Aided by new regulatory flexibility, automobile insurance policies are getting smarter, offering you cover for things that were not easily insurable earlier. Soon, vehicle owners can –at some extra premium – add cover for the loss of baggage in cars, or make insurers pay for a month’s loan installment in case the car is not being used.
Policies can also get 100 per cent of the claim amount (called nil depreciation cover), or even have access to a substitute car when a vehicle is being repaired (called replacement car cover).
Or policy-holders can get a daily allowance when a car is under repair.
Non-life insurers have filed for such additional covers with the insurance regulator-Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority of India (IRDA). They are expected to be launched soon.
Currently, car owners have to bear 50 per cent of the cost of replacing rubber costs even if a damaged car in question is less than a year old. A nil-depreciation policy means insurers will not pay less for replacing rubber parts.
Oriental insurance has filed for 4 add-on covers in the motor cover. Insurers are also launching value-added services to differentiate themselves from other insurers and increase their motor portfolio. I
ICICI Lombard general has appointed its own managers in dealership garages who visit the customer personally incase of a claim. For commercial vehicles, the insurer has introduced a faster settlement process.
Says Eswaranatarajan, head motor insurance at ICICI Lombard, “Motor premium was 40 per cent (Rs 1,400 crore) of the total business in 2007-08 and we are aiming to increase it to Rs 1,700 crore.”
A senior official of Oriental insurance said, “We are entering into tie-ups with manufacturers and dealers as we never had such tie-ups.