In simple words, Car insurance claim is the financial protection given by the insurance company to its policyholders. It is an agreement signed between two parties the policyholder and the insurer.

When you employ a driver for your vehicle, you take a copy of his driving license in good faith, believing it to be valid and proper.

It is your driver’s duty to drive to your destination. Apart from driving, he is responsible for the safety of your vehicle as well. The first thing you do when you hire a driver for your motor vehicle is taking a copy of his driving license. By default you trust it to be legitimate and authentic. The question is what if it is not? How many people go and get it checked whether the license is legitimate or a fake one? You would not know the reality of the license, until or unless a full-fledged query is raised at the RTO of the respective driving license issuing authority.

A question must be arising in your mind,  what happens in the case when a driver meets with an accident? The insurer will investigate the various factors including the authenticity of the driver’s license if the policyholder claims. If it turns out to be a fake one, the claim is rejected in that scenario. So, the vehicle owner who is the policyholder will have to bear the losses from his own pocket because fell to the prey of the driver’s fraud, as the car insurance company has refused to settle that claim.

Let’s understand this by studying a case study.

A truck which is insured with the New India Assurance for Rs 8,80,000 is owned by Shankar. During the transportation, it was rammed by a divider and met with an accident. Shankar without any delay informed the insurance company and the company assigned a surveyor to investigate the case properly.

The cost of damage fixing was Rs 34,700 but the claim got rejected by the insurer. After around 6 months, the same truck caught fire. This time also Shankar informed the insurer without wasting any time but this time also his claim as not accepted. So he issued a legal notice to the insurer. To his surprise, they ignored it. Then he registered his complaints at the district forum for two of his claims. He authorized the copy of his damaged cargo and along with harassment compensation that summed up to Rs. 11, 75,650 was also included. Also, he sought litigation as well as interest costs.

After all these efforts, the car insurance company replied to Shankar that his driver Ali had a fake driving license. It was found by the alleged license issuing authority that no license had been issued to Ali which means the license he was carrying was fake, during the investment done by the surveyor. So, the company had all the rights to reject the claim. These objections were challenged by the district forum and it ordered the insurer to pay Rs. 8, 21,050 including interest, costs and the compensation.

The insurer appealed against this order in the higher court, which was again dismissed by the UP state commission. A revision was filed by the company claiming that the investigations made with the RTO had declared that the license his driver carried was phony. In addition to that, it was endorsed by the district transport officer who confirmed that no license as such had been issued by the RTO. Shankar was sure that there was no negligence from his side and he had checked the driver’s license which had been renewed twice.

Various decisions were taken by the apex Supreme Court on phony/ forged driving licenses were considered by the National Commission. It was declared that the court stated that no claim will be payable if the license was found to be phony,  even if it was renewed with the concerned authority. So, the National Court declared that Shankar’s claim was denied by the insurance company on fairgrounds.

How can you ensure that your Driver’s License is valid?

You can verify your driver’s license with the RTO if you ever feel the license is phony. This process is made easy for the people. All you need to do is write an application under the Right to Information Act. If you hire a driver without ensuring the genuineness of his license, then despite having an active policy, you could end up with denied insurance coverage or claim.

You should be 100 percent sure with his genuineness when it comes to employing a driver so that you don’t have to bear the loss and pay the claim amount from your own pocket, despite having adequate insurance coverage.

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