You can buy any of these three bike insurance policies in India - comprehensive, standalone own damage and third-party. A third-party bike insurance policy does not compensate for any damage caused to the insured bike. However, a comprehensive two-wheeler insurance policy covers most damages caused to the insured bike and the third party person, vehicle, or property. Whereas a standalone own damage policy covers only own damage claims.
Since the coverage of a comprehensive insurance policy is much higher than third-party insurance and standalone own damage plans, its premium is quite high. But you can save a substantial amount by claiming the no-claims bonus, which, also applies to standalone own damage bike insurance policies. But as standalone policies do not come with a mandatory third-party liability cover, look to buy comprehensive insurance and maximize it with NCB accumulations.
What is a No-claim Bonus in Bike Insurance?
No-claim bonus or NCB refers to the special discount insurers offer to eligible policyholders. The only condition of claiming the NCB is that the policyholder must not claim any insurance amount during the policy term. However, if you claim anything in the policy year, the NCB instantly reduces to zero.
NCB begins from 20% after the end of the first claim-free policy year. The figure may touch 50% after the end of five successive claim-free policy years. So, you get a 5-10% extra discount for every claim-free policy year after the first year.
However, the discount usually has a maximum cap of 50%, meaning the discount will remain the same after five years, irrespective of the number of years your policy remains claim-free. No-claim bonus is calculated on the base policy premium. This also brings down the total taxes you pay. Hence, NCB is an excellent way to reduce the net policy premium.
What Happens If You Avoid Small Claims?
Not claiming the bike insurance has several benefits. First, it proves that you are a sensible rider. Second, it enables you to reduce your bike insurance premium by increasing the NCB. However, if a bike faces a near-fatal accident in which the bike owner and the bike endure severe damage, claiming the insurance amount is imperative and cost-effective.
But, if the damage is trivial, such as minor dents, clutch or gear issues, carburettor issues, etc., try to refrain from filling out the claim form to get the insurance amount. This is because no matter how trivial the amount is, a claim will disrupt the NCB accumulation process in your policy. Not only this, but even a minor claim will instantly reset your accumulated NCB to zero. And, usually, no bike owner likes to forsake the NCB, especially if the NCB is near 50%.
Bike insurance premiums are dynamic. No one can guarantee you that the rates you see today will stay constant when you plan to renew your bike insurance policy. If the premiums increase (which it most likely will), the NCB discount can come to your rescue. However, by claiming small amounts, you lose the benefits. Hence, you have to pay the total cost of the comprehensive, standalone or third-party two-wheeler insurance policy from your pocket.
It is wise to note that the NCB does not affect a third-party two-wheeler insurance policy since a third-party policy only covers the damage caused to a third-party person, vehicle, or property and not the bike owner.
What Should You Do to Avoid Registering Small Claims?
While the benefits of avoiding small claims are multiple, knowing how to avoid the same is a vital consideration too. Let's check the ways by which you can avoid claiming for small things and get the NCB accumulations intact.
Show Your Bike to a Local Mechanic
If you maintain friendly relations with your local mechanic, it may offer you deep discounts on the repair cost. But, you can also show your bike at a company-authorised service station.
Many bike manufacturers or dealers offer special discounts and run special bike repairing campaigns. You can get cheap deals at such events. Spending little at a local garage may help you avoid filing an insurance claim and retaining the hard-earned NCB discount.
Add the Zero Depreciation Cover
Although a comprehensive bike insurance policy is touted as the best policy, it does not cover the normal wear and tear (depreciation) of the insured bike. The older your bike gets, the higher the depreciation will be. Hence, even if you apply for a claim to repair your bike, the chances are high that your insurer will not pay you the full amount.
Instead, they will deduct the depreciation and pay you the remaining amount. However, if you add the zero-dep add-on cover to your two-wheeler insurance policy, your insurer will cover all depreciating parts, including plastic and fibre parts. So, a zero-dep add-on cover reduces the effect of the NCB loss if you claim an amount.
Purchase an Anti-theft System
An anti-theft system alerts the bike owner about any impending danger to the bike. This is especially helpful if you often park your bike in public places.
An anti-theft system automatically blows a loud horn to alert everyone around if it detects any unusual activity near the bike. This system can help you avert damage to your bike and keep it exactly how you leave it.
Renew Your Bike Insurance Policy At Least 15 Days Before Expiry
Many unsuspecting two-wheeler owners forget to renew their bike insurance policies. This increases their susceptibility to fines.
If your bike insurance policy is invalid, you cannot claim coverage from your insurer and thus need to pay the total bike repairing amount from your pocket. Hence, it is prudent to renew your policy before it expires for continued insurance coverage.
Registering a small claim doesn’t do you any good if you purchase a comprehensive bike insurance policy. However, your insurer may happily reimburse the amount you use to repair your bike. That will be at the cost of the NCB. When you claim the full insurance amount or a part of it, the insurer resets the NCB to zero. Hence, to get a small amount, you have to forsake your hard-earned NCB.
Read more - Benefits of Bike Insurance Premium Calculator