In India, it’s common to see people not wearing seat belts when riding in the second or third row of a vehicle. Even the fact that wearing seat belts in the back seat has been mandatory since October 2002 is not well known by most people. The issue arises of whether an insurance provider will pay the claim if the driver or passengers were not using seat belts at the time of the accidents.
Importance of Wearing Seatbelts
- Securing you in place prevents minor mishaps from becoming serious casualty situations. In the case of an accident, seatbelts protect you from significant harm.
- Due to the pressure exerted by the seat belt, you will become a more attentive driver. As the belt’s location tends to keep short drivers from dozing off, this is especially beneficial for them.
- The use of seatbelts enhances airbag performance. Your car’s airbags are designed to inflate at a specific location.
- A challan may be issued for driving without a seatbelt. In reality, whether you are in the back or front of the car, you must use a seatbelt. The traffic police have the authority to punish you with ₹1000 for failing to wear seatbelts.
- Seatbelts are also crucial if you need to submit a claim under your car insurance coverage. When a driver doesn’t wear seatbelts, their insurance company may decide to deny their claim because they didn’t exercise sufficient caution and care.
- Your traffic challan record will now be considered when determining your car insurance price , according to an IRDAI circular released on September 6, 2019. In other words, using a seatbelt will help you save money on your insurance.
Fine for Driving Without a Seatbelt
If you drive a vehicle in India without a seatbelt, the traffic police can give you a challan. Additionally, you must use a seatbelt even if you are not the driver but a passenger. Both front- and back-seat passengers must adhere to this guideline. Yes, even if you are in the back seat, you are still legally obligated to wear a seatbelt, something not many know.
You can get ₹1000 challan per person for not using a seatbelt. In a vehicle with four persons, the total challan would be ₹4000 if none are wearing seatbelts. And it is not a small sum. Passengers in the back who do not use seat belts may be fined ₹1,000 as per Rule 138(3) of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR). In addition to endangering lives, this disregard for seat belt regulations may affect car insurance price in the event of an accident.
Not Wearing a Seatbelt Might Increase Your Insurance Costs
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India published a circular on September 6, 2019, for businesses offering car insurance policies. According to this circular, a person’s traffic challan records must be considered a significant element in determining the car insurance price they must pay for vehicle insurance. Your premiums will rise if you are fined for driving a car without a seatbelt. So, you should wear seatbelts for your life, health, finances, and insurance records.
Failure to Wear a Seat Belt Impacts Compensation Claims in India
According to insurance professionals, no insurance company can deny a claim because the victim was not using a seat belt. However, the total sum might be significantly less if tribunals or courts hear the claims. The Central Motor Vehicle Rules, which require the use of seatbelts in all circumstances, may be considered by the court when making a judgment.
The insurance company must fulfill the death claim if it is discovered after a car accident that the riders were not using seat belts. The insurer cannot use the fact that the individual was not wearing seatbelts to deny the claim. However, the insurance provider may argue that passengers were negligent and there had been a breach of the law if the claim goes to court or tribunal. It will reduce the total claim sum. As a result, always use a seat belt when driving to limit the risk of severe injuries in a car accident and get maximum compensation.
In the case of third party insurance, your insurer may use the fact that the individual was not wearing seat belts to reduce the amount of compensation to which the injured party is entitled. Car owners must have third party insurance, which covers damage to another person’s property, vehicle, or person and any resulting harm, disfigurement, or death. Accidents are regrettable, but it’s essential to realize that they may occur to anybody, anywhere, even while driving slowly in places where it’s safer. So it’s necessary to adhere to the driving law and have insurance.
Personal Accident Insurance Policy
This policy covers both disability and unintentional death. At the same time, as it relieves your financial strain and lightens your load at a time of great need, it helps dependent family members. A personal accident insurance policy covers three different forms of disability.
- Total and permanent impairments prevent you from working or leading an everyday life due to severe harm.
- Partial and permanent impairment significantly impair your ability to lead an everyday life after suffering the partial but irreversible injury.
- Complete and temporary incapacity, in which you experience bodily harm that briefly disables you from leading a regular life,
The insurance company must pay up even if an individual (driver or a fellow passenger) is not wearing a seatbelt and is involved in a car accident. The vehicle owner must purchase an add-on passenger cover to their comprehensive car insurance coverage since it is best for everyone to safeguard the safety of the co-passengers sitting in a car. If you choose extra protection, your car insurance price premium will go up slightly, but this rider assures everyone within the vehicle is completely protected. Even if the insurers may not reject a claim, it still represents policyholders’ irresponsible behaviour.
Personal accident coverage under the vehicle insurance policy provides compensation for physical injuries, death or any permanent disability arising from the accident. In the event of accidental death or complete incapacity, the insurance provider will pay the nominee the policy amount. Up to three other passengers sitting in the car, you may purchase this coverage.
The insurance provider should accept a claim even if the passenger in the back seat wasn’t using a seat belt. However, the policyholder will be held responsible for contributing to the carelessness. Additionally, airbags serve as an extra safety and seat belts as the primary safety measure. Since airbags may not deploy if you do not wear seat belts, everyone must use seat belts. Thus, not wearing seat belts not only compromises your safety, but also adds to your car insurance price.
Can seatbelts cause damage in a crash?
Seatbelts are an essential safety feature in modern vehicles, designed to protect occupants in the event of a collision. However, some people wonder whether wearing a seatbelt can cause damage in a crash. While it is true that seatbelts can cause injuries in certain circumstances, the benefits of wearing a seatbelt far outweigh the risks.
One potential concern is that a seatbelt can cause bruising or other bodily injuries, particularly in high-speed crashes. However, these injuries are typically minor and heal quickly, whereas the consequences of not wearing a seatbelt can be catastrophic. In fact, studies have shown that seatbelts can reduce the risk of death or serious injury in a crash by as much as 50%.
Another concern is that a seatbelt can cause injury to the neck or spinal cord, particularly if the seatbelt is improperly adjusted or worn. However, these types of injuries are rare and are often the result of improper use of the seatbelt rather than the seatbelt itself.
The above information is for illustrative purposes only. For more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales