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Coming soon: Steep hikes in motor insurance premium for traffic violations

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A country that faces nine crashes every 10 minutes has decided to act tough on drivers who cause accidents. Drivers who have so far been worried about shelling a large amount on traffic violations, would soon be dealing with another concern: ‘How would this traffic law violation impact the insurance premium on the vehicle?’

While the nine-member committee headed by Anurag Rastogi, Chief Actuary & Chief Underwriting Officer, HDFC Ergo General Insurance, charts the road-map for mapping traffic violations to the cost of insurance and tried to gauge the new parameters on which vehicle insurance are likely to be pegged.Such a linkage of insurance premium to traffic violations is expected to reduce accidents and bring about a change in driving behaviour as per the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA), which has formed a working group to examine the system of linking premiums to traffic law violations.

Commenting on the move Sajja Praveen Chowdary, Head-Motor Insurance,, says, “The overall environment is being altered to make people more responsible when they are in public spaces. So, good drivers would be definitely paying a lower premium versus bad drivers and that is the ideal scenario any insurer would aim for.”Currently, motor insurance premiums are primarily decided by insurance companies based on the historical loss experienced for a particular category of vehicle, including the make in a specific region. But the insurance industry has been waiting for insured/driver-specific information for understanding the risk better to help in improved underwriting, according to Amitabh Jain, Head-Motor & Health underwriting and Claims at ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company (ILGIC).

Whatever changes and developments insurers have undertaken in terms of understanding the claims history of a particular vehicle category would be incomplete without gauging the circumstances under which the vehicle damage occurred. And, driving behaviour is a key parameter, giving them a peek into the probability of claim from a particular person, based on his/her driving behaviour.

“While insurance companies consistently try to improve the pricing for a vehicle by incorporating additional risk parameters such as previous claims history, vehicle safety features (such as an anti-theft device), vintage of the vehicle, and a customer’s association with an insurance company, the ideal way to price a risk would be the individual driving behaviour,” reveals Rakesh Jain, ED & CEO, Reliance General Insurance (RGIC).

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