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Add on Covers - Get the Best out of Your Motor Insurance policy!

Posted by - Amitabh Jain, Head - Motor Underwriting & Claims
April 10 2014
 Motor Insurance as a product has undergone tremendous innovation and customization in the last few years. However, the same cannot be said about customer behavior. While we do come across highly evolved customers who avail comprehensive motor insurance schemes with varied add-on covers, majority of the customers tend to remain satisfied with a basic third party motor insurance policy cover or at best a comprehensive policy.

While most of us have moved to new age cars, not everyone has shown the same behavior when it comes to buying a motor insurance, thus losing out on some extremely convenient benefits. Let's take a hypothetical situation to understand the advantages of availing motor insurance add-on covers. Punit is traveling late night with his spouse and 3 year old daughter from Mumbai to Shirdi by car.

In order to avoid the afternoon heat and late evening vehicular traffic on the highway, Punit decides to depart from his residence at 10 PM. Enroute to Nasik, Punit is traveling on a deserted part of the highway when he is confronted with a car breakdown. The problem being a mechanical failure, the vehicle is rendered immobile and cannot be driven even for a short distance to reach a nearby garage. His family is in panic realizing that they are stuck in a dark stretch of highway with no help available.

With no motor garage nearby and a poor mobile network, Punit has no option but to seek a ride from a Goods carrying truck driver who agrees to drop the family to the nearest hotel. The question to be asked here is-Could Punit have done something in advance to ensure help from the insurance company or any other entity and thereby prevent his family from going through so much trouble?

Motor Insurance Companies in India had long envisaged such crisis situation taking place with motorists. To ease the mental stress and extend assistance during such breakdowns, companies offer Motor Add-on covers which provide technical aid to the policyholder at the site itself as well as offer assistance service and in some cases, financial help to avail accommodation or alternate transport.

Let's now look at the various Motor Add-on Covers that could have provided a much needed assistance to Punit and his family:
  • Technical Assistance over the phone: Very few motorists know how a car engine operates and hence are handicapped when it comes to retrieving the engine during a breakdown. With the facility of technical assistance over the phone, the Insurance company provides assistance through telephone thus enabling the vehicle owner/ driver to rectify any minor mechanical errors/faults/non-functioning on the spot
  • Trained technician for quick repairs onsite: Let's assume your vehicle has a dead battery. While a car with a dead battery can be started using an external power source, it is imperative for a trained technician to be present on-site for the same. With such facilities available through motor add-on covers, you need not worry about arranging an external power resource - the insurance firm will take care of the same
  • Tyre change/Replacement: While replacing a flat tyre is not very tedious, it may not be possible for everyone e.g. senior citizens or women to replace a flat tyre alone. Today, insurance companies provide customers the facility to arrange for a tyre replacement by making technicians available at the point where the vehicle is stuck due to flat tyre. In addition, the company also arranges to take the flat tyre to the nearest garage/ tyre repair shop and get the same repaired
  • Arrangement of rental vehicle: In the event of your vehicle being immobilized due to a breakdown/accident, the insurance company can assist in arrangement of alternative mode of conveyance
  • Towing on breakdown/accident: If your vehicle is immobilized or rendered unfit for the purpose of driving on the road, the insurance company can provide you with appropriate towing services to the nearest garag
  • Arrangement of Accommodation: Assuming your vehicle is immobilized due to a breakdown/accident, the insurance company would facilitate arrangement for your hotel accommodation near the breakdown /accident spot
  • Hydrostatic Cover: Hydrostatic cover protects against damage to the engine due to water ingress which is not covered under a standard Car Insurane Policy. Hydrostatic Cover is most useful during driving your vehicle in monsoons.
  • Arrangement of keys: In the event of you losing the keys of your vehicle, the insurance company can arrange for pickup and delivery of spare keys to the place where your vehicle is located. Alternatively, the insurance company can provide the service of unlocking your vehicle with the help of expert technicians

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