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Motor Insurance


Motor insurance is an insurance purchased for vehicles such as cars, trucks, two-wheelers and other on road vehicles. Also known as Vehicle or Auto Insurance, its primary objective is to provide protection against damage and liability resulting from accidents such as collisions.

Under Indian MotorVehicle Act, it is mandatory for the owner to insure an automobile with third-party liability policy. This law applies to all vehicles in private and commercial use and states that driving without a valid cover is a penal offense. However, such liability polices do not cover other damages fulfilled by comprehensive motor insurance.

The payment towards the aftereffects of accidents can create a dent in your finances. Having a cover allows you to fulfil liability towards injury or damage to life and property;hence a comprehensive motor cover is beneficial. As automobiles and their repairs are usually expensive, a comprehensive motor insurance not only covers the damage, it also helps you bear the liability in case of accidents. Moreover, such package policies also provide coverage for claims due to the following perils :

 Fire, explosion, self- ignition, lightning

 Theft and burglary


 Flood, storm, cyclone, hurricane, tempest, inundation, hailstorm, frost

 Accidental external means

 Malicious act

 Terrorism acts

 Land slide / rock slide

Every insurer takes into consideration these important parameters for premium determination :

 Insured’s declared value (IDV)

 No Claim Bonus (NCB)

 Add-on Covers

 State of registration

 Geographical location

 Age of vehicle

Kindly refer to Motor Motor Insurance FAQs for detailed information.

Made compulsory by law of India, this insurance is necessary for plying your vehicle on public roads. Third Party insurance does not cover the driver or his vehicle. It usually covers damage to property, accidental death and injury to third party.

In addition to third party cover, comprehensive car insurance also provides Own Damage cover.

The following contingencies are excluded by insurance providers :

 Not having a valid driving license

 Accident taking place beyond geographical limits i.e. Outside India

 If the driver is intoxicated or under influence of drugs and alcohol

 Electrical and mechanical breakdowns

 If the vehicle was being used for unlawful purposes

 Loss or Damage attributable to War, Mutiny, or Nuclear risks

Every insurer features their own variations of add-on covers to give your vehicle a comprehensive protection. Add-on covers commonly available are as below :

Zero Depreciation

This cover ensures that you receive the full claim for the value of parts replaced post-accident. With this cover, the value of your motor parts is protected due to reduction in value over time. It is preferable for new cars, as the premium goes higher if it is availed on an older vehicle.

No-Claim Bonus Protection (NCB)

No claim bonus is a bonus received by the insured on not claiming during a policy period. This cover gives you discount on Own Damage Premium even after past claims, which is otherwise lost.

Personal Accident Cover

If you or your driver are involved in an accident, this cover allows you make a full claim in case of bodily injury or death.

Engine Protection Cover

It covers damages to the engineand its parts like piston, connecting rods, etc. It includes damage due to the leakage of lubricating oils, water ingression, damage to the gearbox and hydrostatic lock which happens when engine comes in contact with water.

Daily Cash Allowance

Your insurance company will pay you a certain allowance (as determined in the policy schedule) if your car is under repair in an authorized garage.

Roadside Assistance

The key benefits that are covered include - battery breakdown, flat tyre, towing and fuel provision.

Key Replacement

Under this cover, the insurance companies covers you the expenses towards substitution of the lost key.

What is Motor Insurance Policy?


Motor insurance (also known vehicle insurance or auto insurance) is a mandatory insurance policy which is taken for motor vehicles like two wheelers (bikes), cars, trucks and etc. As per the regulations prescribed in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, every vehicle must have a valid insurance cover in India. Keeping this legal requirement in mind, a motor insurance policy is designed by general insurance companies. Individuals buying a vehicle should also buy a motor insurance policy. The policy compulsorily covers damages and injuries caused to any third party or property by the insured vehicle. .If, however, a comprehensive policy is taken, damages suffered by the vehicle can also be covered.

There are two types of motor insurance policies which are available in the market. They are :

Third party liability only policy

This is the mandatory insurance cover which is required by the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Under this policy, two types of coverage are allowed. The first coverage is against bodily injury or death of any third party due to your vehicle. If, when using your vehicle, you injure any individual or cause any individual's death, you would face financial liabilities. You would have to pay for the injury or death caused. The first coverage in a third party liability policy pays for this financial liability. Under the second coverage, damages caused to surrounding third party property are covered. If, your vehicle damages any property belonging to any individual, you might be liable to pay for the damages caused. The third party policy pays for this loss too. Moreover, you might also find a personal accident cover in the third party liability policy. This cover pays an additional benefit in case of accidental death or disablement of the driver or owner of the insured vehicle.

Comprehensive motor insurance policy

This policy is also called a package policy because it combines the coverage for third party liability and own damage in one package. While the damages caused to any third party or property is covered under the plan, damages suffered by the insured vehicle are also covered. The policy pays for the repair costs which incur when the vehicle is damaged. Besides these coverage features, a comprehensive policy also has the option of add-on covers which enhance the scope of coverage.

Car Insurance

Under this type of motor insurance policy, coverage is given for privately owned cars. Car insurance can be bought as comprehensive policies or liability only policies.

Two wheeler insurance

Under two wheeler insurance, privately owned two-wheelers are covered. These policies might have a coverage duration of 1 year to 3 years.

Commercial vehicle insurance

Commercial motor insurance policies cover all types of vehicles used for commercial purposes. Thus, commercially used cars, bikes, trucks, lorries, scooters, minivans, etc. can be covered by this plan.

A motor insurance policy has the following benefits :

It fulfills the legal requirements

Since the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 mandates a valid third party insurance cover, the motor insurance policy takes care of this legal requirement.

It pays for your financial liability

If you injure any individual due to your vehicle or damage someone else's property, you face a legal liability. You are bound to compensate the aggrieved party for the financial loss you have caused. This compensation might be a financial burden on you. A motor insurance policy removes this burden as it pays your financial liability.

You can cover your own damages too

If you buy a comprehensive insurance policy, damages suffered by your vehicle are also covered. The repair costs incurred in restoring your damaged vehicle is paid by the policy and you don't feel the pocket pinch.

Because of the legal mandate, there are a lot of auto insurance policies in the market. Each policy has something different from the other. That is why, comparing becomes necessary. Following are the reasons why comparing is necessary and also beneficial :

You can get the best IDV for your vehicle

Different companies have a different calculation for the vehicle's Insured Declared Value (IDV). Ideally, you should choose the highest IDV to maintain the value of your vehicle. Comparing lets you do just that. When you compare, you can check the different IDVs offered by insurance companies and choose the best value for your vehicle.

You can choose the most comprehensive coverage features

Auto insurance policies offer similar coverage features. However, some plans enhance their coverage by offering various inbuilt benefits. When you compare you can find out the coverage features available in different plans and choose the best plan which has an all-inclusive scope of coverage.

You get the best premium rate

Premium charged for motor insurance varies as per the provider. Comparing lets you buy a policy which has the best premium rate proportionate to the coverage offered.

You get a wide variety of add-ons

Add-ons are additional coverage features which enhance the coverage benefits. Different auto insurance plans offer different add-ons. Through comparing, you can choose the required add-ons which are available in selected plans.

You can earn premium discounts

Auto insurance policies offer a discount in premium depending on various factors. While the discount factor would be the same, the rate of discount varies between plans. Comparing lets you avail the maximum possible discounts in your auto insurance policy. The different types of discounts which you can earn on your motor insurance premiums include the following:

 Discount for installing safety devices in the vehicle which reduces the risk of theft and accidents

 Discount for becoming a member of recognised institutions like Automobiles Association of India, etc.

 Discounts for making modifications in the vehicle for differently-abled owners

 Discounts for buying the policy online

 Discount for buying long-term policies under two-wheeler insurance plans

 Discount for choosing voluntary deductible and paying a portion of claim from your pockets

 Discounts for professionals like doctors, lawyers, etc.

 Discounts for making no claims in your policy which can go as high as 50%

You can read reviews of existing clients

When you compare online you can find reviews and feedbacks from existing customers of the policy. These reviews give you an insight into the plan's suitability and enable you to buy the best insurance policy in the market.

Coverage under a motor insurance policy is available for the following contingencies :

 If your vehicle causes bodily injury or death of any third party (any individual other than yourself and your vehicle), you are financially liable to pay for the harm done. A motor insurance policy pays the claims arising out of these financial liabilities

 If your vehicle damages any surrounding property which does not belong to you, you are liable to compensate for the damages caused. The motor insurance policy covers such damages and pays the relevant compensation

 There might be a personal accident cover in some motor insurance plans. Under this cover, accidental death or disablement of the owner/driver of the vehicle is covered. A lump sum benefit is paid in such cases

 If you buy a comprehensive motor insurance policy, you get coverage for the damages suffered by your vehicle due to man-made or natural calamities like theft, fire, explosion, lightning, earthquake, etc. Moreover, damages suffered when the vehicle is in transit are also covered

A comprehensive motor insurance policy provides various add-on covers at an additional premium. These add-ons increase the scope of coverage of the plan. The following add-ons are commonly available with most motor insurance policies :

Roadside assistance cover

Roadside assistance cover helps when there is a technical failure or your vehicle breaks down. It is available with almost every auto insurance provider.. Right from towing the vehicle to the nearest garage, temporary accommodation to battery service, flat tire service, fuel delivery, lockout service, and extrication, all these services are available under roadside assistance.

Zero depreciation cover

Depreciation of the various parts of the vehicle reduce the final claim settlement. The insurer pays the repair costs after deducting the applicable depreciation. Through this add-on, the effect of depreciation is nullified. Full claim settlement is done without deducting the applicable cost of depreciation.

NCB protect

In any policy year if you don't make a claim, you earn a no claim bonus (NCB). This bonus increases every successive claim-free year. However, a single claim wipes out the entire NCB and you have to start from zero again. Through this add-on, the accumulated NCB is not lost even if you make a claim in your policy.

Engine protect

Under this add-on damages suffered by the vehicle's engine due to water-logging is covered.

Return to invoice

In this add-on, the original invoice value of the vehicle is paid, including registration fees and road tax paid, in case the car is damaged totally or is stolen.

Personal accident cover for co-passengers

Under this add-on, accidental death or disablement of co-passengers is covered.

Key replacement cover

This add-on replaces your vehicle keys in case you lose them.

Consumables cover

Cost of consumables used in repairing your vehicle is covered under this add-on.

Daily cash allowance

A daily cash benefit is paid in this add-on when the vehicle is sent to the garage for repairs.

A motor insurance policy has a list of exclusions which are not covered. Damages and accidents incurred due to the following are, usually, not covered in any motor insurance plan :

 Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, without a driving license or outside the boundaries of India

 Consequential loss

 When the vehicle is used in violation of its limitations of use

 Engine damage due to oil leakage

 War, mutiny and related perils

 Deliberate accidental loss

 Contractual liability

 Normal wear and tear

Moreover, claims made in a lapsed policy would also not be covered.

Despite there being a lot of motor insurance policies, here is a list of the top 10 plans you can find in the market :

HDFC Ergo Car Insurance Policy

The policy provides a wide range of add-on covers to increase the scope of your cover

HDFC Ergo Long Term Comprehensive Two-wheeler

Insurance policy : This is a two-wheeler plan offered by HDFC Ergo which has a long term tenure of 3 years

Bharti AXA Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy

Bharti AXA's policy has more than 3000 preferred garages and 101 branches across India.

Royal Sundaram Car Insurance Policy

The motor insurance policy offered by Royal Sundaram offers you a free roadside assistance kit with more than 3300 garages across India.

TATA AIG Auto Secure Car Package Policy

The policy gives you a personal accident cover for owner/driver along with 13 add-on riders to choose from.

TATA AIG Two Wheeler Long Term Package Policy

This is a bike insurance policy offered for 2 or 3 years as required. You get a personal accident cover of Rs.2 lakhs and unlimited liability coverage for property damage up to Rs.1 lakh.

Liberty Videocon Private Car Package Policy

The policy promises quick settlement of claim within 7 days and also support through telephonic communication.

New India Private Car Insurance Policy

Coverage under the policy is also allowed for terrorist and malicious activities. Towing charges are also covered under the plan.

Future Generali Car Insurance Policy

The plan offers help in case you face accidents and eases the claim settlement process.

Bharti AXA Two-wheeler insurance

The company provides you a 24*7 claim assistance and claim support. With just Rs.50 paid in additional premium, you can get a personal accident cover of Rs.1 lakh.

Choosing the best motor insurance policy among dozens of policies available in the market is a daunting task. However, if you know the parameters on which the policies should be judged, you would be able to find the best policy for your vehicle. Here are some pointers which would help you choose the best motor insurance plan :

 Try and choose a plan which gives you the best Insured Declared Value (IDV). Since the IDV represents the value of your vehicle, the higher it is the better.

 The best policy should have the most inclusive coverage features. The higher the features the wider would be the plan's coverage. So, look for plans which have good inbuilt coverage benefits.

 Look at the premium rates. They should be in proportion to the coverage offered by the plan. The best plan should have the highest coverage benefits at the lowest rate of premiums.

 The policy should have a range of add-on covers to allow you to choose the required covers and enhance the scope of coverage of your plan.

 The list of preferred garages tied up with the insurance company should be exhaustive so that you can get cashless claim settlement.

 There should be attractive discounts in the policy which would reduce your premium outgo and save money.

Comparing is the best way of finding the best motor insurance policy. When you compare you can judge a plan against the above-mentioned parameters and choose the best.

When you are buying or renewing a motor insurance plan, a set of different documents would be required. These documents include the following :

 Registration book of your vehicle

 A valid driving license of the proposer / owner of the vehicle

 KYC (Know Your Customer) documents of the owner of the vehicle. These documents include a recent photograph of the owner, address proof like rent agreement, electricity bill, etc. and age proof

 Invoice of the vehicle if it is new

 Copy of the previous policy document if you are renewing your motor insurance plan

 Copy of the Aadhar card of the owner so that the policy can be linked to the owner's Aadhar

Buying a motor insurance policy online should be a well-thought of decision. You should do thorough research before buying the policy so that you don't regret it later. Some important things to consider before buying motor insurance are as follows :


The Insured Declared Value (IDV) is the sum insured of your policy. It also depicts the value of your vehicle after depreciation. Since the value decreases every year, you should buy a policy which has the highest possible IDV.

Coverage features

Don't compromise on the coverage features. The more the features the better protection you can get.

The type of policy

Two types of motor insurance plans are available in the market – third party and comprehensive cover, It is recommended to a buy a comprehensive policy which also covers the damages suffered by your own vehicle.

The premium

Weigh the premium against the IDV and the coverage features mentioned in the plan. The premium should be proportionate to these two factors.

List of preferred garages

If you want to make a cashless claim in your policy you should get your vehicle repaired at preferred garages. You should, therefore, check the list of garages which are tied-up with the insurance company so that you would know the garage nearest and most convenient to you.

Available add-ons

Add-ons increase the scope of cover. You should consider the available add-ons and choose which are required.

Accumulated NCB

If you are renewing your motor insurance policy, consider the accumulated NCB of your existing plan and use it to claim premium discounts.

Other discounts

Consider the available discounts in the policy to know the premium reduction available.

Paybima is an online platform which lets you compare different motor insurance policies so that you can buy the best. To compare motor insurance on Paybima, follow the below-mentioned steps :

 Select motor insurance and choose your vehicle type – Car or Two-wheeler

 Select the applicable RTO, the manufacturer of your vehicle and its model

 Enter the variant, date of registration, year of manufacture, fuel type of the vehicle and your Pin code

 Furnish your name, email Id and mobile number and hit 'Quote'

 You would get the list of available plans along with their features, IDV and cost

 Pick the one that suits you the best, as per payment, features and IDV

 After, choosing the right policy, make the payment online

 The soft copy of the policy will be sent on your email

 The hard copy will be sent in 7 days

To renew your motor insurance policy, you should follow these steps :

 Compare the available plans online rather than renewing the existing policy. You can get enhanced coverage benefits at lower rates when you compare

 After you have compared and found another plan, you need to provide your vehicle details and existing policy details for buying a new plan on renewal

 After you have provided all the details, you have to make the premium payment. Keep in mind to utilise the accumulated NCB in your existing policy to reduce the renewal premium

 Once the premium would be paid, the policy would be issued. The coverage date, however, would be the date following the expiry of the current policy

 If, however, you want to continue with your existing policy, you can directly visit the insurer's website and renew your policy online by paying the renewal premium

If your motor insurance policy has expired, you need to follow the below-mentioned steps to renew it :

 Choose whether to renew the expired motor insurance policy from the same provider or buy a new one from a different provider

 To find this you should compare motor insurance plans online first. Find the available plans, their IDV, coverage benefits and premium rates. Compare these things and then select the best plan for your vehicle

 Whether you continue with the existing plan or buy a new one, inspection of your vehicle would have to be arranged because your policy has lapsed. For this inspection, you have to approach the insurance company and arrange for a surveyor to visit you

 The surveyor visits you, does the inspection of the vehicle, and files an inspection report

 Based on the inspection report, the IDV and the premium for your motor insurance policy is calculated

 If you are renewing your policy within 90 days of its lapse, you can utilise your old plan's accumulated NCB for a premium discount. If, renewal is done after 90 days from the policy expiry date, the accumulated NCB would be lost

 Pay the premium of the chosen policy and the policy would be issued

Also Read: How to Renew Expired Motor Insurance Policy Online?

 To file a motor insurance claim, you should follow these steps – If you have damaged your own vehicle and no other party was involved, you should inform the insurance company immediately

 The company would inform you of the nearest garage where you can take your vehicle for repairs

 After the vehicle is taken for repairs, the insurer's surveyor will visit the garage, make an estimate of the repair costs, submit his report and approve the repairs to begin

 Your vehicle would be repaired and delivered to you. The insurance company would pay the applicable claim directly to the garage if you visited the preferred garage. You might have to pay a portion of the claim which was not admissible

 If you have taken your vehicle to a non-networked garage, you have to pay the repair costs and then get them reimbursed from the insurer

 In case of third party claims where you have injured a third party or damaged a property, a FIR should be filed with the police

 Then you should inform your insurance company and submit the claim form with the FIR

 If you lose your vehicle to theft, inform the insurance company, police and also the RTO. Obtain a FIR and file it with the insurance claim

Also Read: What can Prevent Rejection of Motor Insurance Claims?