Motor insurance has two parts – own-damage part to cover the cost of repair for damage of the vehicle and third party insurance to pay claim raised by an accident victim or his/her family.
You may have been complaining for the increase in penalty for driving without insurance to Rs 2,000. However, the aim of the government is not just to fill its coffers by charging you heavy fines, but to protect you from getting bankrupt in case of someone’s accidental death caused by the vehicle you are driving, resulting into paying exorbitant amount of claims to the family of the victim.
Take, for example, the case of a bike owner in Mumbai, who has been asked to pay Rs 1 crore to the family members of a BMC ambulance driver, who died after the speeding bike driven by a teenager hit him on a road. The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal asked the Oriental Insurance Company to pay the claim amount to the kin of the victim and subsequently recover it from the bike owner as he knowingly allowed the teenager to ride the bike, who didn’t have a licence.
Although, in this case, despite having insurance, the bike owner would end up paying the claim amount due to his fault, but it highlights the need of insurance to avoid paying exorbitant amount in case of any accident resulting into death or disability of the victim.
Moreover, courts and tribunals decide amount of claim on the financial status of accident victim that would result on loss of income due to death or disability of the victim. So, not only Rs 1 crore, but the amount would go up many fold, if the status of a victim is much higher.
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Motor insurance has two parts, own-damage and third party insurance. While taking own-damage part is optional to cover the cost of repair for damage of the vehicle, as such cost may go up to maximum cost of a bike or car, which is known and within the affordable range of the owner, taking third party insurance is compulsory to pay claim raised by a accident victim or his/her family, as the claim amount is unknown and may run the vehicle owner bankrupt especially if the financial status of the victim is high.
So, it’s not just to avoid paying fine for driving without insurance, but taking at least third party cover is essential to save you from getting bankrupt in case of any unfortunate road accident resulting into death or disability of the accident victim.