Posted on Sep, 2019 by PINC Insurance

The Motor Vehicles Amendment Act 2019 came into effect on September 1st, 2019, bringing with itnumerous changes toIndia’s automobile safety laws.Motorists now face stricter regulations, higher penalty amounts, and possible imprisonment for driving errors or violating traffic rules. The hike in penalties is significant, with offenders liable to pay a maximum of Rs. 25,000 in fines alone for a single offence. For instance, speeding above the given limit can incur a fine of up to Rs. 2,000, and drunken driving can be charged with Rs. 15,000 and six months in jail.

There are several penalties targeting the owners of motorcycles and scooters in particular. This is due to the stricter enforcement of safety and traffic laws that most people disregarded or took for granted in the past. Recently, a man in Delhi was charged Rs. 23,000 for riding without a helmet and not carrying his motorcycle’s documents with him. Even wearing sandals or flip flops while driving, something most drivers don’t consider a safety hazard, is an offense that could cost Rs. 2,000, as it could cause riders to slip or lose balance and lead to accidents. The penalty for driving without insurance has doubled to Rs. 4,000 and three months’ imprisonment if it’s a repeat offence.

Many motorists have taken active steps to comply with these stricter laws by choosing to purchase bike insurance. Ever since the new regulations have been established, sales of bike insurance have increased by between 300 to 500 percent. While all two-wheeler owners need to purchase third-party liability insurance, which is the minimum cover required by the government, it is highly recommended that they obtain the most comprehensive coverage possible by opting for an annual, standalone own damage policy as well. Third-party liability insurance protects the owner against liabilities for injuries and damages to others that they might be responsible for, while own damage policies protect them from the costs incurred by natural disasters and accidents. Purchasing both together is a small step that protects riders from most unexpected vehicular costs and any possible fines or penalties for being uninsured.

Bike owners face many options when it comes to purchasing insurance for their vehicles, giving them the flexibility to decide what best fits their needs. Those who registered their motorcycles or scooters after September 1st, 2018, can choose to either buy a standalone own damage policy, if they already have 5-year third party liability insurance, buy a bundled policy with 5-year third-party liability insurance and one-year own damage cover, or get a long-term plan that covers both for five years. Those who purchased their vehicles before September 1st, 2018, have to renew their insurance using the pre-existing policies.

Purchasing motor insurance now safeguards vehicle owners for the future, too. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is considering linking insurance premiums to traffic violations committed, firmly establishing that motor insurance is the simplest and safest way for vehicle owners to prepare themselves for all unexpected personal incidents or regulation changes.