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Is bike insurance mandatory for 5 years?

Team AckoSep 29, 2021

In India, the total number of uninsured bikes remained alarmingly high at 66% for FY 2018-19. Considering the increasing number of bikes, the rising number of accidents and the uninsured two-wheelers on the road, IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) has made bike insurance mandatory for all new two-wheelers.

Is Bike Insurance Mandatory For 5 Years

Why is bike insurance mandatory for 5 years?

Bike insurance is mandatory for 5 years (5-years Third-party Plan + 1-year Own Damage Plan or 5-year Third-party Plan) when you buy a new bike. This rule is as per the insurance regulator’s directives that came into effect from 1st, August 2020.

The insurance regulator (IRDAI) observed that many bike owners did not insure their vehicles despite it being mandatory to buy bike insurance. Thus, to make the practice more stringent and keep the bike insured for a longer period, it is mandatory to opt for a 5 + 1-year bike insurance policy for new bikes.

Types of two-wheeler insurance

The following are major types of bike insurance plans available in India.

1. Third-party Liability Bike Insurance

This is a government-mandated bike insurance plan that every bike owner must opt for. Not buying at least a third-party plan will attract fines. As the name suggests, this policy is only meant to cover third-party liabilities like accidental death or injuries of the third party or property damage (includes vehicles, crops, walls, etc.). The major drawback of this policy is it does not offer Own Damage (damage to your bike) protection. Neither can you customise a Third-party Liability plan.

2. Comprehensive Bike Insurance 

The regulator does not mandate bike owners to buy a Comprehensive policy. However, it is a more logical choice to opt for this plan since it offers Own Damage protection along with third-party two wheeler insurance (Third party Two Wheeler Liability) Coverage. You can also customise this plan with add-ons.

How does 5-year insurance work for two-wheelers? 

The coverage of five-year insurance for bikes is similar to that of a short-term policy. You get Third-party Liability Plan coverage for five years and a Comprehensive Bike Insurance Cover for 1 year.

The major differences here are the cost of the policy and the duration of the bike insurance plan. Thus, a long-term policy is more beneficial as compared to a short-term plan. 

How is NCB calculated on a 5-year policy?

Understand that NCB will come into the picture only for the Own Damage (OD) component of your bike insurance policy. Since you need to buy only a 1-year OD plan, the NCB calculations are similar to the annual package policy.

The following table will help you get an understanding of how NCB is calculated for a 5+1 year bike insurance policy.

Number of renewals without a claim Discount on Own Damage premium
One 20%
Two 25%
Three 35%
Four 45%
Five and beyond 50%

Let’s understand the NCB calculation from the above table with the help of examples.

  • Mr. A has a long-term bike insurance policy and has made no claims for two years. The NCB upon renewal would be 25% discount on Own Damage premium.

  • Ms. K did not make any claims during the 5-year policy period of her long-term bike insurance plan and received an NCB discount of 50% upon renewing the Own Damage policy.

  • Mr. T made a claim against his long-term policy and did thus not get any NCB discount upon renewal of the Own damage plan after one year.

What are the benefits offered by the 5-year bike insurance policy?

The following is a list of benefits offered by a long-term bike insurance policy.

  • Low premium: The annual premium of a long-term policy is always less than that of a short-term policy. Thus, long-term policies are cheaper. You get continuous, 5-year Third-party Liability coverage along with short-term OD cover. 

  • NCB: This is more relevant for the Own Damage Policy. You can enjoy a high discount on your OD policy when you avoid raising claims. You get a 50% discount for not raising claims for five consecutive policy years.

  • No bike insurance challans: Riding the bike without insurance is an offence in India and you will be penalised for it. This will be in the form of a challan. These are receipts of any traffic-related offence that you commit. When you have a long-term policy, you can ride the bike without any insurance-related challans in your name.

  • Continuous protection: Continuous bike insurance protection is crucial to ensure financial security related to bike damage and injuries. If the bike suffers damage when the policy is inactive, you are exposed to financial liabilities. Your insurance company cannot help you if you don't ensure continuous coverage. This is against bike insurance claim rules. You will receive full 5-year insurance protection against Third-party Liabilities. And one year against damages to your bike.

Things to check before opting for two-wheeler insurance

Be sure of considering the following things before you set out to buy bike insurance.

  • Bike insurance requirement: You need to gauge your bike insurance requirements before buying the policy. Select coverage based on things like the age of the bike, engine's cubic capacity, your location, frequency of using the bike, etc.

  • Risk-profile and driving habits: You should buy coverage that suits your risk profile. If you are a high-risk bike rider, then you must buy more coverage as compared to someone with a low-risk profile. For example, consider opting for the Zero Depreciation add-on, it will increase the claim amount by not factoring in depreciation of the bike.

  • Bike insurance budget: Comprehensive Bike Insurance is customisable. When you buy a Comprehensive Policy, you can select the Insured Declared Value (IDV) of the bike. Avoid setting a higher IDV if you have budget constraints. Also, buy useful add-ons that will be useful to you. Going overboard with an add-on will increase the premium.

  • Deductibles: There are two kinds of deductibles in bike insurance, compulsory and voluntary. You can opt for a voluntary deductible to reduce the bike insurance premium. By opting for a voluntary deductible, you promise the insurance company that you will bear a part of the claim amount in case of bike damage.

  • Method of buying bike insurance: There are two methods of buying bike insurance, online and offline. You get low-priced policies and convenience when you buy bike insurance from online players such as ACKO. The offline method is the traditional way in which you need to visit the insurance company or meet an agent to buy the desired coverage. The risk of buying offline is, the insurance agent can push you into opting for coverage you may not require.

  • Compare bike insurance plans: Always compare the same type of bike insurance plans online, before making the purchase. This way you will get an idea about which coverage and services are available at what cost. You can go online and compare bike insurance plans free of cost. Compare coverage, services, and price of the plans.

  • Bike insurance company: Buying from a good bike insurance company is crucial if you are looking for hassle-free claims. These days it is easy to check the insurer's reputation by visiting its social media handles. Choose an insurer that offers excellent after-sales services, seamless claims journey and a technology platform for convenience and good coverage at a low price.

Takeaway

Along with peace of mind, a long term policy offers uninterrupted bike insurance coverage. With long-term bike plans, you also pay less for availing of exactly the same coverage as a short-term policy. Plus, benefits like NCB ensure additional discounts if you ride the bike in a safe manner.

Frequently asked questions

Take a look at the following list of common questions related to the mandatory 5-year policy for bike insurance.

Is buying a 5-year policy mandatory for all types of bike insurance plans?

No, buying a Third-party Liability 5-year policy and Own Damage 1-year plan is mandatory only if you have a new bike.

Do I need to renew bike insurance every year if I buy a 5-year plan?

You will be required to renew the Own Damage cover every year and Third-party Liability cover every 5 years.

Is it okay to skip bike insurance?

There are multiple reasons for not skipping bike insurance. Firstly, it is mandatory by law and you will be penalised for not buying bike insurance. Secondly, the risk of financial liabilities related to damages or injuries is much higher than the bike insurance premium.

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