Bharti AXA General Insurance is now part of ICICI Lombard General Insurance.

Bharti AXA General Insurance is now part of ICICI Lombard General Insurance.

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  • Choosing Motor Insurance

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    If you just want to be on the right side of the law and want to avail the mandatory Third Party Liability (TPL) cover, then choosing motor insurance is easy. If you are choosing motor insurance to cover maximum financial losses arising out of unfortunate events, then it requires meticulous research.

    Understanding Motor Insurance

    Motor insurance can be broken down into two verticals, Car Insurance and Two Wheeler Insurance. Whether you use your registered vehicle for personal, recreational or commercial purpose, as per law it must be insured.

    TPL cover is mandatory and non-compliance leads to penalties. A comprehensive motor insurance cover includes TPL, other plans that cover financial losses due to accidents affecting you and add-ons. The entire Policy Life Cycle (PLC) comprising of purchasing, claiming and renewing an insurance policy can be executed via a simple online process.

    Types of Motor Insurance

    Third Part Liability

    This is an Act Only insurance policy and is compulsory for all motor owners according to the Motor Vehicles Act. This policy does not cover financial losses pertaining to you or your vehicle; it is a cover for the third party. Here, the first party is the insured, second party is the insurance company and the third party is the third person who is affected by your car. The third person can raise a claim against you and your insurer regarding compensation for injury and property damage, in case of death the family of the deceased can raise a claim.

    Own Damage Cover

    Own damage cover safeguards you against financial losses regarding your vehicle. This can be claimed against accidents and theft. Although this is not mandatory it is suggested to opt for the cover to reduce out-of-pocket expenditure in case of unfortunate events like accident and theft. Damages caused by events such as vandalism, burglary, terrorist attack, riots, etc. are covered under this policy.

    Personal Accident Cover

    This cover comes in handy as it lends financial security in case of an accident leading to permanent disability. In case of death the policy holder's family will receive the monetary compensation.

    Add-Ons

    Apart from these types of covers, one can also opt for specific add-ons to strengthen one's policy. With an additional premium, one can avail add-ons like Zero Depreciation Cover, Garage Cash, Roadside Assistance and others.

    Points not covered under Motor Insurance

    If the policyholder causes an accident under the influence of alcohol and drugs or is driving without a valid driving license, the losses won't be covered. Similarly, losses due to deliberate accidents, mechanical and electrical breakdown, consequential losses, wear and tear etc. shall not be compensated. Thus, it is suggested to read the policy document carefully and make an informed choice while choosing an auto insurance policy.

    Factors to consider while choosing a motor insurance policy

    Claim settlement

    While you are choosing a motor insurance policy, you are also choosing a motor insurance company. You might avail a policy that is tailor-made for you but in the end your claim should be honoured. Thus, choosing a car insurance company with a good claim settlement ratio is a must. One should also go through online reviews and speak to existing policyholders to verify the car insurance company's credentials.

    Comprehensive or bare minimum

    As mentioned earlier, TPL is mandatory however a comprehensive cover can protect you against financial losses. Thus, to opt for the bare minimum or for a comprehensive policy, is a choice that you have to make early on.

    Customer Service

    The insurance company's customer service mechanism needs to be checked. It must be noted if they provide detailed information regarding their products on their website, their efforts regarding consumer education through informative articles and 24 x 7 support on call, chat and email.

    Garage network

    Your two-wheeler and car are ultimately going to go to a garage for healing. Therefore it is necessary to opt for an auto insurance policy from an insurance provider who has a vast network of garages. You can opt for your nearest garage and opt for a cashless settlement for a hassle-free claim.

    Premium

    Your motor's Insured Declared Value (IDV), the insurance company's underwriting policy, your cover and other factors like your vehicle's model, technical specifications, safety devices, insurance zones and depreciation are taken into account while determining the insurance premium of your vehicle.

    The insurance premium is a crucial factor in choosing the right motor insurance policy; however, it shouldn't be the only factor. Above mentioned factors also must be given adequate weightage before zeroing-in on your insurance policy.

    Policy Life Cycle (PLC)

    Motor insurance policies need to be renewed periodically. Thus, they follow a life cycle comprising of Purchase, Claim and Renewal.

    Purchase

    Insurance has gone digital and this has enabled easy purchasing of insurance policies. Whether you live in a metro or a Tier-II city, you can avail desired motor insurance via the insurance provider's website by filling basic details and making an online payment. You will receive your insurance document instantly in your email.

    Claims

    Make sure you have the right documents in place to support your claim. In some cases an FIR filed with the police department might be essential. Apart from these necessary documents, one must also furnish truthful information in the claim form. Be it claim for TPL, Own damage, theft or personal accident, insurance companies follow a transparent claims procedure.

    Your claim may not be honoured if it is not supported by the right documents or falls in the category that is not covered under your insurance policy. The general claims process followed by ICICI Lombard is as follows.

    Renewal

    Car insurance needs to be renewed annually whereas you can insure your two-wheeler for a period of three years, provided your insurer offers that facility. Insurance companies often send reminders to its customers when their policy is about to expiry. You can renew it by simply logging on to the insurance provider's website, filling in your policy details and making the online payment.

    ICICI Lombard customers can purchase a motor insurance policy, make a claim, track their claim and renew the insurance policy via a smartphone as well by downloading the IL Insure App.

  • Items That You Should Include in Your Car Emergency Kit

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    Who doesn’t love to go on long drives? The journey along with friends, family is almost always a memorable affair. Unless, you encounter a car breakdown. A breakdown can happen without warning and at any time. There is no assurance that your car won’t fail even if it has been properly maintained, thus it is always better to be prepared for any eventuality than to regret later. Here are some of the things that should be there in every car emergency kit.

    Spare Tyre

    One of the most important components here. Most of us think that the spare tyre in the boot is in flawless and ready-to-use condition. But, that is not always the case. Over time, the spare tyre kept in the boot loses air, resulting in lower tyre pressure. It is advisable to check the tyre pressure before embarking on long journeys.

    A spare tyre is the only thing that can help you, when you encounter a puncture/flat tyre on the road. Take care of it, and it will take care of you.

    Tyre Jack

    That spare tyre is worthless when you don’t have a tyre jack to lift the car up. A jack is a mechanical device designed to lift heavy loads. With a maximum lifting capacity of 3 tonnes, it can easily lift your car up so that you can get to working on the real problem: replacing the punctured tyre.

    Jumper Cable

    The jumper cable is required when the battery of a car goes dead, or runs out of charge. This problem is more common than you think. Turning off the engine and continuing to use electrical equipment requires electricity from the battery. Some people overdo this, and end up exhausting the car’s batteries.

    Jumper cable is a great way to solve this issue, but you’ll need another car with a healthy battery to do a jumpstart. If the journey passes through a remote area, it is better to go equipped with an emergency battery booster.

  • Top High-Tech Car Safety Technologies

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    A report published by Transport Research Wing under Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has revealed that 17 deaths occur in road accidents every hour in India. As per the data cited in the report, 4,80,652 road accidents were recorded in the country, which led to 1,50,785 deaths last year.

    Indian roads are among the most unsafe in the world. While there is no substitute to responsible and attentive driving, here are some high-tech safety features that ensure a safe and smooth drive.

    Adaptive Cruise Control

    The modern day cruise control can, not only maintain a constant speed, but it can adjust the throttle and brakes to keep a safe distance from any object or vehicle in front of your car. If the system senses a potential collision by using sensors and radar, it will tighten the seat belts and apply the brakes.

    Periphery Sensors

    The technology is designed to notify you about the objects or vehicles in your blind spot during driving or parking. It will alert you with a light, sound or steering vibration if you are about to collide with a car or an object. This high-tech feature may even give you the luxury of reversing the car without even turning back.

    Heads-Up Display

    You might be forced to look into the navigation screen or your dashboard which means to take your eyes off the road. This is not only annoying but also dangerous while driving the car. Heads-up display puts the navigation and other information right there on the windshield in front of you. It means you don’t have to take your eyes off the road even for a second.

    Lane Keeping Assist

    The system assists you in driving in your lane. It uses cameras to detect the lane marking and determine if a car has drifted across its marked lane, giving a visual or audible notification. The system turns itself off when you use directional indicators to take a turn. More advanced technology can even steer you back in your lane if you are moving far away from it.

  • Important Points about Car Insurance Policy Cancellation

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    Want to cancel your car insurance policy? Relax, the process is quick and easy

    There may be situations where you might want to cancel your car insurance policy. In such cases, there might be a certain amount of money that you might have to pay to your insurance company as fees. Whether or not the fee is charged will depend upon the time when you cancel your plan.

    For instance if you cancel your policy during the term of the insurance, a fee will be charged. If the annual premium has been paid and there is still time left on the policy, then the insurer will be responsible for reimbursement of your premium amount on cancellation.

    Reasons for Car Insurance Policy Cancellation

    There may be various reasons why you would want to cancel your insurance policy. For instance, if you want to sell your car, the old insurance will serve no purpose and you will have to get it cancelled.

    There could be other reasons too, such as theft of your vehicle, disposal of your car due to the age of the vehicle and dissatisfaction with your insurance company due to various reasons such as a high premium, stringent policy clauses, lower sum assured or some similar reason.

    The Process of Cancellation of Your Car Insurance Policy

    Having an auto insurance policy is imperative for everyone who owns a car. If you choose to apply for a cancellation, you must buy another policy. To begin the process of cancellation, intimate your insurance company about your decision to cancel the policy in writing. This will set the process of cancellation in motion, with the entire process taking not more than 15 days.

    Once the cancellation process is completed, the insured will receive a letter confirming that the policy has been cancelled; any pending dues that are to be refunded by the insurer will also be mentioned in this letter. That’s not all. You will also need to follow-up with your insurer to collect the Certificate of Insurance. This certificate will come in handy when you go for a new insurance policy.

  • 5 Things to do if Your Car Insurance Expires

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    Amidst your busy schedules, renewing your motor insurance policy can easily slip your mind. Now-a-days, most insurance companies offer reminder facilities for policy renewal. However, if you still missed the date, it is important to contact your insurance provider as soon as you realize the slip. If the policy has just expired, you may be able to reinstate it without any penalty. Ensure you don't take your car out until you get a fresh policy.

    The following steps will guide you through the insurance revival process:

    Step 1: Get organized

    If you failed to renew your motor insurance policy on time, get in touch with your insurance company and fix an appointment for the vehicle to be surveyed. Once the survey is satisfactorily completed you can go ahead and purchase the insurance policy.

    Collect your previous policy documents and all claim-related papers. The insurer requires these papers to look into your claims' history and accordingly you will be entitled for a No-claim Bonus (NCB) on your new policy.

    Step 2: Keep your vehicle documents handy

    Equip yourself with your vehicle details. These include the city where your vehicle is registered or the RTO's address, first registration date, manufacturer's name and model details.

    Step 3: Logon to the insurer's website

    Avoid tedious paperwork and simply logon to the insurer's website with the documents and details ready at hand. Click on the online renewal option and fill in the details in the appropriate fields. You can renew your car insurance as well as two-wheeler insurance online, by following quick and simple steps.

    Step 4: Fill and crosscheck details online

    Make sure to fill in correctly the policy number, vehicle registration dates and other details. Before submitting these details, crosscheck them against the documents in hand to avoid miscommunication. On submission of the renewal form, you will receive a quote from the insurer.

  • How-to Claim Under Third Party Car Insurance

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    What is third-party car insurance and what it covers

    A car owner must carry third-party motor insurance under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. This government-mandated requirement ensures that in the event of an accident, he/she can compensate the aggrieved party for bodily injuries/death or material damages and take care of any legal liabilities arising from the accident.

    Third-party vehicle insurance is a two-way street. While you might pay a third party in case of an accident due to your fault, this car insurance type can also be availed in case you are at the other end of the line.

    Also known as ‘Act Only’ plan, this car insurance variant is specifically designed for damages sustained by a third-party. However, several insurance providers offer personal accident cover to the insured. This ensures that in the event of an accident, the car owner is not only capable of compensating the third-party but can also take care of himself and his loved ones, in case of personal injuries or even death.

    Here are a few of the major claims that you can make from a third-party insurance holder in case of an accident:

    • Medical expenses claim in case of bodily injuries incurred due to the accident. You can also claim for treatment expenses for the injuries sustained.
    • A compensation claim for physical disfigurement.
    • Compensation for loss of earnings due to disability that prohibits from working.
    • A compensation claim can also be filed by the dependents of the third-party if he/she passes away due to the accident. This claim is based on the ground of the income lost due to death.
    • In the case of a claim filed for damages to the third party, IRDA has capped the compensation ceiling at ₹7.5 lakhs for insurance companies. However, in case the claim exceeds the capped amount, then the deficit has to be paid by the car owner.
    • There’s no regulated cap on compensation claims filed for injuries and death.

    Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the nitty-gritty of third-party car insurance, here is the complete process on how to claim 3rd party car insurance if you are the aggrieved one:

    Third-party motor insurance compensation claim in case of disability, injuries or death

    • File an FIR with the police immediately after the accident and take a copy of the same.
    • Obtain the third-party motor insurance details of the car owner.
    • Take a copy of the charge sheet filed by the police against the car owner.
    • Hire a motor claims lawyer and file a compensation claim case in the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal. Remember, such cases do not fall under the jurisdiction of civil courts. The claim has to be filed in the tribunal court of the area where the accident has occurred or in the area where you (the claimant) resides.
    • In many cases, the car owner would suggest an out-of-court settlement, wherein a mutually agreeable amount is settled upon. Although this process is legally permissible, however, it’s best to get the authorities involved in case of an accident.

    Third-party car insurance compensation claim in case of property damage

  • Leave your driver’s anxiety behind

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    If you’re driving across Whitefield in Bangalore or around Marine Drive in Mumbai, there is a high possibility that you’ll come across these 3 things - traffic that takes an eternity to disperse, a jaywalker who has to make his way through the traffic, and a reckless driver who has to overtake every other vehicle on the road. Add to this the degrading conditions of the roads of our country, and being a driver becomes quite a task.

    The year 2017 saw the death of 1.49 lakh people due to road accidents which roughly counts for the entire population of Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya. Accidents or their causes cannot be predicted but one can take certain precautionary measures; having a motor insurance plan will definitely help you drive worry-free and forget about the what-ifs.

    What constitutes car insurance?

    Based on the coverage, there are two types of motor insurance - third party liability policy and comprehensive car insurance policy. The third-party liability coverage pays for the losses or damages caused by your car to any third party during a mishap. On the other hand, a comprehensive policy, along with the third-party liability also covers the losses or damages caused to your own car in case of an accident.

    A comprehensive motor insurance plan provides coverage for the damages inflicted to the policyholder’s vehicle, arising out of accidents, vandalism, riots, natural disasters and calamities, loss due to theft and personal accident. A comprehensive motor insurance hence provides an all-around protection to the insured person and his/her vehicle, and thus, enabling them to drive their car stress-free.

    What is the need for car insurance?

    With expanding formal sector employment, increasing disposable income and easy financing solutions, owning a car is no more a distant dream for the Indian households. Vehicle density seen on Indian roads is greater than the carrying capacity of our current road network. Along with this increased vehicle density, the chances of mishaps and accidents have also increased, thereby, increasing the need for car insurance.

    Adherence to the law

    As per the Motor Vehicle Act of 1988, a minimum of third-party liability cover is mandatory for every vehicle plying on Indian roads. The third-party liability cover is the arrangement between the insured and the insurer wherein the insurer promises to cover the costs of damages or losses incurred to any third party (in lieu of a price called the premium) arising out of the mistake or negligence of the policyholder or first party.

    Takes care of your liability

    The mandatory third-party motor insurance essentially guards a car owner from the legal, financial, and medical liabilities that he/she can incur in case of an accident or a collision. The third-party liability cover policy takes care of the liability you owe to the aggrieved party, in case of a loss or damage to the property, bodily injury, or disability caused at your fault. However, the third-party insurance does not cover the policyholder for any loss or damage to his/her own car or property in case of an accident or theft.

    Reimburses the damage

    While a third-party insurance covers the damages inflicted to the third party, a comprehensive car insurance  takes care of the damages and losses to your own vehicle as well as damges caused to third party.

  • 5 Tips to Avoid Purchasing Fake Motor Insurance

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    A popular way people get scammed in our country is by buying fake insurance policies and not realizing they have been conned, until they make a claim. Save yourself from such a shock by avoiding the fake policy trap with these smart tips.

    Rely Only on Credible Sources

    It’s not easy to tell if a policy is genuine or fake by merely looking at it, thereby making it important to deal with only credible sources. It’s always safer to buy an insurance policy directly from an insurance company and to eliminate the middlemen, because any dealer or agent can easily print and give out a fake policy.

    Buy the Policy Online or Pay by Cheque

    In this day and age, buying an insurance policy online is the way to go. It’s not only convenient but also avoids all risk as the payment is made directly to the insurance company. In case you are buying it offline, make sure to make the payment by cheque. Ensure that the cheque is in the favour of the insurance company and not in the favour of any individual.

    Read the Policy and Verify Using the Verification Link

    It’s essential to take a few minutes and read the policy thoroughly. Most insurers now offer a policy verification link on their website, which you can use to confirm the validity of your insurance policy. In case of further assurance or to clarify details, you can also contact the customer service of the insurance company.

    Buy the Policy from Licensed Insurers

    Currently in India there are 33 recognized and accepted general insurance companies. To eliminate the risk of buying a fake policy, you must buy your insurance policy only from one of these 33 insurance companies. You can check the list of these licensed companies on the website of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA).

    Con artists, however, find a way to duplicate the logo of these companies and still manage to sell fake policies. This calls for an additional safety measure, which is checking the existence of the insurance policy. You can do this by simply visiting an official branch of the company in your city or going to their website or writing to them.

  • Anti-theft Devices and Their Impact on Car Insurance

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    The significance of anti-theft devices in vehicles

    According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), in 2015, with more than 32,000 stolen vehicles, Delhi topped the list for vehicle thefts in the country. Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Maharashtra came in a close second, with a vehicle being stolen every 13 minutes in UP. These figures are only rising year on year.

    The arrests made by the Delhi Police and other state police forces in 2016 reveal how new-age gangs take the help of stolen data, laptops and female members to steal high-end luxury cars. After spending a fortune on your dream vehicle, these numbers across metropolitans and other Indian cities can be startling. Therefore, it is important to check if your vehicle is really secure, beyond the mere lock and key.

    Anti-theft Devices and How They Help

    With the advance in technology, it is possible to adopt a proactive instead of reactive approach to protect your car. While it is quite unlikely that you can prevent your car from being stolen, there are several warning systems that you can employ to reduce the likelihood of such an event. This is where anti-theft devices play a significant role. The installation of an anti-theft device that is approved by the Automobile Research Association of India (ARAI) not only enhances the security of your vehicle, but also lowers your car insurance premium.

    These days, most car manufacturers in India provide in-built anti-theft devices. However, you can also install them at a later stage; the cost would be determined by the technological advancement of the device. Basic mechanical systems will cost less as compared to intelligent computerised systems.

    What Type of Anti-theft Devices Do You Need?

    • Mechanical Immobilisers
    • These are the least expensive anti-theft devices in the market. Being visual, these should be enough to ward off amateur car thieves. It is recommended to include an immobiliser in conjunction with other anti-theft devices.

      Types of mechanical immobilisers include steering wheel lock, hood lock, tire lock, gearshift lock, ignition/steering wheel column and crook locks, etc.

    • Electronic Immobilisers
    • Many vehicles today come with standard car keys and fobs that protect their cars via electronic immobilisers. These built-in transponders or microchips send signals to the ignition and fuel pump system. The ignition will work only if it receives the correct signals or it remains static.

  • Prepare Your Car for A Road Trip

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    Road trips are fun and let you travel far and beyond with the convenience and luxury of your own car. While Indian highways now have every facility available, from your favourite burger place to medical stores and garages, to ensure a smooth ride you need to be well-prepared. Impromptu or a well-planned trip, ensure the following before driving off for a memorable experience:

    Check Tyre Pressure

    Too much pressure reduces grip and increases average, while too less will give you a better grip but reduced fuel efficiency. Check the tread of your tyres to analyse their health. In addition, it is not advisable to drive with worn out tyre treads as it can seriously impact the handling quality of your ride.

    Fill-up All Fluids

    Ensure that the levels of the engine oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, coolant are at an optimum level. These increase the life and performance of the car engine, thereby reducing the chance of breakdowns.

    Upgrade Your First Aid Kit

    A first aid kit is your first line of defence against emergencies and life threatening situations that may happen at any time. Be prepared with a first aid kit that contains specific medicines for particular medical conditions that your passengers may be prone to such as asthma, allergy, antibiotics and painkillers.

    Carry Spare Tyre, Puncture Repair Kit and Tools

    Tyres are exposed to the most wear and tear, which makes it essential to bring along a spare tyre, tool kit and puncture repair kit. Pre-planning can save you from being stuck in middle of nowhere without a spare tyre.

    Charge Battery

    Check if your battery is properly charged and won’t cause a problem during your trip. Double check for corrosion on terminals, clean it with baking soda, water and a toothbrush to ensure better conductivity.

    Fix Washer Fluid and Wipers

    Your windshield should be clean from debris and build-ups. Make sure your wipers are clean and working properly. Maintaining the levels of washer fluid and water will ensure a longer life for your wipers and avoid your windshield from being scratched.

    Ensure the Safety of Co-passengers

    Seatbelts are often considered as an inconvenience. However, studies have shown that people have an exponentially higher rate of survival in case of an accident if seatbelts were on.

    Go for a customised seatbelt in case you are uncomfortable or get extenders that ensure you are safe and not suffocating. Although not mandatory, children should never ride in the front passenger seat. Strap them in the back seat, and if possible, get a car seat for toddlers and infants.

    If your car has a central door-locking mechanism, ensure you have the child lock feature on. In addition, make sure all your doors are closed properly before you start your car.

    Avoid Drinking and Driving

    This one is a no-brainer. When you drive under the influence of alcohol or other substances, it compromises your alertness and sense of judgement. This can cause harm to you as well as others around you. Don’t do it.

    Light up Appropriately

    This includes headlights, high beams, fog lights, brake lights, indicators and reverse lights. A bad light can easily cause an accident during night-time.

  • Is It Possible to Have a Combined Motor Insurance Policy for All Your Vehicles?

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    If you are one of those people who have more than one car at home, or have multiple cars registered on the same address, then you would understand the problems that crops up where insurance is concerned. Having multiple cars mean keeping tab of their premium payment dates, renewal dates and going through a lot of paperwork. But, there are car insurance plans available in international markets that provide comprehensive coverage for a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 5 cars.

    These insurance policies are known as multi-car insurance, and though they are not yet available in India, we take a look at some of the pros and cons that they come with.

    Advantages

    • Discounts: This is among the biggest benefits of purchasing a multi-car insurance policy. The insurance company is willing to give better deals if there are more cars being insured under the same policy. A great bargain can be had as most insurers are open to discounted rates in view of the long-term association with customers. Further, it is always beneficial to offer discounts and sign up the whole family, rather than have a single policyholder’s car insured with them.
    • Different Drivers: In this policy there is a main driver, and there are named drivers - people who drive the car other than the main driver. It doesn’t matter from the insurance aspect as long as any one of these drivers is in the driver’s seat. The only criterion is that the car should be registered at the same address.
    • Paperwork Simplified: With multi-car insurance, it is easier to manage the insurance policies for multiple cars, as they all come under one policy. You only have to remember one renewal date, and make one premium payment for all your cars. The result is less hassle and less paperwork.
  • DIY - Preventive Maintenance For Your Car

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    You belong to the elite club of owners for whom cars are an extension of their identity, a prized asset, a reason worth spending money, often for overhauling.

    While complex repairs should be left to the technical experts, you can surely carry out some effortless preventive maintenance yourself. Here are some do-it-yourself tips to keep your car in great condition:

    Car Tires

    Pressure: Checking the tire pressure regularly is important as ideal pressure conditions have a bearing on fuel efficiency and driving comfort.

    Cleaning: The tire treads should be regularly cleaned with water and sponge. Heat and static electricity generated in moving tires pick up dirt and grime from the road. Cleaner treads enhance the tire life.

    Tire Rotation: Exchanging the tires every 8,000 km will balance the wear rate of tires, at the same time ensure improved car performance. Tire rotation is also vital for achieving an even tread wear and a long tread life.

    Time to Let Go: Check the tread wear indicator on your tire to know if it is time to replace your tire. A worn out tire poses severe hazard on the road, to you as well as others.

    Car Body

    Wax and Polish: To maintain the painted surface of your car, opt for good quality wax and polish. A polished car is not only good to flaunt but also serves you for a longer life.

    Cleaning: Always remember to clean bird droppings from the car immediately, as they contain acidic fluids that corrode the surface leaving a visibly dull patch. Also avoid body stickers, as the adhesives can damage the paint.

  • Long-Term Car Insurance Policy: How to Go About Them

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    As per the new directive laid out by the Supreme Court and enforced by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), it is now compulsory for vehicle owners to buy a long-term third party Car Insurance policy. Earlier, you would get a one-year cover from your motor insurance policy but now, as per the order, the mandatory third party insurance cover for cars is three years and for two-wheelers it is five years.

    So, if you have purchased a car or two-wheeler post September 1, it is compulsory for you to buy three-year and five-year third party liability covers respectively. Companies have already started selling these products. But, before you purchase any policy make sure that you compare the premiums and discounts.

    A comprehensive motor insurance package consists of a third party liability cover, and an own damage component along with different, optional add-ons like zero depreciation and engine protection. Though initial costs of new vehicles would increase, a long-term policy brings several advantages.

    Increase in Initial Premium Payment

    For private cars, the long-term premium for three years will be approximately 3 times the one-year premium amount, whereas for two-wheelers the premium for the period of five years will be approximately 2.4 to 5.5 times that of the one-year premium amount.

    This translates to a one time insurance premium outgo of ₹24,000 compared to ₹7800 for a private car exceeding 1500cc. In the case of bikes with an engine capacity of more than 350cc, the premium would go up to ₹13,000 compared to ₹2300 that is the norm.

    Long-term motor insurance policies will be advantageous because as vehicles age and depreciation increases, many people tend to skip renewals or simply forget about renewing the policy. This initiative by the Supreme Court and IRDAI will help improve the penetration of insurance and bring more vehicles under the ambit of insurance.

    Don’t Forget Discounts on NCB

    Since the tenure of the motor insurance policy has increased to three years for cars and five years for two-wheelers, the annual benefit that NCB offered can no longer be passed onto the customer. The NCB benefit will only be available on expiration of policy tenure. Since the NCB discount is only applicable after the policy expires, insurers are offering upfront discounts on premiums to counter this loss to the customer.

    “Customers can get dual NCB benefits in long-term. First, upfront NCB discount in price and secondly, higher NCB discount benefit as against existing NCB grid during renewal after three years. We are awaiting for the regulator’s approval.” says Sanjay Datta, Chief, Underwriting, Claims and Reinsurance of ICICI Lombard General Insurance.

    Go For the Appropriate Combination

    As the risk of accidents are high in case of two-wheelers, it makes sense to go for a long-term comprehensive cover. The advantage here is that the renewal rates are also extremely low. On the other hand, car-owners should dive deeper to pick the right combination of motor insurance cover. The overall cost of a long-term package will be cheaper in this case, but you have to consider the large one-time outgo on purchase.

  • STEPS TO TAKE AFTER A CAR IS FLOODED

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    The recent Kerala floods caused catastrophic damage not only to human and animal life but also to the buildings and cars. In fact, it was estimated that cars worth ₹1000 crores were submerged during the floods.

    While such natural disasters don’t come with a warning sign, we can do our best to stay prepared for the aftermath, like purchasing motor vehicle insurance to take care of any expense that may arise due to natural disasters. Water damage can destroy everything from your car’s interiors to your wheels. Read on to find what to do if your car is flooded with water.

    Step One: Call Your Vehicle Insurance Provider

    Much like any other accident, the first step in your checklist should be to call your vehicle insurance company in case your car is flooded.

    Step Two: Do not Try to Start the Engine

    While your first instinct when your car is flooded would be to try to restart the engine, resist this temptation. If water has already entered your car engine, trying to start your car can destroy the engine.

    Step Three: Assess the Damage

    Survey the extent of damage before you take the next step. Debris and mud create a waterline around the interior as well as exterior of your car.

    • Water level above the dashboard: Your motor vehicle insurance company will consider the car has been totalled and will require a professional assessment from a mechanic.
    • Water below the bottom of the doors: Move to Step Four

    Step Four: Open the Doors

    If your car is flooded, its interiors, if left unattended, can allow mould to grow. Once you open the doors and roll down the windows, do the following:

    • Place towels on the floor
    • Get the car to a higher ground

    Step Five: Disconnect the Battery

    Before you check the other parts of your vehicle, disconnecting the battery can protect you from electric shocks.

    Step Six: Look Under the Hood

    Do not start your engine if you see any of the following:

    • Water droplets on the dipstick
    • High oil level
    • Water in the air filter

    Step Seven: Change Oil and Air Filter

    The next step to take if your car is flooded is to change the fluids. You can either carry out these repairs yourself or wait for a mechanic:

    • Change the engine oil
    • Change the transmission fluid

    Step Eight: Check Other Signs of Damage

    If you have an older vehicle, chances are the fuel system is not sealed. In this case, you’ll need to check out the following fluids:

    • Braking fluid
    • Clutch fluid
    • Coolant
    • Power steering fluid
  • What Is Insured Declared Value and How It’s Calculated During Car Insurance Renewal

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 18, 2021

    A comprehensive motor insurance cover prevents your financial situation from getting severely affected in the event of your car getting involved in an accident. An accident can result in your car getting severely damaged or destroyed. There are also times when the car is damaged beyond repair and has to be declared a total loss.

    When a car is declared a total loss or is stolen, then the motor insurance company pays the insured, the Insured Declared Value or IDV. In layman terms, IDV can also be called the current market value of your vehicle.

    The Definition of IDV

    IDV is the maximum amount that the insured can claim from the vehicle insurance company in the unfortunate event of his car being stolen or declared a total loss. The value is based on the manufacturer’s selling price and is arrived at by deducting the depreciation of the vehicle. Furthermore, the IDV is solely the value of the vehicle as well as the accessories fitted, and does not cover the cost of insurance or registration.

    How Is It Calculated?

    The vehicle insurance  company calculates the Insured Declared Value based on several data points. Most of these data points are found in the Registration Certificate of the vehicle. Information such as the city of registration, date of registration and type of registration can be found on this certificate; apart from other details of vehicle like the make, model, cubic capacity and ex-showroom price.

    Percentage of Depreciation

    As the age of the vehicle increases, the percentage of depreciation also increases. In fact, depreciation kicks in as soon as the vehicle leaves the showroom. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has stated that the maximum declared value of the vehicle cannot be more than 95% of its showroom price.

    This means that depreciation takes away 5% from the showroom value of the vehicle, the minute it leaves the showroom, and this percentage stays till the vehicle is 6 months old. After that, the motor insurance company calculates the depreciation based on the following chart.

    Age of the Vehicle
    Applicable Depreciation on Showroom Price (in %)
    Less than 6 Months 5%
    6 Months - 1 Year 15%
    1 Year - 2 Years 20%
    2 Years - 3 Years 30%
    3 Years - 4 Years 40%
    4 Years - 5 Years 50%
  • ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TELEMATICS

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    What is Telematics?

    Telematics is the latest buzzword that has piqued the interest of various industries. It covers all types of telecommunications, vehicular technologies, road transportation, road safety, electrical engineering (such as sensors) and computer science (such as multimedia and internet).

    Applications

    • Auto Insurance Telematics
    • Telematics are increasingly being used in auto insurance, with the introduction of Usage Based Insurance (UBI). The idea behind this is a pay-as-you-go system. For example, a driver who is rash and reckless will be charged for future premiums more than a responsible driver. It also eases in direct customer interaction and validation of claims in case of an accident.

    • Intelligent Vehicle Technologies
    • The evolution of telematics has led us to Intelligent Vehicle Technologies. IVT comprises of electronic, electromechanical as well as electromagnetic devices. These devices are used in conjunction with computer controlled devices and radio receivers to aid in artificial intelligence. This helps car safety systems for making rides safer for the users.

    • Wireless Vehicle Safety Communications
    • This kind of telematics aid in car as well as road safety. Road hazards, location and speed of traffic are transmitted on short range radios. This keeps the drivers and home users updated about the most recent traffic conditions in your area, thereby greatly reducing the chance of accidents and traffic congestions.

    • Tracking of Shipments
    • Telematics is also used to track freight containers using Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) for increased security and safety. This feature is becoming increasingly important as more shipping companies are modernising their business infrastructure.
      Similarly, tracking the movement and position of trailers can also be carried using a mobile network or geo-satellite communication. This software directly updates the tracking details through a PC or web-based software.

    • Driverless Cars
    • Google was the first to present us with a working prototype of self-driving cars. Since then, there have been numerous driving tests that have been deployed. The future of this technology looks promising.
      However, there are few kinks that need to be adjusted. Companies garnered a lot of heat in the news due to minor accidents caused by driverless cars. Regardless of these trivial issues, we are looking towards a bright and innovative future.

  • 6 DIY car service & maintenance checks for a smoother ride

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Whether or not you’ve named your car, we know it’s very dear to you. However, in the busy nature of life, the task of periodic car repair and checks can be a little unrealistic. But your car still requires frequent maintenance checks for reducing future repair costs, extending its life and increasing its performance.

    With these five basic DIY car maintenance and car service tips, you can take good care of your prized possession without having to be a mechanic.

    • Change the Wiper Blades
      Wipers must be changed at least once a year. Old wipers trap dirt and rub it into the glass, which if allowed to go on for too long can be dangerous. Eventually this will lead to a haze effect that will scatter sunlight, blurring vision. This is a safety hazard as it will compromise your view of the road while driving. Most wiper blades are easy to change and come in a varied price range.

    • Maintain the Tyre Pressure
      Maintaining the right tyre pressure will not only keep you safe but it will also help you save some extra money. Both, overinflated and underinflated tyres, are a problem because they reduce the grip, work the engine harder and increase the chance of a blowout. Moreover, tyres with the right pressure will increase your car’s fuel efficiency and longevity.

    • Check the Oil Level
      It’s essential to check your car’s oil level as frequently as recommended by the manual. Oil lubricates all the moving parts in the engine so they don’t wear and tear to a point of dysfunction. A lack of oil, or the presence of dirty oil, increases the risk of overheating and shortens the life of the engine. A well-oiled engine will significantly increase the car’s efficiency and life. So get into the habit of regularly checking your car’s oil level and go for a oil change when required.

    • Keep it Clean
      Keep your car clean inside out. This may sound basic but it is very important. Your car is subject to sun, acid rain, grease, smog and insects. Initially their chemical compounds will eat away the paint and eventually they will attack the metal of your car. Give your car a good wash regularly, remove all the non-essential things cluttering your car and vacuum it on the inside on a frequent basis.
  • Insure your Car: Protect it Against Floods

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    In India, about 75% of the annual rainfall is concentrated in 3-4 months of the monsoon season. This results in heavy discharge from rivers causing widespread floods during this period. Floods are also the most commonly occurring disaster amongst natural calamities in India.

    Floods in India

    The Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna basins carry 60% of the total river flow of the country and are responsible for major floods. The National Flood Commission states that about 40 million hectares of land area in India is prone to floods. On an average, about 8 million hectares of area are affected by floods yearly.

    The major flood-prone regions in India include West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. In recent times, the central portion of the country has also become habitual to the dense rains and flash flood events.

    One recent example of such havoc is the Chennai floods that occurred in 2015. Chennai, which happens to be India’s fourth-largest city, witnessed a monolithic devastation due to flooding caused by record-breaking rainfall. Reported to be the heaviest rainfall in more than a hundred years, it cut off more than 3 million people from basic services for days. The disaster is marked as the eighth-most expensive natural disaster of the year, causing losses of about ₹ 20,034 crores.

    Losses That Could Occur Due To Flood Damage

    It is crucial to know the possible losses to automobiles in order to estimate the proper reimbursement that you can claim under car insurance. Conditions for loss can be classified as claimable and non-claimable cases.

    Claimable Conditions

    • Car engine
      The car's engine is its heart. Waterlogging in vehicles during floods could lead to severe damage of its engine, the replacement or repair of which is a costly affair. Insuring your car can save you from this loss by providing proper coverage against engine damage.

    • Interiors of the car
      Apart from the engine, floods can also affect upholstery and other car interiors. In case of cleaning required, you can be covered for the same under car insurance. You can also avail of coverage on replaced parts with zero deduction. However, in case of replacements, the value will be associated with the replacement value as per the report of the surveyor.
  • 7 Tips For Driving In Snow & Winter Road Conditions

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Winter driving can be tough with low visibility on greasy roads. Moreover, harsh climatic conditions in the winter season can test your driving skills, even if you’re a seasoned driver. Furthermore, foggy days bring in poor visibility, and hence you need to be extra vigilant and cautious while driving under under challenging winter road conditions.

    Inclement weather coupled with dangerous driving and flouting of traffic rules have added to the rising count of fatal road accidents in recent years. Here are the top tips that will help you stay safe on the road and avoid the possibility of any mishap while driving in snow and winter weather:

    • Lane Driving is Safe Driving

    • It’s always dangerous when a driver suddenly switches lanes and that too on a greasy, snowy road can be even more menacing. So, make sure you stick to a single lane while driving in snow or winter road conditions with limited visibility to reach your destination safely.

      A sudden change of lane can startle the other drivers, leaving very little reaction time and can easily lead to collisions, often fatal ones. Avoid accelerating aggressively to overtake on slippery roads during the winters and when it is snowing so that nothing unexpected occurs abruptly.

    • Blink Your Indicators

    • All those fancy lights on the exterior of your car are there for a reason and not only to jazz up your ride. When driving in winters, or snowy weather, make sure you always turn on the directional indicators before turning left or right.

      While driving in snow or very low temperatures, it is extremely important to give indicators as it isn’t just about safety but also a roadside courtesy that you’d also like to be extended.

      It is also advisable to let your indicators blink all the time when you are driving in these tough winter road conditions with low visibility. This will help the cars behind you gauge the appropriate distance to avoid collision on slippery winter roads with sharp turns.

    • Keep Your Windows & Windshield Defrosted

    • Clean your windows and windshield inside and out at regular intervals to ensure that you have the best visibility while driving. One of the perils of winter driving is the fogging up of the windshield and windows from the outside. This severely limits visibility and can lead to accidents.

      During the winter season, it is important to immediately get rid of the fogged-up windshields without ending up creating a mess of smudges. Go for fresh dry air intake by lowering down your windows for a while as the air in your car is already humid which further adds up to windshield fogging.

      Hence, periodic cleaning is a must to maintain a decent vision of the road ahead and the traffic around you.

    • Watch The Road

    • SIt gets difficult to control your car while driving in snow as it skids. So, enhance your winter driving tips to deal with the skids. Aim for where you want to go and not where your car wants to take you. This will help you keep your wheels pointed towards the path you want to take.

      When driving in winter road conditions, make sure that you are aware of your surroundings and maintain an adequate distance between your car and the one in front of you. Vigilance is the key and following this tip will also give you enough time to react in case of an emergency and avoid traffic accidents

    • Avoid Speedy Driving

    • Sure we all want to burn some rubber and feel the thrill of going over 100 km/h. But this stunt in winter driving is a strict NO! And also generally inadvisable... Winter is all about fog and low visibility on snowy or greasy roads and hence you should keep an eye on the speedometer.

      Driving at low-speed allows you to have a better reaction and stop time.

      There might be instances when you might think that there’s no vehicle ahead of you. However, take into account the low visibility and keep your speed in check to avoid any unfortunate surprises. Refrain from accelerating aggressively!

    • Keep Headlights on Low-Beam

    • While winter driving, make sure your headlights are on low beam, even in the daytime. While it might seem like a good idea to use high beams, it does just the opposite. High beams tend to reflect the fog and further diminish your visibility.

      Also, driving with high beams create a lot of discomfort for oncoming drivers and can prove extremely dangerous for them as they are nearly blinded by the high-intensity light. Driving in winter weather is not only about your personal safety but also the safety of fellow drivers.

  • No Claim Bonus - A Quick Overview

    by nikesh lakhani | Aug 17, 2021

    Levels/
    Age of Policy

    No Claim Discount

    5

    50%

    4

    45%

    3

    35%

    2

    25%

    1

    20%

    0

    00%

    IRDAI norms for NCB

     

    It is mandatory for car owners in India to buy motor insurance that takes care of third party damages. However, a policy that takes care of own damages becomes a necessity. These package policies are expensive, but the no claim bonus feature offers attractive discounts on the premiums.

    What is a No Claim Bonus?

    A no claim bonus (NCB) is much like a reward for prudent use of the vehicle and adhering to the rules of the road. It allows the insured a discount on the premiums if no claims are drawn from the insurance policy. This discount increases every year, provided, the claim has not been made yet. In other words, the safer you drive, the less you will have to pay in premiums!

    However, this discount is applicable only on the Own Damage premium, and not on Liability premium.

    What are the NCB discount rates?

    The no claim bonus feature gets you discounts in the premium ranging from 20% - 50%. However, the discount rates are dependent on the age of the policy and when the last claim was made.

    Can the No Claim Bonus be waived?

    Yes, the no claim bonus can be waived on the following occasions:

    1. If a claim has been made
    Any claim made from the policy resets the bonus to zero. This is followed, regardless of the size of the claim, or even if the claim was made because of theft of the vehicle.

    2. Expiry of policy
    The no claim bonus will be cancelled if the policy has been expired for a span of over 90 days.

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