Definition: Motor third-party insurance or third-party liability cover, which is sometimes also referred to as the 'act only' cover, is a statutory requirement under the Motor Vehicles Act.
It is referred to as a 'third-party' cover since the beneficiary of the policy is someone other than the two parties involved in the contract (the car owner and the insurance company). The policy does not provide any benefit to the insured. However, it covers the insured's legal liability for death/disability of third-party loss or damage to third-party property.
Description: Since the third-party insurance cover is mandatory, all non-life insurance companies have an obligation to provide this cover. In the Indian context, automobile dealers arrange for a comprehensive insurance cover along with vehicle registration. This comprehensive cover is an add-on to the mandatory third party cover and protects the car owner from financial losses, caused by damage or theft of the vehicle.
The cost of a comprehensive cover is several times that of a stand-alone third-party cover, since damage claims are more frequent than third-party claims.
Until now, the premium for motor third-party insurance was calculated on the basis of a schedule of rates provided by the Tariff Advisory Committee, an arm of IRDA, the insurance regulator. But IRDA has done away with the motor tariff. The compensation to the victim is largely decided by the earning capacity of the accident victim.
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