A car insurance policy is like a safety shield that financially protects you, your car, your co-passengers and the third parties that may get involved in an accident with your car. This critical safety shield also protects your car even when it’s parked with you not around. And yet, there is a tendency to ignore all these benefits and expose oneself to extreme risk just to save a small amount of money.
As per the latest figures from the Insurance Information Bureau, 57 per cent of vehicles plying on Indian roads are uninsured. What is even worse is that instead of improving over time through creation of awareness about the issue, the number of uninsured vehicles is going up.
These figures are alarming considering the fact that the Indian government has made it mandatory that each vehicle plying on Indian roads needs to have a valid insurance policy with at least a third-party cover. Failure to comply with this mandatory requirement entails massive fines, and even imprisonment. Given the vast number of benefits that a car insurance policy brings to the table and the sheer risks of non-compliance, it’s quite stunning to know that nearly 13.2 crore vehicles don’t even have the mandatory third-party insurance cover out of around 23 crore vehicles plying on Indian roads. That translates to nearly 6 out of every 10 vehicles.
Why people often skip insurance
First, buying car insurance offline is cumbersome and time-consuming. In this fast-paced world, not many have the time and bandwidth to compare various car insurance policies from multiple insurance companies, and then make an informed choice.
Second, most people are unaware that buying insurance is as simple as clicking a few times on your computer screen or smartphone. Yes, buying car insurance online is extremely simple but most people are simply unaware of this.
Third, many people think that car insurance is costly thanks to high premiums. While this may be the case while buying insurance offline, buying car insurance online can actually help people dramatically decrease premiums of a car insurance policy by customizing the policy, all at the click of the computer mouse.
Now that we know the three key factors that dissuade people from insuring their cars, let’s look at key factors that affect car insurance premium and why one should give attention to them while comparing premiums from different insurers.
The age of the car is one big factor that decides insurance premiums. To put it simply, the older the car, the lower the premium. Then you have the ‘no claim bonus’. Let’s say you’ve been a safe driver and do not claim insurance during a policy year. In that case, you get rewarded by a substantial discount in the next year’s policy. This can go up to as high has half the premium cost.
You can easily calculate how much no claim bonus you’re entitled to by buying your car insurance online. Insurance providers like Bajaj Allianz General Insurance have calculators that will tell you the no-claim-bonus you’re eligible for based during car insurance renewal online. Moreover, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance also allows you to transfer a part of your accumulated no-claim-bonus when you switch to them from another insurer.
The add-on features that you use to customise your car insurance policy also affect the premium based on the number of riders that the customer opts for. While some add-ons such as Return-To-Invoice, Zero Depreciation Cover and Engine Protect plus (to insure your car’s engine against flood damage) are prudent when the car is new, these add-ons may not make much sense on a much older car, whose IDV or Insured Declared Value is itself very low. Choosing not to opt for such add-ons on older cars, and sticking to just a comprehensive car insurance policy with third party cover will greatly reduce insurance premium.
Most importantly, also look for service parameters of insurance companies you are comparing. Try to understand which insurance company has a good network of garages that provide cashless service. Moreover, look for an insurance company having a strong network of authorised garages in the city of your residence. Other than that, also look at claim settlement record of the insurance company and what other customers have to say about it.
Why buy online
Buying and renewing policies online is not only convenient to make a purchase but also to compare car insurance plans. You don’t need to visit offices of multiple insurance providers for quotes. At a few clicks of buttons, you can get free online quotes from different insurers and compare them. You can also check how a specific feature or add -on affects your premium, how much of a no-claim-bonus are you able to avail and what kind of coverage you are getting.
Moreover, car insurance sold online is usually comes at a lower cost than the same insurance bought offline. Just remember to not just look at the premium figure but also compare all the features that come with it. A cheaper insurance policy may not always be the right choice if the coverage it offers is not optimal or if the claim process is complicated.
It is better to choose a trusted insurer like Bajaj Allianz General Insurance which has a track record of settling claims quickly and with ease. Moreover, Bajaj Allianz has a claim settlement ratio of over 98* per cent. The fact that it lets you switch over from another insurer while retaining the no-claim-bonus that you may have accumulated is a cherry on top.
An insurance cover protects you from the monetary losses and brings a sense of security when you are out on the roads. Armed with these basic facts about car insurance, you can easily compare and buy car insurance online while reducing the insurance premium, thus helping you get the best deal in the most hassle-free manner possible. Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms and conditions, please read sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.
Image: Bajaj Allianz General Insurance