Your parking slot could decide motor cover cost

your-parking-slot-could-decide-motor-cover-costCHENNAI: While geography and make and model of the car have been prime factors in determining premium on motor insurance, with increasing availability of data, insurers are taking into account other factors like your driving history to the colour of your car or even the parking slot of your vehicle.

In some countries, like the US, the driving history of the owner is the most important factor determining insurance premium. "Driving history is a key factor that determines the premium.

After all, it is the driver and not the vehicle that causes accidents. Therefore, with an experienced and mature driver, the chances of accidents are lower. Moreover, an inexperienced driver is more likely to engage the clutch than an experienced driver, which in turn results in greater wear and tear," said Ajay Bimbhet, MD Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Company.

But it's not just about careful driving. Even your daily car parking spot (whether closed, open or roadside parking) may have a bearing on the premium. And even the colour of the car could have a bearing on its premium . "Black cars are generally more prone to accidents while white cars are more prone to thefts," Amarnath Ananthanarayanan, CEO & MD, BhartiBSE 0.17 % AXA General Insurance said. These additional factors result in a 10%-15 % addition to the overall premium calculation.

As per the regulator, IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) many factors determine the premium . For an own damage cover (that insures the policy holder's vehicle), different insurance companies charge different premiums for similar coverage . These include vehicle registration details and engine capacity and driver details ranging from age, gender, qualifications , licence validity and previous insurance history, if any.

Car marketers, however, say that motor premium could be much more customized but for the fact that in India, it is controlled by IRDA. Jnaneswar Sen, senior V-P , sales & marketing , Honda Cars India, said: "The profile of the customer and the car model is among 50 or 60-odd parameters used to determine premium in developed markets where insurers do a co-relation analysis based on past data to come up with customized premium. But India is regulated by IRDA so the premium is standardised."

Jaideep Devare, MD of Mahindra Insurers Brokers Ltd agrees: "Although insurers are increasingly collating information on consumer behaviour, currently this has not yet been comprehensively incorporated into the process of determining motor premium. We anticipate , however, that it's just a matter of time before customised premium will become the order of the day, based on variables like colour of the car, driving habits etc. and the 'Pay-As-You-Drive' concept practised internationally."

Also, as per the IRDA website , in addition to NCB (no claim bonus), there are additional discounts available under own damage premium for membership of Automobile Association of India, vintage cars (which are essentially private cars certified by the Vintage and Classic Car Club of India ). Concessions are also available for specially designed /modified vehicles for the blind, handicapped and mentally challenged persons, which are suitably endorsed.

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