Drive safely in monsoon

Monsoon is one season that a vehicle owner dreads. This is the time of the year where the owner incurs maximum maintenance costs and most of the times it is out of compulsion rather than out of choice. Monsoons in India is famous for heavy rainfalls, water logging, land slides, car skidding and accidents.

Trend shows that the rate of road accidents increases during monsoon. This is because there is very little awareness on vehicle and driving precautions to be taken before and during the monsoon. There is even lesser awareness about how to mitigate the losses arising out of vehicle damage due to rains and floods.

Despite the fact that it is mandatory to buy an insurance policy along with your vehicle, statistics show that more than 50% of the vehicles plying the Indian roads do not have a proper car policy.

During the 26/07/2005 floods in Mumbai alone, vehicular damages were to the tune of few hundred crores. The damage included the following:

52 local trains
37,000 auto rickshaws
4,000 taxis
900 BEST buses
10,000 trucks and tempos
30,000 cars and two wheelers (Source: Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, Disaster Management Cell)

Water logged roads, potholes and mud makes driving difficult and what's more it damages the car further. It is necessary that before the monsoon sets in one takes precautionary measures to protect ones vehicle and reduce financial losses arising due to vehicle damages.

Here are the some helpful tips that can monsoon proof your car:

Car Service:

Car service is of utmost importance. It is necessary to replace the engine oil, air filter and fuel filter. Check the suspension joints and silencer pipe because that is the most affected car part during rain.

Car Tyres:

Rain water makes the road slippery which often causes car skidding and hydroplaning. In order to avoid skidding, it is essential to check the tyre treads. If the tyre treads are not deep enough, the vehicle is at a high risk of skidding.

Car Headlights and Emergency Lights:

Check the working of the headlights and emergency lights. These are very important for monsoon driving. Replace them if they are broken or cracked before you drive your car in the rain. Water seeps in from the cracked holes and damages the bulb and other associated electrical parts.

Car Brakes:

Rain water moistens the brake drums which can cause lower braking efficiency. In order to avoid this, it is advisable to use the brake on and often. Keep the brakes well-oiled.

Car Wipers:

Wipers are the most critical component of a vehicle during monsoon. The condition of the wipers should be reviewed and replaced if required before the rains start.

Keep extra margin between the vehicle in front and your car, to account for the greater stopping distance required on wet roads.

Tips to mitigate losses

Car Insurance:

Another very important part of vehicle protection during monsoon is to appropriately insure the car.For damage control and to mitigate the risk, one must insure the car from a reputed car insurance company. Check if the insurance policy is renewed and updated so that in the event of damage to the vehicle, your loss will be covered. Ensure that you have adequate car insurance cover for damages arising during monsoon.

Points to remember:

Always carry a copy of the policy document in your car Note down toll free number of the insurance company Keep the contact details of your insurance agent handy Register you claim at earliest.

Standard motor insurance claims filing procedure:

Call up the insurance company's call centre, who will guide you to the nearest workshop. Once the surveyor carries out the survey and authorizes the claim, it is settled directly with the workshop/garage on a cashless basis.

In case you carry out the repairs at your own expense and file for a reimbursement claim later, you need to provide the surveyor with the requisite proofs, for example, repair bills from the garage etc. In case of reimbursement claims, the disbursal process could takes up seven working days, post submission of the documents asked for.

Keeping track - Insurance companies offer various ways with which one can track the claim status

  1. Through Customer Support
  2. Online claim status check
  3. Through SMS alerts

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