Buying a new bike would be a dream come true for many. A bike is an easy alternative to lessen the hassle of the daily commute and to run errands. But getting a bike comes with its own set of responsibilities.
A driver’s license and insurance are the primary essential documentary formalities that you must clear before you can start riding a bike. While getting a license is common knowledge, most people are unaware of the importance and benefits of getting a bike Insurance.
1. Bike Insurance Policy Is Mandatory
If you own a bike, then it is mandatory to have a bike insurance policy. Under the Indian Motor Vehicles Act 1988, if you are caught driving without an insurance policy, then you will be liable to pay a fine of Rs.2000/-. It is a document mandated by the Indian government for all vehicles plying on Indian roads.
2. Buying a Policy Online or Offline
You can buy your bike insurance online or through offline methods. To purchase your policy online, log in to the website of the insurer, enter your vehicle details, choose the policy you want and complete the payment online. Once these processes have been completed, you will receive the insurance documents in your mail-id.
The other method is to physically go to the insurance company’s office and complete the formalities laid down by them for buying an insurance policy. You can also get the policy through an insurance agent. In this case, you will have to submit the necessary document with the agent. The formalities would be completed by him. You will have to pay an additional fee for this service.
3. Choosing the Right Insurance Policy
Most insurance companies offer you two types of bike insurance policies :
- Third-Party Liability-Only Policy: In this type of insurance policy, only third-party liabilities are covered. i.e. if during an accident, you cause damage to another person’s vehicle or property, or if you cause injury/death to another person, then these will be covered by your insurance policy. Any legal obligation will be also covered under this. However, damages caused to your own vehicle will not be covered.
- Comprehensive Insurance Policy: Here, both damages caused to your own bike and damages/injuries caused to third-party, during an accident, will be covered. Furthermore, damages caused to your own vehicle due to fire, theft, natural calamities, riots, etc. will also be covered. You can further customise this policy with other features for extra charges. These features are known as add-ons.
4. Premium to be Paid
For covering the factors mentioned above, insurance companies charge you a certain amount. This is known as the premium of your bike insurance policy. It is the amount you have to pay for the benefits offered by the insurance company.
5. Selecting the Right IDV
While you buy the insurance policy, you will have to select the amount the insurer will cover you for. This will be the amount the insurance company will pay you in the event of an accident, theft, fire, etc. This amount is known as the Insured Declared Value (IDV). Always select the present market value of your bike as the IDV. If you keep a higher IDV value then the premium you will have to pay will be higher and vice versa.
6. Choosing add-Ons
If you are buying a Comprehensive Insurance policy, then you can add additional features known as add-ons. Some of the common add-ons are :
- Zero Depreciation add-on – Over the years, the insurance amount that you will get from your insurer will reduce, due to taking into consideration depreciation costs on your vehicle. These depreciation costs are the wears and tears on your vehicle due to usage. But if you want the insurer to ignore these depreciation costs, then you can select this add-on.
- Engine and gearbox protection- During an accident, damages caused to your engine and gearbox will not be covered by the normal insurance policy. With this add-on, engine and gearbox damages will be included.
- Breakdown assistance – If your bike breakdowns, you can get the help of your insurer to get it repaired or have it towed away with this add-on.
- Return to invoice cover – If your bike gets totally damaged, with this cover, you will get the exact invoice amount you paid while you bought your bike. This will also include road taxes and registration fees.
- Other miscellaneous add-ons – Depending on the insurer, you will also get other insurer specific add-ons to extend the coverage.
7. No Claim Bonus
If you don’t file a claim with your insurer during the policy period, then you will get a discount in the premium amount in the form of No Claim Bonus(NCB). Some insurers give NCB as an additional amount in the IDV. The longer you go without filing a claim, the higher the NCB will be.
8. Claiming Insurance
If you land in an accident or if your vehicle is damaged, then you can file the claim with your insurance company. This can be done either online or offline. As soon as an issue happens, call your insurance company and intimate them. Depending on the type of insurer, you would either be asked to upload the pictures of your damaged vehicle, or an examiner would be sent to your location to verify the damages in person. Once the verification is complete, then the insurance company will reimburse you the IDV amount or will pay on your behalf for the damages at selected garages.
9. What’s Not Covered
Under the following circumstance, you will not be able to file a claim with your insurer if you land in an accident :
- Driving under the influence of alcohol.
- Driving without a license
- Driving with just a learner’s license.
- Damages that are not a direct result of the accident.
- Purposeful negligence such as driving during floods, etc.
- Own damages if you have bought a third-party policy.
10. Transfer of Ownership
If you are selling your bike, then you must also transfer the insurance policy to the new owner’s name. If the details provided in the registration certificate of your bike and that in the insurance policy does not match, then you won’t be able to file a claim. However, you will be able to retain the NCB bonus attached to your vehicle. You can transfer it to your new bike insurance policy.