Let's understand consumables in car insurance

Let's understand consumables in car insurance  30th November 2022

The MV Act, or the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, regulates the legal environment surrounding motor vehicles. It states that every car owner must buy new car insurance after acquiring a new car or renew it immediately after its expiry. It is one of the three must-carry-along documents for drivers, including a PUC certificate and driver's licence. With increased regulations and growing awareness regarding the financial burden of shouldering expenses in case of an accident, the policyholder base of motor insurance has risen steadily.

Despite the importance of car insurance, it cannot be said to be a comprehensive policy. Some aspects are left out in the document's fine print and are available as add-on facilities. Therefore, while most people know the need to buy new car insurance, only some are aware of general exclusions.

A typical example is the consumables in car insurance, which is discussed in detail in this blog.

General inclusions under car insurance:

While each insurance company may offer a slightly varied version of car insurance, generally, third-party car insurance covers accidents that cause damages to other parties or their properties. Without such a policy, you will have to bear the losses and compensate the affected party.

A comprehensive policy has two aspects, a third-party car insurance policy and own damages cover. Thus, it provides enhanced protection against personal injuries and manmade and natural disasters. Since consumables are nowhere mentioned as included, it is implied that they are an exclusion from the policy.

Understanding consumables:

Consumables in accounting refer to assets used within the process and are sometimes held on standby for future use. The former part of the explanation applies to consumables in cars. These items are used in the general running of a vehicle and are subjected to continuous wear and tear.

Consumables in a car can be identified as brake oils, engine oil, lubricants, refrigerant for AC, ball bearings, nuts, screws, bolts, washers, etc. In simpler words, they aid in the efficient running of the vehicle without forming a large chunk of the cost and are put to use regularly, which is why they deteriorate faster than other car parts.

Consumables insurance:

While consumables may not appear to be a prominent aspect of the relevant cost incurred in purchasing a car, they play a crucial role in the proper functioning of the vehicle and must be noticed. It is prudent to insure your car's consumables to prevent any financial losses you may have to bear due to improper condition of consumables.

Although not included in comprehensive insurance, insurance companies provide the facility to select add-on consumables insurance by paying an additional premium for the service.
Add-on consumables insurance covers expenses incurred for replacing items like engine oil, brake oil, steering oil, coolant, AC gas, refrigerant, dust filters, air filters, engine filters, bolts, nuts, washers, screws, grease, etc. It is important to note that consumable insurance is usually provided for cars not used for more than five years.

Exclusions of consumables insurance:

It is a specific add-on insurance type that only covers relevant costs relating to consumables. The general conditions to claims are similar to any other car insurance or allied add-on facility. In the following conditions, the claim is not admissible:

● Driving without having a valid driver's licence

● Driving under the confluence of substances or liquor

● Misuse of personal vehicle for commercial use

● Prolonged delay in informing the insurer regarding the replacement of consumables

● Misuse or overuse of policy to claim the maximum benefit, as against a rational person's actions

Consumables play an essential role in a car and must be considered when you buy new car insurance. The policy is purchased by fulfilling common conditions similar to car insurance. It helps file a claim for replacement costs of consumables by informing the insurer.

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Disclaimer: The information provided above is for illustrative purposes only. To get more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before purchasing a policy.