Riding a bike can be a liberating feeling. It is often the preferred means of travel for a large section of our population. However, to ride the bike safely not only will you have to master the art of driving, but also invest in a two wheeler insurance.
When you bought your two-wheeler you may have weighed several factors such as mileage, design, brand value and technical details. However, bike insurance may have been the last thing on your mind. You may have tried to avoid a life insurance policy, but you cannot do the same with a two-wheeler insurance policy, as according to Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, it is mandatory. When you buy the right bike insurance, you must compare insurance quotes online, as it will protect not only you but also the pillion rider and the bike.
The compensation which is offered by an insurance policy proves handy in case of an unexpected accident. Obtaining a bike insurance is not difficult. You can easily log onto the insurance company’s website and fill the insurance form. After you have paid the requisite premium, the application form will be processed and policy document will be issued. In case the insurance company cites issues with the filing of the form, you can visit the company’s office and get the issues sorted out.
Common mistakes bike owners make
When buying a two wheeler insurance, bike owners make some common mistakes:
• Not transferring policy when buying a second-hand bike
In India, a common practice is to buy second hand bikes. But, most buyers forget to get the insurance policy transferred. This leaves the bike uninsured and you may have to invest in a new policy. Within the permissible time period, it is advised that you get the existing policy transferred or buy a new policy to avoid penalties.
• Allowing the policy to lapse
It is a common phenomenon where bikers move around in their bikes without a valid coverage; owing to the lapsed insurance policy. This is an offense in the eyes of law. Allowing your insurance policy to lapse is not a good thing. You can face serious penalties as most states require drivers to carry a valid insurance at all times. If you meet with an unfortunate accident, you may face financial losses if your bike insurance has lapsed.
• Not mentioning the nominee and other relevant details
You may lose the bike insurance cover if you do not mention the personal details correctly. Claims which you file may not be attended by the insurer if the details which you provide are incorrect. It is also important that you mention the name of the nominee. This is the only way a family member can have the policy benefits transferred to them in case of an accident.
• Declaring an incorrect IDV
The IDV or the Insured Declared Value can be defined as the maximum sum assured which the insurer agrees upon. It is the same amount which is reimbursed to the bike owner in case of total loss or theft of the bike. The IDV is arrived at by taking into consideration the manufacturer’s present value and depreciation of the vehicle as per its age. Bike owners feel that by declaring a low IDV they can save on the annual premium. But, there are high chances that in case of an accidents you will be compensated a lower claim account.
Types of coverage
There are two types of bike insurance, third party insurance and comprehensive coverage.
1. Third party insurance: This policy does not cover the damage or loss which is caused to your vehicle. It only covers the damage which is caused to the third party involved in an accident.
2. Comprehensive Policy: This policy protects the bike against damage and theft. It also provides accidental cover to the rider long with third party cover.
Most bike owners prefer the comprehensive policy as it offers complete protection.
Factors on which the premium depends
Some factors which affect the bike insurance premium include:
1. Cubic Capacity: As the cubic capacity in bikes increases, so does the premium.
2. Geography: Our country is divided by the India Motor Tariff into two parts; Zone A and Zone B. Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bangalore and New Delhi fall under Zone A and the rest of the country under Zone B. You should take note of the fact that premium rates are higher in the cities which are categorized as Zone A in comparison to Zone B.
3. Discounts: If you install an anti-theft device in your bike or become a member of Automobile Association of India, you will qualify for discounts on the premium. Further, if you do not make claims during the policy term, you will be eligible for the No-Claim bonus.
4. Vehicle Age: The older is the vehicle, higher is the premium which you pay for it.
5. IDV: The calculation of IDV is based on the manufacturer’s listed sale price and the bike’s depreciation value. It is essential that you declare the right IDV as it contributes to the determination of the insurance premium rate.
Getting the bike insured
Two wheelers are more vulnerable to road accidents instead of other vehicles. Hence investing in a two-wheeler insurance plan which is all encompassing is worth the effort. Opting for the right insurance plan is a serious decision and you must compare insurance online before you purchase it. If you make a blunder, then it can give rise to serious complications in the future. It is advised that you take some crucial points into account before you purchase a two-wheeler insurance policy.
It is a good idea to study the websites of multiple insurers and compare the plans before taking the final decision. Opt for a plan which suits your budget and your needs. The insurance plan which you opt for must suit the model and make of your vehicle. As the specifications vary across two wheelers, you must take the model of the bike into account before you choose the plan. At times it can have an impact on the premium as some companies offer discounts on certain models.
Saving money on two wheeler insurance
There are several ways in which you can save money on two-wheeler insurance:
• You will qualify for discounts if you have a clean driving record. A clean record is one with no violations, tickets or very few accidents.
• Additionally, if you join a two-wheeler training course you will be eligible for discounts. Joining a training course is a good idea for those who are new to bike riding. However, take note of the fact that some companies may include terms and conditions in their policy document that you cannot undertake training every year for a discount.
• Choose a plan as per your requirements. If you are one of those who use the bike occasionally, you can opt for an insurance plan which is cheaper. You should make sure that you provide the insurer with all accurate information about your driving habits.
• Do not forget to ask the insurer about age related discounts. Some insurance companies consider drivers in the age group of 32 to 60 as more responsible. Several discounts are available for young drivers.
• You can bring down the cost of insurance premium by regulating the deductible. A higher deductible means lesser premium. If it lies well within your budget, you can opt for a high deductible, but you must ensure that you can pay the deductible in case of accidents.
Given that two wheeler have become a necessity today, we cannot understate the importance of bike insurance. Be careful and pay a little attention when you buy the insurance plan to avoid complications later.