OD section of the Car Insurance policy:
  1. Fire, Explosion, Self- Ignition, Lightning
  2. Burglary/Housebreaking / Theft
  3. Riot & Strike
  4. Earthquake
  5. Flood, Storm, Cyclone, Hurricane, tempest, inundation, hailstorm, frost
  6. Accidental external means
  7. Malicious Act
  8. Terrorism acts
  9. While in Transit by Rail/ Road, Inland waterways, Lift, Elevator or Air
  10. Land slide / Rock slide

What Car Insurance excludes:

The following contingencies are usually excluded under the Car Insurance Policy:
  1. Not having a valid Driving License
  2. Under Influence of intoxicating liquor/ drugs
  3. Accident taking place beyond Geographical limits
  4. While Vehicle is used for unlawful purposes
  5. Electrical/Mechanical Breakdowns.

Basis of Sum Insured:

For Own Damage:

The Sum Insured under a Car Insurance policy reflects the value of the motor vehicle determined based on the concept known as Insured's Declared Value. Insured's Declared Value is the value arrived at based on the Manufacturer's present value and depreciation based on the Age of the Vehicle.

For Third Party:

Coverage is as per requirements of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 . Compulsory Personal accident cover for owner-driver is also included. Policy can also be extended to cover various other risks like Personal Accident to occupants of vehicle, Workmen's Compensation to Driver, etc over and above the cover available to him under statute.

Third Party Liability insurance is mandatory for all vehicles plying on public roads in India. This covers Liability for injuries and damages to others that you are responsible for. In addition, it is prudent to cover loss or damages to the vehicle itself by way of Comprehensive/Package policy, which covers both “Liability” as well as “Own damage” to the insured vehicle. Liability Only cover is also known as Act Only cover.

Many factors determine the premium you will pay. For Own Damage cover different insurance companies charge different premiums for similar coverage. Shop around; getting three or more comparison quotes is worthwhile. Check various insurers’s websites; it will help you compare premiums. Do not forget to compare deductibles, coverage and IDV’s as premium may be lesser of one insurer but with higher deductibles, lower coverage and lower IDV, which will adversely impact you in the event of claim settlement.

Be prepared to give your agent information about the following items that are commonly used to determine your premium: Vehicle registration details with Engine No., Chasis no., Class of vehicle, cubic capacity, seating capacity, etc. (In fact, all relevant details are in the RC book/card and a copy of same may be handed over) Tax paid details; Certificate of fitness, Driver details - age, gender, qualifications, licence validity Previous insurance history, if any.

The Own Damage coverage is left to be rated by individual insurance companies after duly filing rates with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority. The same is determined on following factors amongst others -- Age of vehicle; Discounts / loadings- Appropriate Bonus / loading/ discounts along with past claims experience are taken into account while calculating premium. IDV (Insured Declared Value).

Third Party Liability Premium rates are laid down by IRDA.

In case of break in insurance, vehicle inspection would be required and extra charges will have to be incurred for the same.

The sum insured for the vehicle is called “Insured’s Declared Value” and should reflect the current market value of the vehicle. Under Liability insurance, Third Party Liability insurance is covered. There is unlimited coverage to Third parties injury and Third party property damage is covered up to a sum of Rs 7,50,000.

The Insured has the option to restrict coverage for Third Party Property damage to Rs 6,000 and this will result in a lower ”Liability Only” premium.

A motor policy is usually valid for a period of one year and has to be renewed before the due date. Pay the premium on time. No Insurer offers a grace period for paying the premium. In case of lapse of policy by even one day, the vehicle has to be inspected. Moreover, if a comprehensive policy is allowed to lapse for more than 90 days, the accrued benefit of NCB (No Claim Bonus) is also lost.

A Critical Illness benefit policy provides a fixed lumpsum amount to the insured in case of diagnosis of a specified illness or on undergoing a specified procedure. This amount is helpful in mitigating various direct and indirect financial consequences of a critical illness. Usually, once this lump sum is paid, the plan ceases to remain in force.

There are also other types of products, which offer lumpsum payment on undergoing a specified surgery (Surgical Cash Benefit), and others catering to the needs of specified target audience like senior citizens.

No Claim Bonus (NCB) is the benefit accrued to an insured for not making any claims during the previous policy period. As per current norms in India, it ranges from 20% on the Own Damage premium (and not on Liability premium) and progressively increases to a maximum of 50%.

If, however, a claim is lodged, the No Claim Bonus is lost in the subsequent policy period.

NCB is given to the insured and not to the insured vehicle. Hence, on transfer of the vehicle, the insurance policy can be transferred to new owner but not the NCB. The new owner has to pay the difference on account of NCB for the balance policy period.The original owner can, however, use the NCB on a new vehicle purchased by him.

Yes, you can avail of the NCB facility if you change the insurer on renewal. You would have to produce proof of the NCB earned by way of renewal notice from the current insurer. Alternately, you can produce your original, expiring policy along with a certification that you have lodged no claims on the expiring policy. For this the proof can be in the form of a renewal notice or a letter confirming the NCB entitlement from the previous insurer.

In addition to NCB, there are additional discounts available under Own Damage Premium for membership of Automobile Association of India, Vintage Cars (Pvt. Cars certified by the Vintage and Classic Car Club of India); Installation of anti-theft devices approved by Automobile Research Association of India (ARAI), Pune and whose installation is approved by AAI; Concessions for specially designed/modified vehicles for the Blind, Handicapped and mentally challenged persons, which are suitably endorsed in the RC by the RTA concerned; - opting for voluntary additional deductible/excess.

Under "Liability Only Section", discounts are available for reduction in Third Party Property Damage (TPPD) from Rs. 750,000 to Rs. 6,000.

Yes, GST is applicable and would be as per prevailing rule of law.

Deductible or “excess” is the amount over and above, which the claim will be payable. There is a normal standard/compulsory excess for most vehicles ranging from Rs 50 for two-wheelers to Rs 500 for Private Cars and Commercial Vehicles which increases depending upon the cubic capacity/carrying capacity of the vehicle. However, in some cases the insurer may impose additional excess depending upon the age of the vehicle or if there is high frequency of claims.

If there are any changes in the policy like change of address or modifications to the vehicle or its use, it will be done by an Endorsement by the insurance company. Submit a letter to the insurer with proof for the changes and obtain the endorsement. Some endorsements may require you to pay additional premium. Check the correctness of the endorsement.

For the purpose of applying premium rate, the place where the vehicle is registered is reckoned (not the place where the vehicle is used). If your vehicle is registered in Chennai, the rate applicable for Zone A is charged. Even when you shift to a different city / town, the same rate will continue to be applied. Similarly, if a vehicle is registered in a town, it attracts Zone B premium rate. Subsequently if the owner shifts to a metro, he will continue to be charged the Zone B rate.

As per Rule 141 of Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989, a certificate of Insurance is to be issued only in Form 51. It is only in Motor Car Insurance, apart from the policy, that a separate certificate of insurance is required to be issued by insurers. This document should always be carried in the vehicle. The policy should be preserved separately at home / office.

If a CNG / LPG kit is fitted in the vehicle, the (Road Transport Authority (RTA) office where the vehicle was registered should be informed so that they make a note of the change in the registration certificate (RC) of the vehicle. The insurance company should also be informed so that the kit is covered on payment of extra premium on the value of the kit under “OD” section and also under “LO” section.

  1. Certificate of Insurance
  2. Xerox copy of Registration Certificate
  3. Pollution Under Control Certificate
  4. Photocopy of Driving Licence of person who is driving the vehicle

Yes, the insurance can be transferred to the buyer of the vehicle, provided the seller informs in writing of such transfer to the insurance company. A fresh proposal form needs to be filled in. There is a nominal fee charged for transfer of insurance along with pro-rata recovery of NCB from the date of transfer till policy expiry. It may be noted that transfer of ownership in comprehensive/package policies has to be recorded within 14 days from date of transfer failing which no claim will be payable for own damage to the vehicle.

No. Registration and insurance of the vehicle should always be in the same name with the same address. Otherwise the claim is not payable. A fresh proposal form needs to be filled in. There is a nominal fee charged for transfer of insurance.

Yes, please approach the same office, which had issued the policy, with a written request. A nominal fee is charged for issuing a duplicate policy copy.

Generally, the following documents are required to be submitted. However, read through your policy to see the complete list—duly filled in claim form, RC copy of the vehicle, Original estimate of loss, Original repair invoice and payment receipt. In case cashless facility is availed, only repair invoice would need to be submitted and FIR, if required. For theft claims, the keys are to be submitted. Theft claims would also require non-traceable certificate to be submitted.