Insurance company cannot deny a claim just because the insured person is allegedly involved in multiple road accidents: Orissa High Court

The High Court of Orissa ruled that the mere fact that a person driving a vehicle is involved in several road accidents, at different times, is not a reason for the insurance company to deny his claim.

The single judge of the bench of justice BP Routray observed,

there is no logic in the appellant’s assertion that because the defendant is involved in more than one accident at different times, the claim for compensation contemplated under section 166 of the act MV would be canceled for this reason.

An appeal has been filed by the insurer (calling here) against the judgment rendered by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) of Keonjhar in two road accident cases. The present appeal concerned MAC Case No. 156/2017 in which the Tribunal awarded compensation in the amount of Rs.65,000/- with interest of 7% per annum to the claimant due to the injury he suffered in the motor vehicle. accident of 30.4.2017.

It was argued on behalf of the Appellant that the accused, who was the driver of the motorcycle, is a repeat traffic offender and that two other cases against him are pending at Keonjhar and Cuttack. Therefore, his claim for compensation for the damage suffered in the alleged road accident is not tenable in the eyes of the law.

However, rejecting this claim raised by the appellant-insurer, the High Court said:

“This assertion by the Appellant is rejected out of hand since no evidence in this regard was presented to the learned Tribunal. Second, there is no logic in the Appellant’s assertion that because the defendant is involved in more than one accident at different times, the claim for compensation contemplated under section 166 of the MV Act would be void on this ground.”

Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed and the appellant-insurance company was ordered to deposit the full amount of the indemnity together with interest as directed by the Tribunal within two months which was to be paid in favor of the plaintiff.

Case title: The Division Manager, National Insurance Co. Ltd. vs. Sunil Majhi & Anr.

Case no: MACA No. 253 of 2019

Judgment dated: March 21, 2022

Koram: Justice BP Routray

Counsel for the Appellant: Mr. PK Panda, Lawyer

Counsel for the Respondent: Mr. PK Mishra, lawyer

Quote: 2022 LiveLaw (Ori) 31

Click here to read/download the order


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Justin D. O'Neill