All vehicles sold after September 1 should be compulsorily covered by bumper-to-bumper insurance for five years, the Madras District Court said in its order today.
Judge S Vaidyanathan issued an order at the hearing of a written motion by New India Assurance Company Limited challenging the orders of the Traffic Accident Claims Tribunal, Special District Court, made on December 7, 2019 at Erode.
The case concerned the death of a man in a car accident. The road accident court in 2019 ordered the insurance company to pay Rs 14.65 lakh as compensation to the family of the deceased.
But the insurance company had filed a written petition stating that the deceased only had “third party” insurance, which would only cover injuries caused to a third party and not to its occupants.
However, the court was unable to help the current claimants and had to overturn the court order as the car was only insured by a third party.
In a landmark judgment, the judge ordered that from now on, bumper-to-bumper coverage be mandatory for five years and passed the ordinance to ensure that everyone who travels in a vehicle, including the driver, are covered by insurance.
Previously, the insurance company had a policy for the coverage of an occupant of the vehicle against payment of an additional premium by the owner of the car.
Judge Vaidyanathan said: “It is sad to point out that the buyer is not clearly informed of the terms of the policy and its importance when a vehicle is sold.
Likewise, when purchasing the vehicle, the buyer is also not interested in fully understanding the terms and conditions of the policy. They are more concerned with vehicle performance than politics. “
The court also registered its shock that buyers weren’t interested in spending a pittance to purchase a policy to protect themselves and others in the car.
The court, in concluding the case, added that after the end of the initial five years, where bumper-to-bumper coverage is mandatory, the vehicle owner must be careful in safeguarding the interests of the driver, passengers, third parties and themselves.