Marketplaces have always been battling the presence of counterfeit goods. However, with the growth of the service industry, there are many people offering fake services, especially in the financial sector. While regulators and buyers are becoming vigilant, cheaters and scammers are devising newer ways to cheat people. In the four wheeler insurance segment, many fraudulent interfaces have surfaced in recent years that have scammed people successfully. So, how can you avoid being scammed while buying insurance for a four-wheeler? In this article, we will offer some tips to help prevent buying a fake car insurance policy.
There are multiple channels for buying insurance for a car:
- Insurance Agents
- Insurance Companies for Car
- Online Aggregators
We will look at each of them to help you buy insurance for a four-wheeler without being scammed.
Buying car insurance via an Agent
Most insurance companies have agents that offer car insurance policies on behalf of the company. These agents usually have offices and websites offering insurance policies at attractive rates. However, if the agent is not genuine and is pretending to be one to commit fraud, you can get scammed.
To avoid this, ensure that you ask for the agent’s credentials before signing the dotted line. The agent might have forged documents too. Therefore, ensure that you scrutinize them carefully. Further, while making the payment, prefer issuing a cheque in the name of the insurance company and NOT the agent to avoid fraud.
Purchasing car insurance from the Insurance Company
The financial services industry has always been the target of fraudsters and scammers. In recent years, with digitization changing the way people buy products and services, financial products are being purchased online too. This has made users vulnerable to hackers and other cyber-criminals.
Most insurers allow you to buy four-wheeler insurance online from their website or offline by visiting the authorised branch. Visiting a branch can be the safest way to buy a car insurance policy, but if there is no branch close to you, then it can be inconvenient.
Many people prefer buying car insurance online since it is convenient, and they can use the car insurance calculator to compare policies with ease. However, the website can be fake. Hence, it is important to ensure that you are purchasing it from the official site. This can be verified by calling the company’s customer care numbers.
Additionally, when renewing your car insurance policy, ensure you have logged into the official website. Opt for insurance companies that offer verified as well as quick renewal processes. Renewal processes by major insurers in India, such as the Tata AIG car insurance renewal online, offer a quick and safe renewal.
Buying from Online Aggregators
There are many websites that provide offers on policies from different insurance companies. These sites are called Online Insurance Aggregators. Many people visit these sites as they allow them to compare plans based on coverage, price, and add-ons offered. While these sites provide links to official websites, you need to ensure that you check the link that the site is redirecting you to. This can help avoid being redirected to a fake site.
Verify the Policy using the QR Code
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has taken steps to help people stay protected from such scammers too. It has mandated all insurance companies to provide a QR Code along with their policies. You can scan the code and verify if the provider is legitimate.
Q1. Is it illegal to lie on car insurance?
Yes. Lying to the insurance company is treated as a fraudulent activity. The insurer can file a lawsuit against you, and if the breach of contract is proven, you can be penalized or even jailed.
Q2. What modifications reduce car insurance?
Any modification made to the car that reduces the risk of theft or accident can help reduce the car insurance premium. For example, if you install a parking sensor, then it reduces the risk of collision while parking in reverse. This can help reduce the car insurance premium.
Q3. How do you keep your car insurance down?
There are many ways to keep the premium of your car insurance down. These include:
- Transfer your No Claim Bonus or NCB (if you have held a car insurance policy before)
- Increase the voluntary deductible amount
- Don’t file a claim for minor repairs. This can help you get NCB.
- Choose add-ons carefully. Each add-on increases the premium amount. Hence, ensure that you select the ones that are essential.
- Install an anti-theft device. Many insurers offer a discount if the car owner takes measures to keep the vehicle safe. Since an anti-theft device can reduce the chances of theft, you can expect a discount on the premium.
- Car insurers also offer discounts if you are a member of certain automobile associations. Ensure that you visit the insurer’s website and check the list of approved associations.
- Customize your policy based on a careful assessment of your insurance needs. Assess your use of the car and choose a policy (plus add-ons) accordingly.