Having a third-party insurance plan is compulsory for all automobiles plying on the Indian roads. This insurance plan provides the coverage arising out of for injuries or damages caused to other people. The beneficiary is third-party only. The prudent way to get coverage for the losses or damages caused to the insured vehicle is buying a comprehensive insurance plan. It provides the coverage for third-party liability along with own damage caused to the insured automobile.
The sum insured for the automobile is Insured’s Declared Value. It reflects the present market value of the automobile. If you buy a third party insurance, you get covered against third-party liability specifically. The offered coverage is unlimited for the third-party’s injury and the offered coverage is of Rs. 7, 50,000 for third-party’s property damage.
The Road Traffic Act, 1933 requires all drivers of mechanically propelled vehicles in public places to have at least third-party insurance, or to have obtained exemption – generally by depositing a (large) sum of money to the High Court as a guarantee against claims. In 1933, this figure was set at £15,000. The Road Traffic Act, 1961 (which is currently in force) repealed the 1933 act but replaced these sections with functionally identical sections.
When the premium is not mandated by the government, it is usually derived from the calculations of an actuary, based on statistical data. The premium can vary depending on many factors that are believed to affect the expected cost of future claims. Those factors can include the car characteristics, the coverage selected (deductible, limit, covered perils), the profile of the driver (age, gender, driving history) and the usage of the car (commute to work or not, predicted annual distance driven).
Minimal insurance policies cover only third parties (including the insured person and third parties carried with the vehicle, but not the driver, if the two do not coincide). Also the third parties, fire and theft are common insurance policies, while the all inclusive policies (kasko policy) which include also damages of the vehicle causing the accident or the injuries. It is also common to include a renounce clause of the insurance company to compensate the damages against the insured person in some cases (usually in case of DUI or other infringement of the law by the driver).
Auto insurance is financial protection, and not just for the investment you made when you bought your car. After a really serious accident, bills for damage and injuries can easily reach into hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you happen to cause such a wreck, the victims could sue you. In the worst case scenario, assets such as your savings and home could be seized.