Registration, valid license required for auto insurance claim : The Tribune India

Pushpa Girimaji

Two months ago, I bought a new car. It was issued with a provisional registration number, valid for one month. I had to get a new permanent registration before the validity of the temporary permit expired but before I could apply I fell ill with Covid-19. Meanwhile, my son took the car to a nearby market to pick some fruit and when he returned the car was gone. The car was covered by an all-risk theft insurance policy, but the insurance company refuses to pay the insured amount on the grounds that the car did not have a valid registration at the time of the theft. Can I challenge this in consumer court?

To your simple question of whether you can challenge this in consumer court, I would answer yes. You have every right to challenge the insurance company’s decision to reject your claim, if you feel it is unfair. You can do this before the consumer court or the insurance mediator. However, I regret to say that your chances of winning the case and getting the assured money are slim.

On what basis do you say that?

First and foremost, I must point out that driving a vehicle in a public place without registration or displaying that registration is a violation of the Motor Vehicle Act. Section 39 of the Act imposes the responsibility on the owner of the vehicle to ensure that no one drives his vehicle in a public place or elsewhere unless he is registered and the vehicle has a registration mark displayed in the prescribed manner.

Recently, the Supreme Court reiterated that driving a vehicle without a registration certificate is not only a violation of the Motor Vehicle Act, but also a fundamental violation of the condition of the insurance policy and one cannot may blame the insurer for rejecting such claims. (United India Insurance Co Vs Sushil Kumar Godara – CA No. 58879 of 2021, Order: September 30, 2021)

Here, the plaintiff’s new car had a temporary registration for one month from June 20, 2011 to July 19, 2011, along with insurance coverage for Rs 6,17,800. On 28th July, the plaintiff traveled to Jodhpur for work, stayed at a guesthouse and parked his car in front of the guesthouse. The next morning he found the car missing.

The insurance company denied his claim on three grounds: (a) the car was unregistered; (b) The notice of theft was given to the insurer after a certain delay — again a violation of the condition of the policy; and (c) he left the vehicle unattended outside the guesthouse – another offence.

The State Commission and National Dispute Resolution Commission ordered the insurer to pay. The Supreme Court, however, deferred and reversed the order. In doing so, she pointed out that after the vehicle’s provisional registration expired, the consumer not only drove it to a public place, but also drove to another city and parked it for the night in a place other than his premises. And there was nothing in the file to show that he had applied for permanent registration and was pending registration.

The Supreme Court also said it was of no consequence that at the time of the theft he was not traveling on the road. The material fact was that she had been taken to a place from which she had been stolen, after the expiry of the temporary registration.

In this case, the Supreme Court also referred to its binding judgment in Narinder Singh v. New India Assurance Company (CA No. 8463 of 2014) in which it dealt with a similar case except that that in this case, the vehicle had encountered an accident. Observing that the National Commission should not have disregarded and disregarded its binding order in the Narinder Singh case, the Supreme Court reiterated: “…where an insurable incident giving rise to potential liability occurs, there should be no violation fundamental to the conditions contained in the contract. insurance. »

I would like to remind all consumers never to operate their vehicle without registration, insurance coverage and a valid driver’s license. And always renew your insurance on time.

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