As a commercial vehicle owner in India, it is important that your business is protected and your assets are absolutely taken care of. Being a fleet owner, be it of cars or buses or trucks, skimping on insurance is the last thing you would want to do. Commercial Vehicle Insurance is needed as it will protect your business from any financial implications that may come from third-party liability, theft or harm.
Insurance cover for private vehicles differs from commercial vehicle insurance. Here, multiple situations are taken into account while creating insurance policies. Also, a wide variety of vehicles can be insured, ranging from cargo vehicles, trailer trucks, passenger carrying vehicles etc. Vehicles like excavators, mobile rigs, tractors etc. also come under the list of vehicles that can be insured.
Here are 5 aspects you need to know while undertaking commercial vehicle insurance:
1. Damage covered
Insurance policies are generally designed as per the customer’s requirements. However, all commercial vehicle insurance policies cover certain standard situations and damage due to:
- Self-ignition, explosion or fire
- Riot or strike
- Natural disasters like floods, cyclones, earthquakes, landslides etc.
- Accident or terrorist activities
Should your vehicle be involved in an accident with another vehicle, the insurance deems to cover any loss to the vehicle and any injury or death of a third party as well. The policies also cover personal accidents and in case of any accidental death, or absolute disability, compensation is provided for the owner and the driver. Some insurance companies have also started including towing facilities for a disabled vehicle as an additional benefit, or even a part of the standard policy.
2. What is not included in a commercial vehicle insurance policy
Certain deeds and events are not included in a commercial vehicle insurance policy such as:
- Wear and tear of the vehicle
- Electrical or Mechanical Breakdown
- Any loss or damage due to wars/nuclear attack/radiation
- Damage to the vehicle due to use beyond its limitations
In the event that the vehicle is used outside of the stipulated geographical area in the policy, any damage or instance would not be covered by the insurance policy. As per the ‘Driver’s clause’, if the vehicle is subject to damage while being driven by someone other than the listed driver, then any damage or loss incurred will not be covered.
3. Documentation needed to make a claim
There are different sets of documents required in case of making claim for an accident, and for theft.
In the event of theft, documents required include Original registration book, with theft endorsement from the Road Transport Office (RTO), tax payment receipt, original policy document, policy number, acknowledged letter addressed to RTO which intimates about the theft, previous insurance details, all the sets of keys/warranty card/service booklets, period of insurance, FIR and final investigation report and any other document required by the insurer.
In the event of an accident, documents required include Claim form, tax receipt, copy of registration book, proof of insurance (policy or cover note copy), estimate for repairs, driver’s license (DL) copy and original DL for verification, FIR in case of third-party property damage/ body injury/ death, bills of repair as well as payment receipts and any other document required by the insurer.
4. The insurance claim procedure
The first step to claim commercial vehicle insurance is to report the loss or damage immediately. The claim can be made by either calling the company’s toll-free number, or online via the company’s website. The process will then be taken over by the company executives, who will help guide you through the procedure. You will be required to provide your policy number for reference when you wish to make your claim.
Through this procedure, you can avail a cashless or a non-cashless claim. It is important that you attach a copy of your driver’s license and registration certificate with the claim. In case of any repairs being done on the insurance company’s network of garages, the payment for the repairs will be made directly to the garage. If, however, you are getting your commercial vehicle repaired at a garage outside of the insurer’s network, then the amount for the repairs will be reimbursed to you later.
5. Commercial Vehicle Insurance & Personal Vehicle Insurance: The Difference
Since the stakes are higher when it comes to commercial vehicles, as opposed to private vehicles. In terms of investment and risk, a higher premium is levied for commercial vehicles. In a personal vehicle insurance policy, hired drivers and passengers are not covered. However, in a commercial vehicle insurance policy, claim can be made for any damage or harm to hired drivers and the passengers.