Misfueling cover in India: Damaged car or bike engine after using wrong fuel? Will motor insurance help?

Misfueling cover in India: Damaged car or bike engine after using wrong fuel? Will motor insurance help?

Using wrong fuel in a vehicle can cause some serious damage to its engine. However, motor insurance policies do not provide any protection against such act of negligence. 

Misfueling cover in India: Using wrong fuel in a vehicle can cause some serious damage to its engine. However, motor insurance policies do not provide any protection against such act of negligence. 

Mis-fueling is treated as a contributory negligence, which is typically not covered  by insurers. Motor insurance products currently provides cover only for defined perils, which are generally caused by external factors. As such there is no respite against loss due to negligence under motor insurance at present.  

“Currently, Indian motor insurance products cover de­fined perils, which are predominantly caused due to external factors such as floods, earthquakes, accidents, theft and so on,” Kunal Jha, Vice President, Motor Products and Actuarial at Digit Insurance, told FE Online. 

“Note that claims arising out of ‘contributory negligence’ are typically not covered by insurers,” he added. 

It is considered a case of contributory negligence when a policyholder gets injured or affected, partly due to his/her own negligence and the injured party is barred from recovering any damages (money) from another party who was claimed to have caused the accident. 

“Mis-fuelling is categorised as a ‘contributory negligence’ and does not fall under the scope of the policy wordings of a standard motor insurance product,” said Jha. 

What should customers do?

Experts say that mis-fuelling could lead to various degrees of damage including disturbed acceleration, visible smoke from the exhaust or even engine failure in some cases, demanding complete flush through of the system. 

“Once you’ve learnt that the wrong type of fuel has been filled in your vehicle, it is important to not push the ignition button on. Do not crank the engine. It is advisable to get the vehicle towed to the nearest workshop to flush out the wrong fuel. Ensure that the fuel tank is completely dry and then refuel the vehicle,” said Jha.