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Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Mandatory bumper-to-bumper insurance order kept in abeyance !!

Mandatory ‘Bumper-to-Bumper’ Insurance under the order of the Hon’ble Madras High Court should have been implemented from todate.

However, a  Civil Miscellaneous Appeal filed on behalf of General Insurance Council (GIC) was listed before the Court today.   The Counsel for GIC stated that GIC is constituted   under Section 64-C of the Insurance Act, 1938. There is a Regulatory body, namely, “Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India” whose  main role is to coordinate with both private and public sector insurance companies in respect of common issues arising in the field of insurance business.  The appeal pleaded that  both GIC and IRDAI may be impleaded as party respondents to this Appeal and heard.

The petition drew reference to the Court order of 4.8.2021 mandating coverage of bumper to bumper policy (which actually is Package policy for automobile vehicles) as also the Circular issued by Transport Commissioner.  The counsel recorded that Insurance Companies are prepared to comply with the orders of  the Court and recorded that Insurers   act as Distributors of the products, that are approved by IRDAI and without obtaining product approvals, actuarial pricing of products, etc., from IRDAI, they cannot launch any new product or add-on cover.  It was pleaded that Insurers be granted 90 days' time to effect changes in the computer system after due approval from IRDAI. Till then, the order passed by this Court may be kept in abeyance.

The Court upheld based on the representation that   both GIC and IRDAI are necessary parties to this case, in addition to arraying the Additional Chief Secretary, Transport Department, Chennai and the Joint Transport Commissioner (R), Chennai as Respondents, as the Circular dated 31.08.2021 has already been issued by the Joint Transport Commissioner, Chennai.

The Hon’ble Court ordered that their earlier order of  04.08.2021 is kept in abeyance for the present.   The Court concluded that after hearing the interested parties - clarification may be issued in this matter, if required.

The Court further appreciated the  rapid action taken by the Government in issuance of the Circular dated 31.08.2021 for implementation of the orders of this Court, which shows that the Government is also keen in safeguarding the interest of Drivers, Riders and others, who were referred to in the Order dated 04.08.2021.

For information of all concerned

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
1st Sept. 2021 

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