New Delhi: Natural calamities can strike us at any time and create havoc in our normal lives. Sometimes it may affect individual lives but can also cause loss to our properties. The recent flooding situation in Bengaluru not only claimed many lives but also damaged properties. Car owners are also worried as several regions of the city are flooded with muddy water entering apartment complexes and damaging cars. The owners may face losses after flood water recedes. It is when insurance comes into the picture. In case you find the car damaged due to the floods, you will need to contact your insurer to claim for the cost to repair the vehicle.
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It is important to note that not every car insurance can help you claim a percentage of losses on your vehicles due to natural calamities. Hence, it becomes important to understand the features and benefits of a car insurance policy before you decide to opt for one as there are several car insurance policies available in the market with different benefits.
There are policies that can help owners in repairing cars damaged due to natural disasters. Insurance company Acko in its blog on August 26 wrote that flood damage is only covered if you have comprehensive coverage, which is optional and not mandatory like third-party insurance.
What is a comprehensive car insurance policy?
Firstly, it is important to understand a comprehensive car insurance policy. Such a policy helps car owners in recovering damages caused by natural calamities like floods, earthquakes, cyclones, etc. Additionally, the policy also covers vehicles from man-made disasters such as accidental damages, fire or explosion, theft, and third-party liabilities.
In its note, the insurer stated that flood water can cause severe damage to cars and result in the reduction of the its value. It can lead to expensive repairs and, in some cases, even a total loss (damaged beyond repair). Even as the Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy may be a bit costlier, it could end up saving you a lot during unexpected losses.
In the case of flood damages, although, a comprehensive car insurance policy looks like a perfect coverage option for your vehicle, it does not cover certain damages like to your engine or gearbox.
“To extend the base plan, you can include various add-on covers along with Comprehensive Insurance. Car insurance add-ons are additional covers that provide financial support against specific damages or losses incurred by your vehicle,” Team Acko said in their note dated August 26.
What are the main types of damage?
Floods may mostly affect the car’s engine and damage gearbox, electric and electronic equipments and upholstery, according to the blog information.
Water can cause a short circuit to the electronic or electrical components, or the warning lights on the dashboard could malfunction. Apart from that upholstery damage due to floods, the interiors like carpet, seats, and other soft furnishings can also get impacted.
There are add-ons to your comprehensive car insurance policy such as engine protection cover, no claim bonus (NCB) protection cover, return to invoice cover, zero depreciation cover, key replacement cover, consumable cover, and roadside assistance cover.
Add-ons to the comprehensive policy
Engine Protection Cover: The car engine is susceptible to damage due to non-usage or due to flood water ingression. Rememberm comprehensive insurance does not cover damages to your car engine; however, you get financial coverage for repairs or replacement of damaged engine parts with this add-on, said the company in its blog.
No Claim Bonus (NCB) Protection Cover: When you file a claim during the policy period, you lose out on the NCB. However, the NCB Protection Cover keeps the discount intact even if you file a claim. Car owner may enjoy a discount of up to 50 per cent (if you don’t claim for five consecutive years) even if you raise a claim.
Return to Invoice Cover: If your car gets damaged beyond repair caused by flooding or in case it is stolen, with the Return to Invoice Cover, you can claim the purchase price or the car’s invoice value that includes registration cost and road tax as well as per policy terms.
Zero Depreciation Cover: Also, note that over a period of time, car parts depreciate due to wear and tear, and the car value decreases accordingly. At the time of raising a claim, the insurer pays the depreciated value of the parts and not the entire value. However, with this add-on, the depreciation is not considered at the time of claim settlement which helps you in claiming the total value of car repairs.
Key Replacement Cover: This add-on will cover the cost of replacement or repairs of the lockset that has been impacted due to the floods. Modern car keys are sophisticated and can cost a lot of money in case of repairs or replacement.
Consumables Cover: With this add-on, a policyholder can protect against expenses incurred on consumables during an accident or natural calamities such as floods. However, it is to be noted that the cost of replacing consumable items such as lubricants, gearbox and engine oil, nuts and bolts, grease, etc., are not covered under the base plan.
Roadside Assistance Cover: Under this add-on, there is 24×7 emergency roadside assistance, including towing services, if your car is stranded due to floods. Other benefits such as fuel fill, minor repairs, flat tyre service, etc are also offered, as per the blog.
General insurance companies including Acko, HDFC Ergo, ICICI Lombard General Insurance, Tata AIA, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, Bharti Axa General Insurance, and SBI General Insurance offer car insurance policies.