KOCHI:With a number of vehicles which were inundated, needing service, car dealers are coming to rescue of the owners. Authorised car dealer networks across Kerala have activated their toll-free numbers for free towing services to the nearest respective car dealer.
On the forefront is Honda Motor Company with their free service and free engine oil replacement. “A special exchange bonus scheme of Rs 2,000 will be offered to our customers willing to exchange their flood-affected vehicle with a new Honda vehicle,” said Arun S Pillai, customer relations manager, Muthoot Honda.
Car dealerships advice the people to refrain from starting the engine if it is waterlogged. “Even though engine damages are covered under a basic car insurance policy, the driver is asked to not start the engine as the car is highly likely to get damaged. Basic car insurance policies do not cover substantial loss,” said a car dealer based in Kochi.
Vehicle damages are categorized as A, B and C. A refers to the circumstance in which the water levels have risen to the wheel or carpet level. Vehicles under B would have water levels risen up to their seats. And C refers to a situation where the dashboard of the car is completely submerged. The latter category is considered as a total loss category.
“In such incidents, the Insured Declared value (IDV), which is the current market value of the vehicle will be returned to the customer,” said Rani Radhakrishnan, customer service manager, Sai Service Pvt Ltd, Maruti Suzuki. “The vehicle company will replace parts of the vehicles that fall under the first two categories. The damage to these parts must be equated to the parameters set by the company,” she added.
Babu George, assistant manager, Nippon Toyota said that Toyota offers free towing services for the cars that have been affected by the flood. “Almost all cars have their insurance covered, however, we are yet to assess the severity and total losses incurred,” he said.
Despite some damages being irreversible, service camps are trying to service the cars back to its pre-flood condition. “It is difficult to say if the car can function like how it used to. Nevertheless, if the assessment by the service surveyor exceeds the limit of the IDV, then it’s considered a total loss. And if it’s a total loss, we do have an option to exchange the vehicle,” said an officer at Tata Motors, Concorde Motors (India) Limited.Tata Motors also offers free pickup service for flood-affected vehicles to the nearest authorised centre or Tata dealer.
Do not attempt to start the engines of vehicles which were submerged in the flood