Monthly Archives: February 2017

Car insurance: no-fault claims are the Elephant in the room

If someone drives into the back of your car while you are stationary, you wouldn’t expect to be penalized by your insurer would you? At least, I didn’t – but that’s exactly what happened to me.

The incident happened last summer when a van driver turned into the entrance to the car park I was parked just outside of (in a marked bay), damaging the rear bumper and paintwork of my VW Golf. The van driver admitted fault and we swapped insurance details.

I contacted my insurer, which is part of the Admiral group, and it swiftly sorted out repairs to my car and, sometime later, claimed successfully from the van driver’s insurer. I asked before I made the claim whether it would affect my premium – although I assumed it wouldn’t as I wasn’t at fault – and was assured it wouldn’t.

Yesterday I was given a renewal quote and it has risen from approximately Car insurance renewal has been rising steadily, but I hadn’t expected an increase of quite that much. In fact, I had assumed that my six years no-claims bonus would ensure I was paying roughly the same, which had been the case for the past five years.

So I asked Elephant: why the hefty rise? The lady I spoke to in the renewals department told me it was because of the incident last summer. Although it had been resolved and registered as a no-fault claim, the Admiral group charges higher premiums whether drivers are at fault or not. Apparently, now I have made a claim Admiral considers that statistically I am more likely to make another claim in the future.

And the increased insurance premium is not confined to the damaged vehicle: one of my colleagues, whose car was damaged by vandals last autumn while parked in London (the wing mirror on the pavement side was smashed off), found that although her car insurance premium was unaffected, when she came to insure a horsebox that will never be parked in London the insurer insisted on taking this previous – and in 30 years of driving, only – claim into account.

I suggested to Admiral that maybe I shouldn’t have claimed at all and paid for the damage myself, but was I informed that I am legally obliged to report any incident to my insurer, whether I pursue the claim or not. So damned if I do or damned if I don’t.

Apparently, the member of staff in the insurance claims department who told me my premium would be unaffected must have meant my existing premium, not my renewal premium. 


A Definite Amount for Vehicle Insurance

What is the definite amount of insurance that a motor vehicle owner should buy? A generic response is that any auto owner should aim to buy the maximum motor vehicle insurance that they can afford. Although, this may sound logical, it may not be the apt way of getting insurance. Based on calculated decision, you need to consider 3 basic facts before opting for motor vehicle insurance:

The minimum level of insurance amount in the state that you reside in

The parts and services covered by the minimum threshold

Additional coverage on motor vehicle insurance that can be afforded by you and your family

For getting the answer to first point, you may logon to the website of your state government. The coverage limits and other details will be readily available on their website or other affiliate sites. If you have a relative who owns motor vehicle insurance already, you may consult them for knowledge. Well, with these factors, you can for sure find a low cost motor vehicle insurance cover but what stands as an important thing for individuals is to inculcate the value of accountability in them so that they can manage for their own expenses for at least half of the premium rates. This is important as it gives the authority an initial precursory approach at the insurance company whether it is doing its job or not, the fact that it can provide all its insurers with appropriate and convenient insurance cover. To avoid possible miscreants into the insurance industry, it is better to get motor vehicle insurance through the online comparison site where both price and features can be compared well.

There are different types of coverage involved while claiming a motor insurance. Some insurance covers for the vehicle losses that have incurred due to a calamity or an accident. Some other type of insurance will cover the health and other necessities due to collision. Once you narrow down on the type of coverage needed, you can look out for options which you would like the insurance to cover but are not kept mandatory by the state government.

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Things to keep in mind when buying a used car

The used-car market in India is growing rapidly. Even luxury carmakers are looking into India’s pre-owned car market to target customers like you, and considering the attractive offers offered on used cars, it’s only understandable if you too would like to weigh in.

However, since this market is still in its nascent stages, it’s important you tread carefully. There may be sellers who function without proper licenses or don’t provide sufficient documentation, which can be problematic in the future.

Here is a checklist you can keep handy to ensure that you have cemented your ownership of a used car:

  1. Do you have the originals?

Unlike a new car, buying a pre-owned car involves transfer of ownership, which is why it’s important you have the originals to support your claim rather than just the photocopies.

This also includes documents which only a new-car owner gets. Firstly, the Road Tax Receipt ensures there are no pending dues so you don’t end up paying penalties. Secondly, the duel fuel certificate is for cars that have been modified such that they can run on two types of fuel. You must also ensure you get the No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the regional transport office (RTO).

  1. Do you have the payment receipts?

Similarly, ask for the receipts of any payments you have made. This receipt should contain the dealer’s complete address and their contact details. This is, after all, the proof of your purchase, so make sure it’s the original invoice, and not a copy.

  1. Do you have the registration certificate?

In India, it is not enough to merely purchase a car, you have to get it registered too. This is the most important document to have while you’re on the road. It has all the details of your car—its registration number, its chassis number and even its engine number. These are the various ways your particular vehicle can be identified. However, don’t just blindly copy the details. It may have happened that the engine was replaced in the past after the car’s initial registration. In this case, you have to ensure the certificate reflects this development. Keep in mind ‘DRC’ on a certificate stands for ‘Duplicate Registration Certificate’, which suggests it isn’t the original.

For those who plan to purchase a used car from another state/region in the country, make sure the registration belongs to the state/region you are driving in. If you are taking the car from one state to another, you may have to pay additional road tax and Octroi charges in your state. This is usually calculated as a percentage of the car value. This percentage differs for each region’s RTO.

  1. Do you have the pollution certificate?

This is a simple and necessary certificate that serves as proof that you are sticking to the government’s guidelines on pollution control. This ensures that you are staying within the purview of the law.

  1. Do you have your insurance papers?

The good thing about buying a used car is that you simply have to change the insurance policy ownership, and not necessarily buy a new one. While doing so, do enquire about the history of the insurance —has any insurance money been claimed before? When does it expire? Are there any pending premiums? Also, if you have to opt for a new insurance policy in case of its expiry, you could even try bargaining to reduce your premiums.

  1. Do you have all the loan-related documents?

This is not just related to a loan you may or may not have taken, but is also applicable to any loans the previous owner of the car had availed. For this purpose, you need Form 32 and Form 35. Moreover, as mentioned above, you also need to obtain an NOC from the previous lender. This will ensure all dues have been paid, thereby leaving you in the clear.

Buying any car, not just a used or second hand car, is a big decision that involves lot of thought and research. However, buying a used car requires even more attention. Make sure you tick all these points off the list while buying your very own pre-owned car insurance. Keep the papers handy and drive safe!


Your car insurance is critically important

Insurance in the United States is a big affair. The insurance companies that do business in this country cover almost everything. It is needless to say that car insurance is one of the most important types of insurance covers in the country. Apart from Virginia, New Hampshire and Mississippi, every other state in the country requires car owners to carry some auto insurance cover. And no matter how much you hate insurance companies and their agents, deep within your heart you know how important it is to be insured.


You just have to imagine what all can happen when you are driving. You could get into a collision that damages your car. Or you could get involved in an accident where you or someone else gets physically injured. Car accidents often have this tendency to turn fatal, where someone loses their life. The stupidest cases are those where a car is stolen. In all such cases, you stand to lose a lot of money if you don’t have car insurance cover.


It is important to know the kind of auto insurance you need. And here is where a professional insurance agent plays a big role. One of the primary reasons why people hate the concept of insurance is because they don’t understand most of it. They get fooled into buying something that they don’t need and end up paying more for cover that they don’t require. And when it comes to claiming for insurance, they end up paying more from their own pocket, something no one wants to do when they have insurance cover. A professional car insurance agent can offer need based cover.


Many consumers think that they need full auto insurance cover. The idea is not bad because then an individual covered under comprehensive cover doesn’t need to worry about any situation involving their vehicle. However, not everyone requires insurance cover. Someone may just require collision insurance or theft insurance, but they need an agent to let them know about their requirement.


As you can fairly clearly understand, a car insurance agent plays an important role in someone choosing cover for their vehicle. And because there are so many insurance agents around, it is critical to choose someone who has the reputation of being honest. Because many insurance agents work on their own, one has to find someone who knows what customer service is all about. In the domain of auto insurance, customer service would mean selling the correct policy and helping out when someone makes a claim. And the best insurance agents also stay in touch with their customers and also remind them about insurance premium payments and so on. This is the kind of service available from a very few agents and one needs to know who that person is close to them. Car insurance cover is important for any driver because accidents or thefts or other car related issues don’t announce their arrival. It is an experienced auto insurance agent that helps their customers to make the best choices.