Rajiv, 27, is a teacher in a private school. During last week, while coming back from the office, his motorcycle was hit by a car coming from the other side, and as a result, he got badly injured and hospitalized for a week. After getting discharged from the hospital, he spent two weeks at home.
Now, he is fine and will resume his work in a few days. However, there is one question that is pestering him—how will I commute? His motorcycle is damaged beyond recognition, and he doesn’t have enough funds to get it repaired, as all his savings went into his medical treatment.
Rajiv could have easily avoided being in such a situation if he had insured his vehicle, but he did not. Rajiv is not the only person who has not insured his two-wheeler.
According to the survey conducted by ICICI Lombard, around 75% of two-wheelers in India either run without insurance or their policy has lapsed. It is a shocking figure not only because a large number of people are driving without the insurance, but also because they are able to do it when third-party motor insurance is compulsory in India.
According to the World Health Organization report (WHO), around 16.6 lakh people died in road accidents in India in 2013-14. The most vulnerable lot is of the motorcyclists who constitute for 23% of all road traffic deaths in the country. In Nagpur, motorists were involved in 13% of the total accidents that occurred this year.
Besides the damage to a vehicle, what would happen if the person involved in an accident gets seriously injured? Apart from the repairing expenses of the vehicle, medical expenses will also crop up. So, where is the solution?
A way out: Insure your ride
Two-wheeler insurance is a valuable tool that can protect your hard earned money and loved ones in case of theft or any damage due to an unwanted situation. It is always advised to buy two-wheeler insurance before taking a vehicle onto the road; however, many people consider it as an unnecessary expense and avoid buying it. Two-wheeler insurance plays an important role following an accident, theft or general damage to a vehicle.
Here are some of the advantages of two-wheeler policies:
1. Serious mishaps
You could be too tired or distracted, and before you know it, there is a crash. Even it may not be your fault, but the outcome has to be faced by you.
One can never be ready for accidents. Even if you escape with minor injuries, your vehicle may undergo damage. In the absence of any insurance policy, you may have to write off the vehicle entirely. On the other hand, someone with insurance coverage would be able to carry out costly repairs.
2. Post- accident medical expenses
Before shrugging off two-wheeler insurance completely, think of what would happen if the other party involved in the accident suffers major injuries?
An unfortunate accident can push the at-fault driver into bankruptcy, especially when he/she is uninsured. If your fault sends other persons to the hospital, you would be legally liable to bear their medical expenses.
In the case of no major physical injuries, you would need to pay for damages caused to their vehicle. To top it all, if someone slams you with a lawsuit, you would have to bear legal expenses also. However, comprehensive bike insurance can take care of all these expenses.
There is no getting away from the danger of two-wheeler thefts in India. According to police records, vehicle thefts have increased in Gurgaon.
Around 3,240 vehicles were stolen and snatched in Gurgaon in 2014, as compared to 3,190 in 2013, of which 2,850 were two-wheelers. If you have two-wheeler insurance, the financial impact of theft will not affect you.
With two-wheeler insurance, you can be rest assured that in the case of unforeseen circumstances, you are insured.
Add riders to two-wheeler insurance for extra safety-
For most people, a two-wheeler is still the first vehicle which they own before moving to a car. With the availability of various options in the market, from scooters to high-end sports bikes, the popularity of two-wheelers is on the rise. Here are some of the riders which can be added to the main two-wheeler insurance policy to expand the coverage.
- Cover for pillion rider: By buying this cover, you can protect the pillion rider or dependents from financial hardships in the case of any accident leading to death or disability.
- Return to invoice: It ensures that at the time of loss or damage, the insurer will get complete reimbursement of the actual value of the vehicle. It is applicable only in case of total loss or damage to the vehicle due to theft or natural disasters.
- Roadside assistance: It ensures that quick round-the-clock service reaches you in the case of flat tyre, running out of fuel, etc. It proves to be useful in case your vehicle breaks down in an isolated place.
- Daily cash allowance: Assuming your two-wheeler is severely damaged and needs repair at the service center, you may be left stranded for a week without a vehicle in case you use it for your daily commuting. In this case, the insurer gives daily cash allowance to meet your daily transport expenses.
Buy two-wheeler insurance for a peace of mind-
By driving an uninsured two-wheeler, you are not just putting yourself and your family at risk but are also endangering the lives of third-party. You never know when your luck might run out, and you need bike insurance. The new Road Transport and Safety Bill has proposed hefty penalties on vehicles without insurance. So, if you haven’t purchased a one, do it now. After all, it is all about the safety of yours and your vehicle!
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.