If you are a vehicle owner, you would already have third party liability coverage. The Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 makes it mandatory for vehicle owners to purchase this policy if they want to drive their vehicles on Indian roads. If your vehicle gets involved in an accident and causes damage to someone else or their property, third party insurance pays for the liabilities.
This article focuses on what to do when your vehicle is the one that has caused damages. The procedure to be followed in case you are the third party will differ from the one given here in slight aspects.
Firstly, let us understand the different scenarios resulting from an accident in which your third party insurance can cover you:
- Severe injuries to the third party
- Accidental death of the third party
- Hospitalization and other medical expenses for the treatment of the injured third party
- Damages caused to the third party’s property
- Compensation claimed by the third party in case the accident leads to a disability that can cause them to lose employment and regular income
- Legal expenses in case the matter is taken to a court/tribunal
- Inform the police
This is the first and most important step you or the third party need to do. File a FIR, provide accurate details, and obtain a copy of this FIR.
- Share a copy of your insurance policy
Now, you have to share a copy of the two wheeler insurance or four wheeler insurance policy with the third party so that they can raise a claim with your insurer.
- Inform the insurance company
You will also have to inform the insurance company and give them your point of view of the accident.
- Gather evidence about the accident
Click photographs, collect copies of bills and invoices, and ensure that other witnesses are in touch so that the settlement can proceed in an orderly fashion. The insurer may reject the claims if the required evidence is not provided.
The claim settlement for a bike or car insurance policy is done by a tribunal called the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal and not a regular court. The third party must file a case at the tribunal in their geographical zone to take the matter ahead. You have to be present at the tribunal hearings when required and provide your side of the information. The insurance company will take care of all the expenses in this process as per the policy.
Upper limit on compensation
In case of injuries to or death of the third party, there is no limit as such on the compensation amount. The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal determines this amount after considering several factors unique to each accident.
In case of damages to third party’s property, there is a regulated limit set at Rs 7.5 lakhs. If the repair expenses cost more than that, the balance will have to be paid by the first party, that is, the policyholder.
Your third party insurance claim can be rejected if the accident was caused when you were under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants. It can also be rejected if you were driving in violation of traffic/driving rules. Always read the policy wordings carefully to avoid getting your claim rejected.