New switch on and off motor insurance add-on offers cashback: Will you get in case of claim?

Kotak Mahindra General Insurance company has recently introduced a new add-on feature called ‘Meter’ for motor insurance – a switch on and off insurance cover based on the usage of the car. This feature is available with the company’s private car insurance policy.

How Meter feature will work

With the Meter add-on, the insurance company allows users to pay for the insurance only when the vehicle is in use. Simply put, a vehicle owner can switch on his or her car insurance coverage when he or she uses the car and turn it off when it is not in use. However, the rewards for non-use will accrue only if the non-use period is continuous 24 hours or more i.e. the car policy has to be inactive for a continuous 24 hour period to earn one reward day.How to use the Meter add-on feature
To use this add-on feature, customers have to first buy the add on along with Kotak’s private car insurance policy. Next, they have to download the Kotak Meter App from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Then, they have to fill in their personal information and know your customer details for onboarding. Once the policy starts, the vehicle owner can switch on the policy when he or she uses the car. He or she will also have an option to switch the coverage off when he or she wants.

Reward days
If the app remains inactive or is switched off for a continuous period of 24 hours, the customer will earn one day as a reward. So for every inactive day, the vehicle owner will earn ‘reward days’. “Reward days accumulated can be redeemed while renewing the policy at the end of the policy term or as a cashback if the customer does not want to renew the policy through us,” said Suresh Agarwal, Managing Director & CEO, of Kotak General Insurance Company Limited. At the end of the policy term, the customers can either earn up to 40 per cent cash back for unused days of the vehicle or a discount on the renewal premium, according to the company’s press release.

Demand for switch on and off policy on the rise
Mentioning the rationale behind pay as you use a motor insurance policy, Suresh Agarwal, Managing Director and CEO, Kotak General Insurance Company Limited said, “Demand for need-based insurance cover has been on a rise particularly post COVID-19. With hybrid and work-from-home policies coupled with higher fuel prices and increasing inflation has witnessed a change in driving preferences by most vehicle owners. This drove us to bring out a customer-friendly switch on and off feature as an add-on on our car insurance policy.” He added, “With the new tech-enabled insurance policy ‘Meter’ we want to treat all customers fairly and reward those customers who drive less. This we think will help in customer retention as well as help understand and serve our customers better following their driving behaviour.”

Whom it will not suit
However, it is to be noted that policy holders can get the rewards/discount only if the car policy is not used for an entire 24 hours. Even if the policy is used only for say a 5-10 minute drive every day (say in every 24 hours) and then switched off then rewards would not be payable for that day/24 hour period. So this add on feature may suit only those people who don’t use their car at all on some days of the week and not necessarily those who drive very little but use their car and the policy daily.

Further, this add on feature may not suit forgetful people as they may forget to switch on or off the policy. In case a person drives without switching the policy on the car would not be covered under the motor insurance policy at all and no claims would be payable.

Rewards not given in case of claim
“No claim bonus, if any on the policy will be over and above the cashback,” Agarwal said. However, in the event of a claim, reward days and cashback will not be applicable, he added. So, if the customer files a claim under his motor insurance policy in a year, he or she will not get the benefit of rewards or cashback available under this add-on feature even if some have been earned before the date of making the claim.

Policy T&C
Despite requesting, we have not received the terms and conditions of the Meter add-on feature till the time of publishing this article. Prospective buyers are advised to read the policy wording carefully before opting for this motor insurance add on feature.

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