What are Car Insurance Add-On Covers?
Under car insurance, an add-on cover is referred to as an additional coverage benefit offered by the insurer to the policyholder to strengthen the coverage of his/ her car. It helps a car owner to enhance the financial security of a car over and above the standard policy coverage.
Since add-on covers provide extra coverage to an insured car, it comes at an additional cost. A car owner needs to purchase add-on covers under his/ her car insurance policy by paying an additional premium amount. As a result, car insurance premium increase on buying add-on covers.
However, car insurance add-on covers are only available under comprehensive car insurance or standalone own-damage car insurance plans. It is not available under a third party car insurance policy. This happens because third party car insurance deals with injuries or damages caused to third parties and does not cover the own damages of the insured car. Thus, buying add-on covers under third party insurance will be futile.
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Various Types of Add-On Covers Available Under Car Insurance
Several car insurance add-on covers are offered by Car Insurance Companies in India. Take a look at the various kinds of add-on covers that can be purchased under a comprehensive or standalone own-damage car insurance policy:
Zero Depreciation Cover
Zero Depreciation cover is an add-on cover that shares the burden of depreciation on the car’s parts and enables a car owner to get a higher claim amount. It ensures that the cost of depreciation is not deducted while paying the claim amount at the time of claim settlement. Also known as nil depreciation or bumper-to-bumper car insurance, this add-on cover is mostly available for cars up to five years old. Moreover, some insurers may only permit up to two zero depreciation claims while some may allow unlimited claims.
Engine Protection Cover
Engine Protection cover provides coverage for any loss or damages caused to the engine of the car due to issues, such as water ingression, oil spill, electrical or mechanical breakdown of the engine, etc. It also provides financial aid for the replacement of the car’s engine or its parts. But just like the zero depreciation cover, the engine protection cover is also available only to cars that are not more than five years old.
No Claim Bonus Protection Cover
A No Claim Bonus Protection cover protects the NCB of a car owner despite raising a claim. It keeps the NCB intact even if the car owner raises a claim in the previous policy year. It enables car owners to reduce their premiums using the NCB irrespective of whether a claim was raised. Note that NCB protection cover applies only to the own-damage premium as a third party part of the total premium is decided by the IRDA or Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority of India and cannot be altered.
Roadside Assistance Cover
A Roadside Assistance cover provides the car owner with any on-road assistance services in case the insured car breaks down in the middle of the road. Just a call to the insurance company and a mechanic is arranged to take a look at the vehicle and help out. Some of the assistance services available under this add-on cover are changing a flat tyre, minor on-site repair, car towing, fuel delivery, the arrangement of replacement car keys, battery jumpstart, etc.
Return to Invoice Cover
Due to the depreciation sustained by the insured car over years, the car owner will not receive the invoice value of the car even if the vehicle suffers from a total loss. Here is when Return to Invoice add-on cover comes to the rescue.
The Return to Invoice cover enables a car owner to receive the invoice value of a car as the claim amount in the event of a total loss, constructive total loss or theft of the car. With this add-on cover, the IDV of a car is fixed equal to the price at which the car was purchased. Thus, a car owner can get a higher claim amount with this cover. However, a Return to Invoice cover is available only for cars that are less than three or five years old, depending on the insurance company.
Daily Allowance Cover
The Daily Allowance Cover is an add-on cover that provides a travel allowance to cover day-to-day travel expenses in case the insured car is getting repaired at a garage. It compensates the car owner for any travel expenses incurred to hire a vehicle or use public transport while the car was at the network garage. However, this add-on cover applies only if the insured car is getting repaired at the network garage of the motor insurance company.
Unfortunately, a personal accident cover available under a regular car insurance policy does not cover the treatment expenses of the passenger. This is where ‘Passenger Cover’ comes into the picture.
The Passenger cover is an add-on cover that provides coverage for any medical expenses incurred by the passengers of the insured car in case of an accident. It covers the cost of hospitalization expenses, treatment expenses as well as ambulance fees. Moreover, it also provides compensation in case the accident results in the disability or death of a passenger.
The Consumable cover is an add-on cover that reimburses the expenses incurred towards consumables items used in an insured car during repairs. It provides coverage for all the consumable items used while the car was being repaired. These may include nuts & bolts, lubricants, grease, washers, engine oil, brake oil, screw, oil filter, bearing, etc. But even this add-on cover is not available for cars older than five years.
Tyre Protect Cover
A car insurance company does not pay for any damages or loss of the tyres if it is not arising out of an accident. The cost of repairing or replacing the tyres has to be borne by the car owner. This is where the ‘Tyre Protect’ cover can come in handy.
The Tyre Protect cover reimburses any expenses incurred towards the repair or replacement of the tyres of the insured car. It ensures that the motor insurance company pays for tyre damages, such as puncture, in-tyre bulge, tyre cut, bursting of the tyre, etc.
Key Replacement Cover
A standard car insurance policy does not pay for the replacement of car keys if lost or stolen due to theft, burglary or any other damage. But that’s not the case with a ‘Key Replacement’ cover.
A Key Replacement cover is an add-on cover that provides coverage for any expenses arising out of replacing the keys of the insured car. It also covers the cost of repairing the lock-set of the car in case the keys have been lost, stolen or damaged.
Loss of Personal Belongings Cover
The Loss of Personal Belongings cover is an add-on cover that compensates for the loss of any personal items stolen from the insured car or with the car. It also pays for any damages caused to the personal belongings inside the car. It covers various kinds of personal items, including electronic equipment.
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Ans: No, car insurance add-on covers are not free of cost. You can purchase these add-on covers along with your standard car insurance policy by paying an extra premium amount.
Ans: No, there is no limit to the number of add-on covers. You can purchase as many add-ons as you want for your car. However, doing so may result in an increase in the cost of car insurance premium.
Ans: An additional cover can only be purchased when you buy a new car insurance policy or renew one. Thus, you cannot buy add-ons without buying a car insurance policy.
Ans: Yes, you can purchase car insurance add-ons online from Policybazaar.com. All you need to do is head over to the ‘Car Insurance’ page; enter your car number in the given form. Enter other requested details and choose your desired car insurance plan. Here you will get an option to select the add-on covers that you wish to include in your plan. Once you have selected the desired add-ons, you can proceed with payment via your desired online payment method.
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#Rs 2094/- per annum is the price for third-party motor insurance for private cars (non-commercial) of not more than 1000cc
*Savings are based on the comparison between the highest and the lowest premium for own damage cover (excluding add-on covers) provided by different insurance companies for the same vehicle with the same IDV and same NCB. Actual time for transaction may vary subject to additional data requirements and operational processes.