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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
|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.
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:
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:
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:
Here is the step-by-step process showing how both the variants of claim settlement unfold:
|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.
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.
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),
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:
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:
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.
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:
Here is a calculator provided by a leading two-wheeler insurance platform.
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: