Buying a car is a big deal, but then there is something even bigger. It is buying car insurance. It can get quite overwhelming at times,but it is something that needs to be done, without too much delay.  The only thing that one needs to be sure of is that the policy is what will work for them. For this purpose they need to do adequate research, gather as much information as possible before closing the deal. Here are seven tips that should be part of your checklist to choosing the best and ideal car insurance.

1) Types of vehicle insurance

The first thing to understand is that there are different kinds of car insurance policies. But the most common are two kinds,

  • Comprehensive Plan – As the name goes, this is a plan that works best for most car owners. It typically covers both third party damages and own damage as well. Another point to note is that it covers damages caused due to theft, natural calamities or disasters.
  • Third party liability car insurance – This car insurance policy covers damage to the vehicle, accidental death and other damages to a third party. This is in fact a mandatory requirement for all vehicles that ply on our roads.

2) Services offered by the Car insurance company

One good tip to assess the Insurance Company is to understand the various services they offer. Are they into General Insurance policy or only into specific policies, how long have they been around and so on?  A few points to check when looking at Car insurance are:

  • Free car pick up
  • Warranty on repairs
  • Unique add-ons
  • Cashless settlement at network garages
  • Claim settlement within 7 days
  • Online renewal options
  • Customer support round the clock
  • Repair duration and if they have tie ups with good mechanics/garages

3) Renewal options

Every insurance policy comes with a time period, and so once it expires you need to renew the same to make sure your vehicle is protected. For this purpose you should check the car insurance renewal process. Can it be done online? What is the process? How long does it take to complete the process? Do they allow you to transfer a policy taken with another company and switch over and so on.   The shorter the time on this the better the company is bound to be.

4) Claims covered under the Insurance Policy

The most important aspect of a good car insurance policy is the claims that are covered. Claims can usually be made for the following:

  • For damage or any loss due to accident, theft or terrorism
  • In case of explosion or natural disasters
  • If the owner of the car is in an accident
  • If the insured vehicle is involved in an accident or if there has been a death of any third person which could lead to legal complications

5) Time taken to obtain the policy/process

In today’s world where everything is done within minutes and using technology, one needs to learn about the processes adopted by the general insurance companies.   Some questions to be answered are,

  • What is the process to apply for a car insurance
  • How long does it take for the process to be completed
  • Do they need documents or is everything done online
  • How to make payment
  • How do they send across the Insurance policy documents

6) Support

It is not enough if a company convinces you to take on their car insurance policy. After sales service is just as important, more so when it is related to your car, especially since you have invested quite a bit on the vehicle and the policy itself.

  • Does the car insurance company offer online support in case of an emergency?
  • Can they be reached at odd hours for either car related assistance or to clarify queries?
  • Is there a relationship officer assigned to you when you take a car insurance policy who will be your one point of contact?

7) Feedback and testimonials

As with every other aspect of our life, this is something that needs thorough background check. It is best to speak with your friends, colleagues, family or others to understand their experience with the car insurance they are using and also understand the various options available.  Nothing like personal references to help you decide.

Hopefully these tips will help you decide on the best policy for your vehicle. But do make sure to stay updated on the policies and keep check on yours, so you can do the car insurance renewal on time!

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February 2024