Insurance co can refuse claim if driver has no license
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Last Updated: Tuesday, April 27, 2010, 18:04
New Delhi: An insurance company is not liable to pay vehicle claim if a driver does not possess a valid driving license at the time of an accident, the National Consumer Commission has held.

"When the driver of the insured vehicle was holding a driving license that entitled him to drive only a light motor vehicle, he was not entitled to drive a medium goods vehicle, which clearly fell in the category of transport vehicle," the Commission, comprising President Justice Ashok Bhan and Member S K Naik, said.

The Commission passed the order on a petition of Oriental Insurance Company rejecting the vehicle claim of one M D Srinivasa for driving the transport vehicle despite the fact that he was in possession of license which allowed him to drive a light motor vehicle only.

Citing section 14(2) of the Motor Vehicles Act, a license for a transport vehicle could be issued only for a period of three years while the license of the driver issued was for a period of 20 years.

"This (validity of a license for a period of 20 years) further proves that the license of the driver authorised him to drive only non-transport vehicle and that is also the endorsement in his driving license," it said while setting aside the Karnataka State Commission's order.

The State Commission had reversed the District Forum's order and directed the insurance company to pay Rs 1.25 lakh to the policy holder.

Srinivasa, possessing a license for light motor vehicle, was found driving Eicher Cantor, a medium goods vehicle at the time of the accident in 2002.

His claim was rejected on the ground that he was not authorised to drive the transport vehicle.


First Published: Tuesday, April 27, 2010, 18:04

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