Are 2-wheeler RSA plans any good; and do I need it_

Having third-party insurance in India is mandated by The Motor Vehicle Act,1988. The penalty for non-compliance is a fine of Rs 2,000/- and you might also get sentenced to up to 3 months of imprisonment. 

Appalling but true, most people in India buy car insurance because it is mandatory. They are not aware of the benefits that insurance policy provides nor do they compare the policies. The decision is made simply based on the low premium. Now, even though a premium is a major contributing factor, there are others as well that should be considered to avail maximum benefit.  

Parameters to look through
You must do thorough research and compare the insurance policies, before zeroing in on a particular one. These criteria tell you how to pick the right one!
  • If the policyholder has not made any claims during the year, the insurance companies offer a discount, known as No Claim Bonus (NCB) , on the amount of premium when you renew the policy. Since NCB is regulated by IRDAI, it does not vary from insurance company to company. 
  • While doing the selection evaluation, check whether the insurance company has an NCB program that you can avail and that it considers the NCB in their quote.  
  •  It is important to check the credentials of the insurance company. To simplify the process of comparing, adapt to the following checklist:
  • - Claim Settlement Process and Ratio
  • - Experience and goodwill
  • - Network garages
  • - Availability of online policies
  • - Customer assistance team and functioning- Online and offline 
  • customer reviews
  • Insured Declared Value (IDV) is the amount paid by the insurance company in the event of a misfortune resulting in total loss of the vehicle, for instance, if the car gets stolen or gets damaged such that it cannot be repaired. 
  • There is no standard IDV across all companies but is determined by the insurer per se. Make sure to assess the current market value of the car before you compare the IDV across different policies. Look for the insurer that provides an IDV which is closest to the market value.
One of the most important things to look for as you compare insurance policies is to check if the policy is providing comprehensive coverage. We say so because comprehensive insurance policies provide a wider coverage than any other coverage. The cover includes personal injury coverage and third-party liability coverage. It also includes all man-made and natural risk factors related to your 

    own as well as a third person’s vehicle, driver, and passengers. Natural calamities include weather, floods, fire, lightning, etc. and man-made calamities include theft, riots, terrorist activity, and damage during travel, either by road, rail, water, or air. 

    You might find the cost of the premium higher but if you perform a cost-benefit analysis, you’ll see that it is worth the money.

Why are you taking a car insurance policy? To protect yourself from financial burden in case of accident or loss of your vehicle, right! Now, what else could serve the purpose better than a cashless service? 

However, insurance companies offer cashless service only if your vehicle was repaired in one of the network garages. Therefore, while comparing, pick the insurer that has the maximum number of network garages. 

    Budget is an important factor to be considered while comparing the policy. Compare different insurance companies for the coverage that will be received with the premium you’ll be paying, and choose what’s most suitable for you. You might also want to consider the deductible clause- While the compulsory deductible, as fixed by the IRDAI cannot go beyond Rs 1000 for a car below 1500cc and Rs. 2000 if the car exceeds 2000cc; with the voluntary deductible plan, you can choose to pay on your will and reduce the amount of premium payable. Choose as per your convenience. 

Every year, your vehicle gets depreciated, and its monetary value reduces over time. Zero Depreciation Cover is an add-on cover that lets you fight off the loss caused by depreciation. Take this add-on cover, and be assured that you’ll be paid the entire claim amount without deducting the accumulated depreciation.
Roadside Assistance is the support provided to the car owner in case of on-road vehicle breakdown due to some technical or mechanical failure like a flat tire, dead battery, key lockout, empty fuel tank, and alike. Apart from being provided by the insurance companies, RSA is also provided by standalone companies like Allianz Roadside Assistance.

    Other add-on covers provided by the insurance companies are Engine and Gearbox cover, Return to Invoice Cover, Consumable Cover and Passenger Cover. Make sure to choose the insurer who provides the add-on covers that you need.

Comparing insurance policies has become easier than ever before. All you need to do is visit the websites of the insurance companies or various online comparison portals and ask for a quote. Be sure to read the complete policy and get the hang of the fine print.

In effect, take the following steps:

    Assess what you want from the insurance policy and jot down the requirements.

    Compare different insurance plans between companies online and get a quote.

    Select the most appropriate plan in line with your requirements. Choose a reputed and trustworthy insurance company that has a good claim settlement ratio along with great customer service.

    Keep track of the renewal date and without any delay, pay your premiums on time. This way, you can achieve maximum merits from your policy.

A well-thought-of and informed decision in choosing your insurance policy will not only protect you from financial contingency but will also protect your car. Hence, buying insurance policies should be given equal consideration and importance as buying a car.