Fatal motor accident claim settled in 10 days, a 1st in India

A motor third party death accident compensation claim settled in 10 days in India! Well, it is not a joke. But it actually happened in the nation’s capital in May this year.

Thanks to the pilot project called Fast Track Dar Scheme that began on May 1, 2021.

The family of a Delhi Police constable received a sum of Rs 32 lakhs as compensation in 10 days after he was killed in a road accident, said participants in a webinar organised by the General Insurance Council of India and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Ltd under the aegis of Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) on Saturday.

The Pune-based Bajaj Allianz General Insurance had settled the claim in this case.

Normally it takes not less than five years for the family of a road accident victim to get compensation from the insurance companies.

By that time, the amount would be too little and the victim’s family would be in dire straits.

Speaking at the eventm Tapan Singhel, Managing Director and CEO, Bajaj Allianz General, said the non-life insurance industry pays about Rs 24,000 crore per year as compensation to road accident victims/families.

He said normally it takes about 10 years for a claim to be settled and in the instant case it took just 10 days.

Pointing out large population of vehicles not covered under the mandatory third party insurance policy Atul Sahai, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, New India Assurance said only 40 per cent of the vehicles on the road are insured and they are paying for the remaining 60 per cent of the uninsured vehicles.

Sahai who is also the Chairman of the General Insurance Council, said under the ‘pay and recover’ principle the insurers are not even able to get back even five percent of their payout.

He also said New India Assurance had settled 45,000 claims (about 20,000 claims aged five years) paying a total of about Rs.2,100 crore.

He said the new system will be a new lifeline for the industry.

Taking forward the industry’s point of view T.L. Alamelu, Member (Non-Life) Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) said last fiscal the industry settled 2.60 lakh motor third party claims.

She said in case of delay in settling the third party claims also hurts the insurers as they have to carry a huge burden of reserves.

Alamelu said reserves locks insurer’s capital and restricts their ability to do more business.

Urging the insurers to speedup their claims settlements Alamelu also said the simple DAR procedure will have a cascading effect on all other claims.

She said hospitals and non-fatal claims should also be brought under this system and added that there should be campaign in the vernacular media about the scheme.

Responding to that Delhi High Court Justice J.R. Midha said attempts to expand the scheme to those injured in road accidents.

According to Patanjali Dev Nayar, Regional Advisor, Asia-Pacific, World Health Organization, one of the major reasons for people going into poverty is road accidents.

He said the delayed compensation also has various social impact as some of the family members can get into crimes.

Tracing the journey of the motor accident compensation claims over the years former Justice of the Supreme Court R.V. Raveendran also said settling one case in 10 days while it is appreciable but it is not sufficient as there are five lakh cases are reported.

The compensation for fatal road accident claims that can come under the Fast Track DAR in Delhi should satisfy the following conditions:

Accident happened due to rash and negligence driving of the offending vehicle;

Driver of the offending vehicle holds a valid driving licence;

The offending vehicle has valid insurance policy and

There is no violation of the insurance policy conditions like drunken or minor driving.