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Can you claim motor insurance before getting permanent registration number for your car?

Sometimes you can even see A/F, which means "applied for", written on a vehicle's number plate indicating that the vehicle in question has applied for a registration number.

, ET Online|
May 03, 2019, 10.29 AM IST
Getty Images
The claim process for a vehicle without a registration number is the same as that for a vehicle with a vehicle registration number.
What if your newly purchased car, which just got out from the showroom with insurance but without registration, met with an accident? The incident could set you back financially. There can be many questions which can come to your mind, for instance, will you be getting the insurance claim from the insurer? Is your car really insured without registration? Sometimes, when you buy a car you will get the permanent registration number only after a few days from the date on which the car is purchased. In the meanwhile, you can take a temporary registration number.

Temporary registration or A/F status - what they mean
All vehicles are required to be registered by law. A vehicle's temporary registration number is provided by the dealer and is valid for a month. During this period, one has to get a permanent registration number for their new car.

Adhil Shetty, CEO, said that every vehicle has to be registered under the Motor Vehicles Act of 1989. Temporary registration may be extended under provisions defined in the law but in any case, a permanent registration number has to be obtained. "Sometimes you can even see A/F, which means "applied for", written on a vehicle's number plate indicating that the vehicle in question has applied for a registration number. However, you should know that in the absence of a temporary registration number, it is illegal for you to drive the vehicle on the road," he said.

Kapil Mehta, co-founder of, a Delhi- based insurance broker, said that nowadays, vehicles are typically allowed to leave the showroom only if they have a temporary registration number. This is good enough to buy insurance. "Once the permanent number is issued to you, the insurance policy can be endorsed to make that change," he said.

Can you get insurance claim in such scenarios?
Whether you get a temporary registration number or if your car has an A/F status, you will get an insurance claim in case of a car accident if it is insured before the claim event happens. Devendra Rane, Founder & CTO,, said that the first insurance policy for a brand-new vehicle is issued on the basis of the engine and chassis number of the vehicle to be insured. The insurer will then contact the vehicle owner to update the vehicle registration number in their records. This is usually done in the following ways, Rane explains:

  • Insurer contacts you either for a Feedback/Service/Welcome/Endorsement Call etc. During this call, the insurer asks for the registration number and updates the same;
  • If the same is not updated throughout the year, then at the time of renewal, the registration number is mandatory, and you have to provide the same to get the policy renewed.

This way in both the cases, the insurer updates the registration number in their system. Also, you should know that the vehicle registration can be done only if a vehicle is insured with at least the mandatory third-party liability only policy. Therefore, you can get an insurance policy from the insurer even if you do not have a registration number for your vehicle. This system ensures the vehicle is insured right before it leaves the showroom and if a claim arises, the owner is covered against the same.

Sample of motor insurance policy for a brand-new vehicle issued on the basis of the engine and chassis number.

first policy
Source: ET Online

How to process the claim in case of temporary registration
The claim process for a vehicle without a registration number is the same as that for a vehicle with a vehicle registration number. Rane said, "The engine and chassis number of vehicles will help in the identification of the vehicle and easy processing of the claim can be made as per the guidelines laid down by the insurer."
Steps to follow in case of vehicle damage

  • Before sending your vehicle to the garage/workshop for any repairs, call the insurer and inform them about the damage and let them know about the temporary registration number, if any.
  • Download the claim form. Fill in properly, then along with the requisite documents submit the form to the insurer. The forms are available on the insurers' websites, as well as, at their respective offices.
  • The insurer will send a surveyor to assess the damages. The surveyor will analyse the condition and accordingly, he will submit a claim report to the insurer.
  • Once your vehicle gets repaired, submit the duly signed bills and documents to the insurer via the surveyor.
  • Finally, the insurer will provide reimbursement according to the bills you have submitted and the insurance you have taken for the car.

"The insurance claim needs to be filed as per the process and timeline explained in the policy document. Deviation from the process, violating the norms of the policy such as by driving under the influence of drugs etc., not submitting your claim on time, not providing the required documents with your claim form etc. are a few reasons why your claim may be denied. Hence, you should know that the absence of a registration number alone cannot ordinarily be grounds for claims denial," said Shetty.

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