Is It Necessary to Purchase Insurance Coverage for Pillion Riders?

by Phume Mdluli

India is one of the countries where two-wheelers are still the most preferred way of travel. In a 2016 consumer survey done by Ice360, a non-profit think tank, it was found that one in three households in India owns a two-wheeler while only 11% of households have a car. Many factors like the expenses associated with maintenance, ease of use, and affordability are believed to play a role in this.

When two-wheeler usage is this common, the safety of riders and pillion riders become very important. When it comes to insurance, many people understand how two-wheeler insurance can protect the rider, but there is still some cloud on the coverage for pillion riders. Let’s try to demystify that–

Will third party bike insurance cover a pillion rider?

Third party insurance provides coverage for damages caused to a third-party by the insured vehicle. This includes damages to the vehicles, personal injuries, damage to properties and even death. Third-party bike insurance is mandated by law.

Is pillion rider considered a third-party?

This is an age-old debate in India. While some people have claimed that when pillion is not the insured, they can be considered third-party, many believe otherwise. But, putting an end to this confusion, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has now made it mandatory for third-party insurances to cover pillion riders. This is after several court judgements in favour of pillion riders getting the coverage in third-party insurances. Please visit the official website of IRDAI for more details.

How much does a third-party bike insurance cover a pillion rider?

According to IRDAI, the pillion rider can avail up to Rs.3 lakh in case of injuries related to an accident. In case of death, the next of kin can claim up to Rs.5 lakh. The most important point here is that, if anyone other than the two-wheeler rider or the pillion rider is injured, then both the rider and the pillion can’t claim for insurance. Also, if there is a third person riding the two-wheeler, other than the rider and the pillion, then that person can’t claim coverage. Please visit the official website of IRDAI for more details.

What is the option for a better coverage?

Third-party bike insurances are the most basic coverage you can go for and it is mandated by law. But to ensure that you, as a rider, and your pillion rider are properly covered, it is advisable to go for a comprehensive bike insurance plan. In a comprehensive bike insurance, the rider, the pillion rider and third parties are completely covered. It will also help you take care of your vehicle in case of damages. These are priced more than third party plans, but they are still affordable for most. You can use one of the several insurance calculators and advisories available online to check bike insurance price for each plan and choose what is best for you. * Standard T&C Apply

So, make sure to opt for a plan that not only provides adequate coverage, but also fit within your budget. Also make sure to ensure consistent two wheeler insurance renewal for a break-free coverage. Please bear in mind that insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details regarding features, what’s excluded, terms, conditions, please read the brochure/policy wordings carefully before finalizing a sale.

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