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A beginner's guide to choose the best bike insurance policy

It’s certainly a pain to buy bike insurance for the first time. Therefore, I would like to clear the air and make it simpler for every new bike owner by sharing my first-hand experience.

Delirium hit me hard and I literally jumped in the air as I saw a brand-new bike parked outside my house on my 18thbirthday.  Dad seemed to be in a generous mood and mom looked cagey at the pampering.

For almost a year, I ensured I personally washed it and made it look as good as new. I never left my house without my bike and it was the apple of my eye. On my 19thbirthday, Dad informed me that I would have to pay for the insurance premium of my bike with my pocket money. The rebellious youth in me obviously thought bike insurance was a waste of money and time. However, Dad was relentless and I silently decided on the next best thing. i.e. Opting for the cheapest bike insurance policy. He instinctively understood my plan and it was time for his famous Gyan sessions.  The sermon was enough for me to change my mind and I opted for a Bike insurance policy that suited my needs as well as budget.

 Based on our experience throughout the buying process, the following are a few tips that can prove to be handy for any newcomer to the insurance world:

Compare. Research. Repeat

We soon found out that there exists a plethora of policies in the insurance market and the prices suited everyone. From people on a shoe-string budget to people with money to burn. This time, I resisted the temptation and tried to look beyond the price aspect. I eventually inferred that the policies with most amount of coverage were not necessarily the most expensive ones.

I solved this riddle, by enquiring, researching and comparing the quotes from different companies. It is imperative not to finalize the first quote that you come across. Take your time in understanding the coverage. If nothing you would at least be aware of the going rates in the bike insurance industry ensuring you bargain better. It will also enable you to select the policy with most coverage and the lowest price. This way, even if you intend to burn money, you get your money’s worth.

Find a shoe that fits

Don’t worry that’s just a metaphor.JThough opting for a policy that fits your requirements is crucial, if you intend to buy a bike insurance policy only because the cops would bug you otherwise then third-party bike insurance is your best bet. However, please be informed that Third-party motorcycle insurance provides protection only against damage to vehicle, property or body of the third party or the person you crashed into. Your own bike is not protected at all.

Considering the dismal road conditions, lack of traffic discipline, and the number of flooding instances in the country, would I opt for only protecting the third party? No chance! I cared about my bike more than that.

Hence, I gladly choose a comprehensive bike insurance policy which covered damages or loss due to natural disasters, man-made disasters, accidents, along with third-party liability.

To sum up, understand your requirements first and only then opt for a policy that suits them.

Addressing the Add-ons

An add-ons cover such as Zero-Depreciation can prove to be a savior. However, just like the policy itself, I was initially completely against paying money above and beyond the premium for a better coverage. Dad intervened again and taught me that a vanilla policy covers only the depreciated value of the bike parts. At the time of claim, there would be a huge amount out of the garage bill that would need to be paid out of my own pocket. Horrified at the idea, I opted for the Zero depreciation cover as well.

Pester the experts with questions

We tried going through a lot of insurance broking websites such as Bluebox.com. On the basis of the comparisons on these websites, our decision was almost made. However, dad wouldn’t budge without speaking to a person. He was always a little technology-wary. So we cleared all our queries with the help of a representative of the broking website. We asked the following questions:

 Should we opt for a Roadside assistance cover?
A roadside assistance cover can be a savior if you are stranded on an empty street with a bike breakdown. They offer basic repairs, towing, emergency fuel and a host of other services. This service is extremely subjective. Some companies have it inbuilt with their policy, some offer it as an add-on, and some don’t offer it at all. Don’t finalize your bike insurance decision without considering roadside assistance.

Which discounts are we eligible for?
Special discounts are provided to bikes with anti-theft devices and members of recognized automobile groups. You are also eligible for a special discount called No-claim bonus at the end of a claim-free year to reward your safe driving skills.

 What is IDV?
Insured’s Declared Value (IDV) is the value of your vehicle which is to be considered and kept constant during the policy period. Depreciation rate affects the IDV and IDV affects the premium rates.

What if we sell our vehicle?
If the bike is sold, then the policy can be transferred and the new owner has up to 2 weeks to intimate the insurance company about the sale.

What is a deductible or excess?

The deductible or excess is the amount you have to pay at the time of the claim. There are two types of deductibles. There is compulsory deductible and voluntary deductible. As the name suggests, compulsory deductible is the cost that you have to pay from the claim amount mandatorily. It is a pre-fixed amount. Voluntary deductible is the amount you are willingly ready to pay over the compulsory deductible in order to reduce the premium

My father ensured that I bought the best bike insurance policy for my beloved first bike. I still distinctly remember the experience and exhilaration of protecting the thing I valued the most. Hoping many first-time bike-riders take inspiration from it and adequately protect their baby.