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Motor Insurance Claims: PUC Required?
Mar 11, 2023

Motor Insurance Claims: PUC Certificate – Do You Need It?

As an owner of a vehicle, you must have three critical documents that pertain to the vehicle – the vehicle’s registration certificate, its PUC certificate, and its motor insurance policy, and one document about you, i.e., your driving license. While these four documents are critical, a traffic official can ask to inspect them at any time when driving your vehicle. Hence, it is critical you do not skip this requirement. Not having any of those documents can attract hefty fines. The vehicle’s registration certificate and your driving license are self-explanatory documents. Whereas the motor insurance  policy ensures the damages to your vehicle or third-party legal liabilities are covered by the insurer based on your policy coverage. But apart from these documents, what is a PUC certificate? To simply state, a PUC certificate, or a pollution under control certificate, is a document that certifies the emission levels of your vehicle. Be it a car or a bike used for personal or commercial purposes, all vehicles must have one. Since fuel-operated vehicles emit harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, it is important to monitor these emission levels. Hence, the PUC certificate is a mandatory requirement. This PUC certificate is mandatory as per the Central Motor Vehicle Rule of 1989. But is the PUC certificate mandatory for a motor insurance policy?

IRDAI’s take on it

The regulatory body, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has issued a directive to all insurance companies to not issue a motor insurance policy if the vehicle does not have a PUC certificate. Thus, a valid PUC certificate is mandatory for renewing your motor insurance coverage. This is applicable to all types of motor insurance plans, be it a third-party policy or a comprehensive plan. The regulator’s decision to make the PUC certificate mandatory at policy renewal comes based on the Supreme Court order of August 2017. #

Does that mean your insurance claim can be rejected if you don’t have a valid PUC certificate?

No, according to the IRDAI’s circular issued on 26th August 2020, it clarified that an insurance company cannot refuse a vehicle insurance claim in the absence of a valid PUC certificate. However, this does not imply PUC certificate is optional. It is mandatory for all vehicle to ply on the roads. But, your insurance claim won’t be affected if you do not have a valid PUC certificate.

What is the validity of a PUC certificate? Do petrol and diesel vehicles have different validity?

When you purchase a new vehicle, the PUC certificate is valid for a period of one year from the manufacturing date. Following this period, its renewal must be done periodically. Usually, it is valid for a period of six months to one year. However, depending on the readings, its validity is decided. These regulations apply to both, petrol and diesel vehicles.

What is the procedure for a PUC test?

The procedure for a PUC test differs slightly for a diesel vehicle and a petrol vehicle. For diesel vehicles, the accelerator is fully pressed, and the readings are noted. This procedure is repeated five times and an average of these constitute the final readings. On the other hand, for petrol vehicles, the vehicle is left idle without any acceleration. One single reading is measured, and it constitutes its final reading.

How to avail of a PUC certification for your vehicle?

To ensure your vehicle has a valid PUC certificate, you need to visit a government-authorised testing facility. Mostly, these testing centres are located in a fuel station. On examining the emission readings of your vehicle, the testing facility immediately issues the PUC certificate.

Do electric vehicles require a PUC certificate?

Since electric vehicles have no emissions when running, they do not require a PUC certificate. Now that you know you need a PUC certificate to renew your motor insurance policy, here are a few other things you must keep in mind during your policy renewal.
  • The type of policy
  • Your vehicle’s Insured Declared Value
  • Optional Add-ons to your policy
  • The deductibles of your insurance plan
  • Any accumulated No-claim bonus
  • The claim procedure
While a third-party insurance cover is the minimum legal requirement, opting for a comprehensive motor insurance policy provides broader insurance coverage. This ensures the damages to your vehicle are also insured along with third-party legal liabilities. * Further, when selecting a policy that fits you best, make sure to compare the available options. In this process, a vehicle insurance calculator can come in handy. With this nifty tool, not only it becomes easy to compare plans based on their price, but also on their features which are relevant and useful for you. Lastly, ensure you have all four documents mentioned above when riding your vehicle. This ensures you avoid paying fines that in aggregate may burn a hole in your wallet. Some even have penalties by way of imprisonment.   Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.           * Standard T&C Apply # Visit the official website of IRDAI for further details.  

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