Monsoons in India arrive after months of scorching heat and dry summer, giving relief to us. Even though adequate precipitation is vital for thriving agriculture, replenishing reservoirs and restoring groundwater levels, it still comes with a cargo of concerns that directly affect the people. Major issues include flooding and water clogging due to inefficient drainage systems, fractured roads etc., which not only cause severe inconveniences to people, but also come with various other troubles such as traffic jams and vehicles that refuse to start.
There are ways to ensure that your car is taken care of in all aspects before the monsoon arrives. One of them is to make sure that the vehicle is insured in order to deflect any monetary losses. Second, take some extra measures to prepare the vehicle for any unprecedented situations in advance.
Keep your car’s protectors in good shape
One of the most important aspects while driving a car is the visibility. Thus, it is important to check the windshield, wipers and defoggers of the vehicle carefully. The windshield should be clean and the wipers must be changed before the season starts. Since rubber on the wipers is exposed to wear and tear and any deformity there could either not clean the glass at all or may leave some water on the glass. Both cases are dangerous and must be avoided.
Taking additional measures for maintaining the headlights, internal wiring, battery and other electricals would be a wise move too before the start of the monsoon season, as continuous exposure to dripping water and moisture may get aggravated, resulting in malfunction.
Another important segment to cater to is the brake pads. The braking distance of a car is dependent on a lot of factors and is normally hampered on wet roads. While brakes must be checked and in perfect condition while driving in dry weather too, it is especially important in the rains to be more cautious. The brake system may be checked at home beforehand but it's advised to get it checked at a professional check-up centre, workshop or garage to ensure one's stringent safety.
The standard motor insurance policy provides for a depreciated value of parts. Rubber, nylon, plastic and batteries are paid after a 50 per cent deduction of depreciation. For the above mentioned car parts like Windshield/Wipers/Defoggers/Headlights/Wiring/Battery/Electricals one must additionally buy a Consumables cover and Nil Depreciation cover to defer losses. Electrical Accessories cover damages caused to electrical accessories and a Consumable Cover for brake oil, AC refrigerant, nut bolts, etc., can be bought as an add-on cover.
Care for your tyres, buy additional protection too
Adding another hack to the list would include ensuring the grip of tyres on the road. Wet roads pose a major threat. Due to continuous showers the roads tend to get slippery and also result in the formation of invisible potholes. Well-treaded tyres ensure better grip and prevent the vehicle from skidding either due to slippery surface or applying brakes suddenly which is very common during rains. Various insurance companies offer tyre cover for up to four years as an add-on the cover which provides for accidental loss/damage to tyres and the tubes.
Since preparing for the worst is the best way to ensure utmost safety, it is only wise to keep an emergency kit handy in the cars as the risk of uncalled situations increases exponentially during the rains. The kit should ideally contain a small hammer, first aid kit, tissue paper, fire extinguisher etc. It should also be noted that the vehicle’s insurance also has a personal accident cover which could be helpful in uncertain times or unexpected accidents.
Protect your engine against damage
Even after taking all these extra measures, one might still end up in a situation where the vehicle’s motor gets jammed in a flooded area. Unaware of the damage it can do to the engine the basic instinct is to try and start the vehicle, which would lead to water entering the engine and subsequently ending in a Hydrostatic lock. It is important to understand that claims in such cases are tagged as consequential damages and thus rejected. A customer in such a circumstance should park the vehicle at a safe place and arrange for roadside assistance which is also an additional benefit with some motor insurance policies. Additionally an Engine Protector policy can be bought to cover for damages caused to the engine and its parts
Mindful steps at the time of crisis will enable the customers to ensure their safety and take care of their vehicles better, without causing any hassle or financial distress.
(The writer is the CEO of iassure)