IRDAI has asked insurers to provide a minimum cover of Rs.15 lakh under PAC for Owner-Driver at the premium rate of Rs 750 per annum for annual policy.
The compulsory personal accident cover for owner-driven vehicles under motor insurance policies has been increased from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 15 lakh.
The insurance regulator, taking note of the Madras high court’s direction to it, has issued a circular on September 20 asking insurers to start issuing such covers effective from the date of receipt of this circular. However, insurance companies have time until October 25, 2018 to file the products under the File and Use Guidelines.
How much is the cover
Currently, the personal accident cover (PAC) is capped at Rs 1 lakh for two-wheelers and Rs 2 lakh for private or commercial cars. The premium charged is Rs 50 for two-wheelers and Rs 100 for cars, excluding taxes. The PAC is for the individual driver of the vehicle while travelling, mounting or dismounting from the car. Optional personal accident covers for co-passengers are also available. Some insurers have been providing higher cover at an additional premium.
The new rules
Now, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has asked insurers to provide a minimum cover of Rs 15 lakh under PAC for owner-driver vehicles at a premium of Rs 750 per annum for annual policies for both cars and two-wheelers. Insurers can offer higher covers in multiples of Rs 1 lakh or Rs 5 lakh as well but the minimum has to be Rs 15 lakh.
On October 9, 2018 Irdai as issued a circular stating that it is the choice of the owner-driver to opt for a one-year PAC or long-term PAC and insurers cannot compel owner-drivers to go in for long-term package policy or long-term PAC policy. Irdai has directed insurers to ensure that they necessarily offer the choice of one-year PAC to an owner-driver.
What it covers
The PAC is a compulsory complement of a motor insurance policy and is available both for a third-party cover and a comprehensive cover that includes own damage liability. The owner of an insured vehicle holding an ‘effective’ driving license is termed as Owner-Driver for a personal accident cover. The cover is provided to the ‘Owner-Driver’ while driving the vehicle including mounting onto or dismounting from or traveling in the insured vehicle as a co-driver.
The personal accident policy covers not only death but also any disability. The scale of compensation is as per the nature of injury
(i) Death 100%
(ii) Loss of two limbs or sight of two eyes or one limb and sight of one eye. 100%
(iii) Loss of one limb or sight of one eye 50%
(iv) Permanent total disablement from injuries other than named above. 100%
Taken together with IRDAI’s new rules of third-party insurance wherein the third-party premium had to be compulsorily paid for 3 and 5 years for cars and two-wheelers respectively, this new move will make vehicle owners shell out more upfront. “The premium to be paid will go up by Rs.650 + GST in Cars and Rs.700 + GST for bikes when they renew their single year policy next time, says Tarun Mathur, Chief Business Officer- General Insurance, Policybazaar.com
However, while the new rules of third-party insurance applies only on cars and two-wheelers purchased after September 1, 2018, the hike in the PAC applies to all motor insurance policies. In nutshell, one will end up paying an additional amount of Rs 650/700 per annum ( excluding taxes) for cars and two-wheelers respectively and will in turn get a PAC of Rs 15 lakh instead of Rs 2 lakh and Rs 1 lakh respectively.