Concept of Accident in Insurance

Unplanned injurious or damaging event which interrupts the normal progress of an activity. An accident may be seen as resulting from a failure to identify a hazard or from some inadequacy in an existing system of hazard controls. Refer “Disease”, “Incident”, and “Occurrence”.


Accident, arising out of and in the course of employment :

The term “accident” is given its popular meaning, viz., ‘an event which is neither expected nor desired.’ The words “in the course of employment” indicate the time when the injury is caused, whereas the words “out of employment” establish the causal connection between the injury and the employment.

Accident, aviation :

Accident means any one accident or series of accidents arising out of one event.

Accident, compulsory Public Liability Insurance :

Accident is defined as “an incident involving a fortuitous, sudden or unintentional occurrence while handling any hazardous substance resulting in continuous, intermittent or repeated exposure to death of, or injury to person or damage to any property but does not include an accident by reason only of war or radioactivity”.

Accident, hit and run :

Hit and run accident is “an accident arising out of the use of a motor vehicle or motor vehicles, the identity whereof cannot be ascertained in spite of reasonable efforts for the purpose.” Section 163 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 provides that the Central Government may establish a fund known as the Solatium Fund to be utilized for paying compensa­tion in respect of death or grievous hurt to persons resulting from Hit and Run motor accidents. The compensation payable for death claims is fixed at Rs.8,500/- and in respect of ‘grievous hurt’ Rs.2,000/-. Refer “Solatium Fund”.

Accident, inevitable :

An inevitable accident is an accident which occurs inspite of the exercise of ordinary care, caution and skill. The defendant has to prove that the accident could not have been avoided.

Extracts from “General Insurance & Risk Management Glossary” published by The Insurance Times, Edited by Dr. Rakesh Agarwal. Copyright of Sashi Publications, Kolkata.

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