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Car insurance tips for late-blooming drivers

Team AckoMay 17, 2022

Here’s a commonly heard quote, ‘It’s never too late to try out something new!’ So, if you are a bit late to the car-driving party, just think better late than never. Usually, people drive a car because they are passionate about it. And those who are not too enthusiastic might just consider it as a machine that gets the job done. Irrespective of which category you fall under, there are some tips you must know about car insurance, especially if you are a late-blooming driver.

Car Insurance Tips for Late Drivers

10 helpful car insurance tips for those who have started driving at a later stage

If you are new to driving, you must know that driving a car in India comes with its fair share of responsibilities. Along with driving safely, you need to meet certain regulations. And insuring your car is one such regulation stated under The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Your car insurance journey should be smooth if you follow the below-mentioned tips.

1. Purchase the mandatory covers

Before you take your car out for a drive, insure it with at least the basic form of car insurance. A Third-party Liability Car Insurance Policy is the most basic, plain vanilla car insurance plan that one can purchase in India. It is important because it is a legal requirement. When police officials stop you and ask you to show your car’s insurance papers, this is what they check.

Points to note

  • A Third-party Car Insurance Policy insures you in situations where a third party is injured (or has died) and if their property is damaged due to an accident involving your car.

  • Along with this policy, you also need a Personal Accident Cover (PA). Such a cover insures you in case you are severely injured or die in an accident involving your car.

  • Unfortunately, basic car insurance does not cover losses to your car. For example, if someone damages your car, then a Third-party Liability Policy will not be of any help to you. For that, you need a Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy.

2. Always opt for extensive coverage

A Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy is an upgrade to the minimalistic third-party cover. It’s considered as an upgrade as it offers Own Damage cover (OD) along with the mandatory, third-party cover. As a result, damages to your car shall be covered, provided they are in line with the policy’s inclusions.

Points to note

  • Common inclusions of a Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy include theft coverage and damages due to fire, calamities, and accidents.

  • Opting for such extensive coverage gives you a chance to customise your policy as well.

3. Customise the policy with add-ons

Just as fries are an ideal companion to a burger, add-ons are a perfect fit for your car insurance policy if you are looking for extensive coverage. You can choose from a wide variety of add-on covers such as Return to Invoice Cover, Engine Protection Cover, Roadside Assistance, etc. 

These add-ons come at a cost, so make sure to only include the add-ons that genuinely add value to you. The add-ons can only be purchased along with a Comprehensive Car Insurance policy.

Points to note

  • For instance, if you are still getting used to driving your car, it would be wise to purchase a Zero Depreciation add-on. If you are not used to driving, your car might be more susceptible to damages as compared to a car driven by an experienced driver.

  • Without the Zero Depreciation add-on, your policy will not cover depreciation (decrease in car’s value due to wear and tear) while settling the claim.

  • With it, you will receive a comparatively higher claim amount.

4. Always renew before policy expiration

Just like you have to refuel your car to keep it running, you have to renew car insurance to keep it active. A car insurance policy will only cover your losses if they take place within the policy period, which is the duration of the policy from the purchase date to the expiry date.

Points to note

  • It’s best to renew the policy at least two weeks before the expiry date to ensure hassle-free and continuous coverage.

  • If you think it’s okay to not renew if you are not going to drive the car during that period, then think again. Damages can happen even when your car is in the parking lot.

  • Besides, renewing in time can help you save money by ensuring your No Claim Bonus stays intact. Wondering how? The next section has the answer.

5. Save money with No Claim Bonus

There’s a legit way to reduce your insurance premium. You can save money thanks to a car insurance component called No Claim Bonus (NCB). It is a discount for not raising a claim during the policy period. In a way, it is a reward for driving safely and managing minor claims on your own.

Points to note

  • If no claim is raised for a continuous 5-year period, then the NCB can extend up to 50% of the Own Damage component, which can be significant if you own an expensive car.

  • Circling back to the renewal point. This NCB stays active for 90 days post policy expiration. But if you don’t renew the policy even during this period, you will lose out on the accumulated NCB (if any). Your NCB will reset. This means you will have to start from scratch when it comes to building up the NCB component.

6. You can choose your insurer

Just as you have the freedom to pick a car of your choice, you have the freedom to pick the car insurance policy of your choice from the insurer of your choice.

Points to note

  • Whether you are buying car insurance for the first time or renewing it for the tenth time, you can choose your insurer.

  • It’s not mandatory to purchase insurance from the insurer suggested by the car dealership. Nor is it required to stick to the same insurer year after year.

7. Pick a digital insurer

Would you prefer to spend an hour gathering documents and filling lengthy forms to raise a car insurance claim or upload a few pictures and just click a few buttons to submit a claim within minutes? It’s the 2020s, and the answer is unanimous—choose digital!

Points to note

  • For instance, you can raise a claim seamlessly via the ACKO website/app. You can upload pictures of the damages to the car while raising the claim, track the progress, and receive notifications. All this without unnecessary physical form filling.

  • Digital insurers like ACKO work on a zero-commission model in case the car is insured directly from the website/app. Thus, you get the policy at a low premium compared to the competition.

8. Consider the insurer’s services

Traditional car insurance focuses on simply reimbursing you for the losses. Modern car insurance focuses on ensuring total convenience while reimbursing you for the losses. Such convenience is ensured via a host of services.

Points to note

  • For instance, ACKO offers free pick-up and drop services wherein your damaged car shall be picked-up in one hour, repaired, and dropped to your location within three days (in select cities).

  • Besides, ACKO offers unique plans and personalised discounts leading to policies that can be purchased at incredibly low premiums.   

9. Keep your policy handy

As mentioned above, you might be required to display your car insurance policy to the police officials if they ask for it.

Points to note

  • You can store your car insurance policy in the government-initiated Digilocker and display it on request.

  • With a handy digital policy, you will not be required to carry the physical policy document with you.

10. Make informed choices

Car insurance is not that difficult to understand. Don’t buy a policy without understanding its features and benefits, and inclusions and exclusions.

Points to note

  • For example, you can go through the detailed car insurance features mentioned on ACKO’s website to get the complete picture.

  • In case of doubts, you can visit Customer Support.

Drive safe, stay insured

Here’s hoping that this article has empowered you to make wise car insurance decisions. Remember, no matter how skilled you become behind the wheel, driving a car is a risky business. It’s crucial to follow traffic rules, including insuring your vehicle and keeping it insured.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some common queries associated with the topic.

I began driving late. Currently, I am 50 years old. Can I purchase a car insurance policy?

Yes, you can purchase a car insurance policy.

Since I don’t know much about car insurance, will I be able to buy a policy on my own?

Insuring your car via ACKO’s website/app is super simple. Simply follow the purchase journey, read the details, and purchase your preferred plan.

I am new to driving. Which plan would be ideal for me?

New drivers should ideally opt for wide-ranging car insurance coverage. A Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy with Zero Depreciation add-on should work well. You can include other car insurance add-ons as per your suitability.

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