Indian Supreme Court rules insurance valid despite fake driver’s licence

Ruling overturns consumer tribunal’s earlier decision that sided with the insurer’s denial of the claim

Indian Supreme Court rules insurance valid despite fake driver’s licence

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

India’s Supreme Court has ruled against an insurer’s denial of a claim for a vehicle owner who had unknowingly hired a driver with a falsified driver’s licence.

The court, through Justices Navin Sinha and Krishna Murar, said that United India Insurance Company cannot deny the claim lodged by the vehicle owner’s wife, who sought compensation for her husband and their daughter, who both died in a vehicular accident, Times of India reported.

According to the report, the vehicle’s owner hired a driver who turned out to have a fake driver’s licence. The driver was behind the wheel when the accident occurred, leading to the deaths of the owner and the daughter. The insurer denied the claim, citing the driver’s fake licence and lack of record with transport authorities. The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission sided with the insurer, but the Supreme Court has overturned this ruling.

According to the Supreme Court, it was not proven that the vehicle’s owner had wilfully breached the conditions of the insurance policy. It ruled that the owner was deceived into believing that the driver’s licence was genuine.

“While hiring a driver, the employer is expected to verify if the driver has a driving licence,” the Supreme Court’s ruling said. “If the driver produces a licence which looks genuine, the employer is not expected to further investigate the authenticity of the licence unless there is cause to believe otherwise.”

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