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Learn about the different types of deductibles in a car insurance policy

Before you take your car out for a spin, you need to have a car insurance policy ready. The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 in India makes it mandatory for every vehicle owner to have an insurance cover (third-party liability) for them to be legally driving on Indian roads. With road accidents taking place on a daily basis, a car insurance policy will help provide the financial coverage you need.

Now when you are buying a four-wheeler insurance policy, you will come across a term known as “Deductible”. This is nothing but the amount that you would be paying as a policyholder while making a claim. Confused? Let us explain. Let us say you have incurred expenses amounting to a sum of Rs.5000 and the deductible in your car insurance policy is set at Rs.2000. This means that you would have to pay Rs.2000 from your own pocket and the insurance company will pay the remaining amount, which is Rs.3000.

There are two types of deductibles in a motor insurance policy:

  1. Compulsory deductible

This type of deductible is a fixed amount that is set by your insurance company in conformity with the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) guidelines. A compulsory deductible is set after taking into account the engine capacity of your car. As per the Indian Motor Tariff, the standard compulsory deductible rate for private cars are as follows:

If the cubic capacity of the car’s engine is up to 1500CC – Rs.1000

If the cubic capacity of the car’s engine is above 1500CC – Rs.2000

If your car is older, it is quite possible for the insurance company to increase the deductible since it is more likely that you will make a claim. However, the compulsory deductible will not be affecting the premium in any way, be it a car or bike insurance policy.

  1. Voluntary deductible

As the name suggests, you can voluntarily opt for this type of deductible. The limit for the deductible would be chosen by you. A voluntary deductible would have an inversely proportional relationship to the premium of your car insurance policy. If you choose to set a high voluntary deductible as part of your insurance policy, the insurance company will offer you lower premiums.

Let us take a look at the differences between the two types of deductibles:

Compulsory deductible Voluntary deductible
Chosen by the insurer Chosen by the policyholder
Does not affect the premium Does affect the premium
Does not affect savings Helps in long-term savings
When a claim is made, only the compulsory deductible is payable When a claim is made, the compulsory as well as the voluntary deductible are payable

The option of a voluntary deductible is not a commonly preferred one. This is because at the time of making a claim the policyholder would have to pay both the compulsory deductible as well as the voluntary deductible, ultimately reducing the claim amount given by the insurance company. However, this again depends on the preference of each policyholder.

We hope that this article has helped you understand the 2 different types of deductibles in a car insurance policy. All the best!