Importance of including engine cover in car insurance

Auto insurance is mandatory in India. It is intended to protect you against any unexpected exigency, and thus serves a useful purpose. Given the amount and degree of coverage and the party responsible for settling claims (own damage or third party liability), the premium amount can vary widely.

Given the usefulness of this insurance, and the high value of the item it covers, it may seem logical for customers to opt for more comprehensive coverage even if it turns out to be more costly than standard coverage. However, most insured customers go in for the cheapest option available to them. This can help them save money in the short-term, but can cost them dearly if their car faces issues which require using their insurance.

And the component which can cost them the most is the engine.An engine can end up having host of problems such as water ingression, leakage of lubricating oil, issues in the hydrostatic lock and various other things. Water logging and jamming are among the most common problems.

What is the engine add-on cover?

Basic car insurance does provide coverage for damage to the engine. But this only covers basic instances and does notaccount for consequential losses. The basic instance is restricted to engine damage due to flooding of water.If engine damage occurs (along with interior damage) during floods, when the car has remained stationary, it will be covered under ‘own damage’ of a basic policy, but will be subject to depreciation as stated in the policy.

But if the engine damage occurs due to cranking up or activating ignition while the car is in a region surrounded by water, it can lead to major engine damage, known as hydrostatic lock, and is a form of consequential loss. This means that this, and other such instances, would not be covered by basic car insurance. Apart from the engine, a basic policy does not cover damage to engine parts like crankshaft, piston, pins, cylinder, and gearbox, among others.

Since getting an engine repaired may end up costing lakhs of rupees (depending on the make and model of the car) and waterlogged roads are quite common in India, it makes sense to get better coverage for the car’s engine.

Also, an important point to note is that differential parts, engine parts and gear box parts might vary in definitions a little, from one provider to another. Be sure to read the policy documents before taking this add-on.

This is provided by an add-on to comprehensive car insurance, known as engine protect. Though the name may be different based on the insurer, this add-on’s primary function remains the same. One needs to pay an additional amount, over and above the comprehensive insurance premium, for this optional cover.You can take the advantage of enlisted engine suppliers with The Insurance Company. This will ensure that the advantage of a credible supplier will be beneficial during a claim.

If you had only a comprehensive cover, you would be paying for all the costs of repair along with changes to metal and plastic parts. The engine cover add-on will cover all this for you.

When should you go for engine cover?

If you are living in a flood prone area which gets heavy rains each year, if you own a car in which  an engine change or repair would be very expensive or even if you have a car which is prone to breakdown and is old, an engine cover would save you lot of money.

An engine protect cover shields the insured customer from the following types of damages:

Leakage: Damage causedbecause of leakage of lubricating oil or coolant

Water Damage: Damage caused because of water ingression

Physical Damage:Damage to physical components like gearbox, piston, pins, connecting rods etc.

Hydrostatic lock: Damage caused to engine when trying to start it in a situation when it is flooded with water

Good to know

In case of any of the aforementioned damages, the insured does not need to pay for repair or replacement, as the insurance provider bears the cost. The cost of the engine protectadd-on can be about 2% of the current market value of the car, though this depends on the make and model of the car as well as the insurance provider.

This add-on can be purchased with a new vehicle or at the time of insurance renewal. Some insurance providers may request a car inspection before allowing the purchase of this add-on.

Exclusions of engine cover

While engine protect is a great add-on cover, there are certain things to keep in mind when purchasing it. Insurers do not usually let you purchase this cover mid-term; this can only be added at the time of policy purchase or renewal. The cover will be invalidated in the following conditions:

Force-start: If one tries to force-start the car when it is submerged in water. Trying to do this is considered a forceful and deliberate attempt to damage the engine and hence becomes the grounds for exclusion.

Causing damages: If one tries to drive after an accident, the resulting damage will not be covered

Number of claims: More than two claims cannot be made in a year

Furthermore, this cover is available until a certain age of the car, which varies from insurer to insurer, but a good number to keep in mind is five years, post which several insurers may not accept the request for this add-on.