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The Gujarat State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission has stated that an insurance company can reject claims for vehicle accident, if the driver or rider does not hold a valid driving license.
The Redressal Commission shot down an order passed by a consumer forum in Kutch ordering IFFCO-Tokio General Insurance Co Ltd to pay Rs 6.52 lakh to a Mr Mitesh Thakkar. Mr Thakkar's SUV had met with an accident, and was badly damaged. The driver did not have a valid license.
Mr Thakkar's SUV was driven by a Mr Hakubha Sodha in June 2011, when it met with an accident in Kutch, Gujarat. Mr Thakkar claimed insurance, but IFFCO-Tokio rejected the claim.
Mr Thakkar the approached a consumer forum in Bhuj, which ordered the insurer to pay the claim in 2013. The insurance company reached out to the state commission, which quashed the order to pay the claim in 2014.
The case was then taken up at the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission, which remitted the case back to the State Commission for re-adjudication. The State Commission studied the case, and found a police report which showed that Sodha was driving the car without a valid driving license.
Sections 3 and 5 of the Motor Vehicles Act prohibits any person from driving a vehicle without valid license. The Commission finally ruled that IFFCO-Tokio did not have to pay any insurance because Mr Sodha did not have a valid license at the time.
In related news, the government recently increased traffic violation fines. Fines for riding or driving without a valid drivers license used to carry a Rs 500 fine, and was increased to Rs 5,000. Thankfully for Mr Sodha, this incident took place in 2011.
Thoughts About No Insurance Claim Without A Valid License
This is good news for insurance companies. The Indian motorist is possibly the worst in the world. Being unable to claim any form of insurance without a drivers license will push more people to renew their licenses in time. May we need a law that states that insurance cannot be claimed until all motor related documents are up to date. Maybe that will help with improving the domestic driver/ rider mentally.