Purchasing vehicle insurance online or opting for vehicle insurance renewal online is a convenient option for vehicle owners. Gone are the days when buying or renewing a motor insurance policy involved filling lengthy forms and submitting numerous documents. The modern way of insuring your two-wheeler or four-wheeler is quick, hassle-free, and simple.
Insurance buying/renewing process offered by digital-first insurers negates the tedious steps of form-filling and submitting documents to a great extent. All this is possible because you can buy motor insurance policy online from your internet-enabled smartphone (or other similar digital devices) in a secure way. You can pay using net banking, credit card, debit card, and online wallets. This article will give you an overview of the buying/renewing private vehicle insurance online in a safe, time-saving, and convenient manner.
What is Vehicle Insurance or Motor Insurance?
Vehicle insurance and motor insurance refer to insuring your vehicle against unfortunate and unpredictable incidents. Vehicle insurance, motor insurance, and auto insurance are different terminologies that are used interchangeably in the Indian insurance industry. You can buy vehicle insurance from any of the registered insurance companies that have received authorization from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).
As per The Motor Vehicles Act, both private and commercial vehicle owners are required to insure their vehicles. Not following this mandatory requirement can lead to monetary penalties and legal issues. You can buy or renew vehicle insurance online as well as offline. If you want to do it online, you can either directly visit the insurer’s website (for example, www.acko.com) or search for an aggregator website. If you want to do it offline, you will have to contact an insurance company’s executive or an agent, or your vehicle dealership to insure your two-wheeler or four-wheeler.
Types of Motor Insurance in India:
People usually buy a vehicle for private purposes or commercial purposes. If you use a vehicle to commute to work, go on trips, etc., then your usage is personal. If you are using your vehicle to make money by transporting goods or using it as a passenger-carrying vehicle, then the usage is commercial.
As insuring your vehicle is compulsory, you must ensure to insure your vehicle as per its usage. Note that you cannot purchase private vehicle insurance for a commercial vehicle or vice versa. Once you have decided the category, you have the following basic options.
1) Third-party Liability Policy (TLP):
The Third-party Liability Policy also goes by the following names: Third-party Plan, Liability-only Policy, and Third-party Cover. A TLP is a basic plan and is mandatory by law. It covers the vehicle owner’s liabilities in case the insured vehicle injures a third party or damages their property. The policy also offers basic accident coverage to the insured vehicle’s owner/driver as per the terms and conditions mentioned in the Policy Wordings. It is noteworthy that the TLP does not offer insurance coverage for damages to the insured vehicle. The price of such policies is regulated by IRDAI.
2) Comprehensive Vehicle Insurance Policy (CVIP):
The Comprehensive Vehicle Insurance Policy is an advanced version of the TLP. It includes the benefits of the TLP and also covers its drawback by offering insurance coverage to the insured vehicle. Thus, with a CVIP, your insurance company will be by your side in case of damage to the vehicle due to fire, flooding, and calamities. The policy also covers vehicle theft. Buying a CVIP also opens up avenues to purchase add-ons. These add-ons either offer extra services or enhanced coverage. Here’s a list of some of the popular add-ons for a private vehicle insurance policy.
- Zero Depreciation
- Engine Cover
- Invoice Protection
- Passenger Cover
- No Claim Bonus
Since the CVIP offers enhanced coverage, it costs more than the TLP. Also, if you choose any of the add-ons, it will lead to a proportionate increase in the payable premium. Therefore, you must be pragmatic while choosing your motor insurance policy.
Primarily, you must insure your vehicle with either of the policies. In case of a Comprehensive Plan, you must be wary of not going overboard in terms of the add-ons and choose only suitable ones. The price of such policies is decided by the motor insurance companies in India and can vary from insurer to insurer.
Features and Benefits of Buying Vehicle Insurance Online:
Here’s a table highlighting the top features and benefits of purchasing vehicle insurance online.
|24×7 access||Purchase and renew the policy any time from anywhere.|
|Convenient process||Forget form-filling and submitting a long list of documents.|
|Low premium||Online insurers can offer policies at low premiums as they have a low operational cost.|
|Smooth processing||Online infrastructure helps digital-first insurers to issue policies, settle claims, and service policyholders in a hassle-free way.|
|Informed decision-making||All the necessary information is available on the insurer’s website. Also, since there is no middleman, no one forces any kind of cover and people can make an informed decision based on their needs.|
|Quick renewal||Policies can be renewed almost instantly, with the help of just a few clicks.|
|Satisfying insurance experience||Right from researching about plans to claiming against one and renewing them, online insurance offers a satisfying insurance experience.|
How to Use A Vehicle Insurance Calculator:
A vehicle insurance calculator or a premium calculator helps you to get an idea about the premium amount you would be required to pay for the chosen insurance coverage. It is simple to use and is available free of cost. All you have to do is share basic information about your car/bike, choose the required coverage, and you will come to know the approximate cost for the cover. For example, if you want to purchase a policy for a new car, you can follow these steps to know the payable premium.
- Step 1: Visit www.acko.com.
- Step 2: Select ‘Car’.
- Step 3: Share details.
- Step 4: Choose the cover.
- Step 5: Calculate.
You can modify the optional inputs and get to know different premiums for different covers. Once you are convinced about a particular cover, you can go ahead and purchase the policy. The policy will be available to download as soon as your payment is processed.
Inclusion: What is Covered Under A Vehicle Insurance Policy?
The extent of a private vehicle policy’s cover is dependent on the type of policy purchased. Read ahead to know the inclusions of a TLP and a CVIP. Note that these are generic pointers and you must refer to the concerned policy’s Policy Wordings for a detailed list of inclusions.
1) Inclusions in a Third-party Liability Policy
Here’s a list of inclusions in a TLP:
- Third-party Cover: Cover for injuries to a third party or property damage.
- Personal Accident Cover: Owner/driver gets a Personal Accident Cover of INR 15 lakhs for permanent disability/death.
2) Inclusions in a Comprehensive Vehicle Insurance Policy
As mentioned earlier, a CVIP includes the TLP cover. Here’s a list of inclusions in a CVIP apart from those mentioned in the TLP section:
- Own Damage: Damage to the insured vehicle in an accident or otherwise (for example, damage due to fire).
- Storm and Flood Cover: Damage to the insured vehicle due to storm, flood or other natural calamities.
- Riot Cover: Damage to the insured vehicle due to riots or other manmade calamities.
- Theft Cover: Insurance cover for the vehicle in case it gets stolen.
Exclusion: What is Covered Under A Vehicle Insurance Policy?
Exclusions are situations where the insurer is not liable to settle the claim. Read ahead to know about the exclusions of a TLP and a CVIP. Note that these are generic pointers and you must refer to the concerned policy’s Policy Wordings for a detailed list of exclusions.
- Riding/driving with an expired vehicle insurance policy.
- Riding/driving in an intoxicated state.
- Own damage is excluded in case of a TLP.
- Not following driving rules such as riding/driving with an invalid driving license.
- Claiming against an incident that is beyond the policy’s scope of cover.
Importance of Motor Insurance; Why Should You Buy Vehicle Insurance:
You should purchase and renew vehicle insurance for the following important reasons:
1) Legal Compulsion
Insuring a vehicle is a legal requirement. Not following the law of the land can lead to serious consequences such as monetary penalty and/or imprisonment.
2) Financial Safety
Repairing a damaged vehicle can prove costly if the entire amount is paid from your pocket. Having a comprehensive cover helps to enhance coverage and lends financial assistance to pay the repair bill for the damaged vehicle.
Some insurers offer features such as Pick-up and Drop facility where they pick-up the damaged vehicle, take it to a garage, and repair and drop the vehicle at your doorstep. Also, there are add-ons such as Roadside Assistance that helps by sending a mechanic to resolve an issue in case your car breaks down mid-journey.
Add-on Covers Under Vehicle Insurance:
As the name suggests, these are additional insurance covers for a private vehicle insurance policy that can be purchased by paying extra premium. Note that you can only buy these additional covers with a CVIP and not with a TLP. Therefore, these covers are add-ons to the Comprehensive plan. You can buy most of these plans for a two-wheeler as well as a four-wheeler. All insurers might not offer all add-ons. The premium for those will also vary. Thus, it is crucial to first research and then purchase.
The point to be wary of while buying the add-ons is that they should match your requirements. You should not go for them just because they are available and seem beneficial. Make sure you know the necessary details about the add-on cover before including it in your vehicle insurance plan. Here’s a list of popular vehicle insurance add-ons along with a short explanation. If you want to know the details about a particular add-on, you can reach out to [email protected]
1) Zero Depreciation
With this add-on, the insurer will not consider the depreciation charges while settling the claim. As a result, your after-claim pay-out will be more than what it would have been if you didn’t have this cover.
2) Roadside Assistance
Stranded on the road? Simply call your insurer and a professional vehicle mechanic will rush to your location to help you out with the vehicle’s issues.
3) Return to Invoice (RTI)
This add-on is advantageous in cases of a total loss. It is also known as Invoice Protection Add-on. For example, if the insured vehicle is damaged beyond repair or is lost to theft, the insurer pays the Insured Declared Value (IDV) of the vehicle. This IDV is significantly lower than the invoice value of the vehicle due to factors such as depreciation. However, with the RTI Add-on, the insurer will overlook the IDV and pay the vehicle’s invoice value in case of a total loss.
4) Consumables Cover
Usually, you have to pay the cost of consumables used while repairing the vehicle. The insurer does not cover for costs such as usage of oil, nuts and bolts, etc. With this add-on, such costs shall be covered.
5) Engine Protection
With the Engine Protection Add-on, you can insure your bike or car’s engine against most of the damages that are not covered in a Comprehensive Plan.
6) No Claim Bonus Protection
Insurers reward those policyholders that do not raise claims by offering a renewal discount. This is termed as No Claim Bonus or NCB. By opting for the NCB Protection Add-on, you can raise a claim and still be eligible for the discount.
7) Passenger Cover/Pillion-rider Cover
This cover is like an Accident Cover for the passengers in your car or the pillion rider on your bike. Those who often travel in a group (of two or more) can consider this add-on.
8) Loss of Valuables Cover
Some people travel with valuable gadgets in their car. For example, a high-end laptop, expensive cameras, etc. Such an add-on offers a cover for the loss of these valuables while they were in the car.
9) Other Add-ons
Some of the lesser-known or less popular add-ons offered by Indian insurers are as follows:
- Garage Cash
- Key Replacement Cover
- Outstation Emergency Cover
How to Apply for a Motor Insurance Online?
You can apply for a vehicle insurance policy online by either visiting the insurer’s website or an aggregator’s website. The process in both cases is almost similar to the one mentioned in the ‘How to Use A Vehicle Insurance Calculator’ section of this article. By going through the quick process, you will come to know the approximate insurance rates/vehicle insurance amount.
The modern method of buying an insurance policy does not include submitting documents. However, you might need some documents to refer to while purchasing or renewing a policy. For example, in some cases, you might be asked about your previous policy’s number. Or, you might need the previous policy document to know its expiry date and enter the start date of the new policy. In such cases, you might feel the need to refer to some documents.
In most cases, you can buy/renew a car/bike insurance policy without referring to any document as long as you know the vehicle’s registration number.
How to Check Vehicle Insurance Status?
You can check if your vehicle insurance policy has expired or not by simply having a look at the policy document. It states the policy start date and the end date. If you have purchased the policy from a digital-first insurer such as Acko, you can log in to your account by visiting the website and check out the policy’s status. Alternatively, you can call or email your insurance provider and request for the vehicle insurance policy status. Usually, insurance companies start sending renewal notifications via SMS and email so that you do not miss out on renewing the policy before the due date.
How to Renew Motor Insurance Plan Online:
Here’s the generic process to renew vehicle insurance online.
Step 1: Visit the insurance company’s official website. For example, www.acko.com.
Step 2: If you are renewing from the same insurer, you can log in to the website and then renew the policy. If you are renewing the policy from a different insurer, you will have to select whether you want to renew insurance for your car or bike.
Step 3: Share/Verify details.
Step 4: Modify/Verify cover.
Step 5: Make an online payment.
Step 6: Receive the policy and check the details.
How to file a Motor Insurance Claim?
Here’s how you can file a motor insurance claim via the insurer’s website.
Step 1: Visit the website.
Step 2: Log in to your account.
Step 3: Click on ‘Claims’.
Step 4: Follow the stated process.
Here’s how you can file a motor insurance claim via calling the insurer.
Step 1: Call in the insurer’s support team or the customer care number.
Step 2: Share policy number.
Step 3: Explain the situation for which you want to raise a claim. The insurer will verify if the mentioned situation is covered in your policy or not. If it is covered, they will share the way ahead. If it is not, unfortunately, the claim will be rejected.
Step 4: If the claim request is approved, cooperate with the insurance executive and answer the questions honestly. In case the claim is for an accident, then the process becomes a bit complex and can involve filing a First Information Report (FIR) with the police. The insurer’s representative will guide you as per the situation.
Step 5: The vehicle will be surveyed and repaired.
Step 6: The repair bill will be settled with the garage by the insurer if it is a Network Garage. If not, you will have to pay the bill and get it reimbursed.
Step 7: You will be required to pay any balance amount to the garage.
Factors That Determine Your Motor Insurance Premium:
Here’s a list of factors that play a vital role in determining the vehicle insurance premium of your bike or the car’s Comprehensive Insurance Policy.
- Vehicle’s engine specifications.
- PIN code of your locality.
- Age of the vehicle.
- Claim history associated with the vehicle.
- The extent of the cover including the add-ons, if any.
- Kind of insurance company from where the policy is being purchased.
- Insured Declared Value of the vehicle.
- Whether the vehicle features any certified Anti-theft devices.
- No Claim Bonus percentage for vehicle insurance policy renewal.
How to Reduce Vehicle Insurance Premium?
You have the freedom to control some of the above-mentioned factors and bring down the premium. Here’s a list of tips that can help you reduce your vehicle insurance premium.
- Select only those add-ons that have the potential to add value to your vehicle’s insurance cover.
- Install Anti-theft Devices and earn a discount.
- Purchase a policy from a Digital-first insurance company.
- Renew your policy before it expires as not doing so can spike the premium.
- Be a part of a certified Automobile Association of India.
- Raise claims judiciously and keep the No Claim Bonus discount in mind while considering raising a claim.
Frequently Asked Questions:
This section is all about common queries concerning buying or renewing a motor insurance policy via the online mode. Note that the questions and answers mentioned below are generic; for specific queries, feel free to contact the insurer.
As long as you own a vehicle legally, you can purchase a motor insurance policy for it.
The first step in filing a claim against a motor insurance policy is to contact your insurer and let them know about the incident for which you want to raise a claim. You can do this by visiting the insurer’s website, by calling them, or by sending an email.
The vehicle insurance segment is primarily divided into private vehicle insurance and commercial vehicle insurance. The next layer involves selecting either a Third-party Liability policy or a Comprehensive one.
Vehicle owners purchase policies from certified insurance companies for their vehicles. If the vehicles get damaged, the policyholder raises a claim, the insurer verifies it, and if approved, settles the claim by paying the cost to repair the vehicle as per the terms and conditions of the policy. This is the basic working model of motor insurance in India.
Yes, you can choose to avail the services of a different insurer and select another plan while renewing the policy for a smooth transition process. Make sure to spend some time researching about the insurance company and the plan before buying it.
If you are driving a vehicle on public roads, then it must be insured. Not following such a mandate can lead to penalties and legal issues.
The online vehicle insurance policy buying process can be completed under three to five minutes provided you have all the details handy and your smartphone/laptop has a functional internet connection.