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Madras HC’s order on making bumper-to-bumper insurance cover laudable can be challenged

Legal Correspondent: Nabanita Baruah

August 27, 2021: The Madras High Court has issued an order for the bumper-to-bumper insurance policy for all private cars sold from September 1. The Court’s order may not be directed for legal scrutiny as the court cannot force people to insure their property. The General Insurance Council had asked for clarifications on this order. The Council wanted to clarify what the Court meant by the bumper-to-bumper insurance policy; if it means package policies such as own damage and motor third party. However, this order has been put on hold after hearing the above said clarifications.

Earlier, the Madras High Court while setting aside a Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal’s order in which the insurance policy covers only third party liability and not the passengers issued an order making bumper-to-bumper insurance cover mandatory every year whenever a private car is sold after September 1, in addition to covering the driver, passengers, and owner of the vehicle for five years.

The Chairman of ICM Insurance Brokers Pvt Ltd told IANS, Americai V. Narayanan said that the Court’s intent to provide insurance cover for the passengers of private cars is laudable and it comes under the third party cover. However, the court by its order cannot force an individual to insure his/her vehicle under the bumper-to-bumper insurance policy. Hence, the Madras High Court is making insurance cover for individuals mandatory by its order.

Narayanan also adds that the court has gone beyond its jurisdiction even if the intention is laudable and additionally bumper-to-bumper insurance policy will cost higher than the comprehensive insurance policy. He contends that the Court could have made insurance cover for occupants of a car compulsory, instead of ordering a compulsory bumper-to-bumper insurance policy. He also suggests taking personal accident cover which is more effective and provides wider cover.

The court has adjourned the matter till September 30.


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