Renewing car insurance? A little effort can help save big

Tags: Insurance

Comparing quotes important before renewing comprehensive plan

Is it time to renew your car insurance? Doing a little homework can lead to big savings on premium and also can avoid future hassles on claims.

One should know his/her coverage needs and compare quotes of different insurance providers before renewing the comprehensive policy. It is not necessary to stick on to the same insurance provider every time one renews his or her comprehensive cover. With insurance providers offering their quotes online and websites available with comparative quotes of different companies, it is always beneficial to do a quick check as the renewal date nears.

One should also keep a few other things in mind while selecting the insurance provider:

Cashless payment: If your car service provider has a cashless payment agreement with the insurance company, you will not have to cough up the entire repair amount and then wait for reimbursement.

Free pick-up: Check whether the insurance company offers free-of-cost pick-up of the damaged vehicle from the accident site. If the company has online renewal facility, it will save a lot of legwork.

IDV: Under a traditional comprehensive cover, the insured declared value or IDV of a new car will be 80 to 90 per cent of the on-road price. But when it comes to renewal, the insurance provider will calculate depreciation of the car before fixing the IDV. The depreciation is calculated on the basis of the age of the car, its condition and market value of the model.

The IDV calculation differs from one provider to another. Even for the same IDV, different insurance companies quote different premiums. For a lesser IDV, the premium too will be less and if no claims have been made in the previous term, the no-claim bonus will bring down the premium quite significantly. In other words, for minor cosmetic repairs, it is always better not to make a claim.

If you have a low risk perception, a traditional comprehensive cover will keep your premium low. However, if you want the IDV to remain the same even during renewal, you can opt for a cover that does not take depreciation into account. However, the premium will be higher in such a scenario.

While taking such a policy cover, one should consider the model of the car and the prices of its spare parts. “If the spare part prices get cheaper with every passing year, it is advisable to stick on to the conventional policy,” said Arnav Pandya, a certified financial planner.

However, prices of spare parts of some cars remain the same over the years and once the model is phased out, the spares also become less available and more expensive. In such cases, one can retain the initial IDV and pay a higher premium. If the car is stolen, the loss of the owner will be minimal if you have a higher IDV.

But, these policies do not cover every part of the car. In many cases, the plastic parts do not get full insurance cover. Considering the fact that increasing number of parts in new-age cars are made of plastics, one can consider going for a ‘bumper-to-bumper coverage’ that covers a larger portion of the car. It will take care of the repairs that get expensive with time, but the premium will be 20 to 30 per cent higher. “Largely, buyers prefer bumper-to-bumper coverage for high-value cars,” said Pandya.

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