According to the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, every vehicle must have at least a third part insurance. An amendment to the law made it obligatory to carry proof of insurance for a bike. You may attract a fine or penalty if you do not have insurance documents.
Now, it is common for anyone to lose their belongings. Many times, losing even a trivial thing comes at a high cost. Losing your insurance documents is also highly plausible. However, it is always recommendable to be alert about the movement of any document, for that matter. Even if you remember your insurance number, that won’t help much. For in a developing country like India, the traffic police do not have any quick means to access your insurance details based on the number.
So, let us look at what you can do when you lose the documents of your bike insurance policy.
Park Your Vehicle:
First and foremost, you should stop driving the vehicle yourself or refrain from lending it to anyone. It is to avoid fines and financial liabilities that might occur due to accidents. Possible damage from riding a bike without the updated insurance documents can cost you a fortune. Having insurance for a bike automatically implies carrying the proof of the same. If you cannot show proof of the same at the right time, then the whole purpose of having insurance for bike stands is defeated.
Arrange a Search:
Using some help from your kin, look for the documents as soon as you realize the loss. Visit all the places you have visited with the documents and contact people who were present at the possible loss site. Probably someone will be able to look around for the same.
Get a Duplicate Document of Insurance or the Bike:
In case after doing a primal search, you cannot locate the bike insurance documents, then without any further delay, you should obtain a duplicate of insurance for the bike. Here is the procedure to follow.
- Inform your insurer: Soon after you realize the loss of insurance documents, you should write an e-mail to your insurance provider or company. Alternatively, you can call the customer care number of the company, inform them of the loss of the policy, and request assistance to get a duplicate.
- Head to the nearest police station: Filing an FIR or First Information Report at the nearest police station is mandatory. The insurer will ask you to attach a copy of the FIR with an application form for a duplicate copy.
- Break the loss on newspaper: According to law, you must bring the loss to the notice of the public on a wide scale using media, preferably newspaper. The advertisement should include the following details: name of the policyholder, contact details, policy identification number, and registration number of the vehicle. It serves two purposes. First, your lost document might reach you back through someone who finds it. Second, your insurer will ask you to submit a copy of the published advertisement to issue a duplicate.
- Sign An Indemnity Bond: You must sign an indemnity bond declaring that the loss of the policy document of the insurance for the bike is a truth. According to the undertaking, you will pledge to return the duplicate if you find the original. The bond is to be on a non-judicial stamp paper of suitable value. The affidavit needs two witnesses and an affirmation from a notary. The bond should mention the policyholder’s name and policy identification number.
- What Next? After submitting all the above documents and any additional documents required, your insurance provider will start processing the issuance of the duplicate documents of the insurance for the bike. In addition, you will have to pay a nominal fee for the duplicate. The company will verify if the complaint of loss is genuine with the police. If proven, the insurer will notify of the approval.
The duplicate copy will reach you through a courier. If the insurer has digitized the entire process, you can submit all the documents and applications in scanned copies through email or an online portal. You can download the duplicate.
With the adoption of paperless online procedures, insurance companies may send a soft copy of a duplicate through an E-mail. You can download it and get a copy printed. Or else, you can get a softcopy using the following steps.
- Go to the website or mobile app of your insurer, if available.
- Log in with the phone number registered with the policy.
- Select the policy type.
- Enter policy details, such as policy number and bike registration number.
- If prompted, verify your profile with OTP sent to the registered mobile number.
- Click on the print or download key to have the softcopy and get it printed on paper.
- Let us look at a few steps which can spare you from going through these hectic processes and ride your bike without stress about coming under liabilities due to lost insurance proof.
- Have your policy documents photocopied and keep them safe, especially the original copy. Carry a photocopy rather than the original one on the bike.
- While buying or renewing your two-wheeler insurance, check with your insurance company or agent and opt for ‘policy on E-mail’. It allows you to have a softcopy in your inbox.
Insurance for bikes is crucial, not only to escape penalties but for a financial cushion for liabilities incurred by your two-wheeler. Hence, do not lose your policy documents. If you lose the documents, act fast and consider the instructions mentioned above. In certain cases, you can think smart and buy a new policy. Having said that, buying insurance for a bike online is the best way to stay guarded against the ramifications of lost insurance documents. You will have all the records available in your email or some other online platform like that of your bike insurance profile. And also, it is way easier – you can take the help of a bike insurance calculator, get the premium quotes, pay them online and find all the relevant documents related to the insurance for your bike, in your email, which you can access from anywhere, at any point in time.
Disclaimer – The above information is for illustrative purposes only. For more details, please refer to the policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales