Can You Make Car Insurance Claims If Seat Belts Are Not Worn?

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Road safety remains a persistent issue in India despite improvements in traffic management and the mandatory requirement for third-party liability insurance. The lack of regulation adherence and a need for more enforcement contribute to the prevailing challenges. The recent tragedy involving Cyrus Mistry’s demise has prompted the government to push for stricter enforcement, particularly regarding seat belt usage for all passengers in a vehicle.

Importance Of Wearing Seat Belts:

Before delving into the relationship between seat belt use and insurance claims, it is essential to understand why wearing seat belts is crucial:

  • Accident Prevention: Accidents can happen unexpectedly, and wearing seat belts provides a preventive measure irrespective of driving speed or fault.
  • Distribution Of Collision Force: Seat belts distribute the force of a collision over a more significant portion of the body, enhancing safety.
  • Restraint For Hips And Shoulders: A seat belt ensures that the hips and shoulders are restrained during an impact.
  • Protection For The Brain And Spinal Cord: Seat belts protect the brain and spinal cord, minimising the risk of severe injuries.

Insurance Claims And Seat Belt Use:

Although seat belt usage has been mandatory in India since October 2002, inadequate enforcement raises concerns about its impact on insurance claims. Rule 138(3) of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules imposes a Rs. 1000 fine for non-compliance, but it does not lead to a flat denial of insurance claims.

Claim Procedure For Car Insurance:

In a car accident, an insurance company cannot reject a demise claim due to passengers not wearing seat belts. While the claim is processed, legal proceedings may involve the insurer highlighting legal violations and contributory negligence, possibly leading to a reduced total claim amount. Understanding the car insurance process is crucial for ensuring proper coverage and swift claim settlements in the event of an accident especially when considering new car insurance options.

Third-Party And Comprehensive Car Insurance:

In the case of third-party car insurance that is mandatory for all vehicle owners, failure to use seat belts might be utilised by the liable party’s insurance to diminish the claimed damages. Comprehensive car insurance, though optional, covers injury, disability, and demise, emphasising the importance of seat belt use for personal safety. Make sure you always renew Bajaj Allianz car insurance online well on time. Claims are subject to terms and conditions set forth under the motor insurance policy.*

Injuries Resulting From Non-Seat Belt Use:

The primary purpose of seat belts is to reduce the likelihood of occupants being ejected from the vehicle during an accident. Failing to use seat belts can result in severe injuries, including:

  • Head And Brain Injuries: Non-seat belt use increases the risk of head and brain trauma injuries.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries And Paralysis: Injuries to the spinal cord and paralysis become more probable without seat belt restraint
  • Various Bodily Injuries: From fractures and broken bones to facial injuries and scars, non-seat belt use can lead to a range of bodily harm

While Indian regulations don’t lead to claim denials for not using seat belts, it’s crucial to stress their importance for personal safety. Compliance should go beyond rules, aiming to prevent injuries and prioritise road safety, irrespective of potential legal consequences or claim reductions particularly when obtaining new car insurance

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Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet and is subject to changes. Please consult an expert before making any related decisions.

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