Bike Insurance | Two Wheeler Insurance – A Complete Guide

Bike Insurance Guide - BimaBandhu

Having a bike you can call your own increases mobility and makes it easier for you to commute from one place to another. If you have decided on buying a bike now, you must know about the need for bike insurance or two wheeler insurance in India. Having a good understanding of bike insurance features and benefits will help you make an informed selection. You should also keep in mind that purchasing the right bike insurance online or offline is not just needed to avoid penalties when caught by the traffic police. Rather, it also provides financial benefits in case of various unforeseen events.

Let’s dive deeper into the importance of bike insurance in this complete guide at BimaBandhu.

What is Bike Insurance?

Bike insurance, also known as two wheeler insurance, refers to a type of insurance policy that provides coverage against damages to your motorbike or scooter resulting from an accident, natural disaster, or theft. A 2 wheeler insurance plan is also known to provide protection against third-party liabilities. You can also think of bike insurance as the most basic but ideal way to manage both losses & expenses that may arise from the damages caused to your bike. Irrespective of whether you own or buy a motorcycle, scooty, moped, or scooter, buying a bike policy is a must.

In terms of an insurer’s perspective, bike insurance refers to the contract between you (bike owner) and the insurance company under which the latter agrees to provide financial coverage against loss or damages related to the insured vehicle. Various terms and conditions of bike insurance policies are defined as per the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988. This Act also states that buying third-party 2 wheeler insurance is mandatory in India and it will cover you from any third-party accidental injuries caused while driving your bike on Indian roads.

Why Should You Buy Bike Insurance Online?

You can proceed with purchasing a suitable two wheeler insurance policy either offline or online. However, many reasons make online bike insurance purchase a better option, such as:

  • It is quick and easy to compare bike insurance plans online and then proceed with buying the same within a few minutes.
  • You need not pay any extra charges to any broker or mediator.
  • You may not need to provide details of the existing bike insurance policy if it has expired for more than three months.
  • You can get the policy renewed online without any formal documentation or inspection, as per the insurer’s terms and process.
  • It is easy to renew an expired bike insurance plan online.
  • You can file a 2 wheeler insurance claim online and get the amount settled timely.
  • If you feel stuck in the process of buying the policy or asking for a claim, you can ask for assistance from the chosen insurance provider or aggregator. 

Types of Bike Insurance Plans Available in India

There are two main types of two wheeler insurance plans you can buy from Indian insurance companies. These include:

It safeguards you against the legal obligations arising out of damages caused to a third party. Here, the third party refers to a person or property. In other words, it covers you for any liabilities that you have taken on yourself by causing damage to someone else’s vehicle or property. It even includes your liabilities for accidental injuries caused to a person or his/her death.

As per Indian Motor Vehicle Act, it is mandatory for every two wheeler vehicle owner to have valid third-party bike insurance while being on Indian roads. Failing to comply with this rule will make you liable for penalties.

  • Comprehensive bike insurance

This type of bike insurance policy is meant to protect you (bike owner or rider) against the damages caused to your vehicle along with providing third-party insurance coverage. In general, two wheeler insurance protects you from fire incidents, theft, natural calamities, accidents, and similar adversities. 

The following comparison table illustrates the differences between comprehensive and third-party bike insurance:

Comparison Parameter Comprehensive Bike Insurance Third Party Bike Insurance
Third-party liabilities Covered Covered
Scope of coverage Extensive Narrow
Own damage cover Covered  Not covered
Personal accident cover Available Not available
Mandatory by law No Yes
Premium rate Higher Comparatively lower

Benefits of Two Wheeler Insurance

While you are riding your two wheeler vehicle, anything can happen. Whether there are ill-maintained roads, traffic during rush hours, or rash driving around you, several situations can cause damage to your vehicle and even injure you. Therefore, it is quite important to have valid two wheeler insurance always with you. The motor vehicle protection laws in our country aim to protect bike owners from different types of damages that may arise.

Let’s find out more about the advantages of buying the right bike insurance plan:

  • Financial benefits

With bike insurance, you get a financial cover that helps save money in case of bike theft, accident, or while dealing with third-party liabilities. The chosen policy will help you get the damages repaired without disturbing your budget.

Most two wheeler insurance plans provide protection against damages caused to your motorcycle, moped, or scooter. In other words, you can benefit from the protection offered by bike insurance irrespective of the motorbike you own.

  • Coverage for accidental injuries 

Depending on the type of bike insurance policy you buy, you can get financial benefits for accidental injuries you might suffer from.

  • Roadside assistance cover

While buying a 2 wheeler insurance plan, you can select roadside assistance cover that aims to benefit you if you need assistance on the road. It includes on-the-spot services such as minor repairs, flat tyres, and towing.

  • Spare parts expense cover

With the rising cost of motorbikes in India, the cost of spare parts have also increased. You can choose this benefit with your policy to cover the cost of spare parts to be replaced as a part of the insurance claim.

  • Peace of mind

Even small damage to the ideal functioning of your motorbike can be quite costly. If you have bought bike insurance, the insurer will take care of the repair-related expense as per the policy terms, thus giving you peace of mind.

Key Features of Bike Insurance Policies

Bike Insurance Feature Description
Liability only and comprehensive coverage
  • As a bike owner, you can select between only third-party bike insurance (liability only) or comprehensive insurance.
  • You can also add a personal accident cover for co-riders with your plan.
Personal accident cover 
  • As a bike owner, you can now avail a personal accident coverage under your bike insurance policy.
  • This has been made mandatory by the IRDA
Easy NCB or No Claim Bonus transfer
  • Since the NCB is linked to the owner or driver of the vehicle and not the vehicle itself, it can be easily transferred when you buy a new two wheeler vehicle.
Easy to buy and renew 2 wheeler insurance online
  • You can renew or buy a bike insurance policy online through the insurer’s website or via an aggregator.
Optional coverage
  • You can include additional insurance cover with your policy at an extra cost.
  • This generally includes accident cover for co-riders, zero depreciation cover, enhanced cover for spare parts, etc.

Also Read: What Does Electric Bike Insurance Cover?

What are Two Wheeler Insurance Add-Ons?

In addition to the basic insurance coverage provided by a bike insurance policy, you can extend the cover with the help of add-ons. Two wheeler insurance add-ons are additional coverage you can opt for by paying a slightly higher premium. There are various types of bike insurance add-ons available in the market and each of which is related to specific use-cases. These include:

Two wheeler insurance add-on Description
Zero depreciation cover It eliminates any deduction related to depreciation during claim settlement and thus, ensures that you get the full amount as per the insured vehicle’s IDV.
No Claim Bonus cover It is applicable when you do not file any claim in a specific year/term and allows you to retain the NCB even if you make any claim during the policy period.
Emergency assistance cover It enables the policy holder to avail emergency roadside assistance from the chosen insurer. It caters to a wide range of services, including tyre change, vehicle towing, minor repairs, and more.
Daily allowance cover This will provide you with a certain daily allowance for travel as long as the vehicle is getting repaired in a network garage. The amount payable to you is defined by the terms mentioned in the policy.
Helmet cover It tends to cover your helmet specifically, which often get damaged partially or totally in an accident. If needed, the insurer will pay for helmet replacement costs.
Return to invoice cover Under this bike insurance add-on, the insurer will pay you the IDV of your two wheeler vehicle. This add-on tends to cover the gap between your bike’s IDV and on-road price, thus allowing you to get the purchase value during claims.

What is Covered Under a 2 Wheeler Insurance Policy? | Inclusions

If you have plans to renew your existing policy or buy a new one, you must know about the policy inclusions – the terms that define what will be covered under your bike insurance plan. Given below is a list of general inclusions of most two wheeler insurance policies:

  • Damages or losses incurred due to natural calamities like earthquake, flood, lightning, storms, landslides, among others
  • Damages or losses incurred due to man-made calamities, such as strikes, riots, terrorist activities, and similar others
  • Own damage coverage that safeguards your insured vehicle against any loss or damages covered under the policy terms
  • Coverage for vehicle theft or burglary that compensates the owner in case the insured two-wheeler vehicle is stolen
  • Personal accident cover of up to Rs. 15 lakh for injuries to the owner/rider of a vehicle that often result in permanent or temporary disabilities
  • Third-party legal liability cover that protects against any injuries, losses, or damages caused to a third-party

If you want to know more about the specific details of each of these inclusions, you are advised to either refer to the detailed policy document or ask your insurer about it.

What is Not Covered Under a Bike Insurance Policy? | Exclusions

Given below is a list of situations or incidents that are excluded from bike insurance:

  • Damages caused to your bike because of normal wear and tear
  • Losses incurred because of electrical or mechanical breakdowns
  • Consequential losses or depreciation arising from regular use of your vehicle
  • Losses incurred because of bike usage beyond the usual scope of coverage
  • Damages or losses incurred while riding the bike without a valid driving license
  • Damages or losses incurred while the bike is used under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Losses or damages resulting due to war-like situations

How to File a Claim for Bike Insurance?

You can claim bike insurance benefits with your chosen insurer in two ways:

  • Cashless claims

In these types of bike insurance claims, the approved claim amount is paid directly to the network garage where you choose to get the repair work done. Also, you can avail this facility only if you decide on getting your bike repaired in one of the network garages in your insurer’s list.

  • Reimbursement claims

Reimbursement claims for a bike policy can be registered in cases when you get the repairs done by a garage that is not in the insurer’s list of authorized garages. In these claims, you need to pay for the repair expenses out of pocket first and then file for claim reimbursements later with the insurer.

Steps Involved in the Two Wheeler Insurance Claim Settlement Process

For cashless claims:

  1. Inform the chosen insurer about the incident that occurred and led to bike damage or loss
  2. Post the initial intimation, a surveyor will be assigned to estimate the damage incurred
  3. You then need to fill the claim form and submit it with other documents as asked by the surveyor
  4. Once the claim is approved, the vehicle will be repaired at one of the network garages
  5. The cost of repair work done will be paid by the insurer directly to the garage
  6. You may need to pay for deductible or other expenses that are not covered in the policy

For reimbursement claims:

  1. Register the bike insurance claim with your insurer
  2. Fill the required claim form and submit it with other required documents to your insurer
  3. Once the survey for repair cost estimation is done, you will get the survey results
  4. You can then take the vehicle to a non-authorized garage for repair
  5. Once the repair work done, pay for the cost incurred and get the bills from the garage
  6. Submit the bills and payment proofs to your insurer
  7. Once the claim is approved, you will get the amount settled into your bank account

What are the Documents Required to File a Bike Insurance Claim?

Given below is the list of documents you will need at the time of filing a claim under your two wheeler insurance policy:

  1. Duly signed claim settlement form
  2. Valid copy of your bike’s registration certificate
  3. Valid copy of your driving license
  4. Copy of your insurance policy
  5. Police FIR in case of vehicle theft, accident, or any third-party liability
  6. Repair bills and payment receipts for reimbursement claims
  7. Proof of release

How to Renew Your Bike Insurance Policy?

In the Internet age we all now live in, it is possible to renew your two wheeler insurance policy online. Almost every bike insurance provider now offers an online policy renewal facility to their policyholders. However, it is up to you to decide which way you would want to follow for 2 wheeler insurance renewal.

Depending on the mode you select for policy renewal, the steps to be followed will change accordingly.

  • Online Two Wheeler Insurance Renewal Process

Even in this mode of policy renewal, you can either proceed with the chosen insurer directly or get the policy renewed through an online insurance aggregator. In any of the cases, you will need to follow the common steps given below to renew bike insurance online:

  • Get access to an online policy renewal form
  • Enter the information related to your vehicle and vehicle insurance
  • Select the two wheeler insurance plan you want to buy
  • Select riders or add-ons with your policy if needed
  • Update the IDV in bike insurance as per your needs (it should be 10% less than the one selected the year before during policy renewal)
  • If you are okay with the calculated premium to be paid for bike insurance renewal, make the payment online, and it’s done!

Once this is done, you will get the policy renewal document emailed to your registered email address. This valid document can be used during traffic police checks to avoid paying hefty fines.

  • Offline 2 Wheeler Insurance Renewal Process

You can also renew bike insurance traditionally by renewing the insurer’s nearby office. Once you reach their office with the policy details, you need to follow the steps given below:

  • Fill in the application form for bike insurance renewal with the required details
  • Pay the amount either in cash, cheque, demand draft, or online
  • You will receive the renewed policy document almost instantly
  • Renewal of An Expired Two Wheeler Insurance Policy

An expired bike insurance plan is the one that you couldn’t renew till the last date. Once it is expired, it attracts a penalty as you continue riding your bike. Besides this, you won’t get any insurance benefits in case of any major losses. It simply means you are no longer covered by the insurance company for any damage to your vehicle or legal liability. 

While the thumb rule is to opt for bike insurance renewal before the plan expires, you can still renew an expired policy. The exact process is quite similar to the ones given above for both online and offline mode of renewal, though some steps may be different depending on the selected insurer.

You should also know that you can switch from one insurer to another before renewing your bike insurance policy. You need not continue with the same insurer forever.

What is the Approximate Bike Insurance Price?

This is a common question that many individuals ask at the time of buying or renewing their bike insurance policies. The exact bike insurance price depends on various factors, including:

  • Vehicle engine capacity
  • Vehicle age
  • Location of purchase
  • Gender
  • Riders included if any
  • Selected insurer
  • Online or offline purchase/renewal
  • Recent bike insurance price hike by IRDA if any

In the year 2019-20, the IRDA proposed an increase in third-party bike insurance cost from 4-21%, the highest rise of 21% being kept for bikes having engine capacity ranging from 150cc to 350cc. 

How to Compare Bike Insurance Plans?

A two wheeler insurance policy can be a life saver by protecting you against various accountabilities resulting from injuries to a third-party or damage to their property/collateral. Along with providing an accident cover, it protects against various damages or losses you may incur. While it is easy to buy bike insurance these days, this does not mean you should skip the step to compare different plans or insurers beforehand.

The following table covers various factors you should consider to compare different 2 wheeler insurance plans:

Factor

Description

Type of two wheeler insurance Check whether you want to buy only a third-party or comprehensive bike insurance plan (the latter option is highly recommended).
Add-ons or riders You can select from zero depreciation cover, personal accident cover, pillion rider cover, etc. by paying an extra premium.
Insurance plan features  Look at the detailed features and benefits of different plans available in the market before buying any of them.
Claim filing and settlement process Look for an insurer who facilitates a customer-friendly claim filing and settlement process.
Policy renewal process Check for the online bike insurance renewal facility along the offline mode of renewal.
Discounts Look for any discount available.
Insurer’s reputation Check the reputation of different insurers before buying a plan.

How to Buy Bike Insurance Policies Online?

Given below are the common steps you need to follow to buy a two wheeler insurance plan online:

  1. Visit an insurer’s website or that of an insurance aggregator
  2. Search for two wheeler insurance plans and consider the available options
  3. Compare different plans available based on their pricing and other factors as given above
  4. Once you have selected a plan, enter the information required to proceed toward bike insurance purchase
  5. Select your city, RTO zone, bike manufacturer, model, and variant
  6. Select the year of manufacture
  7. Select add-ons if you want any of the listed ones
  8. Pay the premium online

How to Calculate Two Wheeler Insurance Premium Online?

The simplest way to get an estimate of the bike insurance premium payable is to use an online calculator. These days, you can easily find bike insurance premium calculators available online. All you need to do is enter/select the vehicle-related details, check insurance premium, and see how it varies as you change different variable parameters.

Selecting the right bike insurance plan does require a thorough understanding of how it can benefit you in the long run. Keep in mind that the premium of your bike insurance policy will be based on not one but various factors, including: 

Which Factors Affect Two Wheeler Insurance Premium?

Factor Description
Insurance coverage The extent of coverage of your bike insurance policy determines the premium amount. Also, you will pay a lesser amount for third-party liability insurance as compared to a comprehensive insurance plan.
Insured Declared Value (IDV) The IDV is based on the market value of your vehicle. If the market value is less, the IDV will also be lower, hence making you pay a lesser premium.
Vehicle age The higher the age of your vehicle, the lesser the bike insurance premium payable.
Make and model of the bike Basic model of bikes requires basic insurance coverage, hence attracting lower premiums. On the other hand, expensive, the insurance premium of high-end bikes is comparatively costlier.
No Claim Bonus (NCB) NCB enables you to ask for a discount at the time of insurance renewal.
Installed security device Added security devices enhance vehicle safety, because of which your insurer can offer you a policy at a lesser premium.
Geographical location ` Metro cities have higher risk exposure to bike riders, which is why the insurance premium can be quite higher than in other cities.
Age of the bike owner Your age also affects the two wheeler insurance premium. 
Deductible In case you select any voluntary deductible, the insurer will offer you a discount on the premium.
Engine Cubic Capacity (CC) Engine CC is directly proportional to the bike insurance premium.

How to Save on Bike Insurance Premium?

You can reduce the insurance premium payable in the following ways:

  • Claim NCB for every claim-free year, which will help you avail discounts on the renewal premium payable.
  • Know the age of your vehicle in terms of the year of manufacture. This is because older motorbikes attract lower insurance premiums.
  • Install safety devices on your bike and ask for a discount on the premium based on the same.
  • Select the CC of the bike carefully as a higher CC bike attracts a higher premium.
  • Select a higher voluntary deductible that will increase your liability for the claim amount wisely. This will ultimately result in a lower premium.

Is it possible to replace a new vehicle in the current two wheeler insurance policy?

You can replace the new vehicle in the existing insurance policy. Contact the insurer for the steps involved.

Is two wheeler insurance mandatory for five years?

After September 2018, the IRDAI stated that all new two-wheeler vehicles must be insured with at least third-party insurance coverage for up to five years.

What is the No Claim Bonus (NCB) in bike insurance?

It refers to the bonus you receive for not filing even a single claim during a specific policy year. You can claim this NCB at the time of policy renewal.

Is vehicle inspection mandatory at the time of bike insurance purchase?

It is mandatory with offline policy purchase but not required when you buy the plan online.

What should I do if my bike is stolen or lost?

You need to first file an FIR at the nearest police station and inform your insurer about the incident. Then file for claim settlement with the insurer as per the process involved.

What is long term two wheeler insurance?

A long term bike insurance policy simply refers to a multi-year insurance policy for your vehicle and has a validity of 2-3 years. The benefit of buying this type of policy is that the IDV remains intact over the policy term.

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