One of the most memorable days in a person's life is the day he/she first steps out of the Regional Transport Office with that crisp, fresh driver's license. It is also the day when one has to start paying various bills for fuel, insurance etc. Speaking of insurance, I have realised over the years that having not just car insurance but enhancing it with some value-added covers has ensured complete peace of mind.
While it is mandatory to buy the standard motor insurance while buying a car, insurance companies today offer various car insurance covers with different coverage options which go beyond the regulated insurance policy. I would highly recommend considering value-added insurance covers along with any motor insurance you take.
Let me illustrate the advantage of having a value added cover with a personal instance that I faced not too long ago. As a car lover, I take care of every small detail in my car and personally ensure its upkeep and maintenance. I personally look into its maintenance, insurance, servicing and even the car keys. Besides the driver, only the cleaner can take the car keys to clean the car each morning. Once, it so happened that I had to rush for a meeting and couldn’t find the car keys anywhere in the house. On questioning, I realised that between my driver and the cleaner, my keys had been misplaced by either of them. Ultimately, I had to hail a cab as we failed to find the car keys. As with all modern cars, the loss of car keys could have set me back for a fair bit of money. The value of car keys I learnt is sometimes almost equal to a months’ EMI of the car loan!
However I did not have to worry as thanks to the add-on cover for key replacement, the cost of replacing my car keys was covered. The cover also assures to take care of the cost of hiring a rental car if the time taken to replace the keys is more than 24 hours.
Most of us, when we buy car insurance are not aware of the various add on covers that are offered and thus miss out on added protection they offer. For instance I have seen my friends complain of feeling short-changed by insurance firms when they do not receive their full claim amounts on account of depreciation deductions. A depreciation cover being offered by insurers would ensure that you receive full claim payment without any deduction for wear and tear in relation to replaced parts. This, according to me is very useful for all owners, especially when there are young drivers at home and one ends up replacing parts often!
Other remarkable covers include the daily allowance cover that pays you a fixed sum towards the expense of a hired vehicle while your car is under repair, has been stolen or broken down. If this happens in an unknown place you can easily cover the cost of transport and overnight stay in the nearest city, with an add-on insurance cover. Motor Insurance add-ons also cover cost of repairs for glass/plastic/fiber/rubber parts. There are also innovative products which indemnify the insured against loss or damage to personal effects, while they are in the insured vehicle. The insured can also opt for cover of full value of the vehicle including the registration charges and road tax initially paid in case the car is stolen or is declared a total loss.
All said and done, one of tenets of insurance is choosing the right cover. By arming yourself with knowledge and evaluating your needs, you can protect your cherished car for the years to come! Do not hesitate to choose one or various add-ons and cover yourself against day-to-day incidents. It just makes everyday life that much simpler!
The author is the senior vice-president, Consumer Lines, Tata AIG General Insurance