Insurance company cannot be held liable in case of theft of vehicle occurred due to negligence of driver

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC): If theft of a vehicle takes place due to negligence of driver, insurance company cannot be made liable for payment of insurance claim, held NCDRC while dismissing a revision petition filed by owner of a truck which was stolen when the driver of the vehicle left it unattended with the key inside the ignition. The said truck was stolen from in front of All India Institute of Medical Sciences in the night intervening 19/20 January, 2010 when the driver left to relieve himself with the key of the truck in the ignition. When the owner approached the district consumer forum, seeking payment of Rs 7.61 lakh, Forum allowed his claim. The said order of Forum was later quashed by the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Rajasthan in appeal filed by Insurance Company. In revision, which was filed by the owner of truck against the order of State Commission, NCDRC observed that the alleged theft took place solely on account of the negligence on the part of the person who was driving the truck. While dismissing the petition, NCDRC held, “The driver of the vehicle was clearly negligent in leaving the truck unattended with the key inside the ignition.  In our opinion, once it is shown that the theft took place solely on account of the driver, employed by the insured, the Insurance Company cannot be made liable for such negligent act on the part of the driver and cannot be directed to reimburse the insured.  For this reason alone, the order passed by the State Commission is eminently justified.”(Arjun Lal Jat v. HDFC Irgo General Insurance Co. Ltd., Revision Petition No. 3182 of 2014, decided on August 28, 2014)

To read the full judgment, refer SCCOnLine

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