Motor insurance: You need to have a valid PUC certificate to renew your motor insurance: IRDAI

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI)has asked insurers to ensure that the direction of Supreme Court of India that stated insurers must not renew any motor policy until the vehicle owner provides a valid PUC certificate is followed strictly with focus on compliance in National Capital Region of Delhi (Delhi – NCR).

Hence, the insurance companies will ask you to show the valid PUC or pollution under control certificates at the time of renewal your motor insurance policy.

In a circular issued on August 20, 2020, IRDAI said, “Central pollution control board (CPCB) has raised concerns regarding status of compliance of above direction of Supreme Court of India in National Capital Region of Delhi (Delhi – NCR). Please ensure that the direction of Supreme Court of India is followed scrupulously with special focus on compliance in National Capital Region of Delhi (Delhi – NCR),” as per the circular.

In July 2018, concerned over rising vehicular pollution, the Supreme Court, in the matter of MC Mehta vs Union of India, had directed insurers to not insure a vehicle unless it has a valid PUC certificate on the date of renewal of the motor insurance policy.

What is PUC certificate?

It is a certificate that vets that the emissions passed from vehicles meets the pollution control standards. The pollution standards/emission levels are fixed for all types of motor vehicles in India. Once a vehicle undergoes a PUC test successfully, a certificate is provided to vehicle owner. Therefore, with the help of the certification, you get to know that your vehicle’s emissions are in alignment with standard pollution norms and are not harmful to the environment.

All vehicles are required to mandatorily carry a valid PUC certification.

What are the PUC certification norms for motor vehicle?

You are not require to have a PUC for newly bought vehicle. Sajja Praveen Chowdary, Head-Motor Insurance, said that PUC certificate is to be taken after 1 year of vehicle registration as per rules. “You can get a PUC certificate for various durations but you need to ensure that it is renewed timely before expiry in order to ensure you are not fined. Brand new vehicles don’t need a separate PUC certificate for the first year of running,” Chowdary said.

What it means for you?
Chowdary says, “It helps in ensuring that the vehicle is emitting pollution which is under acceptable norms. PUC certificate will not be issued if the vehicle has been found to be emitting more than the acceptable norms and hence, it acts as a deterrent for people not to run vehicles falling under that category.” Chowdary explains, “For instance, a vehicle may need repair which the customer isn’t getting it done for the reason to save on cost. But as a result the vehicle is emitting pollution which is above norms and he/she may not care for the pollution norms if there is no rule like PUC. Similar examples can be with very old vehicles which have to be refitted with certain parts or are to be not allowed to be renewed further etc.”

Naval Goel, CEO & Founder, said, “Customers need to have a valid PUC at the time of renewal of motor insurance. This will add a layer of complexity because it will increase the documentation requirement at the time of selling motor insurance.”

According to Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019, any person driving a motor vehicle in any public place shall, on being so required by a police officer in uniform authorised in this behalf by the State Government, produce—

  • Certificate of insurance;
  • Certificate of registration;
  • Pollution under control certificate;
  • Driving licence;
  • In the case of a transport vehicle, also the certificate of fitness referred to in section 56, and the permit; and
  • Any certificate or authorisation of exemption that has been granted under this Act, relating to the use of the vehicle.

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