In the last few months, there have been streaks of new regulations announced by the regulator on the motor insurance side, which will eventually benefit the policyholders.
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) recently unbundled the compulsory personal accident cover (CPA) and allowed the issuance of standalone policies. According to industry experts, this move will bring in relief to the policyholders who already have a CPA cover as they will have to shell out less from January 1, 2019.
A motor insurance policy has three components, which are a third-party liability (TP, which covers damage to others), own damage (OD, which covers damage to owner’s vehicle), and personal accident (CPA) cover. Third-party and CPA comprise the mandatory part of the motor cover while the OD cover is optional. In the last few months, there have been streaks of new regulations announced by the regulator on the motor insurance side, which will eventually benefit the policyholders.
Firstly, the regulator asked insurers to issue long-term motor policies for both two-wheelers and car insurance and later increased to CPA to Rs 15 lakh. However, going forward, it is to be seen how the insurers implement this new move by the regulator.
Rakesh Goyal, Director at Probus Insurance, says, “This is a positive move from the policyholder point of view as they will have to pay lower premiums if they have existing CPA. However, it will become a problem for the insurance companies to verify whether policyholder already has a CPA or not.” He further adds, “What steps will be taken by the insurer and regulators if policyholders don’t have a CPA and claims arises. Whether they will reject the claims or pay the money?”
If a policyholder has more than one vehicle and has CPA cover from one insurance company and motor insurance from another insurer, how will the claims take place in case of an accident? Industry experts believe, there is a need for some clarity on this issue.
The insurance regulator had earlier asked insurers to provide a minimum cover of Rs 15 lakh under CPA for owner-driver vehicles at a premium of Rs 750 per annum for annual policies for both cars and two-wheelers. Insurers had an option to offer higher covers in multiples of Rs 1 lakh or Rs 5 lakh as well but the minimum has to be Rs 15 lakh. Earlier, the CPA for two-wheelers and private cars/commercial vehicles was Rs 1 lakh and Rs 2 lakh, respectively.
Last week the regulator in a circular stated that it has decided to unbundle the CPA cover and allow the issuance of a standalone CPA cover for owner-driver. CPA cover will be also available with the third-party liability policy and the comprehensive policy (third party plus own damage), as it is today. However, policyholders who already have bought a standalone CPA policy worth Rs 15 lakh or more will not have to buy it again when they buy a motor vehicle.