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Fake licence no bar to getting insurance claim

If you happen to be the victim in a road accident, and are unable to get compensation as the culprit’s licence was fake, here’s some good news for you.

The Supreme Court has ruled that insurance companies cannot deny compensation to the victim on the grounds that a driver of an insured vehicle was carrying a fake licence.

A Bench comprising Justices S B Sinha and V S Sirpurkar said,

“Only because the driver possesses a fake licence, that would not absolve the insurer to reimburse the owner of the vehicle the amount awarded in favour of a third party by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal. Alternatively, if the insurance company pays the third party claim to the victim or his kin, it would be at liberty to recover the same from the owner of the vehicle.”

A person travelling in a rickshaw was hit by a truck driver, who was carrying a fake licence, due to which the insurers, National Insurance Company  contested the claim by the victim’s family.

The Court ruled that there was a difference between an owner claiming damages to his vehicle, and compensation payable to a third party, so though the insurance company was not liable to pay for damages to the insured vehicle, it would have to compensate the victim.

I’d like to add a point here: When people roam around freely with fake passports, a fake driving licence seems trivial in comparision. In the above case, for example, how would an employer (the truck owner) verify whether his employee (the driver) actually carries a genuine licence?

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