As cities continue to expand, more people migrate towards urban areas. This expansion and sudden increase in urban population burden the infrastructure. Another sign of increased population is the rise in the number of cars on road. More cars on the road mean an increase in the chances of accidents.
Having a car insurance policy ensures that you and your car are financially protected from liabilities associated with road accidents. Apart from third-party and comprehensive car insurance, there is also a standalone own-damage policy that you can opt for, and here’s all you need to know about it.
What is a standalone own-damage policy?
In 2019, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) allowed vehicle owners to purchase a standalone own damage policy for their vehicles separately 
. For new cars, this policy is mandatorily bundled with third-party insurance. However, now you, as a car owner, can purchase it separately.
So, what does this policy do?
As the name suggests, the policy is designed to provide you with financial compensation for the damages caused to your car. For example, if your car’s door gets damaged and the cost of repair is Rs.5000, the policy will either reimburse you or pay for the repairs through a cashless facility. *
How is it different from third-party and comprehensive insurance?
This insurance policy compared to the other two private car insurance policies
, third-party and comprehensive plans, only covers damage caused to your car. It does not cover third-party damages. Hence, having only a standalone own-damage policy is not sufficient to comply with the law. You must combine it with third-party policies. While a third-party policy covers only third-party legal liabilities and not own damages, comprehensive covers both third-party and own damage.
What are the inclusions and exclusions?
Here are the inclusions of this policy:
- Damages caused to your car in an accident.
- Damages to your car due to natural calamities such as floods and earthquakes.
- Damages to your car due to manmade calamities such as riots.
- Damages due to a fire.
- Damages caused to/Loss of car due to theft.
Here are the exclusions of this policy:
- Third-party damages caused by your car.
- Protection from the depreciated value of your car.
- Breakdown of your car due to an electrical or mechanical fault.
- Damages to your car if being driven under the influence of alcohol/drugs.
- Damages to the car if being driven without a valid license.
- Damages to your car caused during a war or terror attack.
How to claim car insurance for own damage?
Here are the steps for filing a claim*:
- Get in touch with your insurer either through their claim helpline number or through their website after your car has been damaged in an accident.
- On the website, you can file a claim through their claim section. You would be required to provide details related to your car, the insurance policy, and the accident.
- It is advisable for you to take photos and videos of the damage caused to your car.
- The insurer would send a surveyor to inspect the damages.
- If the insurer is satisfied with your claim, you have two options for getting the compensation. Either getting the car repaired at a garage and getting reimbursed by the insurer later, or getting your car repaired at a network garage with a cashless claim facility.
*Standard T&C apply
Should you opt for this policy?
While a standalone own-damage policy compensates for the damages to your car, it does not compensate for the damage caused to a third-party vehicle or property. In such cases, you might have to pay out of pocket for third-party damages. Since a third-party policy is mandatory, you cannot legally drive your car without one. Alternatively, you can purchase comprehensive car insurance, where benefits of both, third-party plans and standalone own-damage policies can be availed.
If you want financial coverage for the damages caused to your car, you can opt for a standalone own-damage policy. You can also consider other types of online car insurance
such as third-party car insurance or comprehensive car insurance.
Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.
*Standard T&C apply