Car Damage due to being Non-operational During Lockdown: Will my Car Insurance Cover it?

Car Insurance: How to use NCB of old car insurance to reduce new ...

Single-word answer: YES!

If your car is damaged due to being non-operational during the lockdown, then the damages will be covered by your car insurance policy. However, to understand the extent of the coverage, you need to understand the kind of damages that will be covered by thecar insurance and exclusions if any.

Car Insurance: Inclusions and Exclusions 

Car insurance policies are available in two broad variants:

1. Third-party liability cover only

This covers costs associated with damages to any person or property belonging to a third-party due to an accident or a mishap. Any damage to your own vehicle or damages due to wear and tear are excluded.

2. Comprehensive cover (third-party + own-damage)

Inclusions

A comprehensive car insurance policy, especially from reliable and established providers like Tata AIG offer a host of features. The comprehensive cover ensures reimbursement in case of loss or damage to the insured vehicle or accessories due to:

  • Fire or explosion (self-ignition or lightning)
  • Burglary or theft
  • Riots or strikes
  • Earthquake
  • Flood, typhoon, cyclone, hurricane, storm, etc.
  • Terrorist activity
  • Landslide or rockslide
  • Accident or a mishap

This is subject to deduction for depreciation. Different parts have different depreciation rates, and also as per the age of the vehicle. The depreciation rates are as follows:

PartsDepreciation Rate
All Rubber/ Plastic / NylonParts, tyres, tubes and batteries50%
Fibre glass parts30%
All Components made of GlassNIL
The depreciation rate for all other parts will be as per the following schedule:
Age of the vehicle % of Depreciation 
Up to 6 monthsNIL
More than 6 months but up to 1 year5%
More than 1 year but up to 2 years10%
More than 2 years but up to 3 years15%
More than 3 years but up to 4 years25%
More than 4 years but up to 5 years35%
More than 5 years but up to 10 years40%
More than 10 years50%
Rate of depreciation for painting: A50% depreciation rate will be applicableto the material cost of total painting chargesonly. If there is a consolidated bill for painting expenses, then the depreciation will be applied to the material component, whichwill be calculated as 25% of the entire painting expenses.

Exclusions 

The policy does not offer coverage under the following conditions:

  • Wear and tear – Any damage or loss arising out of normal wear and tear of the vehicle is not eligible for reimbursement. Any component failure due to rusting is also not compensated. Also, damage to the tyres due to wear and tear over time is not covered.
  • Damage to the vehicle due to severe weather conditions – Sometimes electrical components of the car can get damaged due to severe weather conditions. The cost of repairing these damages or replacing the components is not covered by insurance policies.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol – If the driver is under the influence of alcohol or any intoxicating substance when driving the vehicle that meets with an accident.
  • Intentional damage to the car or property – Any intentional damage caused to own or a third-party vehicle is not covered under car insurance. 
  • Damage due to war-related events – Car insurance does not cover damages to the vehicle due to war or war-related events.
  • Damage due to racing – If you drive your car in an organized racing event and the vehicle suffers damages, then the cost of repairs will not be covered under the car insurance policy.
  • Driving under illegal conditions – If the authorities have prohibited driving your vehicle, like in the current lockdown, and you do and meet with an accident, then the car insurance policy will not cover any costs pertaining to repairs or even loss of the vehicle. Also, if you are driving without a valid driving license, then your claim can get rejected.

Summing Up

A car insurance policy offers financial protection against loss or damage to your vehicle or a third-party vehicle provided you follow the terms of the policy. During times like the current lockdown, when you can’t use your car, it is important to pay special attention to maintain your vehicle and avoid any damages due to the lack of use of the car. Hence, ensure that you start your car at least once in two or three days and move it a little. If there is no space within your residential premises to drive the car, then at least move it a few feet forward and reverse to get the tyres some motion.

Remember, while car insurance policies offer cover for financial losses arising out of damages to your car due to man-made and natural incidents, the current situation demands a more responsible approach towards your vehicle. Follow the instructions given by the civic administration and don’t use your car if they prohibit people from doing so. Stay Safe.