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Zee Exclusive: How your motor insurance can cover you in case of natural calamity like Bengaluru floods, says Policybazaar’s Ashwini Dubey

The recent flood in Bengaluru due to incessantly heavy rainfall has thrown life out of gears in the city. The rain and the consequent flooding has not only damaged properties and lives, it adversely impacted the condition of vehicles too with several of them completely submerged in the basements and on roads.

Ashwini Dubey, Head – Motor Insurance Renewals, in an exclusive chat with Reema Sharma of Zee News on the importance of having a back up or cushion against such natural calamity like Bengaluru floods  said, “While this might be the scene from Bengaluru this year, it’s not uncommon to spot such sights in Delhi-NCR or Mumbai in recent years. In fact, lately every year during the monsoons, such incidents are reported.”

“Moreover, such extreme weather events are not restricted to monsoons anymore. In the last four years, India has witnessed eight cyclones causing a large number of casualties and significant destruction to public and private property, including motor vehicles,” he added.

Dubey said that generally low visibility amid the rains increases the chance of road accidents, as well as higher wear and tear of the vehicle, which indirectly leads to higher maintenance costs.

To better protect your vehicle, you must invest in a comprehensive motor insurance policy that protects you and your vehicle during such times, he added.

Ashwini Dubey has mentioned the following points to keep in mind as how your motor insurance can cover you in case of natural calamity

Comprehensive policy:

A comprehensive vehicle insurance policy protects you from huge expenses that may accrue due to damage to the vehicle. The damage could be due to an accident, or even due to natural disasters like earthquakes, landslides, or like in this case, incessant rains and cyclones. The vehicle insurance policy covers the cost to repair damages and replace parts. So in these times where extreme monsoon conditions are quite common, it is crucial to have a comprehensive motor insurance policy.

While a comprehensive car insurance policy would cover most of the repair costs when your vehicle is damaged in a car accident or a natural disaster, there are certain costs which are not covered. For instance, most policies exclude liquid damage to the engine as well as replacement of consumables like lubricants, engine oil, gearbox, nuts and bolts, etc. However, fret not, you could extend your insurance protection using carefully selected add-on covers to make sure your vehicle is fully protected.

Engine protection cover

As the name suggests, this add-on rider covers the cost of repair of the car engine in case of damage due to liquid ingress, which is otherwise not covered in the regular policy. It also covers the cost of the replacement of damaged engine parts. This cover is crucial when it comes to protecting your vehicle in natural calamities like floods because water entering the vehicle is highly likely to cause damage to the engine, especially if the vehicle is submerged in the water for an extended period. This add-on cover also protects your vehicle in case of a hydrostatic lock, which may kick in if water seeps inside the car’s air valve, blocking the engine.

Consumables cover

As mentioned earlier, a regular motor insurance policy does not cover the cost of the consumables. However, a vehicle submerged in water for an extended period would need extensive repairs including replacement of lubricants, engine oil, gearbox and so on. This can add up to a lot. By opting for a consumables cover along with your comprehensive vehicle insurance plan, you can ensure that these costs are also covered under your policy.

NCB protection cover

Making a claim would mean that you would lose the no-claim bonus (NCB) accumulated by you over years by driving safely. And this would be due to no fault of your own if your vehicle is damaged due to water logging. By opting for NCB protection cover, you can make sure that the NCB discount remains intact even after filing the insurance claim.

In any case, if your vehicle is flooded or inundated, make sure you contact your insurer right away. You must not try to start the car in such a case. Get it inspected, assess the damage and get it repaired before you turn in the key. And as far as the cost of repairs goes, if you get the right coverage, then that is something you would not need to worry about.

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