What is hypothecation in car insurance, and how to terminate it

What is hypothecation in car insurance, and how to terminate it  30th November 2022

Cars are becoming trendier and feature-rich day by day, and the young generation is not satisfied by owning just one car. The craze for cars is ever-increasing, with multiple cars in every household becoming a common sight. The demand for car loans has seen a robust increase in the last few years, thanks to easy EMIs or monthly installments.

Generally, a car loan is available for a flexible tenure, and technically, the bank or financer remains the vehicle owner until the entire loan is paid back.

What is Hypothecation of a car?
Hypothecation is pledging any asset, such as a car, as collateral with a bank or a financial institution in exchange for a loan. When you take a loan from a financial institution to buy a car, you hypothecate your vehicle as collateral or security with that financial institution in exchange for the loan it provides. There is no transfer of title to the bank, and you continue to be the actual owner of the car.
However, the bank will have the right to take your car from you if you miss the EMI payment schedule and fail to pay the loan amount back to the bank. When we hypothecate our car with the bank, it gets mentioned in our vehicle RC (Registration Certificate) and car insurance policy.

How to eliminate hypothecation?

1. Pay off the car loan:
The first step in removing the hypothecation is to pay off the entire loan amount and not just a part of it.

2. Approach your bank:
Once you have paid the car loan amount in full, approach your lending bank and inform it about the same. It will check and issue you a NOC (No-Objection certificate) certifying that you have paid off the loan amount.

3. Go to the RTO:
You must submit the NOC to your concerned RTO (Regional Transport Office). You will also have to submit your car's original RC (Registration Certificate) along with a few other documents, such as your current insurance policy papers and No-pollution certificate.

4. Removal of hypothecation from the RC:
The RTO will then remove the hypothecation clause of your car from the original RC and issue you a new RC. This process usually takes around 5-7 working days.

5. Removal of hypothecation from the insurance policy:
You have to submit the NOC from your bank to the insurance company and terminate the hypothecation clause from your motor insurance India policy.

Why do we need to terminate the hypothecation of our car?
It is very important to terminate the hypothecation of your car once you have repaid your car loan in full. Till the time it is mentioned in your car RC that it is hypothecated to a so-and-so bank, you are not the true owner of the car in the real sense. Your car is still acting as collateral with that bank.

This implies that you cannot sell your car until and unless you remove the hypothecation clause from your RC and insurance policy. Taking a car loan to buy your dream car is a good option as it removes the burden of paying the full amount of the car in one go. You can easily pay some down payment and the rest of the amount in EMIs.

But just buying a car is not enough. You must also have a valid motor insurance India policy as long as you own the car. The motor insurance law in India makes it compulsory. Also, you have to renew it every year. This will ensure your car is protected and secure under your insurance service provider, and you can relax and stay tension-free.

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Disclaimer: The information provided above is for illustrative purposes only. To get more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before purchasing a policy.