It is important to research before you finally settle on a model of bike you want to buy. You also ensure that it is protected with the most appropriate insurance policy. You diligently pay the insurance premiums and maintain the vehicle in prime condition. So, if you happen to be involved in an accident, refraining from filing a claim will actually seem like a waste of money. Yet sometimes, this is precisely what you should do in order to save money.
The practice of filing a two-wheeler insurance claim whenever your vehicle suffers damage may get you payouts at taxing times. But, your two-wheeler insurance premium is likely to go up following the claim payout. You may also lose out on your hard-earned No Claim Bonus (NCB) that promises a discount on renewal premium. So, think twice before submitting that claim form. This is relevant to two-wheeler insurance as well.
When should you file a bike insurance claim?
- If you or the third-party rider is suffering from injuries: If your vehicle is involved in an accident that has caused property damage, injuries, or death to a third party, it makes sense to file a claim. Based on the magnitude of the damage, you could be liable to pay a huge amount as compensation for the loss.
- If the damage to the two-wheeler is considerably high: In this scenario, you should weigh out the expenses for damage repair against the increase in two-wheeler insurance premium following a claim. Opt for the more lucrative option.
When should you not file a two-wheeler insurance claim?
- If there are small dents or scratches: Based on the magnitude of the damage, you could be liable to pay a huge amount as compensation for the loss. If your vehicle is involved in an accident that has only minor damages.
- If you can settle it with the third-party privately: You have rammed into another person’s vehicle causing a dent, and he/she is willing to settle it privately. Do not forget to take pictures of the damage to both vehicles before you part ways.
- If the repair cost of the damage is less than the NCB: NCB is essentially a reward that is offered to a diligent driver who has not raised any claims in a policy year. The driver can benefit from a discount on auto insurance premium for the following year through the accrued NCB. This way, he/she can receive a discount of up to 50% on own-damage premium! However, if you raise a claim under your auto insurance, the NCB will be reset to the initial value. So, it is imperative that you protect your NCB and do not forgo this attractive benefit by raising small claims.
- If the repair cost is close to the deductible amount in the policy: Another factor that you should be aware of is the deductibles/excesses. When you raise a two-wheeler insurance claim, you will be expected to compulsorily pay a fixed value that depends on the engine capacity of the damaged vehicle. This is referred to as the compulsory deductible. The voluntary deductible is a variable amount that is agreed upon at the time of policy inception. Only after you pay the deductibles, both compulsory and voluntary, will the insurance provider pay the remaining claim amount.
How does making a claim affect the rates of the premiums?
If the repair costs for your two-wheeler are more than your collision deductible, you’ll have to weigh whether the insurance payout is worth the risk of a rate increase later. Whether your insurance rates will go up after a claim depends on your previous claims history, your insurance company rules and even your state, which may regulate the circumstances under which insurers can add a surcharge to your rate. Surcharges — industry lingo for premium hikes — typically lasts three to five years, and may gradually decrease over that period.
The only way to find out how much your insurance company will raise rates is to ask for its surcharge schedule or talk to your agent. Bear in mind, though, that your insurance company will make note of the inquiry.
Although a two-wheeler insurance plan is to keep you financially protected in case of trouble, it is important to consider the effects of making a claim. For minor issues and small repair costs, it is best to avoid filling for a claim to protect your No Claim Bonus (NCB).