If there is anything that is as prevalent in India as its many people and the number of cars and bikes (in 2014-15, Indian auto manufacturers produced more than 23.4 million motor vehicles1) that ply around on its roads, is the number of accidents these cause and are involved in. Take for instance the fact that in 2014-15, Indian roads claimed over 16 lives every hour on an average, given that more than 1.41 lakh people died in road accidents. This is an approximate 3 percent hike over the number of fatalities in 2013-142.
Given this statistic, you should thank the government that it has mandated by law for all bike owners to purchase third party insurance for bike plans. Yes, you have bought such a plan yourself but are you aware of what this Third Party Insurance for bike plan is all about? What all does it cover? What are the limits of liability under this scheme? And what does the claim process look like?
Learn about all this and much more here.
What Constitutes Third Party Insurance for Bike plan?
In any third party insurance for bike policy, the first party is the insured and the second party is the insurance company. The third party here is any third person who can file a claim for compensation for injury and damage caused by your bike. The actual beneficiary of third party insurance is the said third party, of course.
The case for claiming compensation under the third party will be filed against you and your third party insurance agency. The owner of the bike (you) that is held responsible for the accident is legally liable for any injury or damage to third party life or property caused by the use of the vehicle in a public place via your insurer.
Having third party insurance for bike is mandatory by law and you are also required to carry the documents while commuting.
On the other hand, if you are the third party who has suffered at the hands of another, then you can claim damages from the said person. If at any time, you file a bike insurance claim against someone else's insurance policy, you are filing a third party insurance claim for bike.
The Third Party insurance for bike claims usually covers:
Death or bodily injury to the third party: In the event of you being injured, you can claim medical expenses, loss of earnings if you are unable to resume work after the incident and compensation for even physical disfigurement.
Damage to third party property: In case of damage to property, the process is a tad longer. You need to get the surveyor to submit his or her report along with the bike inspection report to compute value of the loss, while you need to submit the original bills from an authorized service center. Only then can the third party insurance for bike claim be processed.
Death of the insured vehicle owner or driver: If someone dies as a result of that incident, the dependents of the deceased are eligible to claim compensation on the basis of the income lost. Medical expenses can also be claimed for treatment of the injury that was the cause of death.
Permanent Total Disability of the insured vehicle owner or driver: This is as self-explanatory as they get.
Limits of liability
If you are successful in your third party insurance for bike compensation claim, then you would be paid (up to the limits in the policy) by the other insured’s insurer under their third party insurance policy.
The cover for third party property (usually the third party's bike or car) damage is capped at Rs. 2 lakh. Any damage that exceeds this upper limit and goes beyond is to be paid by the policyholder or insured party.
There is no limit on liability for injury or death, and therefore you can understand that the compensation is decided on a case to case basis. The sky is literally the limit in such cases.
The premium rate for third party insurance for bikes is fixed by the regulator, and is the same across the board. Where the difference comes about is your third party insurance for bike premium is decided as per the engine capacity of your bike. So, more the CC, greater the premium.
Process of Third Party Insurance for Bike claims
The procedure to follow in order for third party insurance for bike claim is an extensive procedure. Don’t worry. Here is the step by step procedure to follow, so that you get it all right.
First thing to do after an accident is to call the police. The FIR is a mandatory document that will support your insurance claim as well as third party insurance for bike claim. Do not delay or miss out on this part of the process.
The next agency to be informed is your insurance company. Most insurance companies have a window of 24-48 hours from the time the accident occurred to be notified. Respect the rules and call them at the first given opportunity.
Collecting photographic evidence is one great way of capturing the incident in all its vivid details for the future. Remember to note down the names and numbers of any witnesses who are willing to support your insurance claim, and also the insurance details of the other parties involved in the accident.
Register a case with the special Motor Accident Claims Tribunal court with jurisdiction over the area where the accident took place.
Collect all the documents in the list below: After you have informed all the relevant departments, you should start collecting all the required documents to make a claim. As soon as you have them all, submit them along with the requisite claim form duly filled in to the insurance company.
The original FIR copy,
Copy of the third party’s policy documents or cover note as proof of insurance,
The duly filed and signed claim form (it could also be a claims discharge cum satisfaction voucher),
A copy of the driving license,
Estimate for repairs from the service center where the vehicle is to be repaired,
Copy of the vehicle’s Registration Book and Tax Receipt, and
Repair bills and payment receipts after the job is completed.
If there is any other document that is asked for by that particular insurance company, please provide it to them for due completion of the procedure.
- From the time of the accident until the final settlement, save all receipts (such as of meals, lodging, and purchases made) with regard to pursuing your claim or recovering from your injuries. The best way to do this is to maintain a file and keep all these documents in it.
It goes without saying that honesty with the insurance company is the best policy. Failure to disclose the truth can work against you, as it may invalidate your policy or may even cause your claim to be rejected.
It is good to remember that the third party insurance for bike policy has nothing for the actual insured. No wonder that a comprehensive bike insurance policy typically has two separate covers bundled in one — the third party insurance and the own damages cover, an optional cover to protect you at the time of any untoward event. It is best that you opt for one such plan.