“The insured shall take all reasonable steps to safeguard the vehicle from loss or damage and to maintain it in efficient condition”.
You may have noticed these words in your Motor Insurance policy document. But did you know that the standard motor policy document gives no definition of “reasonable steps, safeguarding and maintaining it in efficient condition”. Thus, it is up to the insurer to interpret these words in the context of a claim and often conveniently leading to repudiation. The insured ends up running from pillar to post!
In 2022, the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court ruled that mere absence, invalid driving licence or failing to take reasonable steps are not defences available to the insurer to repudiate claims. The insurer must prove that insured was guilty of Negligence & Lack of Reasonable Care to avoid liability under Motor Vehicles Act.