Buying a car is an important decision in your life. This is because you need to make a significantly high financial commitment and you also have to buy an insurance policy to safeguard your investment. There are different types of motor insurance policies but the most popular ones are third-party and comprehensive insurance policies.

It is mandatory that you have third-party insurance cover for your vehicle in order to drive on Indian roads. In the event of your vehicle being involved in an accident, this policy covers liability associated with a bodily injury suffered by or death of another person and/or damages caused to another person’s property.

A comprehensive insurance policy, on the other hand, safeguards you against theft, natural calamities, and damages caused to the car in addition to third-party liability. Most car owners opt for a comprehensive policy but including a return to invoice cover helps you in enhancing your car’s protection.

What is Return to Invoice (RTI) Cover in Car Insurance?

Return to Invoice (RTI) insurance is an add-on cover that can be included in your car’s comprehensive insurance plan. It allows you to receive compensation in full (your car’s invoice value) if your vehicle is damaged beyond repair or stolen. This means going back to your car’s original value indicated on the invoice.

As the RTI bridges the gap between the invoice value and the insured declared value of your car, it is also referred to as invoice gap insurance. This cover will fetch you the on-road price that you paid when buying the car in the event of you incurring losses.

RTI is additional coverage you need to buy when getting your car insured. You can decide whether you should buy this additional coverage or not. It is not at all mandatory to buy this cover. The return to invoice cover is subjectively offered to new vehicles until they reach a specified age. It costs approximately 10 percent more than the normal comprehensive policy.

How Does Return to Invoice Cover in Car Insurance Work?

The RTI cover becomes applicable if your car happens to be damaged beyond repair, meaning you suffer a total loss of your vehicle. If your car gets stolen, then also you can file a claim with your insurance company for reimbursement of the invoice value of the vehicle.

You could suffer a total loss due to various reasons. Some of them are:

  • Fire: A fire accident can damage your car beyond repair.
  • Floods: Water logging due to floods is a natural calamity that can completely damage your car. If your car gets submerged, water seeps into certain sensitive components and causes severe damages to your vehicle.
  • Landslide: If you live in an area that is prone to landslides, large rocks, trees, and other debris falling on you can crush your vehicle and it may not make sense in repairing it after that.
  • Accident: Road accidents, especially collisions with larger vehicles, often result in a total loss of your vehicle.

These are some of the situations when you can file a claim against the return to invoice gap insurance policy you have purchased for your car. If this add-on cover is not included in your car insurance policy, you would be eligible only for getting back the Insured Declared Value (IDV) of your car in a total loss/theft situation.

What Benefits Does Return to Invoice Cover Offer?

The return to invoice add-on is beneficial in many ways. It will be of great financial help in times of need and unfortunate events do not cause a big dent in your wallet. Advantages offered by the add-on cover include the following:

The return to invoice cover does not only increase the scope of coverage but also makes your car insurance more customized.


Typically, this additional cover is best suited for new cars. People who take good care of their new car feel devastated when it is damaged beyond repair due to some reason. If they include this add-on cover in their car insurance policy, they need not worry too much if their car suffers major damages.

 In India, car theft is very common. If someone with malicious intentions steals your car, you will not lose all the money you spent when buying a new car. You just have to add this cover to your car policy.

What is the Validity of the Return to Invoice Cover?

In conclusion, the validity of the add-on cover you include in your car insurance policy is one year. You will have to renew the RTI cover on completion of the validity period. However, some insurance companies may increase or decrease the validity period. Therefore, it pays to check your policy document to know the correct renewal date.

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