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Is It Possible to Have Dual Insurance Policies for the Same Car?

The Motor Vehicle Act requires all Indian automobile owners to acquire car insurance to protect against losses or legal fines. At least a third-party motor insurance is required for compliance, although some car owners choose dual insurance from two different companies for better coverage.

But considering the pros and cons, is dual car insurance advisable or avoidable? This detailed article examines the concept of dual insurance in depth to help you make an informed choice for your four-wheeler insurance.

Additionally, it is wise to buy online car insurance and use a car insurance premium calculator to get an estimate of potential car insurance costs based on parameters like make/model, Insured Declared Value (IDV), No Claim Bonus (NCB) percentage, etc.

Why Some Car Owners Consider Buying Dual Insurance?

Before evaluating the implications of dual four-wheeler insurance, let us understand why a car owner might consider buying two separate policies:

  • Impression of Extra Protection – Getting policies from two top companies could feel more reassuring as having two covers appears safer than just one. Also, more companies would mean wider coverage. However, that may be a misconception, as discussed later.
  • Discounts and Deals – If you find attractive discounts offered by rival insurers, the economies could entice you towards buying both policies rather than choosing just one.
  • Claim Experience Issues – Having faced rejection/delay in claim processing or settlement problems previously, you could envision having a second policy would alleviate settlement hassles if you needed to make another claim in the future.

While the motivations seem valid prima facie, the downsides outweigh the perceived benefits of buying car insurance for your car.

Key Drawbacks of Double Insuring Your Vehicle

The disadvantages stemming from maintaining two concurrent insurance policies on your vehicle from two separate companies are numerous. Here are some major pitfalls to watch out for when you buy a car insurance policy with dual insurance:

  • Higher Premium Payouts – This is quite simply the first and most visible fallout of opting for dual insurance coverage. As you pay for two policies when one would have sufficed, your total premium outgo is needlessly bloated. Added expenses without matching benefits make the choice seem imprudent.
  • Delays in Claim Processing – When two insurers are involved, conflicts often arise regarding the amount payable by each towards any claim you make related to your car. They tend to shift liability onto each other, leading to friction and significant delays in final settlement.
  • Risk of Losing No Claim Bonuses (NCBs) – When you raise a claim with either company, it impacts the NCB on both policies if you were receiving the cumulative bonus earlier. Lower NCBs then inflate premiums further in subsequent renewals.
  • No Enhanced Real Coverage – Even after paying two premiums, your overall protection does not improve or multiply. You still get compensation for damages or losses only from one policy that is triggered. Double insurance only doubles expenses. Hence, the fundamental fallacy lies in imagining enhanced coverage when none exists concretely.
  • Administrative Hassles – Managing two policies leads to paperwork overload. You need to intimate claims and follow up separately and repeatedly with both providers. Ensuring proper coordination between insurers becomes your responsibility.

When Can Dual Car Insurance Online Be Useful?

While concurrent policies on one car are typically not advisable, as elaborated above, you can utilise combinations of policies tactically to augment protection in certain cases.

For example:

Strategic Blending of Third Party and Own Damage Cover

  • Third-party insurance from one insurer covers liabilities to third parties in accidents.
  • Own damage cover from another provider for your car’s damages makes sense.
  • Both risks are disparate events, enabling the prudent use of dual policies.

Main and Top-up Policies

  • Many insurers now offer affordable top-up plans to supplement base coverage amounts beyond your primary policy’s cap for wider risk protection.

Last-resort Backup Insurance

  • Even a basic third-party policy can act as a backup to pay uninsured losses or deductibles when your main insurer rejects certain claims or disputes settlement amounts.

As evident, while most situations don’t warrant dual insurance for cars, some carefully chosen policy combinations can work favourably.

 Conclusion

It is advisable to comprehensively evaluate needs and prudently select insurer(s) rather than simply opting for dual insurance. If additional coverage is required beyond your primary car insurance plan, you can do this by blending policies wisely.

When you purchase car insurance, make sure to carefully assess your coverage requirements and insurance company options to pick the optimal policy or set of policies – avoid purchasing overlapping car insurance unnecessarily.

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