A comprehensive car insurance policy may not be adequate to protect your car from the damage that monsoons can cause. Unless you have certain specific additional coverages, your insurance company will not pay a penny to fix your engine if it's flood damaged. In case you need to change your seats or replace your windshield, the insurance company usually pays only a part of it. That's where add-on covers or riders come in handy.
Why are damages more frequent in monsoons?
"During heavy rain, waterlogging or floods, water can enter the vehicle, seep into the engine and damage it. This is one of the most common claims during monsoons. The engine is one of the most expensive parts of a vehicle and repairing or replacing can be expensive,” Kunal Jha, Head - Motor Product and Actuarial, Go Digit General Insurance.
He added: "Trees or poles uprooted due to heavy rain can seriously damage the exterior of a vehicle. Multiple such instances are witnessed during heavy rain because many vehicles in India are parked on the roads."
Rahul Mishra said, "Even if the car is not submerged in water, heavy rain can cause water damage to the car’s upholstery and electrical wiring, resulting in costly repairs." said Rahul M Mishra, Co-Founder and Director, Policy Ensure.
When it rains heavily, visibility on the roads can be significantly reduced, leading to accidents. Many experts added that the risk of skidding and hydroplaning increases as the roads become slippery.
How auto insurance add-ons cover plug the coverage gap?
Add-ons are optional coverage that can be added to a comprehensive auto insurance policy to enhance your coverage and provide additional protection. Here are four essential additions during the monsoon season.
Why is it critical to add an engine protection cover?
Purchasing an engine protector add-on is essential to protect your engine safeguard your car engine from losses due to liquid ingress. If you try to start your car over and over again while it is submerged in water, the car could get stuck. Engine repair can be expensive. This engine damage is not paid for under a normal auto insurance policy because it is considered collateral damage. “An engine guard covers your car in the event of a hydrostatic lock, where water can seep into the car's air valve and block the engine,” said Nitin Kumar, Head - Motor Insurance, Policybazaar.com.
Roadside assistance comes to your rescue during an emergency
Vehicle breakdowns are more common during the monsoon season. In case you are stranded in a waterlogged area and unable to move your vehicle, opting for the additional coverage of 24/7 roadside assistance can be helpful, said Pooja Yadav, Chief Product Officer, Zuno General Insurance (Erstwhile Edelweiss General Insurance).
Animesh Das, Chief Underwriting Officer - ACKO, adds that this coverage provides instant towing services by a professional that prevents further damage to your vehicle.
Zero depreciation Cover ensures full coverage in parts replacement
If you have zero depreciation coverage, you will be fully reimbursed for the damage, not just the depreciated value of the damaged components. said Aftab Chaz, Associate Director and Head of Business at Elephant.in (Alliance Insurance Brokers)
Consumable add-on coverage ensures no payment even for consumables
This add-on covers the cost of consumables such as engine oil, coolant, and brake fluid, which are required during repairs due to damage caused by flooding, waterlogging, or accidents during the monsoon season.
While there are other add-on covers, the above-mentioned are the most used by consumers due to their relevance and significance during monsoons.
Who Should Buy These Extra Monsoon Auto Insurance Coverages?
These riders come with an added cost. Should all car owners buy these additional covers to protect their cars during the monsoon season?
“It is important that vehicle owners carefully consider their needs and the location in which they are staying before selecting any additions,” Chaz said.
“If you live in an area that is prone to flooding or waterlogging during the monsoon season (such as Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore) then the added motor protection and consumables cover can be particularly useful as it provides coverage for damage to the engine and consumables,” said Mishra.
Amit Goel, director and principal officer of Raghnall Insurance Broking & Risk Management Pvt, said: "Coastal regions often experience heavy rainfall and face risks of waterlogging and high levels of humidity. Water damage and the corrosive effects of salt water can The motor protection cover and consumables cover can help mitigate the risks associated with these conditions."
Goel added: " Places with inadequate drainage infrastructure can lead to water accumulation on roads, increasing the likelihood of accidents due to slippery surfaces. In such areas, a zero consumption cap can be beneficial as it ensures a higher payment for spare parts. regardless of consumption.
If you live in an area where immediate assistance during emergencies, such as towing or on-site repairs, is rare or slow to arrive, having roadside assistance coverage becomes a necessity. This coverage provides peace of mind and guarantees immediate assistance in the event of a breakdown or accident, especially in adverse weather conditions.
"People living in hilly areas also witness cases of landslides during monsoons. It makes a lot of sense to consider a comprehensive motor cover with suitable add-ons to give your vehicle full protection," Jha said.