India’s Madras High Court has ruled to make “bumper-to-bumper” insurance mandatory for all new vehicles sold from Sept. 1 onwards.
Bumper-to-bumper insurance is generally offered as an add-on to standard car insurance policies. It covers the cost for the entirety of the car, except for some engine parts, batteries, tyres and glass. It is also known as zero-depreciation cover.
“This court directs that whenever a new vehicle is sold after Sept. 01, 2021, it is mandatory for coverage of bumper to bumper insurance, in addition to covering the driver, passengers and owner of the vehicle, for a period of five years,” Justice S Vaidyanathan said in the court decision. “Thereafter, the owner of the vehicle must be cautious in safeguarding the interest of driver, passengers, third parties and himself/herself, so as to avoid unnecessary liability being foisted on the owner of the vehicle.”
The ruling came after the court set aside the INR1.46 million (SG$26,700) awarded by a motor accident tribunal to the family of a road accident victim, Times of India reported. The vehicle’s insurer, New India Assurance, challenged the award, citing policy violations and the fact that the vehicle only had third-party insurance, which does not cover the vehicle’s occupants.
Following the decision, the victim’s family is now free to make applications to claim the amount from the vehicle’s owner, who was also traveling in the vehicle when the accident occurred.