Buying a suitable car insurance policy is a legal compulsion in India for car owners. To fulfill this, you might have purchased third-party car insurance, the bare minimum requirement as per Motor Vehicles Act, thinking that your safe driving skills will keep your car damage free on the road. Third-party car insurance also costs less compared to a comprehensive policy. An unfortunate road accident may cost you dearly on damage repair. This may leave you wondering if you can switch from third-party car insurance to comprehensive insurance.
Yes, insurance companies offer the convenience of switching from third-party to comprehensive car insurance mode midway during the policy term. By doing this, you can enjoy absolute peace of mind while driving. This happens because you can rest assured that your insurer will bear expenses related to your vehicle damage besides protecting you against third-party claims.
Steps to Switch from Third-party Car Insurance to Comprehensive Car Insurance
You can follow the steps mentioned below for converting your existing third-party car insurance to a comprehensive one for expanding the scope of protection on the road.
1. Application to the Insurance Company
You need to place a request on your insurance company specifying that you want to apply for a comprehensive car insurance policy. For this,
- Visit the official site of your insurer or contact your insurance agent.
- Select the comprehensive car insurance policy and add-ons you want to purchase.
- Upload or furnish relevant documents attesting to your status as a third-party car insurance policy customer of the insurer.
- Upload other important documents like the registration certificate, existing insurance papers, etc.
- The insurance company will inform you about the premium; alternatively, you can also check the payable premium using an online calculator.
- Accept the premium so that the insurer can proceed to the next step.
2. Inspection of Your Car
Your insurance company will send a certified surveyor to get your car inspected. During the inspection, the surveyor will:
- Take photographs of your car to assess its condition.
- Identify any existing damage.
- Ascertain the risk quotient for which insurer will provide coverage.
The surveyor will then prepare a report based on his findings. After the submission of the same to the insurance company, you will receive intimation in writing from it regarding the following:
- Any pre-existing damages shall not be covered under the new comprehensive car insurance for the current year.
- Acceptance or rejection of particular add-ons that you may have opted for.
- The extent of car damage or own damage coverage is to be provided.
3. Issuance of Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy
Once the inspection report has been found satisfactory and you accept the terms and conditions of the insurance company, you will be issued a new comprehensive car insurance policy. All relevant details provided by you shall be incorporated into the new policy.
You must pay the finalised premium to the insurer based on your car's insured declared value (IDV) online or in cash. Once the payment is made and certified, the comprehensive car insurance policy will be issued. It will come into effect from midnight of the same day.
If some aspects of the coverage don’t meet your requirements, you can get in touch with the insurance company to get the needful changes done.
4. Cancellation of the Previous Third-party Car Insurance
Once you have the comprehensive car insurance policy, you can request your insurer to terminate the existing 3rd party only policy. This is because the comprehensive policy will offer coverage of risks related to third-party injury, death, or property damage. You must cancel the third-party car insurance policy or have two separate policies running simultaneously.
The insurance company will make a refund of the insurance premium paid for third-party coverage for the remaining period of the previous policy’s term. You can also ask the insurer to adjust the balance premium with the premium payable for the comprehensive policy if you decide to stay with the same company.
Change Third-Party Only Coverage to Comprehensive Car Insurance During Renewal
The steps mentioned above apply when you want to discontinue third-party car insurance in the middle of the policy period. Otherwise, you can wait for the coverage to lapse and then purchase a comprehensive policy during the online renewal of the car insurance. You enjoy the liberty of bidding goodbye to the existing insurer and switching to a new insurance company that offers better coverage.
The insurance company may send a surveyor to inspect your car. Alternatively, you may be asked to upload pictures or videos of your car captured from various angles and directions. The insurer would scrutinise the visuals to detect existing defects, dents or damage marks before policy issuance.
Changing your third-party car insurance policy to a comprehensive one is simple and well-facilitated by your insurance company. Do extend full cooperation to the insurer’s surveyor, who shall inspect your car. He will visit your premises or schedule an appointment with you at an authorised garage. Remember, a comprehensive car insurance policy always offers more risk coverage at a negligible premium compared to the financial security you stand to enjoy.