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Old 16th February 2012, 12:47   #1
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Default Are Insurance claims from the passenger covered in 3rd party policies?

Hi Folks,

I have a query here and need your help in clarifying them.

On Feb 12th we were traveling in my friends car(contessa) towards Kolar from Bangalore and i was driving. we were 6, including 5 adults and a 2 year old kid. Unfortunately, the right rear tyre burst and i lost control of the vehicle. i steered towards left in an attempt to not run into other vehicle at my right and hit the median or face the other side incoming traffic. This resulted in car toppling multiple times before crash landing on its wheels on the ground. we 5 survived with minor injurious (Kid and her mom were without a scratch) except one adult male who happened to be a friend of my another friend whom we were visiting. He was hit on his head and suffered internal injuries and died on the spot.
My other friend who is the car owner suffered fracture in his arm and is admitted in hospital and undergoing treatment.
We all gave our statements to Police and they have logged FIR and they were waiting for us to share the insurance details so that the deceased family can claim for insurance.
Now my friend is saying the insurance was lapsed on Nov 11 and he had not renewed it yet.
My query is if he had third party insurance, whether the insurance company respects the claim of that persons family members and pay for the loss of life in case of SELF ACCIDENTS.
i know any third party who suffers damage under a vehicle (that has insurance) can claim for insurance, it will be paid, but what about SELF ACCIDENTS?
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Old 16th February 2012, 13:44   #2
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Default re: Are Insurance claims from the passenger covered in 3rd party policies?

You need to understand two things:

1. Third party means any party other than the owner of the vehicle and the insurance company. The owner is the First Party and the Insurance Company is the Second Party to the contract of insurance. This means the deceased or his family are Third Party, you too are Third Party (since the vehicle is not owned by you). Your friend who owns the vehicle is the First Party.

2. If the vehicle was being driven without a valid insurance policy for the same, it's a big problem. Your friend is in a very sticky mess because as per law you cannot use a motor vehicle on a public road without a valid insurance policy (which must cover at least Third Party damages).

So the question you should be asking is not about self accidents, but about a potential liability and a criminal/civil court case to pay compensation to the victims. Get in touch with a competent lawyer who has experience of the Motor Vehicles Act and consult him regarding the course of action to be taken.

Let this incident also be a lesson to you in two respects:
1. Never ever drive a motor vehicle without verifying it complies with the laws: in this case without checking if the vehicle has valid insurance.
2. From the description of the accident, if the Contessa flipped multiple times, I cannot imagine at what speeds it was being driven. With a car that's at least half a century old by design (and a couple of decades by age) you shouldn't have been driving it at speeds which would cause it to topple over multiple times.

IMO if the insurance had not been renewed, the vehicle owner (i.e. your friend) will be facing the claims for compensation to the victim's family. Find out what is your liability in this as the driver of the vehicle.
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Old 16th February 2012, 13:51   #3
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Default re: Are Insurance claims from the passenger covered in 3rd party policies?

Forget whether self accidents are covered under TP policy or not.
Your immediate worry should be that the vehicle was not insured for even basic TP claim, which is against the law and could be a major issue.

Sorry about the accident and loss of life !!!

P.S.: I wonder if it is a good idea to discuss this on a public forum.
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Old 16th February 2012, 14:26   #4
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Default re: Are Insurance claims from the passenger covered in 3rd party policies?

Really sad to hear about the accident and loss of life. But pls note driving a vehicle without proper insurance documents is a crime. As per Indian laws a vehicle should at minimum have third party coverage. As mentioned in earlier posts it would be better to consult a lawyer as my friend, it is a serious offence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post

P.S.: I wonder if it is a good idea to discuss this on a public forum.
I strongly feel this should be discussed, to educate public about the consequences you have to face , having vehicle not insured.
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Old 16th February 2012, 14:50   #5
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Default re: Are Insurance claims from the passenger covered in 3rd party policies?

Thanks guys for your response, i am yet to approach lawyer and will soon do once i am able to walk completely in a day or two. Got confused as several people are giving different versions mentioning that the victims family has no right to claim compensation against us as it is self accident etc. I believe otherwise that its our liability to pay for the damages. I have only experience in driving from past few years and none in owning a vehicle, hence this query.
well i have realized my fault of not being aware of the insurance lapse of the said car. Had i been, would have not be driving it at first place.
i wanted to know where we stand interms of paying compensation to the victims family and how, its other thing we have not been approached so far. But expecting them sooner or later.
As i have mentioned above, police were requesting insurance copy to avoid false cases being registered against us in any case and to assist insurance claims for the victims family if required and even for ourselves to claim for medical insurance. No scope of claiming for vehicle or even thinking about it as the car is totaled.
As a matter of fact, we all have sustained injuries except the lady and kid. i have lost 40% vision in my right eye and recently discharged from hospital. car owner has broken left arm and is not in a position to talk. one more guy has bone compression on his back and not able to get up.

@honeybee: Thanks for making myself clear and i am now aware of the liability and potential issues that may arise. To clear your doubt about speed, i was at 80km/hr on highway(center lane). Wheel alignment was done on Jan 26th and all 4 tyres checked by authorized center. I will inspect the car once i am fit to walk properly as i suspect one of the end joints would have broken.

@ Moderators; Request you to remove this post if found not suitable to discuss on Public form.
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Old 16th February 2012, 15:00   #6
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Default re: Are Insurance claims from the passenger covered in 3rd party policies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
P.S.: I wonder if it is a good idea to discuss this on a public forum.
An interesting question. Generally there should be no problem discussing such matters, as, just like Vasuki said, people need to understand the gravity of the situation and need to know it's illegal to have a motor vehicle on a public road without a valid insurance.

However I suspect the reason behind your question is a little different, and you are more worried someone may suggest ways of getting out of this mess, which may not strictly be legal.

If that's the worry, if anyone suggests something like that, we can report the post to the mods and have it deleted.

However, it's important we discuss these matters and bring out the dangers involved in such instances to all the members. After all it's not exactly rare that you or me drives someone else's car, may be a friend or a relative, and we aren't exactly strict about checking the paperwork. While an expired PUC certificate is a different matter, an expired insurance policy is a grave matter and should not be overlooked.


@Sudhindra, it's very very sad and unfortunate whenever there's an accident, even more so when people get injured and in the worst case any loss of life. I sympathize with you and am sorry if my words were a little harsh.

I hope you have a valid driving license, at least.

At the risk of sounding selfish and stone-hearted, here's what I think you should do:

1. Document everything related to the accident (this includes wheel alignment report and any other documents which contain details such as any inspections of the vehicle done, maybe at the time of routine servicing etc, copy of the FIR along with the statements of all the parties which were given to the police, copy of the vehicle papers, PUC as well as the insurance policy details and so on)

2. Engage a competent lawyer and ascertain your risks with respect to a court case/police case. There are two issues here: one of the lapsed insurance policy which, prima facie, appears to be the fault of the vehicle owner alone, and the other is of a possibility of rash and negligent driving. Since you were driving the vehicle, you are more likely to face this second charge.

For the victim's family, since they are friends of your friend, they may or may not press for a court case or lodge a compensation claim. However I sincerely feel if you all can pool money and set up some kind of a fund (through a Fixed Deposit or otherwise) it would really be a nice gesture. The loss of life can never be undone, but by helping them out financially you may be able to share and lessen some of their grief.

Last edited by honeybee : 16th February 2012 at 15:12. Reason: Reply to Sudhindra's post
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Old 16th February 2012, 15:46   #7
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Default re: Are Insurance claims from the passenger covered in 3rd party policies?

If your friend didn't care enough to renew his insurance, I dread to think of how the car was maintained. 3,000 bucks for 3rd party insurance (which is the LAW) and he was careless about that. 16,000 rupees for a set of tyres (which isn't the law). I'm inclined to think that the condition of the car (whether tyre or otherwise) had something to do with the accident and it's unfortunate that an innocent passenger had to pay with his life.

If I was a family member of the passenger who died in this kind of accident, I would have sued the car owner & driver. I'm glad that the kid & other innocent passengers in the car didn't pay with their life.

BTW, in your intro thread (Finally inside BHP), you have mentioned that YOU bought a Contessa Classic. Are you the owner of this accident car? Further, in this post (Got My Contessa), you've also put up pictures. Couple of years later, from this post (Coil Spring Adjusters : VFM Fix for the Honda Civic's (lousy) soft rear suspension?), and this one (Contessa Classic), its clear you obviously still own a Contessa.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudhindra View Post
I have only experience in driving from past few years and none in owning a vehicle
I'm intrigued by this statement, especially as you've clearly stated multiple times on the forum that you OWN a Contessa. In fact, you have posted several times over the past 2 years on the purchasing, ownership, maintenance and repair experience of your Contessa. If that isn't experience enough of owning a car, I don't know what is.

And yes, from all the pictures I see of your Contessa, the tyres do seem to be in the evening of their life.

To answer the question at the start of the thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjvora_2000 View Post
Q. In case of physical injury or death of passengers in my vehicle, are the medical expenses covered? Is there a special type of insurance cover?


A. Under third party cover there is a clause called Unnamed Passenger PA (personal accident) cover. If you have opted for this cover (which is available on extra premium of maximum Rs. 100/- per person for a coverage of Rs. 2,00,000/-) then there is compensation payable to the family members in case of death. There is no cost of medical bills or any expenses payable to the injured passengers. Currently there are no options (products) for getting this covered through vehicle insurance.

Last edited by GTO : 16th February 2012 at 16:10.
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Old 16th February 2012, 16:22   #8
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Default re: Are Insurance claims from the passenger covered in 3rd party policies?

Sorry to hear about the loss. My deep condolences to the family!

Sudhindra, reading the above post has really got me thinking. As you are well aware as a team, we operate on utmost good faith on the credibility of statements made by fellow members. Request you not to mince words and come out with the real facts of the case to make this discussion more purposeful.

And what's with your signature buddy?

Last edited by Warwithwheels : 16th February 2012 at 16:47.
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Old 16th February 2012, 16:29   #9
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Dear Sudhindra,

Sad to hear about your unfortunate accident.
Good part being the lady and the kid are ok.

I would also like to add that cars of such vintage should not be driven fast, especially with full load. Let me remind that 80 kmph may not be seen as fast today but in the contessa/fiat/amby generation that was considered real fast.
After 15-20 yrs of service, these cars get weaker.

Also one more thing, just my 2 cents, after reading what GTO has pointed above. One should always stand by the facts no matter what, more so In a situation which you are in, i.e.. an accident, injury, a sad demise of a person and an uninsured vehicle. Stick to the facts and the truth. Any deviation can only bring in more troubles. Edit: More so when the person that you say is the owner, cannot speak.

Get well soon.

Last edited by vinit.merchant : 16th February 2012 at 16:35.
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Old 16th February 2012, 16:38   #10
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Default re: Are Insurance claims from the passenger covered in 3rd party policies?

GTO, I don't know how you thought of doing that background search, but it certainly sheds some more light onto the whole incident (or probably makes it a little shadier?).

Moreover in the last link (Contessa Classic thread) the OP has stated the car was sitting idle for six months as he didn't have money to run it.

The twist in the tale sure has some explanation required from the OP.

Also thanks for pointing out the insurance policy clause on liability towards the car's occupants.
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Old 16th February 2012, 16:48   #11
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Default re: Are Insurance claims from the passenger covered in 3rd party policies?

@GTO: That was a great piece of work on setting the 'records' straight. How did you get the 'whiff' of it?

Last edited by Durango Dude : 16th February 2012 at 16:54.
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Old 16th February 2012, 16:54   #12
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Default re: Are Insurance claims from the passenger covered in 3rd party policies?

@GTO; i apologize in making that statement as of no experience in owning, it should have been i have been driving only from past few years and i dont own any currently. its another fact that i rarely took this conty out to gain self ownership experience. I am sorry for this false statement.

However, it true that i dont have any experience when it comes to legal matters involving insurance, law, aftermath of accidents etc.

Its true that i brought that conty which you are mentioning in 2009 (learnt driving and after which i got a valid DL) and was sold of to one of our club member last year due to some constraints and it was immediately after taking it out after a long lul of 6 months of parking. Had involved with the club members and saw their rides taking shape beautifully, but had not been able to keep mine. you`ll be able to see that ad still floating around in the net. I think it had good tyres by the way and is still being used.

The conty in question with accident is attached in the pic and it does not belong to me and is owned by my friend. It was done recently in sept-11, with new suspensions(had asked for coil spring adjusters before replacing both shocks and bushes) , replacing old mechanicals, paint jobs, improving interiors etc which took 6 months of time at garage. Had been to three trips covering more than 800kms each in month of Nov - 2011, Dec-11, Jan 26th - Feb1 2012. Apart from this, had traveled more with family and friends.
i dont think there was a bad maintenance on this conty. yes, its totally foolishness out of my friend for not getting the insurance renewed while he spent a whole lot on the conty. and stupid of me not to verify it before driving. Sometimes, we trust too much that we dont tend to check them.

Will be going to station to complete few formalities and assessing further. got to know this conty was towed from accident site and is currently placed outside police station. will get the pics and post it here in two days or so.

Originally Posted by rjvora_2000
Q. In case of physical injury or death of passengers in my vehicle, are the medical expenses covered? Is there a special type of insurance cover?


A. Under third party cover there is a clause called Unnamed Passenger PA (personal accident) cover. If you have opted for this cover (which is available on extra premium of maximum Rs. 100/- per person for a coverage of Rs. 2,00,000/-) then there is compensation payable to the family members in case of death. There is no cost of medical bills or any expenses payable to the injured passengers. Currently there are no options (products) for getting this covered through vehicle insurance.


Thanks for sharing this.
I have a doubt here, does it mean that currently Unnamed passenger cover is not available now? i dont remember seeing that clause in the insurance sheet.
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Last edited by Sudhindra : 16th February 2012 at 17:09.
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Old 16th February 2012, 17:50   #13
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Default re: Are Insurance claims from the passenger covered in 3rd party policies?

One more Pic attached on 28th Jan on our way to Dharmsthala. it was maintained pretty well, had taken us for several trips safely in past 4 months covering distances and note that it was with family consisting 1 year old kid till 60 year olds, and with averaging 100km/hr odd.
This accident has brought severe shock to us and we never expected this.

I still dont know why insurance was not renewed timely by my friend. i will be able to confirm only when i am able to talk to him.
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Last edited by Sudhindra : 16th February 2012 at 17:52.
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Old 16th February 2012, 18:15   #14
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Default re: Are Insurance claims from the passenger covered in 3rd party policies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudhindra View Post
...
I have a doubt here, does it mean that currently Unnamed passenger cover is not available now? i dont remember seeing that clause in the insurance sheet.
Since the policy has already expired, I doubt if this point would make any difference in your case. Since as per the quote this cover has to be purchased separately, it's very likely that this cover was not part of the policy.

Please remember: If you are not the owner you may not be held liable for the lapsed insurance policy, because it's the owner's responsibility to ensure the vehicle complies with all the laws and regulations in force.
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Old 16th February 2012, 21:06   #15
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Default re: Are Insurance claims from the passenger covered in 3rd party policies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
1. Third party means any party other than the owner of the vehicle and the insurance company. The owner is the First Party and the Insurance Company is the Second Party to the contract of insurance. This means the deceased or his family are Third Party, you too are Third Party (since the vehicle is not owned by you). Your friend who owns the vehicle is the First Party.

In motor accidents terms, first party is the owner, the second party is the driver. IF the driver is at fault, since under Indian law, the driver is an agent (as an employee, or otherwise - sometimes, even unauthorised drivers are treated as agents of owners) of the owner and hence, the owner is liable for faults of the driver.

For the curious, for paid drivers, the MV act requires the owner to take out a coverage under the Workmen's compensation Act for injury / loss of life for the paid drivers.

As for the policy terms, I see no point in the discussion - the policy is expired, and a renewal takes effect only from date of renewal, and cannot be back dated to the date of expiry of the old policy.

But yes, if there is a provision for covering gratutious passengers (those carried not for hire / reward / payment), the passenger's relatives can claim insurance.
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