There is no agency to check policies and onetime payment avoids disputes in accident claims
GN Bureau | February 19, 2015
Are you ready to pay lifetime insurance premium for your vehicle at one go? Most of you may say yes as it saves yearly hassle. The Madras High Court has observed that vehicle-owners be made to pay lifetime insurance, like the lifetime road tax.
Justice N. Kirubakaran of the high court said that when a huge sum was spent on purchasing a vehicle, there should not be a problem to pay a few more thousands as lifetime insurance premium. “Like lifetime road tax, owners should be made to pay the insurance coverage mandatorily for lifetime, in respect of their vehicles, so that these kinds of dispute can be avoided,” the judge observed.
According to Section 146 of the Motor Vehicles Act, no person should use a vehicle in a public place without an insurance coverage.
To find out the feasibility of such lifetime insurance premium payment the judge impleaded suo motu IRDA, Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs, Ministry of Road and Surface Transport, State Secretary Transport Department, DGP as respondents and issued notice to reply to 10 queries including number of vehicles registered in India, how many have not renewed policies and whether it was a fact that almost one third vehicles do not have subsisting mandatory act policies.
While hearing a petition filed by Oriental Insurance Company the judge said that there was no mechanism either with the Transport Department or the police to verify whether a policy was renewed or not, to enable them to seize vehicles in the event of default, the court said.
The case will be heard on March 4, 2015. The current case relates to an accident on January 30, 2012 in Ponneri in which a motorbike was hit from the rear by a tanker lorry, resulting in injuries to the rider, requiring 17 days hospitalisation. The Tribunal, considering the nature of injuries, fixed it at 45 per cent and awarded Rs 2,24,500 against his claim for Rs 3 lakh.
The insurance firm challenged it, stating there was no insurance coverage as on date of accident to the lorry, which expired on November 17 2011. It occurred only on January 30, 2012 and therefore liability should not have been 'fastened' on them.
Justice Kirubakaran while granting conditional interim stay directed the firm to deposit the award by the Tribunal within two weeks together with interest.