• Compensation liability of an insurer for driver's negligent act

The driver is an employee of the owner of the two-wheeler and caused accident due to his own negligence which resulted in injury to a third party who is claiming compensation from the owner under MV Act. The vehicle is insured. So, can the insurance company be made liable for compensation? Are there any relevant case laws regarding this?
Asked 7 years ago in Civil Law

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8 Answers

In New India Assurance Company v. Kamla and others [2001 (4) SCC 342 : AIR 2001 SC 1419], the Supreme Court held as follows:-

"21. A reading of the Proviso to sub-section (4) as well as the language employed in sub-section (5) would indicate that they are intended to safeguard the interest of an Insurer who otherwise has no liability to pay any amount to the insured but for the provisions contained in Chapter XI of the Act. This means, the insurer has to pay to the third parties only on account of the fact that a Policy of Insurance has been issued in respect of the vehicle, but the Insurer is entitled to recover any such sum from the insured if the Insurer were not otherwise liable to pay such sum to the insured by virtue of the conditions of the contract of insurance indicated by the policy

2) The insurer and the insured are bound by the conditions enumerated in the policy and the Insurer is not liable to the insured if there is violation of any policy condition. But the insurer who is made statutorily liable to pay compensation to third parties on account of the certificate of insurance issued shall be entitled to recover from the insured the amount paid to the third parties, if there was any breach of policy conditions on account of the vehicle being driven without a valid driving licence. ...

3) . In National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Swaran Singh,(2004) 3 SCC 297, the Supreme Court examined the liability of the Insurance Company vis-a-vis the owner and held that the liability of the Insurance Company would arise both from contract as well as from statute. Elaborately considering the insurer's contractual liability as well as statutory liability vis-a-vis the claims of third parties, the Supreme Court held as under:

"31. The right of the victim of a road accident to claim compensation is a statutory one. He is a victim of an unforeseen situation. He would not ordinarily have a hand in it. The negligence on the part of the victim may, however, be contributory. He has suffered owing to wrongdoing of others. An accident may ruin an entire family. It may take away the only earning member. An accident may result in the loss of her only son to a mother. An accident may take place for a variety of reasons. The driver of a vehicle may not have a hand in it. He may not be found to be negligent in a given case. Other factors such as unforeseen situation, negligence of the victim, bad road or the action or inaction of any other person may lead to an accident

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
95168 Answers
7604 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

When a car belonging to an owner is insured with the insurance company and it is being driven by a driver employed by the insured, when it meets with an accident, the primary liability under law for payment of compensation is that of the driver. Once the driver is liable, the owner of the vehicle becomes vicariously liable for payment of compensation. It is this vicarious liability of the owner that is indemnified by the insurance company. A third party for whose benefit the insurance is taken, is therefore entitled to show, when he moves under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, that the driver was negligent in driving the vehicle resulting in the accident; that the owner was vicariously liable and that the insurance company was bound to indemnify the owner and consequently, satisfy the award made.

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
95168 Answers
7604 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. The owner is liable to pay he compensation for the accident caused by his vehicle driven by his driver.

2. If there is a third party insurance and the driver has vaid license and also was not driving the vehicle under the influence of alcohol, then the Insurance Company is liable to pay for the permitted compensation t he victim.

Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
27245 Answers
726 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Yes, you should inform the Insurance Company immediately for conducting the Survey immediately and process the claim which shall have to be preferred by you including the third party compensation.

Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
27245 Answers
726 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

If the vehicle was insured and driver has valid driving license then insurance company shall be liable to pay the compensation.

Feel free to call

Nadeem Qureshi
Advocate, New Delhi
6307 Answers
302 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

1. It is the owner who is liable to compensate the victim but the liability can be passed to the insurance company if there is a third party insurance and if the driver was possessing a valid license. If the driver (offending vehicle i.e., your person) has a valid driving license and vehicle (motor cycle) was insured the Insurer company shall pay to the injured the amount as awarded by Motor Accident Claims Tribunal.

2. If the injured has filed a claim petition. However, the injured may compound the case u/s 279/337 IPC, which is altogether different by compromising and compensating the injured, failing which it attracts punishment..

Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
30763 Answers
972 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Third party insurance policies are often called 'Act only' insurance. Your third party insurance does not cover you and your motor vehicle. It covers your legal liability for the damage you may cause to a third party only - bodily injury, death and damage to third party property - while using your vehicle.

In a third party insurance policy the first party is the insured and the second party is the insurance company. The third party here is any third person. . Under your third party insurance, a third party can file a claim for compensation for injury, death, property damage caused by your vehicle. The case for claiming compensation under third party will be filed against you and your insurer. While there is no limit on the liability covered for injury or death, the cover for third-party property (usually the third party's vehicle) damage is capped at Rs 7.5 lakh. "In case damages exceed the upper limit, the balance has to be paid by the policyholder himself,"

Thus the insurance company shall be liable to pay compensation for this accident done by your driver.

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
85369 Answers
2231 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Looking for relief for the owner so as to claim compensation from insurance company

Since the third party insurance policy is in force as on the date of accident the insurance company shall be liable to pay the compensation.

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
85369 Answers
2231 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

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