Does Your Car Insurance Cover Animal Attack?

Recently the headlines reported that a ferocious lion toppled a safari car in an Indian wildlife park. The lion tried to attack a group of travellers. A video taken by a driver driving a safari bus in a wildlife park called Bannerghatta Biological Park in Karnataka went viral on social media and news channels. The Lions tried to pounce on the car and tried biting the rear glass. However, the car driver with sheer promptness  managed to drive away before the situation took a wrong turn. Fortunately, everyone was safe; otherwise, it could have ended in a tragedy.

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While you’re driving alongside a scenic forest and an animal appears all of a sudden, possibility of catastrophic collision is high or your car may get damaged. Do you think your car insurance policy will cover it? Or will the liability insurance cover the damage?

Friday evening traffic is insane and you’re already getting late to attend a family function. Suddenly, your car gets s sideswept by another vehicle swerving to avoid a cow in the road. You slammed the breaks but couldn’t avoid the car behind you. Does your car insurance offer coverage for this? Do you regret not comparing car insurance before buying one?

If your answer is yes, you should be aware of whatever is covered and what is not by your car insurance policy. Your liability insurance covers you only in the event you hit another car or cause damages to others property and the legal liabilities on your due to the accident will be compensated by the insurer. But what if the car meets with an animal and gets a collision. Fret not! Your insurance will protect you. Thankfully, most of the insurance companies in India cover the damages done by animal and bear the expenses incurred during repairing.

The Term ‘Comprehensive Car Insurance’

In simple words, comprehensive car insurance is what covers your car in every possible way when it is parked and any damages that maybe inflicted on the car due to man-made, natural elements or collision caused by an animal. Your car is also protected in the event of theft and vandalism as well.

Also known as ‘other than collision’, this plan covers everything that a collision plan doesn’t offer such as fire, theft, flood, damage to car glass, damage due to falling object, animal attack, vandalism, damage due to bad weather, storm, cyclone etc. 

In case your vehicle is smashed up owing to these perils, after applying the depreciated amount, the insurer disburses for the expenses incurred during repairs or the complete loss up to the actual value of the vehicle.

Benefits of Having Comprehensive Car Insurance

However, one may find the premium of comprehensive car insurance slightly higher than the rest, however, the reason is justified. Third-party liability only provides coverage for third-party damage and liabilities. It doesn’t cover own damage, while comprehensive insurance offers overall coverage including third-party liability coverage. Hence, by paying slightly a higher premium, you can avail better services. Below are the advantages of comprehensive car insurance.

  • Damage to the Car: Restoring your car’s previous condition and repairing after it meets with an accident, is an expensive affair. Sometimes you end up paying a higher amount that may affect your pre-planned budget adversely. The hefty repair bills can burn a hole through your wallet. If your car is partially damaged, the insurer reimburses the expenses incurred for repair, but if the vehicle is in a condition of beyond repair, you can claim to obtain the Insured Declared Value of the car only if you own a comprehensive car insurance.
  • Covers Disability or Death: Comprehensive plan offers protection to the own damage in case of temporary or permanent disability post-accident. It is also extended to the accidental death of the insured. Everyone is aware of the medical costs in such cases that may wipe of one’s lifetime savings. Financial assistance in a form of insurance will be a saviour in this regard to the dependant family who has to survive anyhow post the demise of the sole breadwinner.
  • Third-party Liability Coverage: The comprehensive insurance policy is useful as it also offers protection to the third party against damages caused by the insured person. On the other hand, it benefits the insured by bearing the expenses of legal liabilities claimed by a third party, including injuries or death. However, we suggest you compare car insurance online to get the best deals.
  • Cashless Claims: With the altering traits of insurance, thankfully, it is possible now to get your vehicle repaired and get the incurred amount through the insurer. You just need to visit the insurer’s preferred network garage and get the vehicle repaired. Your insurance policy is responsible to bear the expenses; however, you would not be paid for the items fitted in the vehicle that is not covered by your car insurance policy. This way one can avail the cashless

The Other Types of Car Insurance Coverage

Unlike third Party Liability Insurance, Comprehensive or Collision cover is optional. However, there are some add-on covers that one can purchase to complement an existing plan. Let us explain these:

  • Liability Car Insurance: Liability motor insurance is of two types: liability coverage for bodily injury (BI) and property damage liability (PD). This plan is beneficial in case of a third-party liability claim to compensate the others for the damage caused by your ar.
  • Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage: This cover is beneficial in case your car is damaged by another and the driver has less or no insurance coverage. In this case, you can claim for the expenses incurred in repairing the vehicle. It also includes bodily injury. However, the coverage offered is limited, so it is better to merge this cover with collision or comprehensive cover.
  • Personal Injury Protection: This covers the insured in accidental injury, despite of fault, however up to a defined limit. The policy terms may vary country to country or insurer to insurer. Hereby, it is beneficial to compare car insurance online and get the plan that suits your requirement.

Claim Time Mantra

Whenever you have to claim your car insurance, keep the below-mentioned things in mind:

  • Firstly, note down the licence plate number of the other vehicle involved in the accident (if any)
  • Take the number and address of witness, if any
  • Inform the insurance company via ph or email
  • You will be provided with a reference number for future use for claim processing.
  • Make sure the insurance company has preferred garage. If then get the list so that you can avail the cashless
  • In case of property damage, theft, bodily injury, you will require to file a FIR at the nearby police station.
  • Submit the required documents to the insurance office or representative to verify with the original copies.
  • You may need to pay additional money if the insurance company doesn’t cover the total repair costs.

Why It is Necessary to Compare Car Insurance

The safest way to protect your prized asset is car insurance. It has a hightened importance after government move of making it mandatory for all vehicle owner to insure their vehicles before taking to the roads. Hereby, no matter what, one has to buy auto insurance while purchasing a car or two-wheeler. However, choosing an suitable car insurance is a challenging task and with the promotional advert of so many insurance policies, you often get confused about which to opt for. Hence, one needs a thorough guide that enables him/her to take an informed decision.

Thanks to financial experts, we have online comparison tools like insurance calculator or premium calculator. This way one can compare car insurance online by simply visiting any of the available aggregator websites. Well, though it may seem like a cakewalk for an ordinary but as you delve deeper you realise it’s little bit more complicated. The most complicated question ever is “what is the most efficient way to compare insurance policies in India”? By comparing the cost? Or comparing the quotes or benefits? Or comparing the exclusions?

If you are new to the term or for a beginner, any of the given options would suffice. But if you go for an expert’s advice, it will be the blend of all the above-mentioned tips.

Firstly, it emphasises that, while comparing auto insurance policies, one must consider the annual premium amount that he/she has to pay to avail the policy benefits without any hurdle. However, keep in mind that your car insurance plan is a blend of minimum exclusions and limitations with defined benefits. Another aspect that attracts attention is the reputation of the insurance company, at the time you compare various quotes. This will ensure that you don’t end up buying a wrong policy.

Obviously, one always wishes for an affordable plan that covers all his requirements. However, it highly unrealistic to presume that most of the car insurance or other insurance policies are pre-determined with less concern to customer’s point of view. Here is why you need a thorough comparison of car insurance, balancing everything like cost, benefits, claim process, exclusions etc.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 27 August 2021
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