Have you ever been sold a service where the salesperson positioned the product as a solution for everything you need and then you gradually had the realization that there were many fine prints, many exclusions that you had to pay for separately?
Exclusions remind us about booking a holiday package through a travel agent. They will not only clearly mention what is included in the package, but also inform you what is excluded (albeit in the fine print) like toll, parking charges, and entry fees to parks.
Knowing about exclusions is beneficial, as it provides you maximum clarity and minimum shocks when you are availing of the service in the case of motor insurance claims.
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So, What Situations Aren’t Covered Under A Motor Insurance Policy?
Motor Insurance policies have certain exclusions as follows-
Any Wear And Tear Of Vehicle
Any loss due to ordinary wear and tear of the vehicle is not covered under the policy. Also, if the vehicle undergoes any damage in the regular course of action due to the following conditions, it will not be covered under the policy -
Any mechanical or electrical breakdowns
Failure of chassis or any other body part
Breakage due to rust or weather conditions
Damage To Tyres, Tubes, Or Electrical Components
Tyres, tubes, and electrical components face damage due to regular usage and severe weather conditions. Electrical components such as wires, batteries, engines, etc. may also falter because of short circuits, oil leakage, or rodents. These damages will not be covered by the policy.
For example - Atul lives in Mumbai and the city faced torrential rain as well as hail storms last monsoon. His car’s tyres faced damage due to slick and muddy roads, while his battery regularly gets discharged because of the cold weather. The costs for their repair and replacement will not be covered under his motor insurance policy.
Damage Caused To The Vehicle If The Driver Doesn’t Have A Valid Driver’s License
Possessing a valid driving license in India, whether you’re driving a car, scooter, truck, cargo vehicle, etc. - is a mandatory requirement in India. The license permits you to drive legally in India. It is issued by the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) or the Regional Transport Office (RTO).
Any damage caused to the vehicle if you have a valid driver’s license will not be covered by your policy.
Damage Caused To The Vehicle If The Driver Is Under The Influence Of Alcohol Or Drugs
You are liable to face legal repercussions under the Motor Vehicles Act if you are caught driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any narcotic drugs. Any damage caused to your vehicle during the course of such driving will not be covered by the insurance policy.
For example - Kushal took his bike out for a ride under the influence of alcohol. He got into an accident that damaged the bike’s handles, lights, and body. He is not eligible to receive the claim amount under his insurance policy because he was under the influence of alcohol.
Damage Caused If The Vehicle Is Being Used For Any Other Purpose
If you use the vehicle for any other purpose, other than the one specified in the insurance certificate, and it gets damaged as a result of this use - you aren’t eligible to receive the claim amount. For instance, a private car is used for commercial purposes or racing, etc.
Violation Of Vehicle Manufacturer’s Guidelines
Each vehicle comes with manual information about the vehicle and guidelines that should be followed by the user. For instance, there may be instructions about how to jump-start your car, how you should handle overheating, etc. If you use any method beyond these guidelines and as a result, violate them- any damage faced by the vehicle will not be covered under the policy.
Damage Caused By The War
Any damage caused to the vehicle due to war, terror attack, civil war, radiation, nuclear material/weapons, etc., is not included within the scope of the policy coverage.
Damage Caused Beyond The Specified Geographical Area
An insurance policy may specify a certain geographical area within which the coverage will be in force. Any driving accident that happens beyond these areas will not be covered under the policy.
If you plan to take your vehicle outside India, then you would need to separately cover the risks with an insurance company.
For example - Rani decides to go on a road trip to Thailand. She gets into an accident on the way, which causes substantial damage to her car. She raises a claim for the same. Unfortunately, the accident happened outside India- therefore she will not be eligible to receive the claim amount.
Any Accident That Happens After The Insurance Policy Expires
A motor insurance policy is a mandatory requirement, as stated by the Motor Vehicles Act, and needs to be renewed within the specified due date. If any damage or loss occurred, even if covered under the old policy, happens after the policy expires- it will not be covered.
For example - Kumar purchased a scooter in March 2021. He also bought an insurance plan for the same, the renewal due date of which fell in March 2022. He failed to pay the premium and renew the policy, which caused the old policy to expire. Unfortunately, he got into a road accident in April 2022. His scooter faced substantial damage because of the same. However, he is not eligible to raise a claim and receive the cover amount from the insurer because of his expired policy. He may also face legal repercussions under the Motor Vehicles Act for driving without insurance.
Looking at the exclusions ofMotor Insurance policies, it can be gathered that one should be well aware of the various situations and types of damage that aren’t covered. This will help you prevent any sort of untoward incidents as well as expenses. So, make sure you go through the policy documents and understand all the specified conditions.