For most Indians, a two-wheeler is still the first vehicle they own in their lifetime before migrating to a car. With the plethora of options available in the market, from high-end sports bikes to the basic moped, two-wheeler use is on the rise. Yet, according to recent Government findings, 75 per cent of the two-wheelers on Indian roads are not insured, despite this being mandatory under the law.

Here are details of the types of two-wheeler insurance available in the market that should propel you to take a safer ride on the road and shield your vehicle from unwanted expenses.

Standard cover All motor insurance companies in India provide standardised, default insurance cover. This includes the mandatory third-party cover that indemnifies the insured from third-party liabilities in case of damages or death.

The Supreme Court has directed authorities to take punitive legal action against owners found to be riding an uninsured vehicle. The premium for third-party cover is set by the IRDAI and the tariffs are, hence, similar across insurers. Cover related to ‘Own Damage’ and ‘Personal Accident’ is optional but these are crucial to reimburse repair costs and provide financial support in case of an accident.

Such extra protection also insures your vehicle against theft and damages due to natural calamities.

The premium is calculated based on various permutations and combinations, with respect to the geography where the vehicle is registered, the engine capacity and the model of the vehicle. The premium rates range from 1.676 per cent of the IDV (Insured Declared Value) for vehicles not exceeding 150cc (cubic capacity) and less than five years old, to 2.020 per cent of the IDV for vehicles exceeding 350cc cubic capacity and over 10 years old, based on the zone.

Cover for pillion rider By opting for this add-on cover, you can protect the pillion rider (or his dependents) from financial hardship in the case of a road mishap, leading to death or disability. Any co-rider is protected under this cover.

Insurers price this add-on cover based on the sum insured for each passenger. This may be up to ₹70-120 for a sum insured of ₹1 lakh per passenger.

Return to invoice A well-maintained cruiser/sports bike may be your prized possession but could be the target of theft.

Vehicles are an asset whose value depreciates on the basis of age. By opting for a return to invoice cover by paying additional minimal premium, one is entitled to receive complete reimbursement of the actual value of the bike as purchased from the manufacturer.

This cover is only applicable when the vehicle is deemed as a total loss due to theft or damages caused by natural disasters.

To arrive at the premium figure, insurers consider 0.14-0.24 per cent of the agreed IDV, based on the vehicle’s cubic capacity.

Daily cash allowance If you rely solely on your two-wheeler for the daily commute to work or to carry out your business, a daily cash allowance cover would be a good add-on to opt for. Assuming that your bike is severely damaged and requires repair at the service centre, which is backed up, you may be left stranded for a week without a mode of personal transport.

In such a scenario, the insurance company extends daily cash allowance on mutually agreed terms and conditions of the policy, subject to a time limit of the bike being under repair at the garage.

The premium for this varies from one insurer to another. Premiums charged are based on daily allowance, that is, ₹300 for per day allowance of ₹750 and ₹200 for per day allowance of ₹500 for a metro and non-metro city respectively.

Roadside assistance A weekend ride with your companion could be disappointing if you suddenly have to fix a flat tyre.

By opting for the Roadside Assistance service, insurance companies extend on-site repairs such as fixing punctures, fuel assistance or battery repairs. The premium for this varies from insurer to insurer.

The writer is Head-Product Development, Customer Service, Planning and Operations, Universal Sompo General Insurance