How to save on car insurance premium
Buying a new car is a landmark event and a matter of pride for most people. The car sometimes becomes a part of your routine, and at others an instrument through which you spend quality time with your loved ones. You use the car to go to work, to go on vacations and even for short trips to cinema halls and shopping malls with your family. So, it is imperative that you treat your car right and have its insurance up to date.
However, since buying a car itself is a major expense, a question often pops up when you have just bought a car is do you really need the added burden of the insurance cost. You want to keep your vehicle protected but you also want to reduce the recurring costs that come with a vehicle insurance policy. But if one looks at the official statistics, around 4.5 lakh road accidents happened last year on Indian roads. Moreover, the cases of theft of vehicles are also rampant in the country with over 2.3 lakh vehicles stolen in 2018 as per the latest data from National Crime Records Bureau. Out of these, only some 54,000 vehicles were recovered. 
With this backdrop, a vehicle insurance cover can go a long way in keeping you protected on and off the road. In case of an accident, the cost of damage to your car can be claimed. A vehicle insurance policy also includes third party cover that will also pay for the third party damages that may arise due to an accident. A comprehensive insurance package will have the damages of all parties covered. With the advent of digital transformation, comparing and buying car insurance online has never been easier.
Ways to Save on Car Insurance Premium
What you need is a right balance so that you have an insurance cover while also making sure that those recurring premiums don't get out of hand. A few simple steps are all that are needed for that to happen. The first is to ensure you pay your premiums on time, so your policy does not lapse. If your policy is lapsed, it would increase the premium for buying a new policy.
It is also a good idea not to claim insurance for small damages or repairs, thus keeping your 'no-claim-bonus' intact. However, even if you did not make any claim on your earlier policy, you might not be eligible for 'no-claim-bonus' on a lapsed policy, which would have otherwise brought down the cost of your policy renewal.
Image credits: Bajaj Allianz General Insurance
Another way to reduce premiums is to evaluate how much voluntary deductions you can take. A voluntary deduction is a part of the claim that the policyholder opts to pay from his own pocket before raising it to the insurer. It is one of the best ways to reduce your car insurance premium. This means that aside from the compulsory deductions that you need to pay out of pocket for an insurance claim, you can voluntarily add a small percentage to it. This would increase the money you may spend if an accident takes place, but will help you reduce the premium as well. You can compute the revised premiums after implementing these modifications with the help of a car insurance calculator.
There are also some other indirect steps you can take to bring down your insurance premium. One way is to avoid getting expensive gadgets installed in your car as these increase the risk of theft and also the value of your car, thereby raising the premium value. Instead, try to get anti-theft systems installed as this would make your car more secure and reduce premiums. Some insurers like Bajaj Allianz General Insurance give an option to the vehicle owner to include or exclude insurance on your car's additional fitments, with the basic policy premium calculated excluded of that cost. So one has the flexibility to pay more to get those fitments covered, or keep the premium low.
How to Choose a Policy that is Best for You
Even with a low premium, the hassle of actually keeping your vehicle insurance up to date doesn't go away. You still need to fill in your paperwork and make payments timely to keep yourself protected. However, here, choosing an insurance provider that provides hassle-free car insurance renewal will make things a lot easier. Another thing to consider is additional rider options that are available with the policy. The most important factor in choosing an insurer is the claim settlement process.
Insurers like Bajaj Allianz General Insurance offer a very simple claim settlement process on their website or via their "Caringly Yours" app. It also gives you a 30-day grace period during which you can renew your insurance policy after it has lapsed, adding another aspect of convenience. You won't have to go through the entire re-evaluation process.
Moreover, you can opt for riders like consumable expenses rider that covers cost of consumables such as engine oil, gearbox oil, power steering oil, coolant, AC gas oil, brake oil, etc that may be incurred while replacing or replenishing the damaged vehicle after an accident. You may also opt for conveyance benefit which offers a 'per day' cash benefit that is payable if your car is in a workshop following accidental damage and the claim for the same is accepted. These unique features available at affordable cost can come in handy in case of any mishap. And, most vehicle owners seem to understand the importance of that.
It's best to be safe than sorry. You may follow all the rules and take all precautions, but accidents by nature are unpredictable. An insurance cover protects you from situations beyond your control. Of course, it won't protect you from an injury, but it removes the monetary losses and brings a sense of security when you are out on the roads.
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