Insurance Company not Liable when Vehicle was being driven by Person under Influence of Alcohol- NCDRC

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September 10, 2018

Case name: Royal Sundaram General Insurance Co. Ltd. V. Davubhai Babubhai Ravaliya

In the case, the complainant/respondent owned a vehicle which he had got insured with the petitioner company.  Later, the vehicle met with an accident and accordingly the complainant lodged a claim for reimbursement in respect of the loss suffered by him on account of damage to the vehicle.  However, the Respondent’s claim was dismissed on the ground that the vehicle was being driven by a person who was under the influence of liquor and he was driving the said vehicle with the knowledge and consent of the insured. 

The National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC) denied relief to the Respondent and passed order in favour of Petitioner Insurance Company by holding that:

That if a person driving a private car with the knowledge and consent of the insured, is under influence of liquor or drugs at the time an accidental loss or damage is suffered by the vehicle, the insurance company is not liable to reimburse the said loss. 

That the consumption of liquor beyond a safe limit must necessarily disqualify the insured from getting the benefits of the insurance policy taken by him.

What is the safe limit?

In the case, the NCDRC held that if a person is found to have consumed more than 103.14 mg of alcohol/100 ml of his blood, it would be reasonable to say that he was under the influence of the intoxicating liquor at the time he died or got injured.  

In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, the Commission held that the Insurer is not liable to re-imburse the complainant for the loss suffered by him on account if damage to the vehicle.

The entire case can be accessed here.