Ways to Find Policy Number using Vehicle Number

A car insurance policy is mandatory under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. That is why if you are buying a car or have one, you are required to have a valid car insurance policy on the same. There are two types of car insurance policies generally offered by the insurance companies – third-party liability, which is mandatory under law, and comprehensive car insurance policy which covers third party liability and own damages.

The car insurance policy number is a unique number that is printed on the policy document. It is allotted by the insurance company to every policyholder. It helps the company identify the policy account. The policy number is a numerical digit that you get after the policy is issued. 

If you buy your car insurance policy online, the number can be found on the soft copy of the policy document sent to your email ID. For offline policies, however, you would find the number printed on the policy document when you get the hard copy of the same. 

What is a car registration number? 

Vehicle number means the registration number of your car. Your car registration number is a unique number allotted to the vehicle by the Regional Transport Office of your district. When you buy a car, you will have to register it with your local RTO within a period of 30 days of buying it. The respective RTO will give you a unique registration number which serves as an identification of your car and its owner, i.e. you.

The vehicle number, or the registration number of the car, consists of 10 digits in which the first two digits signify the state in which your car is registered, the next two digits are the district code and the last four digits are your car’s unique identification number. For example, if your car registration number is WB 28 ST 4509, WB stands for West Bengal, 28 refers to the district of the state in which the car has been registered and 4509 is the unique identification number of your car. 

When do you need your car insurance policy number? 

Your car insurance policy number is required in several instances. Therefore, you should keep the physical copy of your car insurance policy handy while driving a vehicle. Some of the instances when you need your car insurance policy number are as follows: 

  1. In case of making a claim

    The insurance company asks for your car insurance’s policy number when you are registering your claim. Additionally, when filing a police FIR in the case of a third party or theft claims, the police might also require your car insurance policy number to be mentioned on the FIR. Thus, when making claims, the policy number is needed.

  2. Renewing the insurance policy

    The car insurance policy number is essential at the time of renewing the policy. If you renew your existing policy, you would have to provide the car insurance policy number to retrieve your details. 

    You can also buy a new insurance policy on renewal and transfer the existing no claim bonus to the new policy. In such cases too, the policy number would be needed when filling up the form for the new plan.

  3. For checking car insurance details

    If you don’t have your car registration number handy and you need to check the details of your insurance policy, you can use your car insurance policy number to do the same. Similarly, you can also use your car registration number to check the policy details if you do not have a car insurance policy number handy. 

  4. For the purpose of verification

    The car insurance policy number is required when the traffic police stop your vehicle to check the validity of your insurance policy. In such a case, even if you do not have a physical copy of your policy document, you can provide your car insurance policy number which would allow the law authorities to check the validity of your insurance online.

  5. To apply for duplicate documents

    Though it is much easier to check or retrieve your car insurance policy online, you may require physical copies of the document for various purposes. Hence, if you have lost your car insurance policy document, you can apply for a duplicate one. You would require the policy number in order to apply for a duplicate car insurance policy. 

    Your car insurance policy number is, therefore, important and should be kept handy at all times.

Different ways to find your car insurance policy number using car number

If you have lost your policy document or have forgotten your car insurance policy number and need to access it, your vehicle number would come in handy. You can find your car insurance policy number through your vehicle or registration number. 

When you buy your car insurance policy, it gets linked with your car registration number making it easier to check the details of the policy with the help of the registration number. Below are some of the ways how to find insurance policy number by vehicle number:

Online 

There are different ways to check your car insurance policy number online. If you want to know how to find car insurance policy number online, here are your options: 

  1. You can visit the official website of the Regional Transport Office in which your car is registered and fill in your registration number to check your car insurance policy number
  2. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has developed a website known as the Insurance Information Bureau (https://iib.gov.in/). You can access the website for checking car insurance policy number online using your registration number
  3. You can visit the State Transport Department website and find the details of your car insurance policy using your registration number
  4. The website of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (https://parivahan.gov.in/parivahan/) also contains the details of the car insurance policy issued on your registration number. You can, thus, access the details of the insurance policy on the website by entering your registration number. 
  5. You can also visit the official website of the insurance company and use your registration number to log into your account to check your car insurance policy number. By logging into your account, you can also check various other details of your car insurance policy. 

Alternatively, if you do not remember your car registration number, some insurance companies provide a mobile application facility in which you can log in to your account through a mobile number. After you log in on the mobile app, all the details of your car insurance policy will be reflected including the policy number. You can, thus, access your car insurance policy number through the mobile application anytime anywhere. 

Offline

You can take the help of the insurance aggregator or the broker from whom you brought the insurance policy. Alternatively, you can also call the insurance company or visit the nearest branch of the insurance company and provide your car registration number along with certain personal details as may be required. The insurance aggregator or the executive of the branch will help you find your car insurance policy number. 

A car insurance policy number is the identification number of your car insurance. It should, therefore, be stored carefully. If you forget or misplace your car insurance policy number, you don’t have to worry. If you are looking for an answer to how to find my car insurance policy number online, the answer is your car registration number. Use the number and opt for any of the methods stated above to find your car insurance policy number.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does my car insurance policy number stay the same on renewal?

    If you renew the policy with the same insurance company, your car insurance policy number would stay the same. However, if you switch insurers, the policy number would change. You should, thus, keep the latest policy number handy at all times.

  2. Is the proposal number similar to the policy number?

    No, the proposal number is different from the policy number. The proposal number is the number that is applicable when you apply for a car insurance policy. Once the policy is issued, another formal number is issued which is called the policy number.

  3. Would I have to pay a fee for requesting a duplicate copy of the insurance policy?

    The requirement of the fee depends on your insurance company. Many companies charge an administrative fee for issuing a duplicate policy copy. Others don’t. So, check with your insurer if you need to pay a fee for a duplicate copy and pay the fee, if applicable, to get the copy at the earliest.

  4. What is an Insurance Certificate?

    The Insurance Certificate is a one-page document that contains the details of your car insurance policy, including the policy number. It is recommended to carry the certificate in the car so that you can produce it when required. 

  5. Does my RC book contain the car insurance policy number?

    No, the RC book does not contain the details of your insurance policy. As such, the car insurance policy number is not recorded in the RC Book.

Taxi insurance explained in details

Taxis are the means of public transport that help you travel from one place to another if you don’t own a vehicle or if your vehicle is otherwise unavailable for commuting. Taxis are commercial vehicles, also called Passenger Carrying Vehicles (PSVs). Thus, they have to fulfil the traffic rules and regulations to run on Indian roads. Under the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, taxis in India should carry a valid insurance policy before they commute on the road and/or carry passengers. This is where a taxi insurance policy comes into the picture.

What is taxi insurance?

Taxi car insurance is a commercial vehicle insurance policy available for vehicles used commercially to transport passengers. The policy is issued by general insurance companies and should be bought by taxi owners before they use their taxis for transportation purposes.

Features and benefits of taxi insurance

A taxi car insurance policy has various features and benefits. Some of these are mentioned below –

  • There are two types of insurance plans available for insuring a taxi – a third party liability cover and a comprehensive package policy.
  • Third-party coverage is mandatory as per law. It protects you against legal liabilities suffered if any third party suffers a financial loss due to your taxi
  • Comprehensive taxi insurance plans provide an all-round coverage for third party legal liability as well as for the damages suffered by your car
  • A comprehensive taxi car insurance policy also provides different types of add-ons for enhancing the scope of coverage 
  • The taxi driver also gets coverage against accidental death and disablement under the personal accident cover available with the plan
  • You can buy or renew taxi insurance online in simple steps
  • Cashless claims are available at networked garages

Types of taxi insurance in India

As mentioned earlier, there are two types of taxi car insurance plans available in India. They are detailed below –

  1. Third-party liability policy

    This policy is the basic mandatory cover required as per the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The policy covers financial liabilities suffered in case of death, injury or property damage suffered by another individual.

  2. Comprehensive taxi insurance

    A comprehensive policy has two coverage components. The first is the mandatory third party liability coverage. The second is the own damage cover that covers the damages suffered by the insured taxi.

Inclusions in taxi insurance

The instances covered under a taxi car insurance policy depend on the type of policy that you buy. Coverage under the mandatory third party cover includes the following –

  1. Financial liability faced for causing a physical injury to a third party where the insured taxi is at fault
  2. Financial liability faced for causing death where the insured taxi is at fault
  3. Financial liability faced for causing third party property damage where the insured taxi is at fault

Under the own damage component of the coverage, available under comprehensive taxi insurance plans, the following instances are covered –

  • Damage to the taxi due to natural calamities like earthquakes, hurricanes, cyclones, landslides, lightning, etc.
  • Damages to the taxi due to man-made calamities like riots, fire, self-explosion, strikes, malicious acts, etc.
  • Theft of the taxi
  • Damages to the taxi when it is being transported to another place through air, road or water

Moreover, a personal accident cover is also available for the driver/owner of the taxi. This cover is mandatory and covers the driver against accidental death or disablement. However, if the driver has a personal accident cover on his/her life, you don’t have to buy the cover again with the taxi insurance policy.

Exclusions in taxi insurance

There are some instances of loss that a taxi insurance policy does not cover. These instances include the following –

  1. Depreciation and normal wear and tear of the taxi
  2. Mechanical or electrical failure or breakdown
  3. Any type of consequential loss
  4. The loss suffered when driving without a valid license
  5. The loss suffered when driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  6. The loss suffered when driving outside the territory of India
  7. The loss suffered when using the taxi in violation of its limitations
  8. The loss suffered when your taxi insurance policy has expired
  9. The loss suffered when engaging in a criminal act
  10. Deliberate losses

Add-on covers under taxi insurance

A comprehensive taxi car insurance policy allows a range of add-on coverage benefits that help in enhancing the scope of coverage. These add-ons are available at an additional premium and you can add as many add-ons that you want. Some of the most popular add-ons available with taxi car insurance are as follows –

  1. Zero depreciation cover

    This is, by far, one of the most important add-ons covers that you can opt for. This cover eliminates the deduction for depreciation at the time of claims. Since depreciation is not covered under the insurance plan, your claims get reduced considerably due to the depreciation on the repaired or replaced parts. However, if you have the zero depreciation cover, the insurer pays the full claim amount, without deducting depreciation.

  2. Personal accident cover for named individual

    You can opt for an optional personal accident cover for any driver other than yourself if the taxi is used by someone else too.

  3. Emergency assistance

    In case your taxi breaks down in the middle of the road and cannot be towed to the nearest garage, you can opt for the emergency assistance add-on. Under this add-on, you get accommodation as well as a transportation facility.

  4. Return to invoice cover

    Under this add-on, if your taxi is stolen or damaged beyond repairs, you get the invoice value of the taxi as claimed and not the policy’s Insured Declared Value (IDV).

  5. Engine protection cover

    If the engine of your taxi gets damaged due to water seepage, such damages would not be covered under a basic taxi insurance policy. To get this coverage, you can opt for this add-on.

  6. Key replacement cover

    This add-on provides coverage for lost key replacement.

  7. Electrical accessories cover

    The electrical accessories of the taxi are insured against damages under this add-on.

Optional covers under taxi insurance

Though add-ons under a comprehensive policy are available as optional add-ons, there are other coverages features too that you can add to the policy if needed. These optional covers include the following –

  1. Coverage for the bi-fuel kit if you add one to the taxi
  2. Coverage for additional accessories added to the taxi that did not come factory built into the vehicle

How to compare taxi insurance online?

Many leading general insurance companies offer taxi insurance policies. To find the best coverage, you should compare taxi car insurance online and then buy. So, here’s how you can compare taxi insurance online –

  1. The coverage benefits

    Though most taxi insurance plans offer standard coverage benefits, some plans add attractive coverage benefits to the inbuilt coverage for a wider scope of protection. For example, you can avail yourself of the free towing facility or emergency roadside assistance inbuilt under some plans. So, the first thing that you should check is the coverage benefits offered and buy a plan with the widest scope of cover.

  2. The Insured Declared Value (IDV)
    The IDV of a taxi car insurance policy is the market value of the vehicle after deducting depreciation based on the vehicle’s age. The IDV determines the maximum claim payable under the taxi insurance policy. So, when comparing taxi insurance online, you should try and opt for an IDV as close to the market value for maximum claim settlement.
  3. The premium charged

    The premium is another important criterion that should be checked when comparing taxi car insurance online. Try and opt for a plan that offers the lowest premium rate without compromising on the coverage benefits.

  4. The add-ons offered

    Compare taxi insurance plans on the basis of the range of add-ons they offer. The wider the range of add-ons the more flexibility you can avail of for customizing the coverage as per your needs.

  5. Discounts

    Comprehensive taxi insurance plans allow premium discounts for multi-car insurance, for choosing a voluntary deductible, for fitting safety devices in the vehicle, etc. Look for the discounts and choose a plan offering the maximum discounts.

  6. Claim process

    Nowadays, companies have eased up their motor insurance claim process to make their policies customer-friendly. Look at the claim process of different insurers and choose one that offers the simplest settlement process.

  7. Garage network

    Networked garages allow cashless claims and so an insurer with the widest network of garages should be preferred for easy cashless claims.

    Compare taxi insuranceonline keeping the aforementioned points and you would be able to find the best plan for your coverage needs.

How to buy taxi insurance?

You can buy a taxi insurance policy in two ways. They are as follows –

  1. Offline 

    You can get in touch with an insurance agent or broker and buy a taxi insurance plan. You can also visit the branch of an insurance company that sells taxi insurance and apply for a policy by filling up a proposal form for availing of coverage. Pay the premium and submit the proposal form. The insurance company would assess the form, accept the premium and issue the taxi car insurance policy.

  2. Online 

    An alternative and more convenient way to buy taxi insurance is the online mode. You can visit the website of the insurance company, provide the details of your taxi and buy the plan online. You can also choose to buy the taxi insurance policy through an aggregator’s website wherein you get the benefit of comparison. You can check out the different taxi insurance plans available in the market, compare them and then buy the most suitable policy.

    Turtlemint also offers taxi insurance online from the leading general insurers of India. You can compare leading plans and then choose the best policy for your vehicle. Just visit https://www.turtlemint.com/car-insurance/, enter your car details and find the leading plans. Compare the plans, pick one and make an online payment of the premium. The taxi insurance policy would be issued instantly.

How to renew taxi insurance?

Just like buying, renewing the taxi insurance policy can also be done in the following two ways –

  1. Offline renewals

    Get in touch with your agent or broker or visit the insurance company’s branch and renew the policy offline.

  2. Online renewals

    Visit the website of the insurance company from where you bought the policy. Choose the renewal option, enter the policy number, pay the renewal premium and renew taxi car insuranceonline. If you have bought the plan from Turtlemint, you can log into your online Turtlemint account and renew the policy from there itself. You can also port to another taxi insurance policy at the time of renewals. You can check the different taxi insurance plans available on Turtlemint’s website and renew with a different plan if it offers better coverage at low premiums.

How to make a claim under taxi insurance?

If you incur any claim in your taxi insurance plan, inform the insurance company immediately. The claim process is as follows –

  1. For your own damage claims, the insurance company would guide you to the nearest networked garage. You can also check the garage list online on the company’s website or mobile application.
  2. Take your taxi to the garage where the insurer’s surveyor would come and assess the extent of damages. The surveyor would also prepare a claim estimate and submit the same to the insurance company.
  3. The company would approve of the claim based on the surveyor’s estimate
  4. Once the claim is approved, the garage would repair your taxi and the bills would be settled by the insurance company.
  5. Pay the deductibles and non-admissible expenses to take delivery of your vehicle. You should also file a claim form and submit the relevant documents for claim settlement.
  6. In the case of third party claims, you would have to file a police FIR. The claim would be handled and settled by the motor accidents tribunal. Once the tribunal gives its ruling, the insurance company would directly pay the claim to the third party.
  7. If your taxi is stolen, you would again have to file a police FIR. If the police are unable to trace your vehicle, they would issue a certificate certifying the same. Submit this certificate with the insurance company to get a settlement of your claim.
  8. In the case of your own damage claims, if you get your vehicle repaired at a networked garage, you would have to bear the repair charges yourself. Once the repairs are done, file a claim with the insurance company and the company would reimburse you for the costs incurred.

For claim settlement, you would have to submit the following documents –

  • The policy bond
  • Copy of the RC book of the taxi
  • Copy of the driving license of the driver riding the taxi at the time of claim
  • Identity proof of the policyholder
  • Police FIR for theft and third party claims
  • Medico-legal certificate for personal accident claims
  • All repair bills in original in the case of reimbursement claims
  • Any other document as required by the insurance company 

If you have bought the taxi insurance policy from Turtlemint, you can call 1800 266 0101 or send a mail to support@turtlemint.com. Turtlemint’s claim department would help you get your claim settled at the earliest.

To understand what taxi insurance is all about and then buy a suitable policy for your vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How is the third party premium calculated for the taxi insurance policy?

    The third-party premium of a taxi insurance policy is calculated by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India. It is fixed and reviewed every financial year. For taxis, the premium depends either on the engine capacity of the vehicle or the number of passengers the taxi is licensed to carry.

  2. What is the applicable depreciation on the parts of the taxi?

    The depreciation depends on the different parts. It is as follows –

    Parts of the taxi

    Applicable depreciation rate

    Nylon, rubber or plastic parts of the car

    50% depreciation 

    Fibreglass parts of the car

    30% depreciation 

    Glass parts of the car

    Nil depreciation

  3. Do I get any discount if I do not make claims under my taxi insurance policy?

    Yes, if you do not make claims on your taxi insurance policy you can claim a no claim discount. This discount starts from 20% for the first claim-free years and goes up to 50% if you have five successive claim-free years. 

  4. What details of the taxi would be needed when buying taxi insurance online?

    When buying taxi car insurance online you would have to provide the following details to the insurance company for calculating the optimal IDV as well as the premium amount –

    • The make, model and variant of the taxi
    • The year of manufacture
    • The year of registration
    • Registration location
    • Additional accessories added to the taxi if any
    • The engine and chassis number

    After these details are correctly entered the insurance company would calculate the IDV and the corresponding premium for the comprehensive taxi insurance policy.

  5. What are deductibles in the taxi insurance plan?

    Deductibles are your out-of-pocket expenses. In the case of a claim, the insurance company pays the claim only if it exceeds the deductible limit. Claims up to the deductible would have to be borne by you. There are two types of deductibles in taxi insurance plans. One is the compulsory deductible which is mandatorily applicable at each instance of a claim. The other is the voluntary deductible which you can choose yourself for availing of a premium discount. If you choose a voluntary deductible, you would have to pay the compulsory deductible as well as the voluntary deductible amounts from your pockets and the insurance company would pay the rest of the admissible claim.

Hypothecation in car insurance

A car has become a need in today’s age as it gives you the convenience of travelling from one place to another. You can buy a new car or a used one depending on your needs. However, paying for a car is no mean feat. You need considerable funds at your disposal to buy a car, either new or second-hand. If you have saved up enough, you can pay the outright amount and own the car. If not, a car loan can come in handy.

Various banks and NBFCs offer car loans for used and new cars. These loans finance the car and allow you to become its owner. Car loans are convenient as you can repay them, affordably, over a chosen tenure. They allow you to afford a car and are, therefore, quite popular among car buyers.

When you avail of a car loan to buy a car, the concept of ‘hypothecation’ comes into play. Let’s understand what hypothecation means and how it impacts your ownership.

What is the hypothecation of vehicle?

If you finance any vehicle through a loan, you need to hypothecate the vehicle to the lender. Hypothecation of vehicle means that the vehicle would be owned by the lender until the loan is paid off. If you default on repayment, the lender can sell off the vehicle to realize the outstanding loan amount.

Procedure for car loan hypothecation

When you buy a car, you would have to register your car with the Regional Transport Office (RTO). The RTO would issue a Registration Certificate (RC) mentioning your name as the owner of the car. However, if you have availed of a car loan to finance the car, the details of hypothecation would also be mentioned in the RC book.

The RC book would contain the details of the lender from whom the loan has been availed. It would also mention that the car would be hypothecated to the lender and the date of such hypothecation. When you buy a car insurance policy, the policy would also acknowledge the carhypothecation and mention the same on the policy document.

How to add hypothecation to the car insurance plan?

Usually, the details of car hypothecation are included by the insurance company automatically when you insure your car. At the time of buying a car insurance plan, the insurance company requires you to submit the RC book of the car. Since the hypothecation details are mentioned in the RC book, the insurance company records the details in the car insurance policy too.

At the time of renewals, you are asked whether the loan is running or has been paid off. The insurance company might also check your RC book to check the details of the car hypothecation. If your loan is running, the renewed policy would also contain the hypothecation details and if the loan has been paid off, you can apply for removal of the hypothecation details from your insurance policy.

Documents for car hypothecation

For adding the details of hypothecation to your car when registering it at the RTO, you would have to furnish the following documents –

  • The Registration Certificate of the car, in original
  • Application for hypothecation in Form 34
  • PUC certificate
  • Valid third party insurance covers the car and is details
  • Receipt of the fee that you paid to get the hypothecation endorsed by the RTO
  • Your address proof
  • Self-attested copy of your PAN Card

How to remove car hypothecation?

Once you have paid off the car loan, it is recommended that you get the car hypothecation removed. Removal of hypothecation is a two-part process. First, you would have to get the hypothecation removed from the RC book through your RTO. Second, you would have to get the hypothecation removed from your car insurance policy. Let’s understand removal in both parts in details –

Removing hypothecation from the RC book

  • After you have cleared off the car loan, get a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the lender. The certificate shows that the loan is paid off and that the lender has no issues with the cancellation of car hypothecation.
  • You would, then, have to visit the RTO and make an application for the removal of hypothecation. To do so, you would have to apply in Form 35 which is for hypothecation removal.
  • Fill up Form 35 and submit it to the RTO along with the following documents –
    • NOC issued by the lender
    • Loan closure letter or the loan statement from the lender showing the loan has been paid in full
    • Copy of a valid third party liability insurance policy on the car
    • A valid PUC certificate
  • Once you submit the documents, you would also have to pay a fee for the cancellation of the hypothecation. This fee depends on the state in which your vehicle is registered. You can check the fee on the transport department’s website.
  • Pay the fee and submit the documents. The RTO would verify the documents and if everything is found to be in order, your car hypothecation would be cancelled.
  • Once cancelled, the RTO would issue a fresh Registration Certificate (RC) where the details of hypothecation would not be mentioned. When receiving a new RC, you can also apply for a Smart Card RC. This would require you to pay an additional fee and the RTO would issue the new RC in the form of a smart card.

Removing hypothecation from the insurance policy

Once you have received the new RC from the RTO, you can apply for the removal of hypothecation details from your car insurance policy. For this, you should request the insurance company for removing the hypothecation from your car insurance policy. Submit the NOC, a copy of your existing policy and a copy of your new RC book. The insurance company would verify the details and remove the details of hypothecation from your car insurance policy.

How to check hypothecation removal status?

You can check the status of vehicle online to find out whether the hypothecation has been removed or not. After you submit the hypothecation removal request to the RTO, it takes some time before the RTO issues a new RC book. During this time, if you want to check the hypothecation status of vehicle online, you can do so through the Parivahan website of the Government. The process is as follows –

Importance of hypothecation and its removal

Hypothecation gives the lender collateral against repayment defaults. The lender remains the rightful owner of the car during the loan repayment. This gives the lender the right to sell off the vehicle to realize the outstanding loan amount if you fail to repay the loan on time. Thus, if you don’t pay off the loan in full, the lender’s loss is averted.

Once you have repaid the loan, however, removal of hypothecation is equally important. By removing the hypothecation from your car, you become the legal owner and have the right to sell the car when you want. 

So, know what car hypothecation is all about, how to add it and how to remove it when you buy your dream car.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I want to sell my car second hand. Can I do so if it is still hypothecated to the bank?

    As long as the loan is not repaid and you don’t avail of the NOC, selling your car second hand can create a problem. So, it is better to pay off the loan and then put up your car for sale

  2. I want to buy a second-hand car. How to check hypothecation status of the car?

    You can check the RC book of the car that you intend to buy. If the car is hypothecated, the RC book would state the same. Alternatively, you can visit the Parivahan website of the Government, enter the car’s registration number and check its hypothecation status online.

  3. My car is hypothecated and it has been stolen. Who would get the claim?

    Since the car is hypothecated, it is the property of the lender. Moreover, in case of theft, the lender suffers a loss since the lender paid for the car. Thus, the insurance claim would be paid to the lender if your car is stolen.

  4. Can I opt for the removal of hypothecation online?

    Yes, you can request the removal of hypothecation online on the Parivahan website of the Government. However, for submitting Form 35 and the relevant documents for the removal of hypothecation, you would have to visit the local RTO. 

  5. I forgot to get the hypothecation removed on renewal. Can I do it now?

    Yes, you can remove the hypothecation even after renewal. Just submit a written request to the insurance company as well as the documents required for removal, i.e. the NOC from the lender and a new and updated RC book. The insurance company would verify the details and remove the hypothecation.

All You Need To Know About Used Car Insurance

Buying a used car has its benefits. You can get a car within your budget and even test your driving skills with a used car. Moreover, if you are looking to own a premium or a luxury car and not want to invest a considerable amount of money in the same, you can own a used car.

When you buy a used car, you also have to get the car covered under a valid insurance policy. The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 mandates a liability only used car insurance policy on the car before you take it out for a ride. So, let’s understand the policy in details –

What is a used car insurance plan?

A used car insurance policy is coverage that is allowed on used cars. The policy comes in two variants of third party liability only cover and comprehensive package cover. You can opt for any of these second handcar insurance plans when buying a used car.

Why should you opt for second hand car insurance?

You need a used car insurance policy because of the following reasons –

  1. Legally mandatory 

    Third-party coverage is legally mandatory. So, you need at least a third party cover on the car before you drive it. If you are caught without a valid cover, you would suffer considerable fines and even imprisonment in severe cases.

  2. Comprehensive coverage 

    If you invest in a comprehensive old car insurance policy, you can get coverage for the damages suffered by your car. These damages might arise from natural or man-made calamities and can incur considerable repair costs. Under the comprehensive policy, however, the repair costs would be paid by the insurance company taking off a huge financial burden from your shoulders.

  3. Financial security 

    The third-party coverage provides financial protection against legal liabilities against third parties if your car causes them any harm. These liabilities can be considerable, especially in the case of the death of a third party. In the absence of a used car insurance policy, the liabilities can cause a financial strain on you.

  4. Security in case of thefts

    If your car is stolen, you would get a lump sum claim under the used car insurance policy. This would give you the financial means to replace the stolen car easily.

  5. Easy claim settlements

    You can enjoy cashless repairs at networked garages under comprehensive second hand car insurance plans. This allows you to get your car repaired without any financial hassles.

So, for fulfilling the legal mandate and to enjoy financial security, a used car insurance policy becomes a must.

Transfer of car ownership and insurance

When buying a used car, there are two steps that you need to follow. The first is to transfer the ownership of the car from the previous owner to your name. The second is to transfer the insurance policy from the last owner’s name to your name. Here’s how you can go about both these steps –

  1. Transferring car ownership

    The first thing to do is to transfer the ownership of the car before you can apply for a transfer of insurance. The ownership of the car can be transferred through the following steps –

    • You would have to inform the RTO of the change in ownership so that the RC book of the car is duly updated with the new buyer’s details.
    • To inform the RTO and file for a change of ownership, you would have to fill up and submit three RTO forms. These forms are as follows –
      1. Form 28 is the form for the No Objection Certificate
      2. Form 29 is the form for transfer of ownership
      3. Form 30 which is an intimation for transfer of the car

      Both the seller and the buyer of the used car would have to sign these RTO forms before they are submitted to the RTO.

    • You would also have to pay a fee for the transfer of ownership in the RC book. This fee would depend on the RTO where the car is registered. 
    • Other documents would also be needed to complete the transfer of ownership. These documents should be attached with the RTO forms and submitted to the RTO. The documents are as follows;
      1. Registration certificate (RC Book)
      2. PUC certificate
      3. Tax certificate for the road tax paid on the car
      4. A declaration by the car owner stating that he/she intends to sell the car
      5. Copy of the insurance policy
      6. An affidavit stating the change in ownership of the car
      7. Address proof of the car buyer

      Once the documents are submitted and the application is made, the RTO would change the ownership and issue an updated RC Book for the car.

  2. Transfer of insurance

    Once the ownership is transferred, you can transfer the insurance policy from the seller’s name to the buyer’s name. Here’s the process –

    • The seller needs to inform the insurance company of the change in ownership of the car. This information should be given in writing.
    • If the seller has any No Claim Bonus (NCB) to his name, the insurance company would issue an NCB certificate to the seller before transferring the insurance policy
    • You would have to submit some documents to transfer the policy. These documents include the following –
      1. The updated RC book. If the RC book is in the process of being updated, you can also submit Form 29
      2. NOC from the seller
      3. Existing policy bond
      4. New proposal form for insurance
      5. Vehicle inspection report
      6. The difference premium payable

    Once the application is submitted along with the documents, the insurance policy would be transferred in the name of the new buyer.

Buying new car insurance for a used car

Rather than getting the ownership transferred in the existing policy, you can also opt for a new car insurance policy. To do so, you can buy the policy online or offline. For buying offline, you would have to get in touch with an insurance agent or a broker. Alternatively, you can visit the branch of an insurance company and apply for a new policy.

The online mode, on the other hand, is much easier. You can simply visit the website of an insurance company or an insurance aggregator and buy a new used car insurance policy. Provide the details of the car and the premium would be shown. Compare the premium and the coverage benefits and buy the best second hand car insurance policy.

Why choose Turtlemint for used car insurance?

Turtlemint is an online platform that allows you to buy an old car insurance policy online without hassles. The reasons why Turtlemint can be the best mode of buying a car insurance plan are as follows –

  1. You can buy the policy instantly online by following a simple process
  2. Turtlemint is tied up with the leading car insurance providers of India. You can, thus, get the best coverage benefits through Turtlemint’s portal.
  3. Turtelmint allows you to compare and choose the most suitable used car insurance policy which offers the most comprehensive coverage benefits at the lowest used car insurance prices
  4. At the time of claim, Turtlemint gives you complete assistance to get your claims settled quickly and easily.

So, visit https://www.turtlemint.com/car-insurance/ and buy the best used car insurance policy.

Things to check before buying a second-hand car

If you are thinking of buying a second-hand car for your needs, here are some things that you should check –

  • Check the usage of the car. Buy a car that has useful life left. Try and avoid very old cars as their maintenance costs would be high
  • Opt for a model that fits your budget
  • Do a thorough inspection of the car to find if it is damaged anywhere and to assess its present condition
  • Try and buy a second-hand car from reputed dealers, online or offline
  • Make sure the ownership is successfully transferred after buying the car

Do your research and select the best car. Don’t forget to add the used car insurance policy when you buy a second-hand car.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Within what duration should I get the insurance policy transferred after I buy a used car?

    The transfer of the insurance policy should be done within 14 days from the date of sale of the car. During this period, the third party cover would continue to apply. However, if the tenure of 14 days expires, the third-party coverage would cease.

  2. Where can I get the RTO forms for change in ownership?

    RTO forms can be downloaded online from the Parivahan website. The link is https://parivahan.gov.in/parivahan//en/content/download-forms. You can also get the forms at the RTO itself. 

  3. Can I opt for only third party cover on the second-hand car?

    Yes, you can opt for only third party cover which is mandatory. However, if you do so, any damages suffered by your car would not be covered. Moreover, if your car is stolen, you would incur a considerable loss. So, it is always better to opt for a comprehensive policy.

  4. Would the used car insurance policy cover all types of damages?

    A comprehensive used car insurance policy covers most types of damages. However, there is a list of policy exclusions that you should check. This list states the damages which are not covered by the policy.

  5. What add-ons are offered under comprehensive old car insurance plans?

    A range of add-ons is available under comprehensive old car insurance plans. Some common ones include zero depreciation cover (provided the car is not more than 5 years old), roadside assistance cover, engine protection cover, NCB protection cover, etc.

Types of General Insurance in India

General insurance policies are those that cover non-life risks, i.e. risks not associated with life. They cover various types of financial risks that you might suffer in unexpected contingencies. There are different types of general insurance plans available in the market to cover the different types of risks that you face. All these plans cover the financial risks that you face and compensate you for the financial loss suffered. Some general insurance plans also give you tax benefits thereby helping you save taxes on your income.

Different types of general insurance plans in India

As mentioned earlier, there are different types of general insurance policies in India. These plans are as follows –

Different types of general insurance

Furthermore, each type of general insurance policy is further subdivided into other types of plans. Let’s have a look at these plans in brief –

Type of general insurance plan

Brief description 

Health insurance

A policy that covers medical contingencies suffered due to an illness, injury or accident

Motor insurance

A policy that covers third party liabilities incurred if your vehicle damages third party property or causes third party injuries. Comprehensive motor insurance plans also cover the damages suffered by the vehicle itself

Travel insurance

A policy that covers the financial risks you might face when you are travelling for business, leisure or studies. Travel insurance plans cover both international and domestic trips

Personal accident insurance

A policy that covers accidental death and disablement. A lump sum benefit is paid in case of deaths or disablements suffered in an accident 

Home insurance

A policy that covers the financial loss suffered due to damages caused to the structure and/or the contents of the house

Commercial insurance

A range of policies designed to cover the different types of risks that businesses face. Some example of commercial insurance policies include the following –

  • Property insurance
  • Fire insurance
  • Marine insurance
  • Commercial general liability insurance
  • Workmen’s Compensation Insurance, etc.

How to choose the best general insurance policy?

Amidst the various types of general insurance plans available in the market, you need to pick the right plans for the best coverage. To find the right general insurance policy, you should, first, assess the financial risks that you face and then choose the relevant plans that cover such risks. For example, the risk of medical contingencies is quite common and universally applicable to all. As such, a health insurance policy becomes a must. Similarly, if you own a vehicle, you would need to buy a third party motor insurance plan which is mandatory as per law.

Other insurance policies can be bought depending on your needs. For example, if you are travelling abroad and you want to cover your financial risks, an international travel insurance policy would help you with the same. If you are an organisation, you should consider the different commercial insurance policies for securing your finances against unforeseen calamities.

After you have shortlisted the types of general insurance plans that you would need, you should compare similar plans against one another to find a plan that offers the best coverage benefits at the lowest rate of premiums.

Coverage under general insurance plans

Different types of general insurance plans have different coverage benefits, depending on the financial risks that they cover. So, let’s have a look at some of the common types of general insurance plans and the coverage that they offer –

  1. Health insurance 

    Health insurance plans come under two main variants. The first variant is the indemnity plan which covers the medical bills that are incurred when you are hospitalised. The second variant is the fixed benefit plan which pays a lump sum benefit if you suffer a medical contingency covered by the policy.

    Coverage of an indemnity health plan is quite comprehensive and includes the following benefits –

    Inpatient hospitalization

    Inpatient hospitalization includes expenses incurred on room rent, treatment cost, nurse’s fees, ICU room rent, etc. if you are hospitalized for 24 hours or more

    Ambulance cost

    Expenses incurred for transporting the insured to the hospital in an ambulance for treatment. 

    Pre and post hospitalization

    The expenses which are incurred before actual hospitalization, as well as the expenses incurred after being discharged from the hospital, are also covered. 

    Maternity

    Some health plans also cover the maternity expenses incurred in case of childbirth. 

    AYUSH treatment

    AYUSH treatments are non-allopathic treatments such as Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy. Most of the health insurance plans cover the expenses incurred on such treatments. 

    Day Care treatment

    Daycare treatments include treatments that do not require hospitalization for a minimum period of 24 hours due to advanced technology 

    Domiciliary treatment

    The cost of treatment taken at home when the insured is not in a condition to be shifted to a hospital or because of the non-availability of hospital beds is called domiciliary treatment. These treatments are covered in many health insurance plans. 

    Organ Donor expenses

    It includes the expenses incurred on harvesting an organ from an organ donor. 

    OPD coverage

    OPD cover includes all the medical expenses incurred on an OPD basis as diagnosis test, investigative reports, doctor’s consultation and pharmacy expenses

    Covid-19

    All health insurance plans also cover hospitalization due to COVID

    Free health check-ups

    Health insurance plans allow free preventive health check-ups after specified periods, i.e. once every 1-4 policy years

    No claim bonus

    If you do not make claims under health insurance plans, you get a no claim bonus. This bonus either allows an increase in the sum insured free of cost or a discount in the renewal premium.

  2. Motor insurance

    Motor insurance plans cover the financial losses associated with cars, bikes and other commercial or private vehicles. The coverage offered by motor insurance plans are as follows –

    Third-party liability

    Financial liabilities that are incurred if your vehicle causes physical injury, death or property damage to any third party are covered. A third party cover is mandated under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and is a must for every vehicle

    Natural calamities

    Damages due to natural calamities such as storms, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, etc. are covered

    Man-made calamities

    Damages suffered by the vehicle due to man-made disasters such as burglary, fire, self-explosion or ignition, riots, strikes, etc. are covered

    Theft 

    In case the insured vehicle is stolen, a lump sum amount will be paid under the motor insurance policy to compensate the policyholder for the financial loss suffered

    Accidental damages

    Damages suffered when the vehicle is involved in an accident is covered under the motor insurance plan

  3. Travel insurance 

    Travel insurance plans cover financial losses that you might suffer while travelling. Travel plans provide coverage for the duration of your trip. Different types of travel insurance plans have different coverage benefits. However, there are some common coverage benefits under all travel plans which are called standard coverage benefits. These include the following:

    Medical emergency

    If the insured falls sick while travelling or is hospitalized, the travel insurance policy will pay the cost and expenses of such hospitalisation as well as the medical bills. 

    Delay of checked-in baggage

    In case of delay in receiving the checked-in bag, a claim would be paid by the insurance company to help you buy the items of personal use until your baggage is returned 

    Trip Cancellation

    If your trip gets cancelled due to unavoidable circumstances or reasons, the expenses incurred in pre-booking the tickets and hotel accommodation would be reimbursed

    Loss of passport

    The travel insurance policy also covers the cost of arranging a duplicate passport if your passport gets lost on the trip

    Mortal remains repatriation

    The cost of repatriating the remains in case of death on the trip is covered

    Loss of baggage

    In case your baggage is misplaced by the airlines and is lost, the financial loss suffered would be covered 

    Accidental death or disability

    A lump sum benefit will be paid under the policy in case the insured suffers accidental death or disability while on the trip or while travelling by air

    Alliance for hijack distress

    In the event of hijack of the flight by which the insured is travelling, the travel insurance policy pays a benefit for the distress suffered 

    Emergency cash advance

    In case of loss of wallet or theft, a cash advance is offered so that you can meet the travel-related expenses. 

    Third-party liability

    Loss to third parties due to your fault would be covered under travel insurance plans

How much do general insurance policies cost?

The cost or the premium of general insurance companies is determined using different parameters. These parameters depend on the type of general insurance policy that you buy. Let’s have a look at the factors that determine the premium of the popular types of general insurance policies –

  1. Health insurance premium

    The cost of a health insurance policy depends on a lot of factors. The factors which affect the premiums of health insurance plans are discussed below: 

    Age of the insured

    Higher the age of the insured, higher will be the premium and vice versa. Hence, it is advisable to buy a health insurance policy at a young age

    Sum insured in the plan

    The higher the sum assured, the higher will be the premium. Sum assured is the maximum liability undertaken by the insurer in the event of a claim

    Number of members covered in the plan and their age

    A family floater health plan allows you to opt for a single policy for multiple family members. More the family members, higher will be the premium and vice versa

    Claim history

    Some Health Insurance providers allow a discount on the amount of renewal premium if you have not made a claim in the previous year. Others might load the premium based on your claim history

    Applicable Discounts

    Health insurance plans provide different premium discounts. These discounts reduce the amount of premium payable

    Medical history and condition of the insured

    Health risk increases in case of existing medical condition or in case of family history of any particular disease. This increase in health risk increases the chances of making a claim. Hence, health insurance premiums are higher for individuals with an adverse medical history

    Add- ons selected

    Optional coverage benefits are offered along with health insurance plans for enhanced protection. Each add-on involves an additional premium which increases the overall premium payable for the policy 

    Location

    Health Insurers have classified Indian cities as Tier I, Tier II and Tier III cities as the medical expenses in different cities are different. Medical expenses in tier I cities which are metropolitan cities are higher than in tier II and tier III cities. As such, their corresponding premiums are also higher.

  2. Motor insurance premiums

    The premiums of motor insurance plans differ across insurance companies and depend on various factors. Such factors are as follows –

    Insured Declared Value (IDV)

    IDV represents the market value of the vehicle after depreciation. It is the sum insured of a motor insurance policy. The more expensive the vehicle, the higher will be the premium. 

    Age

    The vehicle’s age determines the premium. Older the vehicle lower would be the premium and vice-versa

    Type of motor Insurance plan

    Third-party liability-only policies are cheaper than comprehensive insurance policies due to their limited coverage.

    The make, model and variant of the vehicle

    The make and model of your vehicle is one of the factors for the motor insurance premium. The premiums for vehicles like sports cars are generally higher than for lower or standard cars.

    Geographical location

    Premium calculation is divided into two zones in which Zone A represents metropolitan cities and Zone B covers the rest of India. Premiums for vehicles registered in Zone A are higher than those in Zone B

    Discounts

    Motor insurance plans offer different types of discount. The eligible discounts lower the premium

    Add-on covers

    The coverage of motor insurance policy can be enhanced through add-ons. These add-on covers come with an added premium cost which increases the total premium payable

    Engine size

    The engine size of the vehicle plays an important role in calculating the insurance premium. The larger the engine size higher the premium and vice versa

    Purpose of the vehicle

    If you intend to use your vehicle for commercial purposes, then the insurance company will charge a higher premium. However, if you purchase a vehicle for personal purposes, the premiums would be lower. 

    No claim discount

    By making no claims under an existing motor insurance policy you can avail of discounts on the renewal premiums. This no claim discount, thus, reduces the premium payable

  3. Travel insurance premiums 

    There are certain factors that determine the cost of a travel insurance policy. These factors are mentioned below: 

    Pre-existing medical conditions

    If the policyholder has any pre-existing medical conditions then the premiums of the travel insurance policy will shoot up.

    Duration of the travel

    The longer the duration of the plan, the higher the premium will be and vice versa. 

    Age of insured travellers

    Older travellers are more prone to illnesses and injuries. Hence, premiums increase with the age of the insured members

    Number of members covered

    The higher the number of members covered, the higher would be the premium

    Travel destination

    The farther and expensive the destination is, the higher the insurance premium. Also, in case the policyholder moves to a remote location or area with a certain risk, the insurance premium will be higher

    Type of coverage

    A comprehensive travel insurance policy costs a higher premium compared to a basic plan

    Sum insured

    The higher the sum insured in the plan, the higher will be the amount of premium and vice versa. 

    Adventure sports coverage

    In case the plan covers adventure sports, the premiums would increase due to the higher risk involved. Higher the risk, the higher the premium. 

    Add-ons selected

    Adding extensions to the policy would increase the premium because of the wider scope of coverage 

How to buy general insurance plans?

There are two modes of buying the different types of general insurance plans. They are as follows –

  1. Offline mode

    You can get in touch with a general insurance agent and buy the policy that you need. Alternatively, you can visit the branch of an insurance company and apply for a suitable general insurance plan. You would have to fill up a physical application form, submit your documents and the premium amount while making a proposal for buying insurance. If the company accepts your proposal, the policy would be issued and you get the coverage.

  2. Online mode

    The online mode is a more convenient way of buying general insurance plans. Almost every general insurance company offers its plans online and so, you can visit the website of the company, choose a policy and then buy the policy online.

Alternatively, you can choose aggregator websites like Turtlemint wherein you get the benefit of comparing across different insurance companies. You can visit www.turtlemint.com and select the type of general insurance policy that you want. Provide your details and compare the quotes of different insurers. Find a policy that provides the most suitable coverage benefits and comes at the best premium rate.

How to make a claim in your general insurance policy?

For making claims under general insurance policies you have to follow a specific claim process. Just like premiums, the claim process is also different for different types of general insurance plans. Let’s have a look at the claim process under the most popular types of general insurance plans –

Health insurance claim process

Health Insurance claims can be made in the event of hospitalization or any covered medical contingency. Health insurance claims can be made in two ways – cashless or reimbursement. Here is the process of both these claims: 

  1. Cashless claim

    Cashless claims can be settled in case of hospitalization only in the networked hospitals of the insurance company with which it has tied- up. Steps for making a cashless claim are as follows: 

    • Inform the insurance company by filing a pre-authorisation form and submit it to the insurance company within 24 hours of emergency hospitalization. In case of planned hospitalization, submit the form at least 3-4 days before being hospitalized.
    • The insurance company will assess the claim on the basis of the pre-authorisation form and approve the cashless facility.
    • Submit all the medical bills, documents and reports to the insurance company along with original document proofs of other hospitalisation expenses, if any, for settlement.
  2. Reimbursement claim

    Reimbursement claims can be made if you are hospitalized in a hospital that is not tied up with the insurance company. For reimbursement claims, the following steps are needed for claim settlement: 

    • Inform the insurance company that you have been admitted to a non- tied up hospital.
    • Retain all the original medical bills and reports of the hospital and avail a discharge summary or a discharge certificate from the hospital from which the treatment has been availed.
    • Pay the hospital bill out of your pocket and submit all the documents and the bills to the insurance company
    • The insurance company will assess the claim and expenses and reimburse the bills that you have paid.

Motor Insurance Claim Process

When your vehicle is stolen or is involved in an accident, you can make a motor insurance claim by following these steps: 

  1. Inform the insurance company immediately. The company would guide you to the nearest networked garage.
  2. The company would send its surveyor to assess the damage and prepare a claim report
  3. Based on the surveyor’s report, the claim would be approved. You can, then, avail of cashless repairs.
  4. The repair bills would be settled by the company with the garage
  5. If, however, you get your vehicle repaired at a non-networked garage, you would have to pay the repair bills yourself. Then, file your claim with the insurance company and the company would reimburse you for the costs
  6. In case of third party claims, file a police FIR. The claim would be handled by the motor accidents tribunal. Once the tribunal specifies the claim amount, the insurance company would pay the amount to the third party
  7. In the case of theft, file a police FIR. If the police are unable to find your vehicle, they would issue a certificate certifying the same. Submit this certificate along with other claim-related documents and the claim would be paid.

Travel Insurance Claim Process

It is very simple and easy to make a claim in your travel insurance plan. The steps are discussed below: 

  • Inform the insurance company or the service provider immediately when you face a travel insurance claim. One should be handy with the claim helpline number of different Insurance companies to register the claim.
  • After intimation, the insurance company will provide the details of the tied-up service providers in the country you are travelling to, to help you with the easy settlement.
  • You can inform the service provider and submit the claim related documents to process your claim.
  • The insurance company or the service provider will verify the documents and settle your travel Insurance claim. 

So, understand general insurance and its types and then buy suitable plans depending on your financial needs.

Own Damage Car Insurance

A car insurance policy is mandated by the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The Act states that every car in India should carry valid third party coverage. This coverage protects third party interests. It pays the liability that the car owner suffers if the car hurts or kills any third party or damages third party property. However, if the car itself suffers any damage, there is no coverage granted by the third party cover. 

This is where own damage car insurance cover comes into the picture. Let’s understand what this cover is all about.

Own damage car insurance meaning

The own damage insurance for car is one that covers the damages suffered by the car itself. If the car is damaged due to natural or man-made causes or if it is stolen, the car own damage insurance cover would cover the financial loss suffered by the car owner and pay a claim.

Does basic insurance cover your own damage?

A basic insurance policy means a third party insurance policy that is mandated by the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. As mentioned earlier, this basic insurance policy does not cover the damages suffered by the car. That is why, while third party cover is essential, you should also opt for your own damage car insurance for a comprehensive scope of coverage on the car.

Benefits of own damage car insurance

A policy of own damage insurance for car is recommended because of the various benefits that the policy provides. These benefits are as follows –

  1. Coverage against minor or major damages

    If the car suffers any minor or major damages due to an accident, natural calamity or man-made reasons, the own damage car insurance cover would compensate for the financial loss. The policy would pay the repair costs incurred in repairing the car if there is any minor or major damage. This would spare you considerable financial outgo as the repair costs can prove expensive, especially if you have a premium luxury car or if your car suffers major damages.

  2. Coverage against theft

    No matter how secure you keep your car, it might get stolen. When there is a theft, you stand to lose a considerable amount of money if the car is not traced back. The car own damage insurance policy covers theft cases too. If your car is stolen and not recovered, the policy pays a lump sum amount in the claim. This claim reduces the financial loss suffered and also allows you to buy a new car to replace the lost one.

  3. Affordable annual coverage

    The own damage car insurance coverage is allowed for one year after which it can be renewed for continued coverage. The annual policy has an affordable premium that you can easily play and enjoy a comprehensive scope of coverage.

  4. Easily available

    You can buy your own damage car insurance policy online in a few simple steps. Moreover, if you choose to buy the policy through Turtlemint, you can also compare the different plans available in the market and choose a policy that offers the maximum coverage at the lowest cost.

  5. Choice of add-ons

    The own damage car insurance policy comes with a range of optional coverage benefits called add-ons. These add-ons help in enhancing the scope of coverage of the policy at minimal premiums. You can opt for suitable add-ons and increase the coverage and the claim amount. Moreover, the add-ons take care of all possible contingencies that you might face when using your car.

  6. No claim bonus

    If you do not make any claim in your policy, you are entitled to receive a no claim bonus upon renewal. This bonus gives you a discount on the renewal premium. It starts at 20% for the first claim-free year and then continues to increase after every successive claim-free year. You can claim up to a 50% discount if you don’t make any claims for five successive years. 

  7. Attractive premium discounts

    When you choose coverage for own damage, you can also get attractive premium discounts to reduce the premium. Discounts are allowed for installing safety devices, being a member of an automobile association, choosing a voluntary deductible, etc. besides the no claim bonus allowed by the plan.

Inclusions under own damage car insurance

The coverage offered by car own damage insurance is quite comprehensive. The policy covers the following cases of contingencies –

  1. Damages to the car due to natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, storms, hurricanes, landslides, etc.
  2. Damages to the car due to man-made calamities like riots, fire, strike, malicious activities, etc.
  3. Theft of the car
  4. Damages to the car when it is being transported by rail, road, sea or air

Exclusions under own damage car insurance

Despite offering a good scope of coverage, the following instances are not covered in car own damage insurance –

  • Damages suffered when driving the car outside the boundaries of India
  • Damages suffered when driving the car under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
  • Damages suffered when driving the car without a valid driving license
  • Deliberate or self-inflicted damages
  • Electrical or mechanical breakdown
  • Depreciation and wear and tear suffered due to use
  • Damages suffered when violating the limitations of using the car
  • Damages suffered when using the car for carrying out illegal acts

How to calculate your own damage car insurance premium?

The premium of the own damage car insurance cover depends on various factors. When you consider these factors, you can calculate the premium using online premium calculation tools. The factors affecting the own damage car insurance premium are as follows –

  1. The Insured Declared Value (IDV)

    The IDV represents the coverage amount of the own damage car insurance cover. It is calculated by deducting the depreciation based on the age of the car from the market value of the car. The higher the IDV the higher would be the premium and vice-versa.

  2. Age of the car

    Since age affects the IDV, it is inversely related to the premium. If the car is old, the IDV would be low and so would be the premium. Thus, the premium for new cars is higher than the premium for older ones.

  3. Registration details

    The registration year and location determine the premium amount. The registration date shows the age of the car. A car registered recently would, therefore, be new and have a higher premium than an older registered car.

    Similarly, the registration location is also considered for premium calculation. Cars registered in metropolitan cities have higher premiums than cars registered elsewhere. It is because the probability of claims and the expected repair costs are higher in metros.

  4. Make, model and variant (MMV) of the car

    The MMV of the car determines its market value. Depending on the market value, the premium is determined. Cars having high market values have high premiums compared to cars with lower values.

  5. Add-ons selected

    If you opt for the available add-ons, the premiums would increase because each add-on comes with an additional premium. 

  6. No claim discount

    If you are renewing your own damage car insurance policy and there have been no claims in the previous years, you can claim a no claim discount. The higher the discount you have accumulated the lower would be the premium and vice-versa.

  7. Other discounts

    As mentioned earlier, you can claim a host of discounts under your own damage car insurance policy. So, depending on the discounts that you can claim, the premium would be calculated. Higher the discounts lower would be the premium and vice-versa.

  8. Lapse of the policy

    If you are renewing a lapsed car insurance policy, the renewal premium might be higher compared to renewing a policy within the due date.

    When you enter these details in the premium calculator, the premium for the own damage car insurance cover would be calculated and displayed.

Standalone own damage car insurance policy

To opt for own damage cover, you have two options. These are as follows –

  1. Comprehensive policy

    A comprehensive car insurance policy includes coverage for the mandatory third-party liability as well as own damage cover. Thus, with a single policy, you can avail of both the coverage benefits.

  2. Standalone own damage car insurance

    As the name suggests, this policy covers only the damages suffered by the car. Coverage for third party liability is not allowed under this plan. The standalone own damage car insurance policy is available only if you have valid third party insurance coverage on the car. Usually, this policy is designed for new cars where five-year third party coverage is mandatory. In such cases, you can opt for a long term third party cover and an annual standalone own damage cover.

Own damage car insurance renewal

The own damage insurance for car is allowed for one year and you have to renew the policy annually for non-stop coverage. Own damage car insurance renewal can be done online or offline. Let’s understand how –

  1. Offline own damage car insurance renewal

    To renew your car own damage insurance offline you can either visit the branch of the insurance company or contact an insurance agent of the company. Provide your policy number to know the existing policy details. Pay the renewal premium online and do any changes in the policy if you want. Once the premium is received, the policy would be renewed.

  2. Online own damage car insurance renewal

    The online mode of own damage car insurance renewal is quick, easy and instantaneous. You can renew online from the website of the insurance company. Just visit the company’s official website, choose the renewal option and provide your policy details. You can check your existing coverage and also make changes if needed. The renewal premium would be displayed which you can pay online using any digital payment modes. Once the premium is successfully paid, the policy would be renewed instantly.

    Alternatively, if you have bought your own damage car insurance policy online through Turtlemint, you can log into your account and renew through Turtlemint’s platform. Turtlemint also allows you to compare your existing policy with other available policies and then choose the best plan. Just pay the renewal premium online and your policy would be instantly renewed.

How to claim car insurance for own damage in India?

In case you suffer any contingency that is covered by the policy, here’s how to claim car insurance for own damage in India –

  1. Inform the insurance company immediately of the claim. The company would register your claim and issue you a Claim Reference Number. This reference number would come in handy for tracking your claims and for claim filing.
  2. When you inform the insurance company, it would direct you to take your car to the nearest networked garage. You can also get the list of networked garages in your area when intimating the claim.
  3. At the garage, the surveyor would visit and assess the damages suffered
  4. The surveyor would, then, prepare a claim estimate and submit it to the insurance company.
  5. Based on the surveyor’s estimate, the company would approve cashless repairs
  6. Once the approval is received, the garage would start the repair work. The bills would be settled directly by the insurance company
  7. For any inadmissible costs and deductibles you should pay the remaining cost of the repairs
  8. The claim form and other relevant documents should be submitted to the insurance company for claim settlement.
  9. Then you can take the delivery of your car
  10. If, however, you take your car to a non-networked garage, you would have to bear the repair costs initially. Then, once the repair bills and the claim documents are submitted, the insurance company would reimburse you for the costs incurred.
  11. In case of theft, inform the police and file an FIR
  12. The police would try and locate your car. If they fail to do so, they would issue a non-traceable certificate.
  13. Submit this certificate along with the other claim related documents for claim settlement.
  14. The insurance company would pay the IDV and the claim would be settled

You can also take Turtlemint’s help in case of your car insurance claims. Turtlemint has a dedicated claim handling team that would take the claim steps on your behalf and help you in getting a quick claim settlement. Just inform Turtlemint of your claim by calling 1800 266 0101 or by sending an email to support@turtlemint.com and then Turtlemint’s team would do the work to get your claim settled.

So, understand the concept of own damage car insurance and then buy suitable coverage for your car for all-around protection.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What would happen if I failed to do my own damage car insurance renewal on time?

    If you do not renew your own damage car insurance policy on time, the policy would lapse and the coverage would stop. Thereafter, if there is any damage, you would have to bear the financial losses. You can renew a lapsed policy too but such a renewal would require inspection and the policy would be renewed only after a successful inspection is completed. The premium might also be hiked on such own damage car insurance renewals. If, however, you do not renew your policy within 90 days from the date of lapse, the accumulated no claim bonus would be lost.

  2. What is the rate of depreciation for IDV calculation?

    The rate of depreciation for calculating the IDV depends on the age of the car. It is as follows –

    Age of the car

    Rate of depreciation applicable 

    Up to 6 months

    5%

    More than 6 months but less than a year

    15%

    More than a year but less than 2 years

    20%

    More than 2 years but less than 3 years

    30%

    More than 3 years but less than 4 years

    40%

    More than 4 years but less than 5 years

    50%

    For vehicles aged 5 years and more, the IDV is decided mutually between the insurance company and the policyholder. 

  3. Can my own damage car insurance claim get rejected?

    Yes, your claim insurance claim might get rejected for several reasons. For example, if the claim is made for an excluded cost, it would be rejected. Similarly, if there is a chance of fraud or if the claim process is not followed correctly, the claim would get rejected. Claims are also rejected if your policy has lapsed.

  4. Is own damage car insurance cover more expensive than third party cover?

    Yes, it is. The reason is that the own damage cover allows a wider scope of coverage than a third party cover. Moreover, the premium for own damage car insurance cover is determined by the insurance company and varies across insured while third party premiums are fixed by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority and are the same across insurers.

  5. What are deductibles?

    Deductibles are a portion of claims that are not payable by the insurance company but by you. In own damage car insurance policies, there is a compulsory deductible which is to be paid in case of every claim. Moreover, there is a voluntary deductible too which is optional. If you choose this deductible and opt to pay a part of the claim out of pocket, you can earn a premium discount.

Difference between Zero Depreciation & Comprehensive Car Insurance

A car insurance policy is a mandatory requirement under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. However, the Act mandates only a third party cover which protects third party interests in any contingency. If you want to secure coverage for the damages suffered by your own vehicle, you should opt for a comprehensive policy. Furthermore, to expand the scope of coverage of a comprehensive policy, you can opt for a zero depreciation cover as well. 

Let’s understand the concepts of comprehensive vs zero dep coverage options and have a look at their comparative analysis.

What is a comprehensive car insurance policy?

A comprehensive car insurance policy is one that covers third party liabilities as well as the damages suffered by the car itself. The policy is issued for one year after which you can renew it for as long as you own a car.

What is a zero depreciation car insurance policy?

A comprehensive car insurance policy does not cover the depreciation suffered by the parts of the car due to normal wear and tear. As such, when a claim is made, the relevant depreciation is deducted from the claim amount leaving you to pay the depreciation cost from your own pockets. A zero depreciation policy protects you against such out-of-pocket expenses. It is a comprehensive car insurance policy that also includes the zero depreciation add-on. The policy covers third party liabilities, the damages suffered by the car as well as the depreciation suffered by the car’s parts. If there is a claim, the insurance company does not deduct any depreciation from the parts repaired or replaced. It pays the full repair costs incurred. 

In simpler terms, a zero depreciation policy is a comprehensive car insurance policy with the added coverage of a zero depreciation add-on.

Applicable depreciation rates on zero dep vs comprehensive plans

Here are the applicable depreciation rates which would be applied on your car’s parts in a comprehensive vs zero dep policy –

Parts of the car Only comprehensive policy Zero depreciation policy

Nylon, rubber or plastic parts of the car

50% depreciation 

Nil depreciation 

Fibreglass parts of the car

30% depreciation 

Nil depreciation 

Glass parts of the car

Nil depreciation

Nil depreciation 

Suppose a claim occurs wherein the rubber parts are repaired at a cost of INR 20,000 and the fibreglass parts are repaired at a cost of INR 10,000. The claim payable under a zero dep vs comprehensive plan would be as follows –

Parts of the car repaired

Admissible claim in a comprehensive policy

Admissible claim in a zero depreciation policy

Rubber parts

50% of INR 20,000 = Rs.10,000

100% of INR 20,000 = INR 20,000

 

70% of INR 10,000 = Rs.7000

100% of INR 10,000 = INR 10,000

Total admissible claim

INR 17,000

INR 30,000

While in the comprehensive policy you would have to bear a depreciation cost of INR 13,000 (INR 30,000 – INR 17,000), in a zero depreciation policy you would not have to bear any depreciation cost. The total claim of INR 30,000 would be paid by the insurance company.

Comparative analysis of comprehensive insurance vs zero depreciation insurance

Here is a comparative look into comprehensive insurance vs zero depreciation insurance for you to understand both these plans easily –

  1. Similarities
    • Both plans cover third party liabilities as well as damages suffered by the car
    • Both the plans are voluntary in nature
    • Both the plans allow no claim bonus discounts as well as other premium discounts for safety gadgets, membership of Automobile Association, etc.
    • Cashless claims are allowed under both the plans
    • The coverage duration of both the policies is one year
    • You can choose other add-on coverage benefits with both the plans
  2. Differences
    Points of difference 

    Comprehensive insurance

    Zero depreciation insurance

    Scope of cover

    Coverage for third party liability and own damage only

    Coverage for third party liability, own damage and depreciation on the car’s parts

    Premium 

    Lower compared to zero depreciation policy

    Higher due to wider coverage

    Claim pay-out

    Lower because depreciation is deducted from the claim amount

    Higher because depreciation is not deducted from the claim amount

    Availability 

    Available for cars of all ages

    Available for cars aged up to 5 years

    Number of claims

    Unlimited claims can be made as long as the IDV of the policy is not used up

    There might be a limitation on the number of claims for zero depreciation that you can make. 

Should you buy a zero depreciation cover?

The repairs of the car, especially in case of severe damages, incur considerable amounts of money. Moreover, if your car is an expensive one, the costs can be financially damaging. A zero depreciation policy, therefore, is a better option for ensuring that your out-of-pocket expenses are reduced. It provides a wider scope of coverage and allows you to get a higher settlement at the time of claims. So, it is always better to opt for a zero depreciation cover for your car.

That being said, when buying a zero depreciation cover, you should always compare the premiums across several insurance companies. Every company has its own pricing policy and so, the premiums differ across different insurers. Add the zero depreciation add-on to the coverage and compare the premiums across insurers. Choose a policy that offers the lowest premium without compromising on the Insured Declared Value or the coverage of the policy.

To compare, you can choose Turtlemint that offers you the choice of the best zero depreciation plans available in the market. Visit https://www.turtlemint.com/car-insurance/ and enter your car details to check out the quotes of leading insurers. Compare and choose the best zero depreciation policy and insure your car under the widest coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How many claims can I make under a zero depreciation cover?

    The maximum limit to zero depreciation claims depends on the insurance company from where you buy the policy. Usually, many companies allow a maximum of two claims during the policy tenure. Some companies, however, also allow unlimited zero depreciation claims with their plans. So, find out the limit when buying the policy so that you know how many claims can be made on a zero depreciation basis.

  2. Can I convert my comprehensive policy to a zero depreciation policy?

    Yes, you can add the zero depreciation add-on to your comprehensive car insurance policy and convert it into a zero depreciation policy. This addition can be done either at the time of buying a new policy or when renewing an existing one.

  3. Is an additional third party policy required with zero depreciation cover?

    No, you don’t have to buy an additional third party cover with the zero depreciation policy. This is because the third party coverage comes inbuilt in the zero depreciation policy itself.

  4. Can I opt-out of the zero depreciation cover?

    Yes, at the time of renewal of the car insurance policy, you can opt-out of zero depreciation cover by opting out of the zero depreciation add-on benefit. Moreover, once your car is more than 5 years old, the zero depreciation cover would automatically be removed when your policy is renewed in the sixth year.

  5. Do all insurers offer zero depreciation insurance?

    Yes, all general insurance companies that offer a comprehensive car insurance policy offer zero depreciation add-on. You can add the add-on to the comprehensive policy to opt for the zero depreciation cover.

All You Need To Know About Standalone Own damage Insurance

The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 mandates every vehicle to carry third party coverage before it runs on the road. The third-party coverage provides coverage against third party liabilities that might incur if the vehicle damages third party property or causes injury or death to another individual. The third-party cover, however, does not cover the damages suffered by the vehicle itself.

If you want coverage for the damages on your own vehicle, you need to opt for your own damage insurance plan. This cover is meant for the damages suffered by the vehicle, i.e. if your vehicle suffers damages or theft due to natural or man-made causes. While own damage insurance is available under comprehensive vehicle insurance policies, you can also opt for the standalone OD policy. Let’s understand how.

Standalone OD policy meaning – what the plan is all about

A standalone own damage insurance plan covers only the damages suffered by the car. This policy does not include coverage for third party liabilities. This policy is issued for one year and can be bought only if you already have an independent third party liability policy. This means that the policy is not available unless a third party policy is already bought by the policyholder.

Benefits of own damage insurance

Here are the benefits of availing of an own damage cover –

  1. All-round coverage

    Since the own damage policy covers accidental and natural contingencies that might damage your car, it provides all-around coverage. Damages to your car involve considerable expenses on repairs. These expenses can cause a major financial strain. However, if you have your own damage insurance, the repair costs are shouldered by the insurance company allowing you financial relief.

  2. Coverage against theft

    Theft of the car causes a considerable financial loss. By covering such financial loss, own damage insurance gives you financial security and compensation to replace the lost car with a new one.

  3. Add-on benefits

    Under your own damage insurance, you can find optional add-on coverage benefits that help in enhancing the scope of coverage. Benefits like zero depreciation cover, no claim bonus cover, roadside assistance, etc. expand your coverage considerably thereby enhancing the claim pay-out.

  4. Attractive discounts

    There are attractive premium discounts under your own damage insurance. You can claim a discount of up to 50% by not making claims in your policy. Then, there are discounts for installing safety devices in the car, for opting for voluntary deductibles, for being a member of an Automobile Association, etc.

Who is eligible to buy their own damage insurance?

An own damage cover can be taken by any individual who owns a vehicle. The cover can be bought through a comprehensive policy that also covers third-party liability. However, if you want only a standalone OD policy, you need to have third party coverage before opting for the plan. If you can furnish proof of a valid third party cover on your vehicle, you can opt for a standalone OD policy too.

Who should buy their own damage cover?

The own damage insurance cover is suitable for all vehicle owners because it provides a wider scope of coverage. The policy covers the damages suffered by the vehicle due to natural or man-made calamities. Moreover, if your vehicle is stolen, then also you get financial assistance from the insurance company for the financial loss suffered due to theft. Since the repair costs are considerable and a possible theft causes a considerable financial loss, the own damage cover is suitable for all.

If, however, you do not use your vehicle too much or if your vehicle is very old you can do away with your own damage cover. In that case, you can simply opt for a basic plan, i.e. a third party plan.

Inclusions in own damage insurance

The coverage extended under its own damage cover is quite extensive. The policy allows coverage against the following contingencies –

  1. Natural calamities like earthquake, storm, cyclone, flood, hurricane, landslide, subsidence, tempest, etc.
  2. Man-made calamities like fire, explosion, self-ignition, riots, strikes, malicious acts, etc.
  3. Theft of the car
  4. Damage to the car when it is being transported from one place to another via road, rail, air or water

Exclusions in own damage insurance

Despite the wide scope of coverage, the following contingencies are not covered under an own damage policy –

  • Deliberate damages
  • Damages suffered due to attempted suicide or self-inflicted injuries
  • Damages suffered when driving without a valid driving license
  • Damages suffered when driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol or other intoxicating substances
  • Damages suffered outside the Indian territorial boundaries
  • Consequential losses
  • Normal wear and tear or depreciation of the vehicle
  • Mechanical or electrical damages or breakdown of the car
  • Damages suffered when engaging in hazardous activities or in criminal acts

How to calculate your own damage premium?

The premium for an own damage insurance policy depends on a lot of factors. It also varies across insurance companies. So, to calculate the own damage premium, here are the factors that you must know about –

  1. Make, model and variant

    The make, model and variant of the car determines its market value. Depending on the market value, the coverage and the premium are determined. Premium cars have higher premiums compared to normal cars.

  2. IDV:

    IDV (Insured Declared Value) means the market value of the car after deducting depreciation based on the age of the car. IDV also represents the maximum coverage available under the own damage insurance policy. If the IDV is high, the premium would be higher and vice-versa.

  3. Registration details

    The registration date of the car reveals the age of the car based on which its value is depreciated. Thus, older cars have lower premiums and vice-versa. Similarly, the registration location also impacts the premium amount. Cars registered in metropolitan cities have higher premiums than cars registered in other places.

  4. Claim history

    If you have not made claims in the previous years, you are eligible for a no-claim discount. This discount reduces the renewal premium. Thus, depending on the claim history, the no claim bonus rate is determined which affects the premium rate.

  5. Renewal date

    If you opt for renewal within the due date, the premium would be low. However, if the policy has expired and then you renew it, the consequent premiums would be higher.

  6. Add-ons selected

    If you select the available add-ons, the premium would increase as each add-on comes with an additional premium amount.

  7. Discounts available 

    Besides the no claim bonus, if you are eligible for other discounts in the own damage cover, your premium would be reduced.

So, keep these points in mind to calculate the own damage premium when buying the policy.

How to renew your own damage insurance policy?

Own damage insurance renewal can be done online or offline. Here’s how –

  1. Offline renewal

    For renewing offline, you need to either contact an insurance agent or visit the branch of your insurance company. You would have to pay the renewal premium and the policy would be renewed after the renewal request is processed by the insurance company.

  2. Online renewal

    For instant renewals, you can choose the online option. To renew online, visit the website of your insurance company, enter your policy number, pay the renewal premium and renew online. Alternatively, you can visit https://www.turtlemint.com/car-insurance/ and compare different plans to find the best policy. Then, you can buy the plan online and get your coverage renewed instantly.

Remember, if you renew the policy within the due date, your policy would be renewed easily. However, if the due date has passed and your policy has expired, you would have to arrange for an inspection of your car and after the inspection is successfully done, the insurance company would allow the renewal of the policy. 

How to claim car insurance for your own damage in India?

If you incur a claim in your own damage insurance policy, you can initiate the claim process. The steps are as follows –

  1. Inform the insurance company immediately after you suffer a claim. This helps in registering the claim for the process to start.
  2. Once registered, the insurance company would also direct you to the nearest preferred workshop wherein you can get cashless claims
  3. Take your car to the workshop and the insurer’s surveyor would go to the workshop to check the damages
  4. Then the surveyor would submit the survey report based on which the claim would be approved
  5. After the approval is given, the garage would be instructed to start the repair work of the vehicle and the bills would be handled directly by the insurer
  6. Once the repairs are completed, fill and submit the claim form with other relevant documents for settlement
  7. After the claim is settled, you can take delivery of your car
  8. In case of theft, report the same to the police and file an FIR. If the police is not able to trace the vehicle, they would then issue a certificate of non-traceability. You need to submit the certificate for an insurance claim. 
  9. If you get your car repaired at a non-preferred garage, i.e. a garage not tied up with the insurance company, you would have to bear the repair costs yourself. After repairs, fill and submit the claim form along with the relevant documents and the claim would be reimbursed

If, however, you have bought your own damage insurance policy from Turtlemint, you can call Turtlemint for claim assistance. Call the toll-free number 1800 266 0101 or drop in a mail at support@turtlemint.com and Turtlemint would help you with the claim settlement process.

The own damage insurance cover is a valuable cover for your car which provides all-around financial protection. So, opt for the cover and get complete financial security against unforeseen financial contingencies.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What documents are needed for your own damage insurance claim settlement?

    For settlement of your own damage claim, the following documents should be submitted along with the filled and signed claim form –

    • Copy of your identity proof
    • Copy of the driving license
    • Copy of the RC book of the car
    • Police FIR in case of theft
    • Policy bond or Insurance Certificate
    • Any other document required by the insurance company.
  2. How to buy your own damage insurance policies?

    You can buy the policy online or offline. For buying offline you can get in touch with an insurance agent or visit the insurance company’s office. The online mode of buying is easier as you can buy the policy online instantly. Just visit the insurer’s website, provide your car’s details, pay the premium and buy the plan. You can also buy a suitable own damage insurance policy through Turtlemint’s platform which allows you to compare between the available plans and then buy the most suitable policy. Just visit https://www.turtlemint.com/car-insurance/, provide your car’s details and then get to check the quotes of different plans. Select a plan based on the coverage offered and the premium rate, fill up an online proposal form, pay the premium and the policy would be issued instantly.

  3. Is the premium for own damage higher than that of third party plans?

    Yes, it is because own damage plans provide a wider scope of coverage than third party plans. Premiums are, therefore, higher to compensate for the wider risk undertaken by the insurance company.

  4. How many add-ons can I choose under my own damage cover?

    You can choose as many add-ons that you want. However, remember that each add-on would include an additional premium. Moreover, you should assess the suitability of every add-on before you add it to your own damage plan.

  5. Would I lose the no claim bonus if I do not renew my own damage insurance policy on time?

    If your car insurance policy expires, the accumulated no claim bonus is retained for up to 90 days post the expiry date. If you renew the policy within this period, you can retain the no claim bonus and use it to claim a premium discount on renewal. However, if you do not renew the policy within 90 days of lapse, the no claim bonus would also lapse and become zero.

What is the Black Fungus all about?

While India struggles hard to deal with the ravaging second wave of Covid-19, there are reports of a spate in cases of black fungus-a rare infection, among the people who have recovered or are recovering from Covid-19. Dr VP Pandey, head of the hospital’s department of medicine, recently told BBC that the “Black Fungus infection is becoming almost as challenging as the pandemic. Unless patients get immediate and proper treatment, the mortality rate can go as high as 94%.” 

What is Black Fungus and how is it caused?

Black Fungus, Mucormycosis, is an infection that is caused due to exposure to fungi known as micromycetes. Micromycetes occur commonly in the environment, such as in soil, leaves, decaying fruits and vegetables, animal dung and compost. They enter the human body while breathing or through exposed skin wounds and can affect the sinuses, the lungs and the brain. 

Black Fungus or Mucormycosis is not a contagious disease, many people who come in the fungi’s contact may not even develop the infection. Nevertheless, people who have a weak immune system are at more risk of this disease. It can be life-threatening for people who are Covid positive, diabetic or are cancer patients or people with HIV/Aids. 

Who is at risk of developing Black Fungus?

Black Fungus is a rare disease, however, there are certain groups of people who are more at risk of this deadly disease than others. People with medical problems or those who take medicines that can lower the body’s strength to battle with germs are considered to be more vulnerable This includes people who have:

  • Cancer
  • Covid -19 patients, or those who have recently recovered (treated with steroids/ anti-inflammatory medicines)
  • Diabetes
  • Skin injuries
  • HIV
  • Organ transplant
  • Have recently had a surgery

Can Black Fungus be prevented?

Following the below-mentioned guidelines can help in preventing black fungus:

  1. Try to stay indoors as much as possible
  2. Exercise regularly, stay active
  3. Keep your home/ surroundings free from dust and dampness
  4. Maintain good oral and nasal hygiene
  5. When going out of your home wear an N-95 mask
  6. Wear a mask when visiting dusty areas/construction sites/ open grounds
  7. Wear shoes, pants, long sleeves shirts and gloves when working in the garden or gardening or working with soil, manure or moss
  8. Take scrub baths, maintain personal hygiene
  9. Control your diabetes
  10. After treatment Covid-19 treatment, keep monitoring your blood glucose
  11. Try and decrease the use of steroids
  12. Discontinue the use of immunomodulating drugs
  13. Stay well hydrated 

Post recovery of Covid, if a patient has facial pain, stuffy nose, facial pain, bloody nasal discharge or any other symptoms (mentioned below), medical help should be taken immediately. 

What are the conditions that appear due to Black Fungus?

Patients who suffer from black fungus mostly have a stuffy or bleeding nose along with swelling and pain in and around the eyes followed by drooping of eyelids and blurred vision which is followed by loss by loss of vision.

There are certain warning signs such as Mucormycosis: 

  1. Pain along with redness around the nose, eyes
  2. Fever
  3. Cough and cold
  4. Headache
  5. Bloody vomits
  6. A change in the mental status
  7. Shortness of breath

Apart from these, Mucormycosis also has the following symptoms:

  1. Nasal blockage or congestion
  2. Toothache
  3. Blurred or double vision with pain 
  4. Blackish/ bloody discharge from the nose
  5. Pain in the cheekbone, facial pain on one side of the nose
  6. Discolouration over the bridge of the nose
  7. Tooth becoming loose
  8. Necrosis, skin lesion
  9. Pain in the chest
  10. A deterioration in the respiratory and lung function

Doctors say most of the patients arrive late when they are on the verge of losing their eyesight. At this stage, their eyes have to be removed surgically so that the infection can be stopped from reaching the brain. Some people have also lost vision in both their eyes. In some cases, the jaw bone of the patients had to be removed to stop the spread of infection. 

What is the relationship between Covid-19 and Black Fungus?

Mucormycosis can happen post-Covid infection. It could be days after hospital discharge or even during the stay at the hospital. Due to Covid, there is damage caused to the patient’s blood vessels and airway mucosa, which can bring an increase in the serum iron that facilitates the fungus to grow. Steroid medicines raise blood sugar levels. Antibiotics that are broad-spectrum wipe out the pathogenic bacteria and protective commensals. 

Sometimes long-term on the ventilator can reduce the patient’s immunity as it has been speculated that the fungus is transmitted by water in the humidifier that is given with the oxygen. All these conditions make it an easy ground for a mucormycosis infection.

How can Black Fungus be treated?

It may be possible to treat black fungus with antifungals. However, a patient could also require surgery at any point in time. Dr Pandey also said that more than 80% of the patients need surgery immediately. 

According to doctors, it is very important to keep diabetes under control, reduce the use of steroids and stop the use of immunomodulating drugs. For maintaining an adequate system of hydration in the lungs, the treatment may start with an infusion of regular saline. This may eventually lead to an infusion of drugs such as amphotericin B as well as antifungal therapy, for a period of a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks.

Doctors have also emphasised the need of controlling hyperglycemia and monitoring the glucose level in the blood especially after taking Covid-19 treatment. Judicious use of steroids, at the right time and inadequate doses, is essential. 

What is White Fungus?

Cases of white fungus are also being reported. Considered to be as fatal as black fungus, the white fungus spreads to different parts of the body and causes severe damage to the lungs, brain, skin and mouth. It generally develops in the private parts or the tongue and then spreads to the different body parts such as the lungs, food pipes and brain. Here is a look at the common symptoms:

  1. Cough
  2. Fever
  3. Diarrhoea
  4. Dark spots on the lungs
  5. Decrease in oxygen level
  6. Skin lesions
  7. White patches in the mouth

Following the tips given below can help in preventing white fungus:

  1. Maintaining a healthy immune system enables the body to fight such infections
  2. Keep your surroundings clean and dust-free

So far, the white fungus was regarded to be an infection that could be cured by common medicines. However, in the recently reported cases, this kind of fungal infection has shown damage that was not seen earlier. Delay in the treatment can make matters worse. 

What is Yellow Fungus?

Also called mucor septic, the yellow fungus causes infection. The main cause behind the growth of the yellow fungus is poor hygiene. Stale food is also a reason behind the growth of fungus. Yellow fungus is different from white and black fungus as it starts internally. It causes leakage of pus and causes delayed healing of wounds. Yellow fungus arises within the body and thus, the diagnosis and treatment often get delayed. This delay can even lead to an organ failure in some patients.
The symptoms of yellow fungus are as follows:

  1. Feeling lethargic
  2. Low appetite
  3. Sunken eyes
  4. Sudden weight loss

Protection from yellow fungus may be possible through the following measures:

  1. It is important to follow good hygiene habits
  2. Keep your surroundings clean
  3. Each fresh and home-cooked food
  4. Do not keep stale food inside the house
  5. Maintaining low humidity can also help prevent fungus formation

The Bottom Line

Black, White and Yellow Fungi are rare but serious fungal infections. The infection is lethal, and it is imperative that early diagnosis and prompt treatment is made available to the patient. People must keep themselves aware and seek only trusted information and healthcare services. Only together can we improve the situation and win this battle against Covid and these deadly fungi. 

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