Must have a valid PUC certificate to renew motor insurance: IRDAI

With heightened concerns over rising vehicular pollution levels, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) has issued new guidelines in a recent circular to insurance providers in the country, stating that it is now mandatory for vehicle owners to furnish a valid Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate at the time of renewing the motor insurance policy.

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As per IRDAI, in the event the vehicle has an expired PUC certificate at the time of the accident, then the insurance companies are not liable to cover any damages. They also added that a pollution license is required for all claims. This regulation follows the Supreme Court’s directives issued in July 2018, in the matter of MC Mehta vs Union of India, to insurance companies, instructing them to not insure a vehicle unless it has a valid PUC certificate on the date of renewal of the insurance policy.

The circular, issued on August 20, 2020 by the regulatory body, has been sent out to all the CEOs and CMDs of general insurance companies, to make certain that the Supreme Court’s directives are diligently followed, with “special focus on compliance in National Capital Region of Delhi (Delhi NCR)”.

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

A Pollution Under Control Certificate (PUCC) is a document of approval issued by the government of India that your vehicle’s emission levels are in compliance with the authorized pollution control standards. Once a vehicle passes the PUC test successfully, they are awarded with a PUC certificate. It is mandatory for all vehicles to carry a valid PUC certificate while on the road. According to the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, any person driving a motor vehicle can be asked by a police officer in uniform authorised in this behalf by the State government to produce a Pollution Under Control certificate.

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