Travel enthusiasts must have asked this question a couple of times while planning a vacation. Besides planning a route and booking hotels well ahead of the journey date, travelers should gear up their cars. In this regard, carrying all relevant vehicle documents is necessary to experience a seamless road trip. One such essential document is the car insurance papers.
As per the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, car owners must obtain proper insurance to avoid hefty traffic fines. It also covers financial costs resulting from unfortunate road mishaps causing substantial car damages. Thus, motor insurance is a vital tool that helps reduce financial and legal liabilities.
Before planning a perfect road trip, one must ensure to obtain this insurance from a reliable provider.
Guide to choose the perfect car insurance policy
Several insurance companies offer attractive deals on motor insurance plans tailoring to a motorist’s needs. However, to choose the best insurance policy for a car, potential buyers must consider comparing different plans concerning their premiums and insurers’ service benefits. Here are some steps to follow while obtaining a perfect insurance plan ideal for a road trip:
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1) Type of car insurance policy
Generally, car owners can choose from two basic insurance plans available in India- third-party and comprehensive. Third-party motor insurance covers damages caused to a third-party person, property, or vehicle. It also takes care of litigation issues arising from such accidents. Additionally, one can obtain a comprehensive insurance plan and get overall protection against own car and third-party damages.
However, as of 1 September 2019, potential buyers can purchase a standalone own-damage car insurance and insure their car against theft and other damages.
Nevertheless, purchasing a comprehensive insurance policy is practical as it offers a range of coverage benefits, including personal accidents, own car damages, and third-party mishaps.
2) Ensure all the features and benefits are included in your car insurance policy
While choosing a motor insurance policy for a road trip, one must ensure the insurer provides the following service benefits:
- Accident cover for passengers and owner-driver
- Large network of cashless garages
- Roadside assistance during emergencies
- Zero depreciation of car parts during replacement and repair
- Personal belongings coverage
- Emergency assistance beyond 100 km with outstation emergency cover
Thus, one should check the aforementioned factors mandatorily before choosing an insurance provider and enjoying a hassle-free road trip.
3) Add-ons to include in your comprehensive policy
Policyholders of comprehensive vehicle insurance can get an additional layer of protection over and above their basic insurance plan against additional charges. One can avail of these benefits by increasing the policy premium nominally. Here is some add-on covers ideal for a road trip:
- Roadside assistance: A car can incur a mechanical breakdown during a road trip, causing inconvenience. In that case, individuals obtaining this add-on cover can get expert assistance from network garages. Insurers also offer accommodation or transportation facilities till the car is repaired.
- Passenger cover: To cover damages caused to a passenger during a road accident, one must purchase a passenger cover over and above a standard insurance plan.
- Personal belongings cover: In case of car theft, valuable items like laptops, mobile phones, etc., may be lost or damaged, resulting in liabilities. To protect such liabilities, policyholders can consider obtaining this add-on cover.
- Zero depreciation: In case of vehicle damages during a road trip, individuals can raise a claim against their insurance plans for reimbursements. However, insurers estimate the depreciation value of the car parts before settling the claim. So, it is practical to obtain this add-on and avoid depreciation costs deducted from the claim amount.
4) Check if the insurance policy is active
To enjoy coverage benefits under an insurance plan, policyholders must ensure they have an active plan. In case of expiry, they must consider insurance renewal within 90 days. After 90 days of policy expiry, one will lose the accumulated bonuses on the existing policy.
Hence, individuals must consider well-rounded insurance policies for their cars before going on a road trip. As the incidence of accidents and other unfortunate events are beyond a person’s control, it is better to take sufficient protection beforehand.
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