Team AckoOct 22, 2021
Purchasing two-wheeler insurance in India can help you to meet legal requirements, as it is compulsory to buy a Third-party Liability Plan. When you purchase a Comprehensive Two-wheeler Insurance Plan, you get the dual advantage of meeting legal requirements and insuring your bike with superior coverage. You also get access to buy extra covers known as add-ons. The Roadside Assistance Add-on in two-wheeler insurance is one such cover that can be bought with a Comprehensive plan. This article is all about understanding the nuances of this benefit so that you can make up your mind concerning its relevance to you.
The term roadside assistance is self-explanatory. When linked with bike insurance, it means that the insurance company will offer roadside assistance to the insured bike in exchange for the premium. It is an emergency assistance service provided by the insurer to bike riders whose bikes have faced a breakdown on the road. For example, if you have a Roadside Assistance Add-on in India and your bike stops during the journey due to a technical issue, you can call the insurer and they will arrange for help.
A lot of insurers offer the Roadside Assistance (RSA) cover. Such a cover is also known as Two-wheeler Breakdown Cover. You can purchase this from an online as well as an offline Roadside Insurance provider company. Such a cover comes at an extra cost, which gets added to the final payable cost of your Comprehensive Two-wheeler Insurance Plan. Note that you cannot purchase just the RSA cover or add it to the Liability-only Plan. It is a service-based add-on designed to minimise the inconvenience caused to the rider due to a bike breakdown.
The Roadside Assistance Plan is structured to help bike riders on the go. As per this cover, the claim is related to the service offered. Thus, you can raise a claim for it by contacting the insurance company and asking them for help. When they send a mechanic or arrange for the bike to be towed, the RSA cover comes into action.
If the bike is taken to the garage and there’s extensive damage that needs repairs, the discussion can be continued with the insurance company as per the Comprehensive Coverage. Note that the process mentioned above is a generic one and insurance companies might have different ways to service their customers.
Here are the prominent benefits of buying the Roadside Assistance Add-on.
Once you inform the insurer about your location, they will arrange for a mechanic immediately. The mechanic will arrive at the breakdown spot at the earliest and have a look at the bike. If it can’t be repaired there, it shall be towed to a nearby garage. With the RSA cover, you do not have to make the effort of managing such instances, the insurer will do it for you.
Simply knowing that the insurer has your back in case the bike breaks down during the journey is a comforting thought. With the RSA cover, you can ride the bike without having to worry about what to do if it faces a problem on the road.
RSA covers are not costly. Adding them to your Comprehensive cover will lead to a slight spike in the payable premium. However, such a small price rise can help you access valuable services in the time of need.
The best way to know what is covered in an RSA cover is to read the inclusions of the policy. You can find the inclusions and exclusions in the Policy Wordings of the plan. They can be downloaded from the insurer’s website. If you have trouble finding them, simply ask the Customer Care team. The exact coverage offered by the RSA covers of different insurers can be different. Here’s an overview of the RSA coverage.
Tyre issues are common for bikers. This is more likely to happen if the road is not proper and the bike is not maintained. In case of a flat tyre immobilizing the bike, a mechanic will help with a spare tyre or the bike shall be towed to a garage.
A rundown battery can be a nuisance, especially during a long journey. Here, the insurer will make necessary arrangements to jump-start the bike so that you can continue your journey.
When looked at objectively, the bike is a machine. And a machine can break down due to mechanical or technical issues. For such issues, the mechanic can perform on-spot repairs. The cost of spare parts and materials will not be covered as per the add-ons coverage. However, the technician’s labour and travelling costs shall be covered.
If the bike’s key is misplaced, the insurer can help retrieve the key from a location (for example, your home) if it is within 100 km.
Running out of fuel during the journey is a nightmare. In such a situation, the insurance company will arrange for 5 litres of fuel as per the RSA cover. Just like filling the fuel, arrangements can also be made for emptying the fuel tank if there is a problem.
For mechanical/electrical issues that cannot be resolved by the technician, the bike shall be towed to a nearby garage.
In certain situations where the bike owner is stranded due to bike breakdown beyond a certain distance of the person’s residence, the insurer will arrange for a taxi so that the rider can travel back home. The payment for the same shall be settled by the insurer as per the terms and conditions.
Like the taxi arrangement, the insurer can also make hotel arrangements for the rider of the insured bike. The charges for the same shall be paid by the insurer as per the terms and conditions of the plan. This benefit is also subject to the location of the breakdown and the residence of the policyholder.
In certain cases, the insurer can also arrange for the non-functional insured bike to be picked up from the location where it broke down to the policyholder’s residence.
Bike accidents can be traumatizing. They can also pull you in a legal tangle. If you are involved in such a legal issue, the insurer will arrange for legal advice as per the terms and conditions of the policy.
Also, read: What is NCB in Bike Two-Wheeler Insurance
Here are some Special Conditions, Exclusions, and Documentation associated with the RSA cover when purchased as a part of a Package Policy. You can check out the technicalities for a policy offered by ACKO by reading the Policy Wordings.
Here are the special conditions that shall be considered while offering the service.
The schedule attached to the add-ons must mention the coverages.
The service shall be subject to the current regulations in place.
Due to any event if the insurer is unable to offer the services, reimbursement for the same can be arranged.
The number of claims against the cover can be limited as per the terms and conditions.
A claim under RSA will affect the No Claim Bonus calculation.
The service location shall be highways and motorable roads in the city.
If the claim is raised for the following reasons, it shall not be settled.
If the vehicle is involved in an illegal act such as racing.
If the vehicle is used beyond the scope of the owner’s manual.
Claims where the insurer is not informed beforehand.
As specified by the insurer at the time of raising a claim.
The Special Conditions, Exclusions, and Documentation for this type of policy are like those mentioned above. For ACKO’s cover, you can go through the Policy Wordings.
Loading your policy with add-ons will not be helpful if they are not suitable. The add-on must add value to your insurance cover. The following factors must be considered before buying the RSA cover.
Since the RSA is an add-on, you need to first look at your primary cover. If your primary cover is a Third-party Two-wheeler Insurance policy, then you will not be able to buy the add-on. You can do so if your primary or base cover is the Comprehensive Policy.
You need to ask yourself if you need the RSA cover. For this, you can think of a situation where your bike breaks down on your way to the office. What will you do? If you are familiar with the route and the surroundings and have a contact handy who will help you out, then, maybe you can do without this cover. But then what happens if you are out of a familiar surrounding? What happens if you do not know whom to call or the garage you know is unavailable? This is where the RSA cover is beneficial.
Here’s a section on frequently asked doubts concerning the Roadside Assistance Add-on. Note that the section is meant as an overview on the topic and specific queries need to be directed to the insurance company as the RSA cover can be slightly different across insurance companies in India.
Does the RSA cover only come into action on national highways?
The RSA cover is applicable if the insured two-wheeler breaks down on national highways, state highways, as well as city roads. In most cases, motorable roads shall be covered. However, if the bike breaks down somewhere in the interiors of the country, then you need to check with the insurer concerning the serviceability in such a situation. Barring some exceptions, the RSA cover should come to your rescue in most locations in urban India.
How is the RSA cover different from Comprehensive Coverage?
Comprehensive Policy is a standalone insurance plan. RSA cover on the other hand is just an add-on. It is extra coverage that can be bought on top of the Comprehensive Policy.
Can I buy a Return to Invoice Cover along with a Roadside Assistance Cover?
Yes, you can buy multiple add-ons to increase the insurance coverage of your two-wheeler. However, make sure that the add-ons you want to include in the coverage add value to the overall cover. For example, if you are new to a location, an RSA cover seems practical. If you travel solo on your bike, then you probably do not need the Pillion Rider Cover.
Is the RSA cover available for free for a trial period?
In most cases, the RSA cover is not available for free for a trial period. However, since the add-on does not cost much, you can buy it for a year and then evaluate your decision at the time of policy renewal.
Will the RSA cover be applicable if the bike needs a battery jumpstart?
The situation where the insured bike needs a battery jumpstart is covered by the RSA cover.
If my bike breaks down mid-journey, can I call the insurer for help instead of logging in to the website and raising a claim?
Yes, roadside assistance shall be provided for the insured bike if the insurance company is intimated about the same via a call.
Is the RSA cover only applicable for ‘roadside’ or even if the bike breaks down in a slightly off-the-road location?
Do not take the literal meaning of ‘roadside’ while understanding the cover. The exact coverage area mostly includes motorable roads. However, you need to discuss with the insurer concerning specific ‘off-the-road’ coverage.
What happens if the insurer fails to send help for a bike breakdown?
In the situation where the insurance company is unable to send a mechanic or arrange for the insured bike to be towed to a garage, it might offer to reimburse the cost incurred to do so.
When do I have to pay for the RSA cover? Is it while buying the plan or while calling the company for help?
When you choose the RSA cover, the premium for it will be added to the final payable premium to purchase a Comprehensive Plan. Thus, you need to pay the premium for the RSA cover upfront.
Is the RSA cover worth buying for a new bike? New bikes generally do not break down as often as older ones.
New bikes may not break down as frequently as older ones but they can face a flat tyre situation or might need fuel on an urgent basis. Considering such instances, the RSA cover seems worthwhile for a new bike as well.
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