What is Consumables Expenses Cover in Car Insurance?

When you purchase a car insurance policy, you expect coverage for everything, right? However, when you actually get down to repairing the damage to your car and find that certain parts are not covered, you wonder if you missed something. Even if you buy a comprehensive policy, certain parts that fall under the category of consumables are excluded. Major insurers provide an exclusive add-on to include consumables expenses in the insurance policy.

Understanding Consumables

As the name suggests, consumables are components of the car that can be used for a limited period and undergo regular wear and tear.These are components used by the engine of your car that, if damaged or used up, cannot be re-used. Consumables include nuts, bolts, screws, grease, engine oil, lubricants, oil filter, gearbox oil, washers, air conditioner gas, etc. While these might seem trivial, they are important for the car, and when damaged, they can add up to a significant amount.

Consumables Cover in Car Insurance

A comprehensive car insurance policy does not reimburse the costs incurred for consumable components. Hence, when you receive a settlement for your claim, these costs have to been borne by you. To avoid these costs, most car insurers offer an add-on for consumables cover.

Based on the make and model of your car, the premium amount can increase marginally to include this add-on. Usually, insurers do not cover consumable expenses if the car is not repaired at a garage/service centre authorized by the insurer.

Do I need a Consumables Cover?

Consumables are components that are used regularly in the car and are subject to regular wear and tear. Also, costlier cars have costlier consumables. In the unfortunate event of an accident, if the consumables have to be replaced or replenished, then the consumables cover ensures that the costs are taken care of. Since a comprehensive policy doesn’t usually cover these costs, buying this add-on makes the policy more comprehensive.

Exclusions of the Consumables Cover

While the normal exclusions of car insurance apply to consumables cover too like driving under the influence of any intoxicant, using a private vehicle for commercial purposes, etc., there are some specific exclusions that you should know about.

  • It excludes any normal electrical or mechanical breakdown
  • Wear and tear of consumable parts is not covered
  • Delay in informing the company
  • Regular replenishment of consumables

Also, many insurers don’t offer consumables cover for cars more than five years old, and they do not cover fuel costs. Ensure that you read all the fine print before you purchase the policy and the cover.

Apart from the consumables cover, you can also look at other add-ons to ensure that your car insurance policy is tailored to the way you use your car. Popular car insurers like Tata AIG offer attractive add-ons like:

  • Depreciation reimbursement – where the insurer reimburses the depreciated value on replaced parts under the Own-Damage claim
  • No Claim Bonus Protection – where the insurer allows you to file one claim in one insurance period without it affecting your no claim bonus
  • Loss of Personal Belongings – which covers items that are carried and/or worn like clothes, compact discs, etc. but does not include jewellery, cash, debit/credit cards, etc.
  • Roadside Assistance – which includes services like towing services, flat tyre assistance, jumpstarting the battery, fuel support, etc.
  • Engine Secure – that covers the repair and replacement costs of the internal parts of the engine, transmission, gearbox, and differential assembly.
  • Tyre Secure – If the tyre of your car gets damaged due to an accident or a mishap, this add-on reimburses the replacement costs up to a specified maximum number of tyres within the policy period.
  • Emergency Transport & Hotel Cover – If your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, this cover ensures that your expenses for travelling to the nearest hotel and overnight stay are reimbursed until you reach the city of your residence
  • Courtesy Car cover – The insurer pays for a courtesy or hire car for a specified period in the case of a repair or total damage claim.
  • Return to Invoice – Under this cover, the insurer reimburses the difference between the claim amount and the invoice amount of the car (the current replacement price of a new car of the same make and model).

Summing Up

Add-ons or riders are designed to help you customize the car insurance policy to suit your specific needs. If you are a first-time car owner, then you might want to talk to your local garage to assess the kind of costs that your car can demand in the case of an accident or a mishap. Also, you need to analyze the usage of your car to pick the right add-ons.

Usually, car owners tend to miss adding the consumables cover to their plans. Hence, when they raise a claim and receive the amount, there is a noticeable difference between the two. Ensure that you include this cover in your policy along with other essential add-ons for complete protection.