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Complete Guide Of Buying Two-Wheeler (Bike) Insurance Online

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17 Min Read

Bikes and two-wheelers are the go-to choice of vehicle for most of the people in India. The reason for more people opting for these vehicles is quite perceptible – they have a lower cost of ownership than their four-wheeled counterparts. Most people consider the cost of maintenance, petrol, and the price of the vehicle when they are trying to determine the cost of ownership for their bike. However, there is another major cost that many bike-owners have to bear – the cost of repairs when the bike incurs some damage. The damage can be a result of the bike getting stolen or getting into a road accident. Two-wheeler insurance can save you from any such costs.

People tend to stop their research on bike insurance at the recommendations they receive from the bike sales team or their near & dear ones. If you have chosen to do your homework on a two-wheeler insurance policy, this comprehensive guide will take you through the entire cycle of understanding the process, cost, benefit, and best practices of getting two-wheeler insurance.

Why Should You Buy Bike Insurance Online?

This is a common question for most bike owners. When the sales team at the showroom is helping you with the financing, why not ask them about the bike insurance as well?

Well, you should take control in your hands and focus on doing your own research. There are several benefits of buying bike insurance online:

Benefits of Two-Wheeler Insurance Plans

  1. Saves you from incurring the cost of repairs and services if your bike gets damaged in an accident, gets stolen, or gets severely impaired in a natural calamity, as per the policy you have taken.
  2. Saves you and the other party from paying from medical expenses in case you get into an accident.
  3. Some policies are also deductible under certain tax regimes.
  4. It helps you with more practical financial planning since you would not be bearing any major unforeseeable expenses related to bikes.
  5. As per the Motor Vehicle Act 1998, all two-wheeler owners are supposed to have two-wheeler insurance. Hence, buying bike insurance online also helps you abide by the laws.

Benefits of Buying Bike Insurance Online

Access to Information:

It gives you better access to information since most quality insurance platforms go to great lengths to help you understand the key terms and conditions for each policy.

Saves Time:

Buying bike insurance online is a great choice if you are running on a busy schedule. It helps you browse through all the details at your convenience, instead of being dependent on the insurance sales team’s working hours.

Comprehensive Knowledge without Any Commitments:

You can go through chatbots and FAQs to get answers to the most commonly asked questions quickly. Or else, you can also talk to a customer success executive and get your answers. The benefit here is that you don’t have to make any commitments of buying or investing your time in getting the answers.

Space for Comparisons and Research:

As a financially responsible two-wheeler owner, you would want to know the two-wheeler insurance rate offered by different insurance companies. This will help you conduct all the comparative research you need before you make a decision. Plus, no one will push you to make an instant decision – a phenomenon common among aggressive insurance sales teams.

Types of Two-Wheeler Insurance Plans in India

Insurance Form

In India, when you set out to compare the available alternatives for two-wheeler insurance in the market, you will find that many companies have different insurance products lined up with several features. It is actually quite simple to understand the entire landscape of types of insurance policies in India.

There are two forms of insurance policies – Comprehensive Policy and Third-Party Insurance. All other types of insurance policies available are mere add-ons to these policies. So, if you understand the basic concept of these two types of two-wheeler insurance policies, you would understand practically all the types of two-wheeler insurance policies available in the market.

1. Third-Party Insurance:

As per government rules, this is the bare minimum form of insurance you must have. By definition, third-party insurance saves you from paying for any penalties, damages, or expenses that might have come across because you got into an accident with a third-party. The third-party refers to any individual or group of individuals who got directly affected by an accident.

Third-party insurance does not cover any medical expenses incurred by you for your own well being after the accident. It doesn’t even cover the expenses you have to bear to get your vehicle up & running. Yet, it saves you from a sudden and highly damaging liability that you might have to pay to a third-party if you do not have the insurance in place. Hence, it still gives you the benefit of saving your financial plans by shifting the liability to pay for third-party damages to the insurance company.

Third-party would cover damages to life, health, and property incurred by the third-party.

2. Comprehensive Insurance

As the name would suggest, comprehensive insurance is designed to cover maximum liabilities pertinent to a bike. While third-party insurance is the most common form of insurance, comprehensive insurance will cover more liabilities and give you better value for money.

A comprehensive two-wheeler insurance policy will cover the health and physical damages you have incurred in the accident. At the same time, it will also cover the expenses you have to incur for getting your two-wheeler repaired and running. The best thing about having a comprehensive two-wheeler insurance policy is that it covers you and the third-party who unfortunately became a part of the accident.

An implied benefit of having comprehensive two-wheeler insurance is that it allows you to add several value-delivering add-on packages. You can take a pillion cover to protect the passenger sitting with you on the vehicle. You can also get add-ons like a return to value, which helps you get coverage for the invoice value (including taxes) for the bike instead of the insurer-declared value. Such add-ons are generally not available on third-party insurance packages.

You should also consider the fact that comprehensive insurance often comes with a higher premium since the quantum of its coverage is quite high. However, as a two-wheeler insurance policy, it is a considerable alternative as it saves you from other forms of expenses you might have to incur if you have third-party insurance.

Features of Bike Insurance Policy

While considering two-wheeler insurance, there are several other factors you will have to look into. A common set of factors includes the features of the bike insurance policy. The features will generally decide how convenient and affordable it is to buy insurance for a specific insurer.

Here are the common features of a bike insurance policy you should consider before buying one:

bike repair

1. Choice of Buying Third-Party or Comprehensive Insurance:

Most insurers already offer third-party insurance since it is mandatory for all the bike owners. You should check with your insurer to see what are the types of bike insurance policies available.

2. Maximum Coverage:

This number will show what is the maximum claim you can make in terms of the policy’s coverage. For instance, a third-party coverage policy with ₹7.5 lakhs of maximum coverage will bear expenses only till that limit, in case of an accident and damage caused to the third party. Even if the actual damages are beyond that limit, this is the maximum you will be able to get from your insurer.

3. Injuries and Death Caused by Your Vehicle:

This feature will help you understand how much the insurer will pay to a third-party if the accident your vehicle is involved in results in a severe injury or death of a third-party.

4. Own Vehicle and Health Coverage:

Some insurance policies, which generally fall under the comprehensive insurance policy category, tend to cover the damage caused to your vehicle and the expenses you have to incur for your own health post an accident. You should check with your prospective insurer to see up to what extent your policy covers the expenses you might have to incur.

5. Coverage for Damage Caused by Theft or Natural Disasters:

Some comprehensive policies offer add-ons that help you cover the damages you might have to incur in case your bike is stolen or gets severely damaged by a natural disaster. Some add-ons also include features like damage caused during transportation or damage caused due to riots & similar acts.

6. No Claim Bonus and NCB Transfer:

No Claim Bonus is a feature designed to inspire safer driving and reduce your cost of ownership for the bike insurance. The general idea of an NCB is simple – if you don’t make a claim in a particular year, your premium for the next year is charged at a discount. This can go as high as 50% of the premium amount and help you reduce the cost of owning the two-wheeler insurance policy, without compromising on the extent of coverage.

READ  Advantages Of Two Wheeler Insurance

7. Processing Time and Fee:

While this is not considered to be an inherent feature, it definitely shows how well-engineered the systems in an insurance company are. You should evaluate the tentative processing time as well as the processing charges levied onto you for buying the insurance policy. This should not be considered a deal-breaker but should be used to gauge the efficiency of the insurer.

8. Claims Checking Platform:

Before you finalize buying the bike insurance policy, make sure you understand the entire claims-making process. Some insurers have dedicated platforms to help you make a claim. If possible, go through the platform and see the ease of use for the platform. This will help you determine how fast you will get the response on your claim if you register a claim after buying the two-wheeler insurance policy.

Add-On Covers for Two Wheeler Insurance Policy

Comprehensive policies are the go-to choice for anyone who is seeking end-to-end coverage and risk mitigation. However, it is not perfect for a lot of people. Despite being more expensive than its third-party insurance counterparts, comprehensive two-wheeler insurance policies do not cover every expense or risk. To take care of these gaps, insurers offer a list of add-ons.

Add-ons are optional features that you can add to your comprehensive policies for incremental charges. If you are aware of the risks that are pertinent to your vehicle, you should definitely consider an add-on. It may increase your premium, but it will also help manage the risk of having to pay higher prices. Here are some of the most common add-ons.

(Note: You should check with your insurance company to see what kind of add-ons are available at what charges. The list given here is indicative.)

RSA

  1. Pillion Cover:
    Even if you get a comprehensive two-wheeler insurance policy, it will not reimburse you for the damages your co-passenger or the person sitting behind you had to bear. In an accident, the person sitting behind you is also at risk. For such situations, the pillion cover can help you get coverage on the expenses you might have to incur in the form of health and medical attention necessary for the person sitting right behind you.
  2. Return to Invoice (RTI):
    Return to Invoice helps you ensure that the reimbursement you receive when your bike is stolen or has been damaged beyond repair, compensates for the price you paid for the bike. As you will see in the Zero Depreciation Cover section, your two-wheeler accumulates depreciation and loses value every year, no matter how carefully you drive. RTI will ensure that you are paid the original price of your bike, irrespective of the difference. The key difference between RTI and Zero Depreciation Cover lies in their use-cases. RTI is applicable for cases where the two-wheeler has been stolen or is damaged to an extent where no degree of repairs would bring it back to a working condition. Zero Depreciation
  1. Roadside Assistance (RSA):
    Roadside Assistance is one of the most pragmatic add-ons which works well for both adding value and a layer of safety alongside your comprehensive insurance policy. With this add-on, if your bike breaks down when you are driving, you can simply call your insurer, share your policy details, and wait. Your insurer will send a mechanic with the equipment and a towing van necessary to help you out. The insurance company will later take care of the bill for the mechanic’s services.
  2. Zero Depreciation:
    Zero Depreciation is a basic concept that rests on the principle that your bike undergoes wear and tear. Hence, at some point, its value is bound to decrease. Here is a tentative depreciation rate applied to bikes:
Vehicle’s Age Rate of Depreciation
< 6 months 5%
Between 6 & 12 months 15%
Between 1 and 2 years 20%
Between 2 and 3 years 30%
Between 3 and 4 years 40%
Between 4 and 5 years 50%

 

Now, why should you care about the rate of depreciation on your bike if you are not planning to sell it anytime soon? This rate is relevant for you because it is the base value your insurer uses to reimburse you in case you file a claim.

Imagine – your new bike is worth ₹70,000 when you buy it. After 6 months of normal use, it will be worth ₹66,500. If your insurance policy covered 100% of the bike’s value, even then, you would get only the depreciated amount, assuming there are no other damages.

A zero depreciation add-on saves you from this rate of depreciation. If you have this add-on with your comprehensive two-wheeler insurance policy, your insurer will pay you for the original price of the bike. A comprehensive policy without the zero depreciation cover would attract additional depreciation on nylon, rubber, fiberglass, and glass parts. One with the zero depreciation cover would not.

Depending on the insurer, you may find other forms of add-ons like the ones that cover the damage incurred by your bike in case it gets damaged due to theft, natural calamities, or riots. Ideally, you should talk to every potential insurer and make a list of all add-on policies available. Many add-ons are addable even when you renew your policy. So, it might not be too late to consider an add-on.

What is Covered Under Bike Insurance Policy

By this point, you would’ve discovered how a two-wheeler insurance policy can save you from bearing unforeseeable financial expenses incurred due to accidents or even natural causes. In general, here are the types of coverages you can get under a bike insurance policy:

  1. Third-Party Coverage for Property, Life, and Health:
    This is the most common form of insurance coverage. It protects you from paying for the damage to life, property, or health or someone else, in case your bike is involved in an accident.
  2. Covering the Expenses for Your Own Health and Medical Supervision:
    Right after the expenses for the third-party have been covered, you would be incurring the expenses for your own wellbeing. Such expenses often include visiting a doctor and getting the necessary medical attention after an accident. Depending on your policy, it may cover most of the medical expenses attributable to the accident. A comprehensive bike insurance policy would ideally cover this form of expense.
  3. Covering Expenses for the Medical Needs of Your Co-Passenger:
    If a co-passenger is also involved in the accident, the bike insurance policy can cover the expenses necessary for the medical treatment she/he may need after an accident. Generally, as we highlighted earlier, this is available in the form of an add-on to your comprehensive policy.
  4. Covering the Expenses Incurred for Getting Your Bike Repaired:
    While coming out of an accident, your bike will also need certain repairs to get back to its operational levels. Such expenses can often include major replacements, repairs, and servicing. Comprehensive two-wheeler insurance policies and their add-ons tend to cover such expenses. Roadside Assistance (RSA) is a common form of such coverage.
  5. Compensation Released on Loss of Life:
    Many insurance companies would reimburse your family a sum of up to ₹1,00,000 in case you, unfortunately, face loss of life in an accident. Some insurers have specific bylaws dictating disbursements of specific amounts if you face partial but permanent physical damage in an accident. Make sure you understand such clauses available to you, even if they are not verbally communicated at the time of insurance purchase.
  6. Coverage on Depreciation of the Bike and Its Parts:
    You can attain this with the help of add-ons. The depreciation coverage can be used to get the full value of your bike, even after your bike has incurred depreciation over the years. Zero-Depreciation and Return to Invoice add-ons are frequently used to attain such coverage.

A two-wheeler insurance policy can cover most of the expenses one would have to incur post an accident. However, there are some expenses which are not covered and some conditions which can right away negate the entire claim:

  1. Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol:
    If you were driving over the legally permissible limit of alcohol consumption, the insurance company would not be responsible for any accidents, your two-wheeler gets into under such circumstances. This is a commonly known bylaw, which is written in fine lines in almost every insurance contract.
  2. Driving with an Expired License:
    If you have been driving without a valid license, technically, you have broken the law. The moment your license expires, the insurance company is not liable to pay you for any damages caused to the third-party or to you, even if you have paid the premium in full. Hence, always ensure that your license is valid when you go for a drive.
  3. Driving with an Expired Policy:
    While this may sound like common knowledge, many people don’t pay attention to the tenure of their policy. Once the policy has expired, the contract between you and your insurer has matured. Hence, legally, the insurer has no liabilities in paying for your damages.
  4. In Third-Party Insurance, All the Damages Except the Ones Attributable to the Third Party:
    This one is pertinent to the third-party two-wheeler insurance policies. Such policies do not cover any damage incurred by you, your vehicle, your co-passenger, or your property. As the name suggests, it covers just the third-party damages.
  5. Wear & Tear and Mechanical Failures:
    The concept of wear & tear often runs parallel to the concept of depreciation. The latter is applied with an assumption that the former would reduce the value of your bike. Hence, even with a comprehensive bike insurance policy that has add-ons, you will not get compensated for any wear & tear damages or mechanical failures.
  6. Damages Caused to the Rubber Tyre, Gas Kit, and Fuel Kit:
    These three components are susceptible to frequent damage and are easily replaceable. Plus, they are also quite vulnerable to damages that would necessitate replacement. Hence, most insurance policies would not cover the costs incurred to repair or replace these three components.
  7. All Expenses Incurred Beyond the Coverage Cap:
    All bike insurance policies come with some form of maximum limit to the coverage. Any expense claim beyond this claim is straightaway rejected. For instance, your insurance policy covers damages up to ₹5,00,000 for third-party damages. If the third-party damages add up to ₹5,01,000, the extra ₹1,000 would not be covered by the insurer.
READ  Difference Between Comprehensive And Third Party Two-Wheeler Insurance

Two Wheeler Insurance Claim Settlement Process

Understanding the claim-settlement process for your two-wheeler insurance can single-handedly safeguard you in a dire situation, help you save more money, and maximize the chances of your claim getting accepted.

There are two common types of claim settlement processes:

  1. Cashless Transaction:
    In this process, you don’t have to go through the extra documentation of submitting invoices. You will be working with the insurer-approved partner and would provide your insurance details. The partner would process the entire settlement with your insurance company. You will be duly notified about the progress made.
  2. Reimbursements:
    This is the process you have to undergo when you are already incurring the expense and then submitting the documents to get reimbursements. Here, the insurance company will notify you stating whether your claims have been accepted or not.

Here is the step-by-step process showing how both the variants of claim settlement unfold:

Cashless Reimbursement
1. Work with the insurer’s partners – hospitals, mechanics, laboratories, etc. 1. You inform your insurer about an expense you are about to incur by filling up the form. After that, the insurer will send a verifier to evaluate the legitimacy of the claim.
2. Provide your insurance details before you avail the service. 2. Ideally, you visit an authorized dealer, store, or business that works with your insurer. This would help you get invoices acceptable for your insurer.
3. Approve the necessary services you want to be billed for. These should be approved by your insurance coverage as well, in order to be covered by the insurer. 3. After incurring the expense, you collect all invoices, FIR, and doctor’s recommendations (if any) to substantiate the need for the expense. Once aggregated, you can submit these documents to your insurer.
4. No extra documentation necessary. 4. Depending on the coverage of your policy and the expenses you have incurred, along with the sanctity of the invoices, your insurer may choose to approve, partially approve, or reject the claim. You will receive the cash in your account if the claim is approved.

For the reimbursement process, make sure you inform your insurer before incurring the expense, work with insurer-approved vendors, and keep track of all the invoices.

How to Renew Two Wheeler Insurance Policy Online?

Renewal is a critical part of your insurance process. It ensures that your insurance policy for the bike is running at least till the time you are using your bike. Not renewing your insurance policy would lead to penalties and expose you to uncalculated financial risks, in case your bike gets in some trouble.

Renewing your two-wheeler insurance policy online is a simple process.

  1. Go to your insurer’s website or an insurance portal and select the renew policy form.
  2. Start adding the details of your vehicle. You will need your insurance policy documents readily available to do this.
  3. You will have to enter the IDV or Insured Declared Value of your vehicle. You can use this free tool created by the General Insurance Council to calculate the IDV of your two-wheelers.
  4. Select the insurance policy you believe is best suited for your needs.
  5. Make the payment, and you have successfully renewed your insurance policy!

Steps to Renew Insurance Policy Offline

You can conduct the same process offline by visiting the nearest insurance branch office. You will have to fill the physical form. But, just like the online process, if you are paying in cash or card, the policy will be released as soon as the payment has been made. Cheques tend to go in clearance and take more time.

You will need documents such as all the paperwork for your bike’s ownership, your previous years’ policy, NCB certificate (if available),

How to Renew Your Expired Two Wheeler Insurance Policy?

As soon as you realize your insurance policy has expired, immediately start the renewal process. Since you already have the documents in place, it would be easy to get the insurance policy processed with your existing insurer. If you are going ahead with a new insurer, you might have to redo the entire process, just as you would buy a new insurance policy. If your policy has expired, you can renew it by:

  1. Visiting your insurer’s online portal.
  2. Visiting the nearby insurance office.
  3. Making an online payment and receiving the policy in over email.

How to Compare Online Two Wheeler Insurance Plans?

Now that you have access to all the information online, it has become easier to compare between different two-wheeler insurance rates and see which one fits your requirements. Since third-party insurance is mandatory, there wouldn’t be anything to compare. Ideally, you should get comprehensive insurance since it gives you better coverage.

You can either use an online portal selling insurance or get the data from different insurers’ websites. Here are the factors you should compare:

  1. Coverage:
    Understand the criteria and extent of coverage. Criteria would include the basis on which claims are calculated, and the extent is the amount to which you can get a claim.
  2. Add-Ons:
    Add-Ons will help you mitigate the risk of getting unforeseen expenses charged to you. By paying a small amount, you can avoid major risks. Make sure you compare each add-on offered by all the insurers you want to compare.
  3. Features:
    Make sure you understand the specific features pertinent to each two-wheeler insurance policy. This may include any discount, No Claim Bonus, extra miles’ coverage, and so on. They will bring down the cost of owning insurance.
  4. Claim and Renewal Process:
    Claim is when your insurance policy actually comes to your rescue. Collect information on how does the claim process for each insurer unfold – how many days does it take, what is the average percentage of claims accepted, what type of documentation is necessitated to settle the claim, and so on. The renewal process is equally important. Ideally, you should be able to renew your policy online or offline, using the basic documentation and information about your vehicle, which you already possess.

How to Buy Two Wheelers Insurance Plans Online?

You can easily buy a new two-wheeler insurance plan online. Visit either an insurance marketplace or an insurer’s dedicated website.

You will find a clearly segmented area for buying a new insurance policy. Here is how you can get your new two-wheeler insurance:

1. Carefully enter your city’s name and the RTO zone applicable to you.

2. Select the manufacturer’s brand, model, and the variant of your bike. This would be available in some form of a scroll-down menu. You will just have to make the right selections.

3. Add the year of your bike’s manufacturing. You will find this detail in the bike’s documents.

4. If you are in a marketplace, you will be shown different insurance policies offered by different companies. If you are on a dedicated website, you will be shown the types of policies offered by that specific insurer.

5. Compare the policies and select the one that fits into your requirements.

6. Go through the add-ons section and select the ones you think will add value to your policy.

7. Finally, make the payment online. Most insurers would send the policy documents’ softcopy to your email ID.

How to Calculate Two Wheeler Insurance Premium Online?

insurance calc

Most leading insurers offer a free insurance premium calculator to help you understand the estimated expense you will incur for getting the two-wheeler insurance you need.

Visit the website of an insurance marketplace or an insurer’s dedicated website. Here is how the process will unfold:

  1. Enter your name, email ID, phone number, and other contact details.
  2. Add the details about your bike – brand, year of manufacturing, model, and variant.
  3. Put the coverage you would be seeking by selecting the available insurance plan and the add-ons.
  4. Add the fuel type applicable to your vehicle.
  5. Select your city of residence.

Here is a calculator provided by a leading two-wheeler insurance platform.

Factors Affecting Two Wheeler Insurance Premium

Two-wheeler insurance premiums are easy to calculate. However, if you want to understand the process in detail, here are the common factors that affect the two-wheeler insurance:

  1. Coverage Type: Third-party or comprehensive, along with add-ons.
  2. Your Bike’s Type and Modifications: The brand, fuel type, year of manufacturing, and
  3. Your Profile: Age, city of residence, marital status, employment status, driving history, and gender.
  4. Add-Ons: Pillion, zero depreciation, return to invoice, roadside assistance, etc.
  5. Anti-Theft Device: These devices ensure the traceability of your vehicle and generally help you in lowering the premiums on your policy.
  6. Voluntary and Compulsory Excess: Compulsory excess is the percentage of the cost you will have to bear. Voluntary excess is the extra cost you are ready to bear, even if not mandated by the policy agreement.
  7. NCB : No Claim Bonus can bring down your premiums.

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