Sept 22, 2023
The Indian Motor Vehicle Act mandates all vehicle owners to insure their car or bike with vehicle insurance. If you are caught driving without a valid insurance policy, you will be imposed with fines and/or imprisonment. To know why it is illegal to drive an uninsured vehicle, read on to find out more about the fine for driving without insurance, types of motor insurance policies, legal complications, and how to find the best vehicle insurance for uninsured vehicles.
It might be your budget or sheer procrastination that prompts you to drive an uninsured vehicle. Nobody wants to leave their home planning to get involved in an accident. It happens and comes unannounced. Be it repairs or replacement of parts to your vehicle or the medical treatment cost or legal consequences of an unfortunate accident, paying from your pocket can dent your savings.
It is illegal to drive a car or a bike without insurance in India. The Motor Vehicles Act, 2019 mandates the vehicle owner to insure their car or bike with an insurance policy. Driving a car without insurance will not only invite fines and/or imprisonment, but it will also dent your finances due to the costs involved in case of an unfortunate accident.
Through the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has notified that it is illegal and a crime to drive an uninsured vehicle. Violation of this rule will attract fines and/or imprisonment of up to 3 months.
The penalty for riding a bike or driving a car without insurance in India is intended to ensure all vehicles are insured at all times. As per the below table, if you are caught driving a vehicle without insurance for the first time, the fine is Rs. 2,000. If you are caught again or the second time, then the fine for driving without insurance is Rs. 4,000 and/or imprisonment.
Here are the consequences of driving an uninsured car or bike in India.
Under Section 81 of The Motor Vehicles Act, 2019, below is the penalty and fine for driving without an insurance policy.
|First offence||Rs. 2,000|
|Second offence||Rs. 4,000 and/or imprisonment|
Through The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, the Government of India has made it mandatory for all vehicles to be insured with a Third-party vehicle insurance policy. Third-party Liability insurance covers your legal liability arising to death/disability of third party loss or damages to their property.
All non-life insurance companies have an obligation to offer Third-party insurance. However, Comprehensive insurance acts as an add-on to the third-party cover and protects the insured vehicle from financial losses arising out of damages or theft. To better understand Third-party vehicle insurance, below are some important details.
First Party: The Insured Vehicle.
Second Party: The Insurance Company
Third-Party: The individual who raises a claim against damages caused by the first party.
The third-party vehicle insurance premium is fixed by the Insurance Regulatory Development and Authority of India (IRDAI). It covers damages to third party vehicles or their property or injuries caused to the third party in an accident. The policy does not cover the cost of damages to your vehicle or for injuries you suffer during an accident. Hence, these factors are compelling enough to insure your vehicle.
The penalties or the fines if you are caught driving an uninsured vehicle are steep and could invite imprisonment of up to 3 months, the legal complications arising out of an accident to a third party can be complicated and unnecessary. The financial loss due to the accidental death of the person driving an uninsured vehicle or a third party can be extremely complicated and a bad experience. Also, it can lead to suspension of your driving licence.
In case your motor insurance policy has lapsed beyond a certain time frame, you may lose out on the No Claim Bonus (NCB). This will lead to a higher premium while renewing the lapsed policy. The longer the time you renew the expired policy will further increase the premium. Some insurance providers might not offer Add-ons such as Nil or Zero Depreciation cover.
In case of an unfortunate accident, apart from the third party, your vehicle could sustain damages as well. While you have to bear the cost of damages to the third party or their property, you will have to pay for damages to your vehicle and the treatment cost of any injuries. Insuring your vehicle with Comprehensive vehicle insurance ensures coverage for both third-party and own damages.
The traffic penalty for driving/riding a vehicle without insurance was Rs. 1,000; however, this was revised through The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019.
A number of states offered some respite to vehicle users by slashing the fine for driving an uninsured vehicle. Here are the details as of July 2022.
|States||Range of Two-wheelers Traffic Fine (Rs.)||Range of Four-wheelers Traffic Fine (Rs.)|
|Haryana||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000|
|Bihar||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000|
|Assam||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000|
|Tripura||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000|
|Telangana||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000|
|Punjab||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000|
|West Bengal||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000|
|Madhya Pradesh||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000|
|Chattisgarh||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000|
|Gujarat||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000|
|Uttarakhand||Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 4,000||Rs, 2,000 to Rs. 4,000|
|Karnataka||Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 4,000||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000|
|Tamil Nadu||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000|
|Kerala||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000|
|Odisha||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000|
|Andhra Pradesh||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000|
|Delhi||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000||Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000|
Here are some tips to avoid getting fined for driving an uninsured car or bike:
Renew the vehicle insurance ahead of its expiry date.
Ensure you buy vehicle insurance if you have purchased a used or a second-hand vehicle.
Store a hard copy of the vehicle documents such as the Registration Certificate (RC), Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate and your Driving Licence (DL).
Store the soft copy of your vehicle insurance, RC, DL and PUC certificate.
Also, read: Parked Car Accident
Online vehicle insurance has made the process of buying/renewing/raising claims hassle-free and easy. However, it’s imperative that you choose the best vehicle insurance in the market. Here are some tips to choose the right insurance for your vehicle:
Type of coverage: While the Third-Party insurance is cheaper compared to the Comprehensive insurance plan, the latter covers both Third-Party liabilities and Own Damage. Choose the right insurance as per your needs by analysing the risks involved in not opting for the Own Damage Insurance cover.
Compare different insurance plans: Compare vehicle insurance online to see what options are there for you to choose the best car or bike insurance policy.
Avail discounts: Ensure you avail of discounts or deals offered by insurers as this will reduce the insurance premium to a certain extent.
Choose the right insured declared value (IDV): A lower insurance premium does not necessarily mean higher coverage. The Insured Declared Value (IDV) is the total amount of compensation paid when you raise a claim during the policy period. This is also known as the market value of the vehicle.
Choose the right add-ons: Add-ons act as an enhancement to your basic Comprehensive vehicle insurance policy. Riders or Add-ons such as NCB Protect will protect your No Claim Bonus (NCB) despite raising claims during the period.
Check the claim procedure: The process while registering or settling a claim should be a hassle-free experience. A good vehicle insurance provider will be able to settle your claims without much difficulty.
Check the renewal procedure: Ideally renewing vehicle insurance online is the fastest and most efficient method of renewing the vehicle insurance policy. Ensure you choose an insurer who offers an easy renewal process.
Read the policy wordings: It’s important to read the terms and conditions to understand each and every detail of the contract between the insurance company and you or the policyholder. Find out what is covered and not covered in the policy to safeguard your interests.
Here’s a list of the consequences of driving a car without car insurance in India.
You can be penalized by the authorities if you drive a four-wheeler in the absence of a Third-party Car Insurance Policy. As per the updated Motor Vehicles Act 2019, the penalty for the first offence is Rs. 2,000 and for a second offence is Rs. 4,000. There is a chance of being imprisoned as well.
If your uninsured car is involved in an accident where it has injured the third party, you will be liable to compensate the person monetarily. The same is applicable for damage to their property. In the case of an insurance cover, such situations are managed by the insurer. However, with a lapsed policy, you will have to pay the compensation from your pocket.
Repairing a car can be an expensive affair without the assistance of an insurer. In the absence of a valid policy, you will have to bear the entire burden of repairing your vehicle. In such a scenario, a massive repair bill can dent your savings.
In the unfortunate incident of permanent damage due to an accident involving the insured car, the insurance company offers a cover of up to Rs.15 lakhs. This is also applicable to death due to an accident. Without the policy, the cover won’t be applicable. As a result, you won’t receive the monetary support and will have to pay the hospital bills yourself.
If your car has been uninsured for a while, the insurer might want to inspect it before issuing a new policy. Such inspections often lead to a rise in the payable premium. The financial implication here is paying more insurance premiums for a Comprehensive Car Insurance Plan, which could have been easily avoided if the policy was bought and renewed in a timely manner.
Here’s a detailed section on the benefits associated with a Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy.
You can reduce the above-mentioned financial implications of not insuring your car by opting for a Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy. It can cover your finances because of the following points.
No non-compliance penalty
Financial assistance in settling Third-party Liabilities
Insurance cover for repairing damaged car parts
Personal Accident Cover for permanent car accident injuries
When you opt for a Comprehensive Cover, you unlock the option to purchase add-ons. These are additional covers that offer better insurance services or result in a higher pay-out at the time to claim settlement. Here are some popular car insurance add-ons.
No Claim Bonus Protect
Simply knowing that you have an insurer to lean on during troubled times like a car accident is reassuring. Purchasing or renewing car insurance from a reliable and responsive car insurance provider can go a long way in ensuring peace of mind related to your overall car-riding experience.
Here are the top takeaways from this article.
It is illegal to drive an uninsured car in India
Non-compliance with The Motor Vehicles Act can lead to penalties
Buy and renew car insurance in time to save money
A Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy is a must for wide-ranging insurance coverage
You can insure your car easily, quickly, and effortlessly by visiting www.acko.com.
Here are some frequently asked questions about driving an uninsured vehicle in India.
If you are caught by the traffic police, you will have to stop your vehicle and produce the vehicle RC, your DL and the PUC certificate. You will be issued a traffic challan for driving an uninsured vehicle. This can be paid offline by visiting the nearest police station or you can visit the traffic police website to pay the challan online.
Renewing an expired vehicle insurance policy might require inspections and assessment by the insurance company. Call the insurance company or visit their website to initiate the process of renewal. Post the assessment, the insurance will be renewed accordingly.
Yes, the fine for driving without car insurance in India is the same across all types of vehicles.
Third-Party vehicle insurance policy is mandatory as per the Indian law and failure to insure your vehicle will lead to a penalty and/or imprisonment. Also, when it is your fault, you need to bear the cost of damages and injuries to the third party.
Whether you are at fault or not, you need to insure your vehicle with Third-party insurance as per Indian law. Also, damages to your vehicle or injuries sustained by you or your passengers will have to be borne by you.
You can be in serious trouble if you get pulled over and you don’t have a valid motor insurance policy. An expired policy is an invalid policy. Thus, you shall face penalties and the insurer will not cover you in case of damages to the vehicle.
Yes, the penalties for both categories are the same, i.e., Rs. 2,000 for the first-time offence and Rs. 4,000 for the second offence.
It is possible to buy/renew the insurance policy of a car that is not in your name. Thus, you can pay to renew the car insurance policy of your uncle’s car. Make sure to fill in the details asked during the purchase journey accurately.
You can check out your car insurance policy’s status by going through your Policy Document or by contacting your insurance company. For example, you can log in to your account on www.acko.com and check the policy status easily.
Whether you are a new car owner or own multiple cars, the consequences of driving without insurance remain the same. You will face penalties and the insurance company will not cover your vehicle for losses.
In most cases, a car inspection is not required if you renew the policy before the expiry date.
Three months is a long period for an uninsured vehicle. The insurer might feel the need to inspect the vehicle in this case.
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