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Can Insurance Companies Incur Immediate Treatment Costs Of Motor Accident Victims? Kerala High Court To Examine

Hannah M Varghese
29 Oct 2021 11:45 AM GMT
Can Insurance Companies Incur Immediate Treatment Costs Of Motor Accident Victims? Kerala High Court To Examine
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The Kerala High Court is set to examine if a mechanism can be designed including insurance companies or the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) to meet the immediate treatment costs of accident victims. The matter will be considered next week.A Division Bench of Justices K Vinod Chandran and C Jayachandran on Wednesday took suo motu cognizance of a letter addressed by...

The Kerala High Court is set to examine if a mechanism can be designed including insurance companies or the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) to meet the immediate treatment costs of accident victims. The matter will be considered next week.

A Division Bench of Justices K Vinod Chandran and C Jayachandran on Wednesday took suo motu cognizance of a letter addressed by a group of students of Mariyan International Management Studies to Justice Sunil Thomas regarding the bearing of immediate or specialist treatment costs of accident victims by insurance companies or by their regulator IRDA.

The students were prompted to raise the issue after one of their classmates met with an accident while returning home from college. She was admitted to a government medical college, but since the institution was not equipped with certain facilities, her parents had to spend nearly a lakh for her treatment on specialist facilities like scanning which had to be availed from nearby private hospitals.

Calling the situation 'pathetic', the students in their letters revealed that their classmate's parents, who are not financially sound, had to run from pillar to post to arrange money for their daughter's treatment amidst the raging pandemic.

It is at this juncture that they became aware of the challenges faced by motor vehicle accident victims, the suffering endured by their families and thereby sought the Court's intervention to direct the insurance companies and the IRDA to bear the immediate treatment costs of accident victims and to deduct the amounts from the insurance claim later.

The letter also suggested that all hospitals in the country be brought under one roof for carrying out emergency treatments for motor vehicle accident victims, and the treatment costs be immediately borne by insurance companies in the event of an accident.

It also invited the Court's attention to an incident where a person had died in the State pursuant to which the government had proposed an insurance policy to take care of emergency treatment of accident cases for the first 48 hours. 

But the conditions of the proposal were opposed by the insurance companies and the proposal was accordingly axed. 

The students further pointed out an order of the Kerala State Human Rights Commission that directs the state to bear the cost of treatment of accident victims.

"For this, it was proposed to raise a reserve fund by earmarking 10 per cent of the amount collected as fine for petty offences by the police and motor vehicles department," the letter reads.

The State was thereby directed to submit an action taken report in this regard before August 30, 2013, but the students have noted that the state of affairs in case of motor vehicle accidents show that this has not been given due consideration by the government. 

Accordingly, the letter urged that a direction be given to the Insurance companies to incur the expenses for immediate treatment of motor accident victims. 

The State government, Union of India, Police Department, IRDA, Motor Vehicles Department and the General Insurance Council have been made respondents in the matter.  

Senior Government Pleader V Tekchand appeared for the State.

Case Title: Suo Motu v. State of Kerala

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