Do I need multiple insurances in 2021 if I have more than one car?

We are aware of the fact that a car insurance policy is legally mandatory in India. The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 mandates that every car which is driven on Indian roads should have a valid insurance cover attached to it. That is why car owners are supposed to buy a car insurance policy on their cars if they want to drive their car on Indian roads.

But what if you have two or more cars? You must be aware of the rules of your car insurance coverage for multiple vehicles, but there is a change in the norm in 2019. Are you aware of the recent development? Do you need independent insurance covers for each of them?

In order to understand the changes in the car insurance norms in 2019, an in-depth understanding of the car insurance policy and the law governing it needs to be well understood.

In the parts of car insurance coverage. These include the following –

  • Third party liability cover – this covers any third party financial liability which you face if you physically harm an individual or damage someone else’s property. Third party cover is mandatory as per the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988
  • Own damage cover – This covers the damages which are suffered by the car itself. This cover is not mandatory and is available in comprehensive car insurance policies
  • Personal accident cover – this covers accidental death and accidental permanent disablement suffered by the owner/driver of the car while using the car. This cover is also mandatory in car insurance policies and available in the third party as well as comprehensive car insurance plans.

Now that you have understood the various aspects of coverage offered by car insurance plans, let’s understand what happens when you have multiple cars. Different covers have different implications in case of having multiple cars. Let’s understand how –

  • Third party cover – Independent third-party cover is required for each car that you own. So, if you have three cars, you should have a separate third party policy for each car.
  • Own damage cover – Own damage cover is optional. If you have third party cover, your legal obligations towards car insurance are fulfilled. However, if you want comprehensive protection for your cars, own damage cover is advised as it covers the damages suffered by the car itself. Own damage cover also works independently like third party cover. You would have to buy the cover separately for each car you own if you require. So, if you have multiple cars try having own damage cover on each car for wider coverage. However, if affordability is an issue, you can be selective. You can choose own damage cover for one or two cars which are used extensively. For other car(s), if they are not used very much or if they are quite old, you can skip own damage cover and make do with only third party cover. The choice would be yours to make.
  • Personal accident cover – In case of personal accident cover, the newly updated rules of IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) would apply. As per the new rules, having a personal accident cover totaling at least INR 15 lakhs is enough. You can buy this cover with your car insurance policy or as a standalone personal accident policy. Whatever you do, if the cover is at least INR 15 lakhs, you don’t need to buy multiple personal accident covers with multiple car insurance policies. Say, for instance, you have an independent personal accident policy worth INR 20 lakhs. In this case, when you buy a motor insurance policy for your cars, you don’t need to opt for the personal accident cover. Moreover, if you have bought a new car on or after 1st September 2015 you would get a personal accident cover of INR 15 lakhs as per the updated rules of IRDAI. Thereafter, if you buy another car or renew the car insurance policy of your older cars, you don’t have to buy another personal accident cover with the policy. So, in the case of multiple cars, you don’t need multiple personal accident covers for each car as long as the aggregate cover in your name is INR 15 lakhs.

So, to sum up, you should know about the insurance requirements on your multiple cars and fulfill these requirements so that you don’t face any legal complications when caught driving without a valid insurance cover.

Read more All you need to know about car insurance

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