Buying motorcycle insurance online? Here is how to do it
Why do people buy bikes? For some, it’s a dream bike and a necessity for others. Whenever you buy anything, the prime responsibility is to protect it. So purchasing an insurance policy for the motorcycle must be the following step of owning it. We understand that the process of buying insurance can be knotty for many. So we are explaining the steps that can help you to get the best bike insurance.
Before hopping to the steps, let us discuss the mode of purchasing the insurance policy. There are two modes of buying a bike insurance policy.
Older mode: Offline! It is generally purchased through an agent or directly from an insurance company’s office. This method includes a lot of paper works, agent commission, traveling, etc. Yes, it is complex!
Modern mode: Online! Today, we live in an innovative world; from ordering food to buying insurance policies, everything can be done online. It is paperless, does not include agent commissions, saves time, and helps in unbiased decision-making. You know how agents can manipulate us to buy a particular policy, right! So yes, the modern way is the better way, hassle-free!
So let’s jump to the steps.
Step-1: Understanding bike insurance policy and the types:
A bike insurance policy is an agreement between you and the insurance provider, in which the insurer agrees to pay for any financial loss to your bike that may arise from situations like accidents, natural disasters, thefts, etc, provided that you are paying a yearly premium.
There are three types of policies as follows:
- Third-party insurance: Third-party bike insurance is a liability-only policy and is mandatory to ride legally on the roads. In case you happen to cause an accident on the street and injured someone or damage others’ property, then your insurance company takes the responsibility to compensate for the loss of the third party. This policy will not pay you for the damage to your own bike.
- Own damage insurance: To recover the damages to your own bike, you will need an own damage cover. Do you already have a mandatory third-party policy and now want to protect your bike as well? If yes, then you can purchase this coverage from any insurance company of your choice.
- Comprehensive insurance: Basically this is a combo policy that comprise of the third-party cover and the own damage cover. This will pay for the loss of the third-party and the damages to your bike in an accident, loss of your bike in a fire, theft, or any natural disaster.
Step-2: Compare, shortlist and pick the insurance company
Do you directly go to any random fashion store and pick any random t-shirt and buy it? No way! All of us do a little window shopping, check out the quality of similar products from different stores, check out the discounts on the clothes we like and then pick one. The same should be done when buying insurance online. You must explore multiple insurance providers, research their popularity, ratings, claim settlement ratio, customer support, rates, discounts, etc. Then choose the insurance company that is best according to you.
You can always use an online insurance premium calculator from the insurance companies, just feed in the vehicle registration number and a few details about your requirements, and there you go, the calculator will predict a tentative premium price, and you can compare the same policy from different insurance companies.
Step-3: Identify your requirement. Comprehensive or Third-party policy?
Once you finalize the company that you are getting the insurance from, you need to provide your vehicle details and decide the type of policy you need.
Whether you own a new bike and need insurance; or you need a policy renewal for your bike that you often ride in busy traffic/ is a slightly expensive bike, then you should consider a comprehensive policy over third party policy.
On the other hand, if your bike is very old or you think you can afford the own damage repair cost, you can only buy a Third Party Policy and save some money.
Step-4: Customize the IDV smartly!
IDV stands for Insured’s declared value. In simple words, this is an amount determined by the insurance company as the current market value of your bike. Every year, a percentage of depreciation is applied to the IDV. The value of the two-wheeler you own reduces from the price at which you purchased it. When buying the insurance policy online, you can customize this value at your convenience. If you reduce the IDV, the premium amount will decrease.
But keep in mind that reducing the IDV means you will receive a compensation amount lower than the actual worth of your bike in an unfortunate event of a complete loss. This is a crucial factor as this can make or break your insurance policy.
You may also like: Tips to reduce Motor Insurance Cost.
Step-5: Make your comprehensive bike policy more useful with add-ons
A comprehensive policy will cover your bike for the losses that may arise due to fire, theft, accident, natural calamity, along with covering the third party liability. There are a few instances in which the cover to your bike becomes out of scope, or you get a partial settlement under the regular policy.
Let us understand this with a quick example:
Suppose you own a Royal Enfield Classic 350 since 2018, which cost you INR1.53 Lakhs. As the bike is three years old, considering the depreciation, the IDV is determined as INR 89K by the insurance company. Unfortunately, your bike gets stolen in 2021, and you file a claim. In this event, the insurance company will pay you INR 89K only, the IDV amount. Will it be enough to buy a new Royal Enfield with this amount from the insurer? No, right! Will it not be great if the insurance company pays you the full amount mentioned in the purchase invoice of the bike, i.e. INR1.53 Lakhs, so that you can buy a new one?
It would have been possible only if you had an add-on named “Return To Invoice.”
To prevent any possible financial dent in your savings, you need to buy some suitable add-ons and broaden the coverage umbrella. You can add these to the comprehensive policy by paying an extra premium. Some add-ons include Personal accident cover(mandatory extension), Zero Depreciation Cover, Return to Invoice Cover, Engine and Gear-box Protection Cover, Consumable Cover, and Breakdown Assistance.
Step-6: Know how to claim
Now, as you are almost ready to buy the insurance, you need to understand a few things before making the payment. The vital part of any motor insurance is the claim settlement procedure. Because the policy comes to use only when you file a claim in case of a loss. Different insurance companies have their own set of requirements to process the claim.
It will be wise if you understand the process at the right time. Some insurance companies allow the buyers to complete the claim process online. You can make everything quick and get going after the loss. Maybe you can visit and check out one of the network garages of the insurance company for a better understanding.
You may also like: 4 Crucial Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident to Get a Fair Settlement.
Step-7: Inspect the policy terms with an eagle eye
It is your right and responsibility to have complete knowledge about what you are paying for. Please go through the terms and conditions of the bike insurance policy, and avoid confusion and surprises while claiming. Check out the following factors in your policy:
- What is not covered: Generally, accidents caused due to a driver without a license or a drunk driver, damages due to contributory negligence, or consequential damages are not covered.
- Compulsory and voluntary deductibles: Cumposary deductible is a portion of the claim that you HAVE TO pay from your pocket while repairing the damage. If you agree to pay an additional part of the claim known as the voluntary deductible, then you can avail of a discounted premium.
- NCB offer: If you are renewing your policy after a claim-free year, then make sure that you are offered a discount on the premium for the following year, which is no claim bonus.
- Cashless repair garages: Generally, insurance companies offer you to get your motorbike repaired at a network garage that they have an association with, this makes the repair activity cashless. You don’t have to pay anything to the garage, the insurer will take care of it. The bigger is the network, the better!
- Territorial limitations: These are the geographical locations where the policy fails to provide coverage to your vehicle.
Step-8: Carefully fill in the details and checkout
After you are thorough about the policy type, add ons, exclusions, and terms, you have to fill in your personal and vehicle details in a digital form. The insurance company will ask you about personal details like your full name, contact number and email address, nominee details; bike details like registration number, chassis, and engine number, whether the bike is purchased under an EMI plan, etc. Cross-check if all the fields are fed with the correct information and proceed to check out.
Once you complete the payment successfully your insurance policy will be sent to your registered e-mail address in a few minutes. Done! You can save it digitally on your mobile phone or take a printout and put it in your bike storage so that when a traffic officer asks you about documents of your bike, you can produce this along with your RC and driving license.