Natural calamities such as floods, cyclones, or hailstorms are uncertain and come without prior notice. The recent heavy monsoon in India has left several cities and towns submerged and caused extensive damage to infrastructure, automobiles and other assets.
If your car was also submerged partially or fully, it could mean damages and expensive repairs. But does your car insurance policy cover the damage or are you caught unaware about a high repair bill that you’ll have to pay?
Being prepared and proactive in such cases will come to your rescue. This is the reason why comprehensive insurance policies are beneficial. Comprehensive car insurance or vehicle insurance policies offer coverage for damages to your car and enable you to reduce the financial risk. A comprehensive insurance policy is designed to cover accidents, theft, natural calamities, etc. Read ahead to know more.
Different Types of Car Insurance Policies:
Before understanding how car insurance can be helpful during flooding, glance through different types of car insurance policies available in the market so that you can make the right choice.
- Third-Party Liability Car Insurance: As per The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, third-party insurance is compulsory. It covers any legal liability arising out of damage caused to a third-party which includes death, bodily injuries, and damages to the property of the third-party. Driving a vehicle without an active Third-party liability policy is illegal in India. However, you need to be aware that this type of insurance does not cover your vehicle.
- Comprehensive Car Insurance: As the name suggests, this type of car insurance policy covers third-party liability as well as damages caused to your vehicle. It offers complete coverage to you and to your vehicle as well as any liability of the third-party. You can also choose from several Add-ons such as NCB Protector, Zero-Depreciation, Roadside Assistance, Passenger Cover, Engine Protection, etc. which offers added cover.
Steps to Register an Insurance Claim for Flood-Damaged Cars:
Here’s a step-by-step guide to registering a car insurance claim (The process can vary between insurance company and if it’s online or offline):
Step 1: Call the toll-free/landline number of your insurance company.
Step 2: Provide all the required details to your insurer as well as details about where your car was parked and inform if you were driving the car when it broke down or otherwise.
Step 3: After the insurance company takes all the necessary information, they’ll provide a Claim Registration Number, which acts as a reference number to follow-up.
Step 4: The insurer will provide a scheduled time to pick-up your car and tow it to the garage.
Step 5: A surveyor will be assigned by the insurance company to assess the total damage to your car. After analysing the extent of the damage, the garage service team will be consulted, and you’ll be informed about the claim amount payable towards the repair of your vehicle. You’ll also be informed about the percentage of the amount that you’ll have to pay. Make sure the claim approval should be as per the terms and conditions of the insurance policy. In case you find that your claim is not well substantiated, consult with the surveyor and raise issues, if any.
Step 6: After all the issues are resolved, sign the claim approval sheet and retain one copy for your future reference.
Step 7: Find out the timeline by which your car will be repaired and delivered to you. Also, you may call the garage and find out the current status of the repair as a follow-up.
Step 8: Upon the car being repaired, ensure you check the checklist of the repairs on your damaged car. Once you’re satisfied with the work, pay the differential amount arising after the insurance company has settled the claim.
Step 9: Sign the final set of papers and take delivery of your car.
If you’ve opted for a cashless insurance policy, then the insurance company will pay directly to the garage service team. Make sure you buy comprehensive insurance for your car along with the required Add-ons to enjoy added coverage.
Tips to Follow When Your Car is Submerged in a Flood or Water:
- If your car is submerged in water, don’t switch on the ignition or attempt to start the car by push-starting it.
- Disconnect the battery and tow the car to the garage.
- Do not attempt to start the car even if the water has receded.
- Check your car brakes for their functionality as they tend to be affected when water enters the brake discs, lines, or pads.
Comprehensive Car Insurance Add-Ons:
While purchasing comprehensive insurance, you have the choice to opt for additional covers. These cannot be purchased as a stand-alone product or even along with third-party insurance. Add-ons are like an extra cover that is not part of the basic policy. Consider the below list of car insurance add-ons that can help you when your car is flood-damaged:
- NCB Protection: This type of add-on offers protection of your accumulated discount percentage from going back to zero even if you have raised a claim during the policy period. This Add-on helps you retain the No-Claim Bonus (NCB) and continue to receive the discount when you renew your car insurance policy.
- Invoice Protection/Return to Invoice: In case of complete loss or theft of your car and it’s completely irrecoverable, your insurer will pay you the Insured Declared Value (IDV) of your vehicle. IDV is the amount you can claim from the insurer in case of an unfortunate incident. IDV is usually the current market value of your car and it’s indeed much lower than the invoice value of your car. With the Invoice Protection or Return to Invoice Add-on, the insurer could pay as much as the invoice value.
- Car Engine Protection: The insurance company will cover any damages to your car’s engine, thereby compensating you for the repair or replacement of your engine or parts such as connecting rods, pistons, etc. Also, it covers damages caused due to water seepage inside the engine. Ensure to read the terms and conditions of the Add-on for any exclusions.
- Zero Depreciation Car Insurance: Popularly known as a bumper-to-bumper insurance policy, the Zero Depreciation Add-on pays the complete cost of external body replacement or repair without considering any depreciation of the value of the car parts.
- Roadside Assistance: This Add-on comes to your immediate rescue especially if your car is stuck and you’re unable to take it to a garage. This type of Add-on offers emergency towing assistance, repair on the spot, flat tyre service, emergency fuel delivery, vehicle key service, driver in case you’re unable to drive, cab service, etc.
- Accessories Cover: Accessories improves maintenance and passenger comfort of your car and any loss of accessories should not leave you under financial loss. Please note, that this Add-on will only cover theft of accessories, and not arising out of damages or accidents.
- Accident Cover: The insurer pays the entire sum insured to the beneficiary of the policy in case of death due to accident. Also, the insurer pays the entire sum insured in case of permanent disability caused due to an accident to the insured.
- Consumables Cover: Car insurance company do not pay for parts such as consumables when you register a claim. By opting this Add-on, the insurance company pays for expenses arising out of the use of consumables required to be repaired or replaced. Like other Add-ons, this too requires an additional premium to be paid.
Here are some of the most common FAQs related to vehicle insurance for flood-damaged cars.
If you have a comprehensive insurance policy, then your flood-damaged car is covered.
No, only the third-party involved in an accident is covered under this type of insurance policy. You and your car are not covered under this type of insurance.
In most cases, your insurer will cover the cost of minor damages to the engine and does not cover damages in case of mechanical failure or due to normal wear and tear. However, you can choose the Engine Protection Add-on which will compensate you for the replacement or repair of your engine and its parts.
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