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A Definitive Guide to Bumper To Bumper Insurance For Car

05 Aug 2021

Car Insurance Article

Car insurance is about selecting the right cover. For car owners in India, buying insurance is not a choice but a legal requirement. However, finding a fitting cover can be tricky as you need to strike a delicate balance between affordability and risk assessment.

According to the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act, every vehicle that is driven or parked on public roads or places in India must be insured, and car owners who fail to comply could be fined or prosecuted. This requirement can be met with third-party insurance that provides financial cover to the insured person against any legal liability arising due to loss/damage caused to a third-party person or property.

But the third-party insurance is the most basic cover and does not protect you or your vehicle in the event of an accident, natural calamity or theft.

So, every car owner needs higher insurance, and this is where confusion about coverage starts – what to cover and what to leave out. Most people go for a comprehensive plan that covers you, your car and the passengers in your car, as well as any third party involved in an accident. The comprehensive insurance also protects your car against vandalism, theft and natural calamities such as floods.

However, even the best the comprehensive plan may not give you complete coverage, making people go for add-ons. Add-on, as the name suggests, is additional protection you get in your insurance policy by paying extra charges. One such increasingly popular add-on is bumper-to-bumper, also called zero depreciation or nil depreciation cover.

What is a bumper-to-bumper insurance plan?

Bumper-to-bumper is an add-on to a comprehensive insurance policy that offers complete coverage for all types of damages to your car, even rubber parts, fibreglass, plastic, nylon and metal components that are usually excluded in a standard comprehensive policy.

As the name suggests, a bumper-to-bumper add-on covers the entire car, leaving out only a certain type of engine damage, tyres, batteries and glass.

This insurance policy add-on is available for the cars emerging out of the showroom as well as those up to five years old.

The bumper to bumper insurance cover gives your 100 per cent coverage if your car is damaged in an accident or because of other factors mentioned in the policy.

The most attractive feature of this add-on policy is that the insurer does not take depreciation into account when you make a claim. The insurer pays you the entire cost of the replacement of car parts. Depreciation is a major factor in car insurance because, for insurers, the value of a car starts depreciating the moment it comes out of the showroom. So, when a claim is made, the insurer takes depreciation into account.

Introduced in India in 2009, the bumper to bumper add-on is a good option for car owners who want minimum exclusions when it comes to coverage of their vehicle. Although anyone can opt for this add-on, bumper-to-bumper insurance cover is best suited for the following category of people:

  • Owners of new car and those up to five years old
  • Owners of expensive or luxury cars
  • New drivers or those with not much experience
  • Car owners who live in areas prone to accidents or natural calamities or those who are required to travel to such places
  • Those who want to keep their car free of even a slight scratch, dent or bump
  • Car age factor: The bumper to bumper insurance is available only for cars five-year-old or younger. The older vehicles are not covered
  • Limitation on the number of claims: Most car insurers allow only a limited number of claims in a year. Since the number of claims allowed differs from company to company, car owners should do research before making a decision
  • High premium: Bumper to Bumper insurance comes with a premium higher than the one you need to pay for a regular comprehensive policy not offering these protections

Exclusions in a bumper-to-bumper insurance policy

Bumper-to-bumper has many attractive features but exclusions as well. The bumper-to-bumper insurance policy does not usually cover engine damages caused due to the leakage of the fuel or water ingression.

Similarly, if there is a change in the fuel of the car, it may not be covered. Certain type of damages and wear and tear to the battery, tyres, gas kit, clutch plates and bearings are also excluded.

Separate add-ons for engine protection and other exclusions are an option in these situations.

Disclaimer: For more details on risk factors, terms & conditions please read sales brochure carefully before concluding a sale. *The discount amount will vary subject to vehicle specification and place of registration

Possible reasons for claim refusal

Car insurance claims, like other insurances, have many ifs and buts until you get the money in your account. So, you need to be careful right from signing the documents to the expiration of the policy and at the renewal. Your chances of getting the claims depend on how well you follow the conditions laid out in your policy document. You should remember that to err may be human, but the insurers will not leave the opportunity to save wherever they can. Here are some of the common reasons for which a policyholder could be denied a claim:

  • If the insured raises a fraudulent claim or hides any information
  • Commercial use of a vehicle registered as private vehicle
  • If a vehicle is involved in any illegal or unethical activity
  • If it is proved that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the car was damaged
  • If the necessary papers of the car are missing and documentation is incomplete
  • If the claim has not been made within the stipulated time
  • If the car has been damaged due to uninsured peril
  • If the car has been damaged due to mechanical breakdown

Value for money

No policy is perfect, and that is why insurance companies keep bringing out innovative products, but bumper-to-bumper insurance can take care of major concerns of a policyholder. It comes in handy when there is a possibility of a car owner being hit with a huge bill. Of course, you have to pay over and above the regular premium, but you are assured of value for money. You can add the bumper-to-bumper cover either at the time of buying your insurance or any time later.

Many companies offer bumper-to-bumper cover, but it’s a good idea to research the products and use an online bumper-to-bumper calculator to arrive at a decision. After all, it is about the protection of your car.

If you are looking for car insurance, Liberty General Insurance is the place to go. It offers you a wide range of products to help you make an informed choice.

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