Knowledge Centre

Motor Insurance is not for Drunken Drivers

Buying a motor car is a dream for the most and it is still considered as a major milestone of life for many in India. However, knowing about driving safely is as important as owning a personal car. The law of the land mandates that every owner of a motor vehicle must have the third-party liability insurance. It is recommended you, as an owner of the vehicle, get a Motor insurance that protects you from any financial liability that arises out of a mishap involving your car. While a comprehensive Motor Insurance assures you that peace of mind in the event of any mishap, it is important to understand this assurance comes with certain responsibilities.

We have witnessed a few of cases (12-year old Salman Khan hit-and-run case, a woman lawyer hitting Audi SUV into a taxi under influence of alcohol) in the recent past on the consequences of drunken driving where a number of people were injured and several lives were lost. Damages to humans and non-life assets are common in general vehicular accidents, but the extent of damages is generally higher in the case of drunken driving cases. However, owner/drivers of vehicles involved in the drunken driving cases should not expect any compensation from vehicle Insurance companies. It is unfair and unethical to claim insurance if accident takes place while the driver is under influence of alcohol.Insurance companies carry out their investigation to ensure that compensations are provided on basis of the rulebook.

The ownership of a car can cause stress in the unfortunate event of damage, accident, loss of car, third-party liability, etc. With financial liabilities arising out of a mishap related to personal cars could be serious, it is important that you are secured against such possibilities. A Motor Insurance policy safeguards your finances and gives you the desired coverage in the event any vehicle-related mishap. A standard Motor Insurance provides the policyholder protection against natural disasters such as an earthquake or flood; or in the event of somebody damaging or stealing your car.

Driving a motor vehicle without insurance in a public place is a punishable offence under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. But having a Motor Insurance does not mean one will be compensated in all mishaps. There are instances when motor insurance claims are rejected by the Insurance companies. A claim rejection means a financial loss to the policyholder, since he has to pay for the loss from his own pocket. Insurers often cite reasons – Exclusions – which the policyholders seem to ignore most of the times. However, knowing Exclusions – what will not be covered under a Motor Insurance policy – can help policyholders from disappointments at the time of claims.

One such exclusion that comes with all Motor Insurance policies is the damage caused by a person driving under the influence of Liquor/Alcohol/Drugs. It is a proven fact that consumption of alcohol renders a driver incapable from operating a motor vehicle safely. Sadly, however, a large number of vehicular accidents are caused by drivers under influence of alcohol. In most countries, drivers of automobile convicted of injuring or killing someone while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs are heavily fined in addition to a prison sentence. Globally, driving under the influence and alcohol-related accidents cause an estimated $45 billion in damages every year.

Insurers incorporate a number of exclusions in their offerings to prevent customers from taking undue advantage of a service that is essential. All Insurance policies come with certain common exclusions, without which the Motor Insurance business may not be sustainable. The claims under the drunken driving are typically rejected as per the terms & conditions printed on the policy documents. Unfortunately, policyholders do not read the exclusions at the time of taking the policy.

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