Undecided about Which Car Insurance Riders to Pick? We’ll help you decide

Comprehensive car insurance covers losses/damages caused by a third party, personal accident, and losses/ damages caused to a car naturally. However, even a comprehensive cover does not offer 360° protection against unpredictable factors like weather, road quality, natural calamities, etc.

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Auto insurers therefore offer riders to protect from situations where coverage is excluded. These riders are optional add-ons to a basic car insurance policy - they increase insurance coverage and save car owners from unnecessary vehicle-related expenses.

Listed below are some common and essential riders that come with different types of car insurance plans.

Each Rider has Certain Distinct Advantages, Explained Below:

Zero Depreciation

Although comprehensive insurance takes into account individual and third-party damages, it is not totally ‘depreciation proof’. On filing an insurance claim, a standard car insurance plan accounts for the depreciated value of the damaged parts and not the current market value. 

Further, depreciation rates differ in accordance with the car’s make, model, age, etc. As a result, one has to bear a sizable amount of the full claim themselves.

However, when you opt for a zero depreciation cover, your insurer will cover the entire cost, and not just a part of it, meaning that it guarantees that the full claim amount with nil depreciation deduction. Therefore, in case of a car accident, you are indemnified from depreciation deduction and can recover the full market value on filing the claim.

Engine Coverage

In countries like India, where monsoons are synonymous with uncovered drains, clogged roads and several such inconveniences, the Engine Coverage Rider comes as a welcome relief. Here, the insurer offers ahydrostatic cover that covers damages caused due to ‘consequentialloss’ – an indirect loss brought about by reasons outside the purview of direct losses caused by accidents.

For instance, if you attempt starting your submerged car, the car’s engine will surely be damaged - this is a consequential loss. When you opt for the Engine Coverage Rider, the insurer will cover engine repair, if it is damaged by water stalling, oil leakage, etc.

Vehicle Replacement

Your car is wrecked to an extent beyond repair or it is stolen - insurance companies declare circumstances like a ‘total loss’. The claim amount received in such cases is lower than the vehicle’s actual market value and not sufficient to provide adequate cover or get a replacement. With the vehicle replacement rider, you get your damaged/stolen car replaced with a new, equivalent car.

Roadside Assistance and Towing

This rider provides vehicle owners with varied types of round-the-clock, crucial assistance services that are of great help during accidents or car breakdowns. Flat tyre change/replacement, lost key recovery, battery jump start, fuel refilling, car towing, etc. are covered under this rider.

Ambulance and Medical Expenses

In case of a car accident where the policy holder or another involved party suffers serious injuries and needs immediate emergency treatment in a hospital, the ambulance and medical expenses rider compensates the insured for ambulance charges and medical expenses to the tunes of approximately Rs.10,000.

Read More- Top Car Insurance Companies in India

Rental Reimbursement

Following an accident or any other kind of damage, when the car goes for repairs, a person has to manage with public transport, rented car, etc. By taking the rental reimbursement add-on, the policyholder gets reimbursement for these interim travel arrangements when his/her car is under repair. However, this rider is not so common in India.

Personal Accident Cover

This important add-on secures the future of the policyholder’s family in case of unfortunate events like the policyholder’s temporary/partial disability, permanent disability, or accidental death.

The policyholder can avail this rider to get coverage of up to Rs.2 lakhs for any damage brought about to the driver while travelling, getting in, or getting out from the vehicle. Certain insurance companies offer optional accidental covers for co-passengers as well.

Consumables Rider

The consumables’ rider for your car insurance policy covers damages to consumables like clutch box oil, gearbox oil and coolants. This costs approximately 0.2-0.4% of the vehicle value.

Understanding What You Need

While car insurance add-ons lower risks associated with cars and related accidents, they also add to the outgoing premium. It is, therefore, prudent to evaluate if and when these different types of car insurance add-ons are really required.


Rider recommended/not recommended

Beginners with limited driving experience

All aforementioned car insurance riders highly recommended

For small cars, a few years old

Zero depreciation cover not recommended

Because vehicle breakdown possibility increases with time

Roadside assistance and towing rider recommended

Those living in areas with heavy rainfall

Engine coverage highly recommended

Those without personal health insurance cover

Ambulance and medical expenses riders highly recommended

If policyholder travels extensively using personal vehicle, and if the frequently travelled route is accident-prone

All aforementioned car insurance riders highly recommended

Over to You!

If your vehicle cost or its repair/maintenance costs are high, it is good to minimize risks by opting for car insurance riders accordingly. However, one must weigh all possible options against the potential risks and associated costs to be able to take a well-informed decision. Based on the factors mentioned above and other factors applicable in individual cases, the aforementioned riders promise a safe and hassle-free journey, anytime, anywhere.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 15 July 2021
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