Biking is nothing short of an adventure sport! For most bikers, the rush of cutting through traffic lights on the way to office is like bungee-jumping. And like all adventure activities, safety comes first. Therefore, IRDAI has made it mandatory to have two-wheeler insurance. However, most people have limited knowledge about insurance. This makes it highly likely to choose a policy without understanding its benefits completely. If you are looking to change your two-wheeler insurance provider, you are in the right place!
Once you have decided, changing your two-wheeler insurance provider is very easy. But before we jump to the steps, let’s compare the common situations when people usually change their insurer.
Common Scenarios for Changing the Insurer
At the Time of Renewal:
This is the most hassle-free period to opt for a new insurance provider. Most two-wheeler insurance policies have a predetermined time period. Once that period expires, you can decide how you want to proceed. You can either continue with the same insurer or choose a different insurance provider. The process of renewal is very similar to that of buying a new policy. There is no cancellation or transfer needed.
Within Policy Period Time:
Although it is uncommon, you can change your insurer while your policy is still active. Before buying a new two-wheeler insurance policy, you will need to inform your present insurer about your decision. It is important to cancel your old policy before getting a new one.
PRO-TIP: It is punishable under the law to drive without an active policy. So, if your previous policy has been cancelled and the new policy is yet to be issued, do not ride your bike.
At the time of Selling the Two-Wheeler:
A two-wheeler insurance policy is issued against a specific vehicle. Therefore, if you are selling your vehicle, you will also need to transfer the vehicle’s insurance policy. As a seller, it is your responsibility to hand over the complete legal responsibilities associated with the bike in the name of the new owner. It is best to start this process along with the official transfer of the vehicle itself.
While Changing the Vehicle:
If you are upgrading your bike, you will need new two-wheeler insurance too. Before you decide to settle for the options provided by the dealer, spend some time researching and comparing quotes online. Although it may be convenient, it is not mandatory to buy your bike insurance along with the bike.
Lapsed Two-wheeler Insurance Policy:
Ideally, it is important to renew your two-wheeler insurance before it expires. Riding with a lapsed policy can attract a huge fine. Moreover, a considerable gap between the date of expiry and the start of the new policy can raise questions. In some cases, the vehicle may also be an Inspection leading to an increase in your premium amount.
PRO-TIP: Failing to renew your bike insurance within 90 days from its expiration date will lead to loss of your No Claim Bonus (NCB)
Things to Consider Before Changing Your Bike Insurance Company
1. Compare the coverage (Premium and IDV):
If you are increasing your coverage by opting for a Comprehensive Cover, your premium amount will also change. Since Third-party liability cover is cheaper than Comprehensive one. However, the extra premium amount is worth the benefits offered. Your bike’s Insured Declared Value (IDV) also has an impact on the premium amount. There are secondary factors like the Cubic Capacity (CC) of the engine, the make, model and variant, RTO location, and age of your bike.
2. NCB Transfer:
You do not have to miss out on your No Claim Bonus (NCB) because you are changing your insurer. In fact, No Claim Bonus (NCB) can easily be transferred from one insurance provider to the other. You only need to submit the NCB certificate and you can claim the discount on your future premium payments.
3. Make note of exclusions:
Just like the benefits and features, knowing the exclusions of your two-wheeler policy is equally critical. Before buying, it is important to compare quotes from different insurers. You can visit an online insurance aggregator to get all the information you need in one place. Knowing the exclusions and terms and conditions early on prevents surprises at the time of emergencies.
4. Available Add-on options:
Add-ons, along with a Comprehensive Cover, help to increase the scope of coverage for your two-wheeler. Add-on Cover can be customized based on your needs. They can easily be added to your existing two-wheeler policy. Before changing, make it a point to compare the add-ons offered by different insurers. Some of the most popular add-ons available for two-wheelers are Zero Depreciation cover, Roadside Assistance, Engine Protection Cover, Personal Accident Cover (PAC) for pillion riders, etc.
5. Claims process and Incurred Claim Ratio:
Incurred Claim Ratio is the ratio of claims successfully paid against the total amount of premiums received during a specific financial year. Incurred Claim Ratio is an index to measure the financial strength of an insurer to settle claims.
For example - An insurance provider has received a total of INR 100 Crore in the form of premium. Throughout the year, claims accounting to INR 60 Crores were settled. In this case, the Incurred Claim Ratio will be 60%.
PRO-TIP: Before changing your insurers, check their Incurred Claim Ratio. An Incurred Claim Ratio in the range of 75% - 90% is ideal.
6. Network garages and additional services:
All insurers have garages associated with them where you can avail cashless services. A large network of garages guarantees that you will get the help you need at the time of an emergency. Before finalizing, check for the premium services and benefits offered by different insurers. Due to competition in the market, most insurance providers offer premium services like 24*7 customer support, paperless claims process, exclusive discounts etc.
Before buying, read the fine print of your insurance policy. Make sure you clearly understand the terms and conditions of the policy. If you have any confusion or doubts, call or email the insurer and seek help. Do not hesitate to ask questions before buying a policy. It is important to make an informed choice.