Six key top-up covers for car insurance

We can strengthen our life and health insurance policies with additional risk covers for total permanent disability or critical illness, by paying an extra premium. Well, if you are looking for similar add-on protections for your car insurance policy, then you can pick and choose from the various types of “riders” available in the market today.

Why do you need a top-up?

A rider is basically an extra layer of protection on top of your existing comprehensive car insurance plan (those having third-party cover only need not bother!). This add-on cover is useful because the comprehensive policy will not cover damages to accessories such as touch screen LCD, alloy wheels, or fuel kits like CNG and LPG, among other things. Also read: 10 Points to remember while choosing car insurance

Here are some of the key additional risk covers you can consider (be ready to shell out a few extra bucks, of course):

For electrical/electronic accessories

If you are not exactly a “no-frills” car owner, and have added electrical or electronic accessories such as GPS device, touch screen LCD, music system and fog lamps, then you can buy insurance covers for any potential damages to these components.

Typically, such riders cover electrical and electronic items that are fitted onto the car after the vehicle has been bought and that are not included in the auto maker’s selling price of the given model. The amount of cover you can expect for such riders would depend on the value of the accessory in question. Also read: Third party premium on small cars almost doubles

For non-electronic accessories

Insurance companies also provide standalone protection for non-electronic accessories like alloy wheels, leather seats, spoilers and body kit.

For fuel kits like CNG or LPG

If your car is fitted with LPG or CNG, you can purchase insurance for these bio-fuel kits by getting them registered with the Regional Transport Office, and by declaring the value of kit with the insurer.

Hydrostatic add-on cover

Water-clogging of roads is a common sight across India during the monsoon. And if the horrors of traffic jams due to rains were not enough, car users have to fret over the damage to the engines in the event of water ingression.

This is where a hydrostatic rider can come in handy. This cover will give you a pre-specified lump sum amount in case the car engine is damaged due to driving through waterlogged areas, or the vehicle getting submerged in water.

Depreciation cover

Your comprehensive policy does not cover any rain-induced damages to plastic components, metallic parts such as bonnet, radiator and engine, or the electronic control module (ECM), which controls other electrical systems in a car. However, buying a top-up option for depreciation will ensure that the insurer reimburses you–based on pre-defined compensation rates–for the repair-related expenses incurred following damages due to depreciation of car parts. This additional protection will cost 0.25 to 1 per cent of your car’s value.

Consumable’s cover

This option, which is typically available at a cost of 0.2 to 0.4 per cent of your vehicle’s value, covers damage to consumables such as clutch fluid, gear-box oil and coolants. Also read: 5 tips to reduce car insurance premium