Is Your Car Monsoon Prepared? Key Add-ons, Emergency Support, And Flood Damage Repair To Check

As Monsoon Season is approaching it is significant for drivers to be up to date with their Insurance matters, and key factors for a smooth-running vehicle, precautions in the event of a monsoon flood. What are key add-ons, emergency support factors, and flood damage repair techniques to keep in mind
Key Add-ons, Emergency Support
Key Add-ons, Emergency Support

Often, vehicle owners who do all they can to take care of their vehicles usually pay no attention to the type of insurance their vehicles should have while focusing only on buying them. The monsoon season is a time when the proper insurance for your car will help out in situations where there is a need for immediate repairs and restoration. Certain add-ons could be indispensable during monsoons. “It's always advisable to choose a comprehensive insurance policy rather than just the mandatory third-party coverage,” Nitin Kumar, Head - Motor Insurance, said.

The own damage component of a comprehensive policy protects you from significant expenses that could result from rainfall damage.

What add-on coverage should you take ahead of the monsoon season?

While a comprehensive policy offers broad protection, it may not be sufficient in an excessive rainfall/flood scenario. “Standard plans often don't cover costs related to water ingress, engine damage, or hydrostatic locks, which are specific to such disasters. Also, a normal comprehensive policy does not cover the complete costs in case of damage to the engine. The best way to ensure your and your vehicle’s safety is by adding appropriate riders to your policy,” Kumar added.

Add-on Covers You Can Opt For:

Engine Protection Cover: This essential add-on protects your engine from liquid damage due to water ingress, which is not covered under a regular policy. It also covers engine breakdowns and hydrostatic locks. “Customers should consider adding an Engine Protection add-on to their motor insurance policy to safeguard their vehicle's engine during the monsoon season. This add-on coverage specifically covers damages caused by water ingress into the engine, which is a common risk during floods,” ICICI Lombard informed.

Consumables Cover: Extended exposure to water can damage lubricants, engine oil, and the gearbox. “Since standard policies don’t cover these damages, opting for a consumables cover is wise,” Kumar said.

Nil Dep: This covers an end-to-end cover to the car and should be taken with the other recommended add-ons. Insurance companies consider depreciation of the parts of your car while settling a claim. You can also add zero depreciation cover to compensate for the cost of the repair without considering the depreciated car parts. This could potentially save your out-of-pocket expenses.

Return to Invoice: In case your vehicle is damaged totally or goes beyond repairs, the insurer will compensate you with IDV or its approximate market value. Return to invoice add-on ensures that you are compensated for the original worth of a car as mentioned in its invoice along with registration and road tax instead of depreciated cost.

How to ensure emergency support during floods?

Rain floods are a common occurrence in various Indian cities. “Policyholders should opt for roadside assistance cover. If a vehicle breaks down, it can leave you stranded. This cover ensures you can arrange for vehicle pick-up and repair, providing critical support when help might be hard to find. This add-on can only be purchased with a comprehensive policy,” Kumar highlighted.

“Roadside Assistance (RSA) includes benefits such as towing services, fuel delivery, battery jump-starts, and assistance with minor mechanical repairs, which can be invaluable when stranded in a flood-affected area,” ICICI Lombard stated.

When struck on the roadside with a damaged vehicle, what should a driver do given they have a motor insurance claim?

Your roadside assistance cover comes in handy when stuck on a roadside with a damaged vehicle. “You simply need to call the roadside assistance toll-free number and the insurance company will send the assistance to your exact location within 15-30 mins. The roadside assistance is available 24/7,” Kumar said.

Do Not Start Engine: If a driver is stranded on the roadside with a flood-damaged vehicle and needs to file a motor insurance claim, they should resist the urge to restart the engine, as this could cause severe damage if water has entered the engine. “Instead, the driver should contact their insurer's Roadside Assistance (RSA) number for immediate support and guidance,” ICICI Lombard stated.

Whatsapp Help: Almost all insurers have a dedicated WhatsApp handle to provide emergency assistance. Most insurers enable customers to complete the entire end-to-end claim journey, from reporting the incident to submitting necessary documents and tracking the progress of their claim via WhatsApp.

Components of vehicle drivers should check for damage after a flood

After a flood, drivers should thoroughly inspect their vehicles for signs of damage, particularly in older vehicles with unsealed fuel systems. Other than not starting the car, as it may lead to a hydrostatic lock, “insurers should check the fuse box for any moisture,” Kumar advised. The policyholder should report the claim to the insurer through the helpline so that the claim can be registered & the process can start immediately.

“Key components to check include fluids such as braking fluid, clutch fluid, coolant, and power steering fluid, as water contamination can lead to malfunctions. Additionally, tyres should be cleaned with a hose to assess any damage and ensure optimal tyre pressure,” ICICI Lombard stated.

Tips for Safeguarding Your Vehicle from Rains

Maintenance: Regularly inspect/care for brakes, tyres, windscreen wipers, and lights.

Tyres: Confirm your tyre pressure and tread depth to have a better grip.

Clean and Protect: Maintain the cleanliness of your car and put it in a protective lacquer.

Wipers and Rainproofing: Check/Assess your wipers and use rain rain-repellent solution

Interior Protection: Use mats with covers to prevent water damage

Avoid Waterlogged Areas: Be cautious if you see any signs of flooding or waterlogging on the road you are driving on.

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