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Old 16th September 2021, 21:38   #1
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Default No insurance for non-RTO electric two wheelers like the Okinawa

I am planning to buy an Okinawa Lite scooty which does not require any registration or license. The main reason I wanted a non-RTO and non-license vehicle is that my daughter is still 16, well built but not eligible for a license. She comfortably drives a full-size scooter which I don't allow. While insurance is not compulsory but I don't want the vehicle to be on-road without insurance covering theft and accidental repair. The battery itself costs 25k and can be the target of theft. Accidents can happen anywhere and repair is always costly. I had almost given the cheque when the dealer informed me that insurance is not possible as the company "Digit" has denied taking insurance for non-RTO vehicles. Earlier he had told that he will get insurance done. I also contacted Chola, Bajaj, HDFC, and IFCCO, they all denied taking insurance as they don't have the provision to give insurance without registration.
Can anyone shed more light on the issue?
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Old 16th September 2021, 21:44   #2
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Default re: No insurance for non-RTO electric two wheelers like the Okinawa

These ebikes are just like bicycles in the eyes of the law. No insurance is actually a big plus point for the buyers of these small scooters. A lesser expense, a lesser compliance.

Don’t think it is possible to get any kind of auto insurance without a valid registration. Perhaps you are overthinking this.
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Old 16th September 2021, 21:54   #3
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Default re: No insurance for non-RTO electric two wheelers like the Okinawa

May be you should consider investing the money that you would have spent on vehicle insurance on a substantial medical insurance coverage upgrade for her. As we all know, the unpredictability of our roads and traffic means increased risk. Medical treatment can be extremely costly these days. An order of magnitude more than the cost of the vehicle. At the end of the day, the cost of the vehicle is comparable to a high end smart phone. Hence in my opinion, one need not worry so much about the vehicle itself.
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Old 16th September 2021, 22:13   #4
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Default re: No insurance for non-RTO electric two wheelers like the Okinawa

Quote:
Originally Posted by drsnt View Post
"Digit" has denied taking insurance for non-RTO vehicles. Earlier he had told that he will get insurance done. I also contacted Chola, Bajaj, HDFC, and IFCCO, they all denied taking insurance as they don't have the provision to give insurance without registration.
Can anyone shed more light on the issue?

Did you try to get any other form of insurance other than Motor Insurance??


I would recommend you approach a well informed insurance broker/agent and ask them if they can provide a product for you.

There are policies to cover things like bicycles, mobile machines that are not road legal etc. maybe there is something for your case too.

Also think about adding a third party liability coverage, since crashing into a pedestrian is also a possibility.

If you are still not able to find any policy you can consider writing to IRDAI, specifying the lack of products in this area.

Finally, kudos for actively thinking about insuring your assets. Most people won't insure anything unless it is mandatory.
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Old 16th September 2021, 23:30   #5
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Default re: No insurance for non-RTO electric two wheelers like the Okinawa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post
Perhaps you are overthinking this.
Sorry to disagree, any vehicle capable of 25KMPH has the potential to cause fatal injuries both to drivers and pedestrians. Chances may be low but cannot be ruled out completely. For me no vehicle on road without valid insurance even if not mandated by law. The owner becomes liable in such cases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
May be you should consider investing the money that you would have spent on vehicle insurance on a substantial medical insurance coverage upgrade for her. As we all know, the unpredictability of our roads and traffic means increased risk. Medical treatment can be extremely costly these days.
She is covered by company medical policy with no upper limit, I don't need to worry about it. As for damage, I am least worried, I am more worried about damage to 3rd party and theft of the vehicle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mechanic View Post
Did you try to get any other form of insurance other than Motor Insurance??


Also think about adding a third party liability coverage, since crashing into a pedestrian is also a possibility.

Finally, kudos for actively thinking about insuring your assets. Most people won't insure anything unless it is mandatory.
Third-party and theft are the main contentions. writing to IRDAI is good advice. Thank you for encouragement.
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Old 16th September 2021, 23:39   #6
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Default re: No insurance for non-RTO electric two wheelers like the Okinawa

Many private insurance companies offer insurance for electric bicycles, which don't need any RTO registration. The Okinawa Lite should fit into that category.
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Old 17th September 2021, 07:39   #7
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Default re: No insurance for non-RTO electric two wheelers like the Okinawa

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Originally Posted by drsnt View Post
I also contacted Chola, Bajaj, HDFC, and IFCCO, they all denied taking insurance as they don't have the provision to give insurance without registration.
Can anyone shed more light on the issue?
Check with ICICI Lombard as believe they give coverage for all kinds of electric vehicles.

When I was discussing the Benling Falcon electric scooter (non registration category), the dealer told me that, if needed, he can get insurance from ICICI as they only need the vehicles chassis number and invoice.
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Old 17th September 2021, 08:26   #8
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Default Re: No insurance for non-RTO electric two wheelers like the Okinawa

I am going on a limb and speaking on first principles here - but at the end of the day, any risk should theoretically should be insurable. The question is, is there a big enough requirement for it for the insurnace company to have modelled the risk and therefore the pricing.

Talk to a sophisticated insurance agent and perhaps he can help you. It’s possible that the pricing might be expensive even if they can manage since it may not be a commoditised volume product. A vehicle insurance chap will probably only know what operates within the narrow box of legally required vehicle insurance so he’s bound to simply say no.

I am aware that some companies have also taken out specific insurance products for expensive bicycles. Please see the message below I had received on my cycling group. If an insurance like this can be provided for bicycles then perhaps it can be provided for an e scooter or e bike as well.

________________

QUOTE

*BICYCLE INSURANCE @ BYKINDIA*

We are proud to announce our partnership with liberty general insurance to offer our esteem clients with a new product to protect your bicycles- Bicycle protect plus insurance. Now insure any bike from any brand with us upto 3 years old and get your policy directly from liberty general insurance.

*Key points*

-*Loss or damage cover*
-*Theft cover upto 75% of sum insured*
-*Roadside assistance *
-*Personal accident cover upto 10 L*
-*Public liability cover upto 5 L*
-*long term discount ( >1 year)*
-*Bikes can be of any established brand( Hero, scott, trek, merida etc…) and can be purchased from anywhere in India from any retail store*

Do reach out to us for more information .

Best
Bykindia team


UNQUOTE
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Old 17th September 2021, 08:35   #9
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Default Re: No insurance for non-RTO electric two wheelers like the Okinawa

I see some of the Okinawa scooters without number plates doing the same 50-60 speeds as my Splendor on the roads. Then how come they are like bicycles? They may hit and injure someone as easily as a petrol scooter. Then the owner without third party insurance will be in a mess.
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Old 17th September 2021, 10:25   #10
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Default Re: No insurance for non-RTO electric two wheelers like the Okinawa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
I see some of the Okinawa scooters without number plates doing the same 50-60 speeds as my Splendor on the roads. Then how come they are like bicycles? They may hit and injure someone as easily as a petrol scooter. Then the owner without third party insurance will be in a mess.
Only those EVs which are limited to 25kmph are allowed to be used without registration. For bigger/faster/more powerful ones, proper registration and insurance are mandatory, just like any petrol scooter.
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Old 17th September 2021, 10:42   #11
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Default Re: No insurance for non-RTO electric two wheelers like the Okinawa

I think the government should come forward and end this confusion. Any motorised vehicle running on the road must have a license plate; electric or otherwise.

For categories which are low power electrics, they can forgo road tax and registration fees.

Also, all motorised vehicle drivers must have a driving license. The traffic rules and road etiquette are the same for all. Based on the category, age to obtain a DL can be reduced to 16 or 15.

There is no point in treating electric vehicles differently any more, be it for registration or number plate colour. They are going to be mainstream, there lies the future.

Last edited by MSAneesh : 17th September 2021 at 10:44.
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Old 17th September 2021, 11:17   #12
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Default Re: No insurance for non-RTO electric two wheelers like the Okinawa

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Originally Posted by MSAneesh View Post
I think the government should come forward and end this confusion. Any motorised vehicle running on the road must have a license plate; electric or otherwise.
Does not make sense to have a Class 1 electric bike limited to 20mph having this. All over the world countries have placed regulations on what remains a cycle. Eg in Europe 25kmph top assisted speed is one, and in USA it has to be max 20mph for class one.

There are various classes and legislation exists so your 2000W mid drive 60kmph bike is no longer a "cycle"
The govt needs to do something like this here too. But knowing them they would probably come up with something totally disconnected from reality which will first cause it to be the wild west, and then legislate the ebike industry out of the the scene.

That said, ebikes do not use very complex electronics, and are a prime candidate for make in India. Do not require very big setup, and if CKDs (separate motor, electronics imported but bike made in India) are given big incentives, we can have a fledging export market, just like chinese Ebikes which sell big in USA, often under local stickers.

This is a unique opportunity where India can actually compete quite well with china if the govt supports it.
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Old 19th September 2021, 20:26   #13
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Default Re: No insurance for non-RTO electric two wheelers like the Okinawa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post
Only those EVs which are limited to 25kmph are allowed to be used without registration. For bigger/faster/more powerful ones, proper registration and insurance are mandatory, just like any petrol scooter.
Quoting the relevant rule from Central Motor Vehicles Rules for knowledge of members regarding non-RTO vehicles.

In the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 (hereinafter referred to as the said rules), in rule 2, in clause (u), for the proviso, the following shall be substituted, namely:-
"Provided that a two-wheeled battery-operated vehicle shall not be deemed to be a motor vehicle if all the following conditions are verified and authorized by any testing agency specified in rule 126, namely:-
(a) the vehicle is equipped with an electric motor having thirty-minute power less than 0.25 kW;
(b) Maximum speed of the vehicle is less than 25 km/hr;
(c) Vehicle is fitted with suitable brakes and retro-reflective devices, i.e. one white reflector in the front and one red
reflector at the rear;
(d) unladen weight (excluding battery weight) of the vehicle is not more than 60 kg;
(e) in case of pedal assisted vehicle equipped with an auxiliary electric motor, in addition to above, the thirty minute power of the motor is less than 0.25 kW, whose output is progressively reduced and finally cut off as the vehicle reaches a speed of 25 km/hr, or sooner if the cyclist stops pedalling".


While the rule specifies speed limit, I have personally seen such vehicles clearly doing 30-35 kmph. The vehicles I test drove many reached 35kmph. Probably a bypass to rule as it specifies "the thirty-minute power of the motor is less than 0.25 kW". Not a technical expert so I believe that there might be some loophole to the "thirty-minute power" thing. Learned members might be able to decode this technically.
Regards
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Old 19th September 2021, 23:33   #14
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Default Re: No insurance for non-RTO electric two wheelers like the Okinawa

Basic question - how do the traffic police, who try to stop you by hiding at street corners in the guise of checking papers & collecting bribe, differentiate between non- registered / below 250w scooter and a above 250w scooter? (Don't tell me that one has a numberplate and other doesn't).

Can they create trouble on the road for these non-registered scooters saying you are riding it without a numberplate etc?

Last edited by null : 19th September 2021 at 23:45.
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Old 19th September 2021, 23:48   #15
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Default Re: No insurance for non-RTO electric two wheelers like the Okinawa

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Originally Posted by null View Post
Basic question - how do the traffic police, who try to stop you hiding at street corners in the guise of checking papers & collect bribe, differentiate between non- registered / below 250w scooter and a above 250w scooter? (Don't tell me that one has a numberplate and other doesn't).

Can they create trouble on the road for these non-registered scooters saying you are riding it without a numberplate etc?
The buyer is given a certificate which states that the vehicle is exempted under the CMVR vide GSR 291 (E). He needs to show it in case stopped by police.
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