What are the Consequences of Driving without Bike Insurance in India?

Long gone are the days when owning a vehicle was a luxury. For city dwellers, cars and two-wheelers have become a necessity to make travelling quicker and more accessible. In fact, several households in the country have both a car and a bike for enhanced convenience because it can be easier to sidestep traffic and reach places sooner on a two-wheeler.

With the purchase of a bike, what also becomes necessary is bike insurance, mandated by the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988. Bike insurance plans have been devised to protect you from monetary losses that may arise in case you find yourself involved in an accident or if your vehicle gets damaged due to some unforeseen event. That’s why vehicle insurance is compulsory.

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Types of Bike Insurance

  • Third party Bike Insurance policies cover the owner’s liabilities in the event of bodily injuries, accidental death, or damage to a third party.

  • Standalone own-damage policies cover the damages caused to the bike as well as the bike’s theft.

  • Comprehensive insurance for bikes covers damages caused to the bike, theft of the bike, third-party liabilities and a host of other conditions as covered by the add-ons available with a comprehensive plan.

Today, when you buy a new two-wheeler, its on-road price includes the insurance premium for your policy. However, problems arise when the policy expires after a year and you don’t get it renewed. A recent study revealed that about 70% of the vehicles on Indian roads run without any car or bike insurance.

While that’s problematic on multiple levels, if you are caught driving without insurance, you’ll have to face severe consequences.

What Happens If You Don’t Have Motor Insurance in India?

  • Penalties and legal fine

The penalty for driving without insurance in India for the first offence includes a fine of ₹2,000 and/or imprisonment up to three months, according to the Motor Vehicle Act, 2019. If you continue driving without insurance and get caught a second time, you will have to pay ₹4,000 and/or face imprisonment of up to three months. The fine applicable is the same for all vehicles: two-wheelers, four-wheelers, and commercial vehicles. In case of an accident, you may be taken to court by a third party and required to surrender your driving license under certain situations. These unpleasant scenarios may attract hefty legal expenses, further increasing your losses.

  • Liabilities arising from third-party damages

If you get embroiled in an accident, you are liable to pay for the losses incurred from any harm to a person or surrounding property. This is known as third-party liability. The two wheeler insurance takes care of this and spares you the loss incurred.

Without insurance, you’ll have to pay for everything on your own, including expenses arising from legal liabilities, which could put a dent in your finances. The compensation can dramatically increase if the victim succumbs to their injuries.

  • Expenses due to own damages

In case of an unfortunate accident where you are at fault, you can cause damages to the third party and your own vehicle. Your vehicle may also be vulnerable to other unforeseen events like theft and natural disasters. You can take care of losses resulting from these with a comprehensive two-wheeler insurance plan to ensure coverage against natural as well as man-made damages.

  • Expenses arising from injuries caused to the owner-driver

An accident can cause severe injuries to you in addition to damaging your vehicle and resulting in third-party liabilities. In several cases, it may lead to death or disabilities.

A comprehensive motor insurance policy with personal accident cover can compensate your family and reduce their financial burden in the event of your accidental death or disability. It will also take care of any medical expenses arising from treating your injuries caused due to the accident.

  • Loss of No Claim Bonus

This is applicable if you have a bike insurance policy and fail to renew it on time. No Claim Bonus or NCB is a reward given by insurance companies to policyholders for not filing a claim. NCB is awarded as a discount on renewal premiums and can go up to 50% for 5 consecutive no-claim years. However, the NCB restores to zero if your insurance for the bike has expired and you don’t get it renewed within 90 days.

Tips to Avoid Getting Fines on the Road

Follow these tips to avoid getting fined while driving a two-wheeler:

  • Renew the bike insurance policy ahead of its expiry date.
  • Ensure you buy insurance even if you have purchased a used vehicle. You can easily apply for bike insurance online and get coverage within a matter of days.
  • Store multiple hard and soft copies of your driving license and other vehicle documents such as the Registration Certificate (RC), insurance papers, and Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate.

The online motor vehicle insurance market has made the process of buying and renewing policies and raising claims hassle-free. While the bike insurance price for third-party policies is more cost-effective compared to comprehensive ones, the latter covers both third-party liability and own damage.

Before buying, you should check factors to compare bike insurance plans and the various add-ons they offer. This will allow you to get the Insured Declared Value (IDV) right and understand the claims and renewal procedure as well as other policy wordings. You can avail of discounts and deals offered by insurers to choose the best vehicle insurance available in the market and reduce your premiums as much as possible.

As mentioned earlier, vehicle insurance is legally mandatory, and driving without insurance can result in severe fines or other types of penalties. Don’t fall victim to these consequences — purchase/renew your bike insurance policy today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I’m caught driving an uninsured vehicle?

You will have to stop your vehicle and produce the vehicle Registration Certificate, your driving license, and the Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certificate to the traffic policeman. You will be issued a traffic challan, which can be paid online through the traffic police website or offline by visiting the nearest police station.

The fine for not having an active bike insurance policy is ₹2,000 and/or 3-month imprisonment, and it goes up to ₹2,000 and/or 3-month imprisonment for subsequent offences.

How can I renew my lapsed two-wheeler insurance?

Call the Tata AIG on our 24x7 toll-free number 1800-266-7780 or visit our bike insurance page to initiate the renewal process. If there has been a major break in the policy, we will conduct certain inspections and assessments on your vehicle before renewing the policy.

Why is vehicle insurance compulsory in India?

You are legally responsible for paying for liabilities arising due to property damages, bodily injuries, or the death of a third party if the accident was caused by your vehicle. Without a third-party insurance policy, you will be required to pay the compensation from your own pocket, which may or may not be possible for you. To prevent such situations, the government has mandated third-party insurance policies in India.

What happens if I have an accident without insurance where I am at fault?

Third-party insurance is mandatory as per Indian law, and failure to insure your vehicle can lead to fines or imprisonment. You might also need to bear the cost of damages and injuries to yourself and the third party.

What happens if I have an accident without insurance where I am not at fault?

Whether it’s your fault or not, you need to insure your vehicle with at least third-party insurance as per the law. You might be entitled to claim coverage for certain losses from the other party’s insurance company in the occurrence of an accident if you are not at fault, provided certain conditions are met.

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