Some bad news for the vehicle owners already affected by the accelerating fuel price increase. From June 1, 2022 onwards, the motor third party liability insurance premium has been jacked up by the Union government despite the portfolio being hugely profitable for the insurers. The government has also withdrawn the 15 per cent discount on the base premium for electric vehicles (EV) perhaps due to EVs going up in flames in recent times or without any basic claims experience data.
Curiously, the three-year third party premium for new cars and the five year two-wheeler premium-paid upfront at the time of buying the vehicle-are higher than the one year renewal policy. The insurers will also earn an investment income on the premium paid and the benefit has not been passed on to the insuring public.
The hiked premium rates per year for more than three-year-old cars and five-year-old two wheelers are:
Private Cars – Not exceeding 1,000 cc Rs 2,094; exceeding 1,000 cc but not exceeding 1,500 cc ARs. 3,416; exceeding 1,500 cc Rs 7,897;
Two Wheelers – Not exceeding 75 cc Rs 538; exceeding 75 cc but not exceeding 150 cc Rs 714; exceeding 150 cc but not exceeding 350 cc Rs 1,366; exceeding 350 cc Rs 2,804;
New Private Car – Three year single premium – Not exceeding 1000 cc Rs 6,521; exceeding 1000 cc but not exceeding 1500 cc Rs 10,640; exceeding 1500 cc Rs 24,596;
New Two Wheeler – Five year single premium – Not exceeding 75 cc Rs 2,901; exceeding 75 cc but not exceeding 150 cc Rs 3,851; exceeding 150 cc but not exceeding 350 cc Rs 7,365; exceeding 350 cc Rs 15,117.
In the case of electric vehicles (EV), the premium rates are 15 per cent lower than the above.
The government also announced a 7.5 per cent discount in premium in the case of hybrid electric vehicles.
Industry officials told IANS that they are baffled at the premium discount on EVs as it has no database to support the same.
They also said a discount in the own damage or vehicle damage portion of the premium (determined by the insurers) has some logic.
Vehicle insurance policies have two parts — own damage (insurance for the vehicle against damage, theft) and third party liability (liability for third parties). The third party insurance cover is mandatory whereas the insurance cover for vehicle damage is not mandatory and the rates are administered.
The premium amount charged factors aspects like: expenses, claims outgo and profit.
“On what basis the discount on electric vehicles have been arrived at is not known. What is good for goose should be good for the gander. If an electric vehicle is eligible for a premium discount, then other vehicles should also be eligible,” industry officials had told IANS earlier preferring anonymity.
At a time when Indian non-life insurers are raking in crores of rupees as premium and paying far less as claims under the motor third party liability policies, the government has proposed a premium hike for 2022-23.
“There is very little justification for the hike. The provisions made against the claims are increasing, but not the actual claims pay out. The formula-based premium increase needs to be relooked,” K K Srinivasan, former member (non-life) of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), had told IANS earlier.
Contrary to the claims made by the general insurers that they are incurring huge losses under the motor portfolio, the actual numbers as per the Insurance Information Bureau of India (IIB) and studies by industry lobby body General Insurance Council show the contrary.
As per the Indian Non-Life Industry Year Book 2020-21 published by the General Insurance Council, the total premium earned under the motor insurance was Rs 67,389 crore by the industry. The industry invests the sum and earns income on this as well.
The total claims paid during 2020-21 was Rs 28,726 crore- towards vehicle damage Rs 17,834 crore, towards third party liability Rs 10,892 crore- netting the industry a whopping surplus of Rs 30,854 crore.
The total number of third party claims settled during the year was 257,165. The average settlement per claim was Rs 423,541.
The industry players also claim that a large number of vehicles run on the roads without third party insurance.
However, they do not have any answer when asked how that impacts them as they pay claims only on those policies issued by them and it is for the police to penalise the violators.