Insurance claim rejected for want of valid licence

PUNE: The Pune district consumer disputes redressal forum has held that there can be no insurance claim for fundamental breach of policy, including driving a transport vehicle without a valid licence required for driving such a vehicle, in case of an accident.

A three-member bench of the forum, headed by its president V P Utpat, dismissed the complaint by a tractor owner Bajirao Daulat Gadade of Tandali in Shirur taluka seeking Rs 63,797 claim for damages suffered by his tractor in an accident and Rs 10,000 compensation from the Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company at Shankar Sheth Road here for “wrongfully repudiating his insurance claim, thereby causing deficiency in service”. Mohan Patankar and Krishitija Kulkarni were other members of the forum that passed the order on Friday.

The forum relied on a couple of high court judgments of July 2009 and October 2011 which held that if there is fundamental breach in the terms and conditions of the (insurance) policy, then insurance company should be exonerated from the liability to pay claims.

In the instant case, the driver of the tractor, which suffered damages after accidentally slipping into a river, was driving the vehicle without a valid and effective licence required for driving transport vehicles. He had a licence for driving a motorcycle, but he was driving the tractor along with a trolley that was filled with fertilizer. The insurance company repudiated the tractor owner’s claim on the grounds that it was not liable to pay for consequential damages due to fundamental breach of the policy terms and conditions.

The complainant had purchased the tractor and was in the business of extending the vehicle on rent for agricultural purpose. The tractor was insured with the Bajaj Allianz insurance company for the period between February 10, 2010 and February 9, 2011 under the comprehensive cover.

On November 12, 2011, the tractor, which was then driven by Santosh Gadade, met with an accident and fell into the river. Subsequently, Bajirao filed an insurance claim for Rs 63,797, which the firm dismissed for fundamental breach of policy. Bajirao had argued that the firm’s action was based on an indefensible ground and hence it had caused deficiency in service.

Lawyer Rhushikesh Ganu, who appeared for the insurance company, however, brought to the forum’s notice the fact that the tractor driver was not holding a valid licence and that the insurance company was right in repudiating the claim.

Curated From :  Insurance claim rejected for want of valid licence

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