Car insurance gets cheaper by 30 pc

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Mumbai, Jun 4: Ever since the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) allowed motor insurance companies to decide premiums in December last year, car insurance premiums have fallen sharply by at least 30 per cent. The focus, it seems, is clearly on garnering more retail customers. ICICI Lombard General Insurance head (motor insurance) N Eswaranatarajan, in a statement here, today said ''While car insurance premiums have come down by at least 30 per cent, two-wheelers and commercial vehicles have seen a 20 per cent drop.'' For instance, in March 2007, the premium for a Honda City was Rs 20,760 in Mumbai. But this year it has fallen to Rs 15,770, a difference of Rs 4,990.

The crash in premium speaks volumes about the cut-throat competition prevailing in the motor insurance market. For instance, ICICI Lombard is insuring a Tata Indica for Rs 11,724, whereas National Insurance Company is offering insurance for the same vehicle at Rs 8,048 -- a clear differential of Rs 3,531 or 43 per cent. ''This is because ICICI Lombard gets more claims for Tata Indica,'' explained Mr Eswaranatarajan. For those who have bought a new car or whose policy is coming for renewal, a substantially lower premium is one relief that they can look forward to.

UNI

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