Car Insurance in India is Mandatory, and it is a very serious exercise. It is mandatory not only because it is illegal to drive without one, but also because accidents are beyond human control and every person needs to be protected against these risks.
In this context the decision of Josphine James versus United Insurance Co. case require mention. In this case the civil appeal was directed against the judgment and award dated 13.01.2012 passed by the High Court of Delhi in MAC Appeal No. 433 of 2005 by allowing the appeal of the respondent herein and reducing the compensation awarded by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (in short ‘the Tribunal’) in suit No. 778 of 2003 urging various facts and legal contentions.
The appellant widow was the mother of the deceased who filed claim petition before the Tribunal claiming compensation on account of the death of her son who was aged about 21 years, in a car accident which occurred on 12.06.1998. The car (bearing registration No. DL 2C F 3431), which he was driving from Jaipur to Delhi, was hit by a truck (bearing registration No. RJ 14 G 7596), which was owned by respondent No.2. and insured with respondent No.1.
The claim petition was filed by the appellant before the Tribunal claiming compensation from the respondent for the death of her son caused by the accident. The claim was contested by the respondents. Five witnesses were examined including the appellant herein who produced documentary evidence in justification of her claim. The Tribunal accepted the claim of the appellant and awarded compensation of Rs. 9,00,000/- towards the loss of dependency of the appellant which was determined by the Tribunal by applying the multiplier of 15 to the multiplicand which was arrived at by taking two-third of the monthly salary of the deceased and multiplying the amount by 12 months. Under the conventional heads, the Tribunal also awarded Rs.15,000/- towards funeral expenses and Rs. 50,000/- towards loss of filial affection of the mother. The Supreme Court allow the appeal by setting aside the impugned judgment and award of the High Court and restored the compensation awarded by the Tribunal of Rs. 13,07,000/- both under the heads of pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages and the said amount carries 9% interest per annum from the date of filing of the application till the date of payment of the amount.
According to Indian law, it is mandatory that every vehicle on road must be insured. It is immaterial as to how much care, the insurance holder takes in driving. Accidents don’t always occur due to negligence of the victim, but it can negligence of the accused driver also. There are many companies in India which provide car insurance ranging from General Insurance Company to Bajaj Alliance and many other companies. While having a car running on the road, the owner of the car requires five valid documents, including driving license, insurance papers, blue book, tax papers and pollution control papers. The insured declared value of the car depends on the model of the car and the number of years it is running. Yearly premiums are supposed to be paid by the owner of the car and the premium reduces every year because the value of the car gets depreciated.
Owners of cars should be serious with the paper work required to get their car insured. Accidents are beyond human control, and if it occurs, the insurance company can come to big help of the owner of the car.
Author : Dr. Souvik Chatterji