Amitabh Bachchan’s iconic show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ perpetuated the ‘phone-a-friend’ option. To participants frantically looking for answers, this feature was a much-needed lifeline. What if you would get the similar help with the complicating car insurance questions which are haunting you? Many questions would be buzzing in your head on how to choose a right insurance policy for your car and for that you have many online calculators available on internet for comparison of car insurance policies. But can you rely on a calculator? A car insurance comparison can tell you about the policy cover, premium, tenure and claim, but there is more than that you need to know.
Well, I don’t have a ‘phone-a-friend’ option, but yes, I can give you one option— Read-this-blog. So, read on to find the answers to some of the most commonly-sought questions by car insurance buyers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Insurance Policies
- Will my car insurance policy cover music system, which I installed during the policy tenure?
Car insurers cover electronic equipment, including music system at an extra premium. However, you would need to inform your insurance company and get the same covered under the policy after paying an additional amount.
- Can I transfer No Claim Bonus (NCB) of my company car to my name?
As NCB is attached to an owner and not the vehicle, it is possible to transfer NCB benefits of a company car to an individual. However, the company needs to give a declaration that the vehicle has been used by the employee.
- Will I loose NCB, if I change my car insurer at the time of policy renewal?
You will get NCB benefits even if you decide to change your insurer at the time of policy renewal. For this, you need to submit the proof of NCB earned on your previous policy to the new insurer. As a proof, you can submit the renewal notice received from your current insurer that enlists your NCB. Or, you can produce the current motor insurance policy copy along with a letter obtained from the insurer to validate that you haven’t made a claim in the previous year.
- If I earn NCB in a foreign land, will it be valid in India?
Yes, an NCB earned abroad is valid in India, provided the new car insurance policy is taken out in India within three years of expiry of the overseas motor insurance policy, as per NCB rules.
- Can I convert my third-party insurance into comprehensive policy?
Yes, it is feasible to convert a third-party insurance into comprehensive policy. As comprehensive policy covers both third-party losses and damages caused to your car, an insurer can insist on vehicle inspection to ensure that it is in a good condition.
- What is the status of a car insurance policy in case of death of a policyholder during the policy tenure?
In case of death of the policyholder during the policy tenure, the insurer transfers the policy in the name of a spouse or the closest family member by submitting the death certificate to the insurer. If the procedure is started within 90 days from the expiry of the policy, the insurer also transfers NCB.
- What happens to my car insurance policy if I sell my car?
In case you sell your car, you have two options:
- The buyer can get the policy transferred into his/her name by approaching the insurance company. However, as NCB is attached to an owner and not to the vehicle, the same can’t be transferred and thus, the seller will retain it
- You can cancel your current car insurance policy and the new buyer can purchase a fresh policy. You can get a refund for the unexpired tenure, provided there is no claim. If you have bought a new car, you can transfer the NCB from your previous policy to the new insurance policy. Note, the insurer will cancel your current car insurance only if you submit proof of purchasing another policy.
- If I have recently purchased a second-hand car, can I transfer the insurance policy of previous owner on my name?
In India, it is mandatory to have a third-party insurance to ply your vehicle on roads. In case of a second-hand car purchase, according to the Motor Vehicles Act, you are required to transfer the policy within 14 days of purchase. For this, you have to submit Forms 29 and 30 duly signed by the previous owner, the previous policy copy along with the RC copy transferred in your name. The insurer will charge a nominal fee to initiate the transfer.
However, if the RC copy has not been transferred into your name, submit all the documents mentioned above and the insurer may issue an endorsement on a transfer basis. However, it is necessary to submit the transferred RC copy at the earliest, as it is an important document which will be verified by the insurance company at the time of claim settlement.
- My car insurance policy has expired. Am I still eligible for NCB?
Yes, you are eligible for NCB even if your policy has expired, provided you renew your insurance policy within 90 days of the expiry. After 90 days, you will lose NCB.
- I haven’t filed a car insurance claim in the last five years, can I approach the insurer to cover the dent and repair expenses?
A car insurance policy covers losses or damages due to an accident, and thus, normal wear and tear, including dent and repair expenses, is excluded from the policy.
Also, with every claim-free year, you are entitled to get an NCB, which results into lower insurance premium rates. In your case, as you haven’t made a claim for the last five years, you can get discounts on premiums up to 50%. Even a single claim can bring your NCB to zero.
Therefore, it is necessary to carefully analyse the amount you spend towards repairing. If it is lower than the amount you could save by getting lower premium rates through the NCB, don’t file a claim. Avoid approaching the insurer for fender-bender losses or damages.
- Will I get the full amount at the time of claim settlement?
Though, you have purchased a comprehensive car insurance policy, you will not get the full amount at the time of claim. You would have to bear some costs at the time of claim settlement like depreciation cost, salvage value, compulsory and voluntary deductible. However, if you have a zero-depreciation rider, an insurer will settle the entire amount at the time of claim without deducting depreciation. But, other expenses like salvage value, deductibles, etc. have to be paid by the policyholder.
- Will I get coverage if an accident takes place in a city other than where the car insurance policy was issued?
It doesn’t matter where an accident takes place, you will get coverage.
- Will the insurer settle my claim if I lodge it after the expiry of the policy, for an event which occurred during the policy tenure?
Yes, you will be eligible for the claim even after the expiry of the policy. However, it is strongly recommended to file your claim timely.
- Can I submit all bills at the end of the year and claim for repairs?
No, a claim needs to be lodged immediately and will not be considered if delayed beyond a permissible time-limit.
- Will an insurer settle my claim if someone else was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident?
Yes, an insurer will settle the claim even if you were not behind the wheel at the time of the accident, provided the other person:
- Has a valid driving license
- Was not under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the accident.
I am not sure, how much Mr. Bachchan’s phone-a-friend option helped participants, but I am sure, this blog does. So, can I say, “Lock Kiya Jaye”?