Consumable Cover In Motor Insurance

Viraj is driving back home from office when he meets with a minor accident. His car's radiator is broken, and the coolant begins to leak. Viraj takes his car to the garage and asks the mechanic to replace the radiator and repair the coolant. Viraj has a comprehensive motor insurance plan. So, he thought the costs will be covered by the policy.

He informs the insurance company about the damages an incurred in an accident. The insurer, however, tells Viraj that they will only pay for the replacement of the radiator. They won’t cover the cost of repairing the coolant because it is a consumable item that is not covered by a comprehensive motor insurance policy.

What are consumables? Is there an add-on available to cover the costs of consumables?

Let’s find out!

What Are Consumables?

Consumables are components that have limited use and need to be replaced on a regular basis due to constant wear and tear. Screws, for example, can't be reused after being used in a vehicle. And they have to be replaced regularly.

Some examples of consumables are nuts, bolts, engine oil, brake oil, ball bearings, lubricants, oil filter, grease, washers, AC gas, coolant, etc.

While the cost of consumables is not covered by a comprehensive motor insurance policy, it is covered by the consumable cover.

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What Is A Consumable Cover?

The consumable cover is an add-on available with most motor insurance policies. You can opt for this add-on by paying an additional premium amount.

With the consumable add-on cover, the cost of the consumables will be borne by the insurance company.

For instance, Harsh is on his way to meet his friend. His car suddenly meets with an accident and is severely damaged. Let’s say his car's repair estimate is Rs. 40,000. Out of this, Rs. 7000 is to replace and repair the consumable items of his car.

  • If Harsh Has Opted For The Consumable Cover

    Along with the comprehensive motor insurance policy, the cost of consumables will be covered by the insurance company.

  • If Harsh Has Not Opted For the Consumable Cover

    He will have to pay for the cost of consumables, i.e. Rs. 7000 from his own pocket.

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Coverage Under A Consumable Cover

Here’s a list of some things the consumable add-on cover will pay for -

  • Lubricants
  • Brake oil
  • Bearings
  • Oil filter
  • Radiator coolants
  • Gearbox
  • Engine oil
  • Nuts and bolts
  • Grease
  • Power steering oil
  • Screws
  • Washers
  • Distilled water
  • Clip
  • AC gas
  • Other similar items

Claim Process For The Consumable Cover

The claim process for the consumable add-on cover will be similar to that of a comprehensive motor insurance policy. You can claim the expenses either on a cashless basis or on a reimbursement basis.

Let’s learn about the steps involved in both the cashless and reimbursement claim settlement process.

Cashless Claim Process

  • The first step involves informing the insurer about the damage as early as possible. This can be done either by calling them or sending an email to them. Also, make sure you provide all the accurate details to the insurer.

  • After you inform the insurer, you can take your vehicle to the insurer’s network garage (a garage listed with the insurer) for repair.

  • The insurer will send their executive to the garage to examine the damage. Please keep in mind, do not give your vehicle for repair before the insurance executive is done examining the cost of damage. If you do, the insurer may deny your claim as they won't be able to determine the extent of the vehicle's damage.

  • After the examination is done, you can ask the mechanic to repair your vehicle.

  • Once your vehicle is repaired, you will need to pay the deductible. Deductible is an amount you must pay from your end before the insurer starts to pay for the claim settlement. The insurance company and the garage will then settle the bill amongst themselves.

Reimbursement Claim Process

  • You will have to inform the insurance company about the claim and submit the initial set of documents for claim intimation.

  • Once the claim is intimated, the insurer will appoint a surveyor who will visit the garage and survey the vehicle. Here, you can take your vehicle to whichever garage you like, as it is a reimbursement claim.

  • Post receiving approval from the surveyor, you can ask the mechanic to repair your vehicle.

  • After your vehicle is repaired, you will have to pay for the repair expenses out of your pocket first - since it is a reimbursement claim.

  • You will then need to submit certain documents to the insurer, like the invoice, repair bill, garage estimate, etc.

  • The insurance company will verify all the documents and reimburse the amount.

Who Should Buy The Consumable Cover?

You should consider purchasing the consumable cover with your base motor insurance policy if -

  • You own an expensive car and want to provide complete coverage to your car.

  • You want to cut down on spending for small repairs and replacements.

Important Points To Note

Here are 3 important things you should know about the consumable add-on cover in motor insurance -

  • Age Of The Vehicle

    The consumable cover is only available for vehicles up to 5 years of age. Vehicles that are above 5 years old cannot be protected under this add-on cover.

  • Applicable For Own Damage

    This cover is only applicable for the ‘own damage’ cover of a comprehensive motor insurance policy - it is not applicable for the ‘third party’ cover. Meaning, the consumable add-on will only cover damages to your own car. Damage to a third party’s vehicle is not eligible for a claim under this add-on.

    For instance, you get into an accident and damaged your car and Bharat, a third-party individual’s car. The cost of repairing your car is Rs. 10,000. Out of this, Rs. 3000 is to repair and refill consumables like engine oil, nuts, bolts, etc. Here, the consumable cover will cover the cost of consumables items, i.e., Rs. 3,000.

    Now, the cost of repairing Bharat’s car is Rs. 15,000. Out of this, Rs. 5,000 is for repairing and refilling the consumables like brake oil, screws, etc. Here, you will have to bear the cost of consumables of Bharat’s car, i.e., Rs. 5,000 out of your pocket. The costs won’t be covered by the consumable add-on cover you’ve taken with your policy.

  • Inform The Insurer At The Earliest

    You must inform the insurance company and raise the claim request as soon as the mishap takes place. If you don’t, there are chances the insurance company may deny your claim.

In Conclusion

The expenses of consumable items such as screws, nuts, bolts, lubricants, AC gas, etc. are not covered by a comprehensive motor insurance policy. However, if you buy the consumable cover as an add-on with your base plan, the cost of these consumables will be borne by the insurance company. So, if you don't want to spend money on minor repairs and replacements and want to provide complete coverage to your vehicle, you should definitely get this add-on.

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