covers your car against risks like theft, accident, explosion etc.
Car Insurance in India is Mandatory, not optional
Accidents are beyond human control – common man has to be protected against Accident risks
Not everyone could afford the unexpected costs of accident – car insurance provides a common pool of funds for protection against unexpected and large scale expenses.
There is much misinformation and ambiguity surrounding the topic of car insurance, with a lack of clarity about whether car insurance is mandatory or optional.
According to the law, it is mandatory that there is vehicle insurance for every vehicle on road. However, a typical car owner might ask, ‘Why do I need to pay premiums on vehicle insurance when I might never meet with a road accident?’
Well, it does sound a valid question, especially if you are among those who drive safe, leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front and break well in time. After all, why would you meet with an accident when you take up all safety measures, are pretty confident on the roads and comfortable behind the wheel? And if you do not meet up with a road accident, why would you need vehicle insurance or a comprehensive insurance?
Before we switch over to the explanatory mode on car insurance, let’s take a shot at the statistics: Numbers obtained from Motor Transport Statistics of India shows that from an average of one person killed per every six road accidents in 1991, the ratio increased to one person killed per every 4.5 road accidents in 2006. The National Crime Records Bureau reveals that 13 people die of road accidents in India every hour! And the World Health Organization, in its Global Status Report in 2009 on Road Safety, states that more people die in India on roads than in any other country.
The idea is clear. Accidents, by definition, are not by design but they just happen beyond human control. You may be the best equipped driver on the road, but that doesn’t take the chances of accidents away.
If that doesn’t convince you about the need for car insurance, consider the case where an innocent pedestrian’s life is endangered on account of someone’s rash driving. If the vehicle is not covered with car insurance, if the driver of the vehicle is not well off and cannot afford the expenses of the injured person, who else would? Even if the driver is taken to court, there would be extensive judicial processes on finding who is at fault. But still, the question remains: Who would bear the expenses? Well, think vehicle insurance, think comprehensive insurance.
Now, a look at the other part of the story – what if the driver ended up in an accident that caused extensive damage to the other person as well as to his own vehicle? Comprehensive insurance would provide third party Coverage as well as cover your own expenses so that you would not have to worry about burning a massive hole in your pocket; it also protects you from damage to your vehicle by theft or from natural calamities.
Alright, that does give an idea about the importance of comprehensive insurance. But still, the question remains: Why should car insurance be mandatory, not optional?
Well, not every person who drives a car can give an unconditional guarantee that he or she would bear the expenses involved in an accident, if and when they landed up in an accident. And there have been cases where entire families have gone bankrupt for want of comprehensive insurance, either because of injury to the breadwinner or because the driver had to bear the expenses involved in large scale accidents since they lacked the protection of car insurance. Further, roads and road risks are common for everyone involved, and everyone has to share in the common responsibility of vehicle insurance.
That explains why vehicle insurance is mandatory and not optional – and why you need to check if you have paid your insurance Premium yet.