01 May 2020

Insurance company not liable when vehicle is driven by unauthorized driver

Motor Vehicle Accident  Petition - Sec. 165, 168, 174, 149(2) of The Motor Vehicle Act - Accident by unauthorized driver - breach of policy - liability of Insurance Company

insurance-company-not-liable   Mere producing of valid insurance certificate, in respect of offending truck is not enough for the owner to make insurance company liable to discharge liability arising from rash and negligent driving by the driver of the vehicle. The insurance company can be fastened with the liability on the basis of the valid insurance policy only after basic facts are pleaded and established that the vehicle was not only duly insured but also that it was driven by anauthorized person having a valid driving license. The insurance company would become liable only after such foundational facts are pleaded and proved by the other side.

   The driver of the offending truck insured with the appellant was not authorized to drive the vehicle when the accident occurred and thus there was a breach of policy conditions. The appellant has to be absolved from liability to payment of compensation. [Para No.5]

   The reasonable course would be to follow the principle of pay and recover. Eventhough, the appellant insurance company is held entitled to be absolved from liability for compensation, it is required in the interest of justice that in the first instance, the appellant insurance company pays the amount of compensation to the claimants and thereafter, it may effect recovery from the owner in accordance with law.[Para No.6]

Gujarat High Court

National Insurance Company Ltd.
Nareshkumar Javsing Bamaniya

Decided on 30/04/2020

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