Just bought a new Mercedes Benz or BMW? Remember, the first thing you might have to replace is the logo, or the side mirror. Insurance companies said claims are the most for these two accessories.
“High-end vehicles are increasingly being used on city roads for daily commuting in contrast to the trend a few years back where high-end vehicles were sparingly used. As a result, these vehicles are more prone to accidental damages,” says Vijay Kumar, head – motor insurance, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance. Or, some of these are simply stolen.
The premiums for these cars are quite significant. If you have to insure BMW 3 series (priced around Rs 30 lakh) from Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, the insured declared value (IDV) will be Rs 10,29,412 and the premium for a standard plan will be Rs 30,485.
Logos: Premium car logos, which have a high aspiration value, are the most prized possessions and some say a snob value attached to them. They are hugely expensive and could cost Rs 20,000-Rs 1 lakh for the premium and super-premium car brands like Mercedes, BMW, Maybach and Rolls Royce.
The logos are insured under the comprehensive motor insurance plan.
Therefore, the logos carry a depreciation value of 50 per cent, that is, when a claim is made, the insured may have to pay a part of the cost of replacing the logo. But, you have an option. Insurers offer a zero depreciation add-on cover with the comprehensive policy that factors in the decrease in value of this component and covers the entire cost of a new logo. Though the logos have a metallic finish, many are made of high quality plastic.
In many cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, insurers say cases of theft of car logos are quite high. Based on this trend, ICICI Lombard General Insurance has told manufacturers to integrate the logo in the overall design of the front grille or place it such that any attempts to take it off the car would break the logo.
Side view mirrors: Given the traffic congestion in major cities, side view mirrors often get damaged and attract claims. “These mostly come in pairs. Therefore, even if one mirror is broken, you have to replace both, driving up the repairs or replacement cost,” says K G Krishnamoorthy Rao, CEO, Future Generali General Insurance. In case of BMW and/or Audi, these mirror could cost Rs 25,000-30,000 a pair.
The cost also rises due to the technological superiority of these cars as opposed to other cars. For instance, there may be built-in indicators in the side view mirrors and these are operated mechanically escalating their value.
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Fender benders: More commonly known as the front and rear bumpers, they are also prone to damage. And depending on the design of the car and its integration in the design, the cost of possible damage may be assessed. “For high-end cars, the bumpers are a homogeneous component. If damaged, the entire piece must be replaced. Further, as this is integrated in the overall design, the finishing of the replacement must be impeccable, thereby driving up the costs,” says Sanjay Datta, head-customer service (health and motor insurance), ICICI Lombard General Insurance. So, while normally it may cost about Rs 10,000 – 15,000, for high-end cars, you need to cough up Rs 50,000 and more.
Head and tail lights: Murali says headlights are frequently damaged even in minor accidents. Replacing these can also be an expensive affair. As compared to regular hatchbacks and sedans, premium cars can boast of high intensity lights or special fog lights. Like the side view mirrors, these, too, are available in pairs mostly. And could easily cost upwards of Rs 10,000.
Wind shield: Rao says though wind shields can even be repaired sometimes, most people prefer getting it replaced especially in premium cars. Wind shield can cost you anywhere between Rs 40,000 and Rs 50,000 for luxury cars as against Rs 13,000-14,000 for small/medium cars.
Some like ICICI Lombard offer an add-on called consumables for small parts like nut-bolt, washer, oil filter. So, if your car is fitted with these components while at the garage after an accident, you will not need to pay for these.
However, premium car owners stay away from making a claim for minor damages, wear and tear. Reason: The premium for comprehensive cover is very high and it doesn’t make sense to spoil the claim history, which if unclaimed would lead to a hefty discount on renewal premium.
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