Swift action needed as India faces 80,000 cr in pending Motor Accident Claims

The IRDAI recently revealed that 10,46,163 motor accident claims are pending nationwide. Supreme Court advocate K C Jain, who obtained this data via t
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Motor Accident Claims
The IRDAI data suggest that the number of pending claims rose each financial year from 2018-19 to 2022-23: 9,09,166 in 2018-19, 9,39,160 in 2019-20, 10,08,332 in 2020-21, 10,39,323 in 2021-22, and 10,46,163 in 2022-23
Motor Accident Claims
The IRDAI data suggest that the number of pending claims rose each financial year from 2018-19 to 2022-23: 9,09,166 in 2018-19, 9,39,160 in 2019-20, 10,08,332 in 2020-21, 10,39,323 in 2021-22, and 10,46,163 in 2022-23

India faces an escalating crisis with motor accident claims. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) recently disclosed that there are 10,46,163 pending motor accident claims across the country, amounting to a staggering 80,455 crore. This data, obtained via the Right to Information (RTI) Act by Supreme Court advocate K C Jain, highlights a consistent rise in pending claims from 2018-19 to 2022-23.

Advocate K C Jain's RTI query to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) sought comprehensive details on the pending motor accident claims, including state- and district-wise information, and the annual distribution of claims over the past five years. Jain's inquiry also aimed to uncover any measures taken by the government to expedite the resolution of these claims.

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The IRDAI’s response painted a grim picture. At the end of each financial year from 2018-19 to 2022-23, the number of pending claims steadily increased: 9,09,166 in 2018-19, 9,39,160 in 2019-20, 10,08,332 in 2020-21, 10,39,323 in 2021-22, and 10,46,163 in 2022-23. Correspondingly, the total claim amounts ballooned from 52,713 crore in 2018-19 to 80,455 crore in 2022-23.

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Despite Jain's request for regional data, the IRDAI clarified that it does not maintain district- or state-wise details of motor third-party claims. This lack of granular information underscores the challenges in addressing the issue on a local level.

Jain, an Agra-based lawyer and road safety activist, emphasised the growing backlog and the slow pace of claim settlements. He pointed out that it takes an average of four years for victims to receive financial relief. At the start of the financial year 2022-23, there were 10,39,323 pending claims. With 4,54,944 new claims added throughout the year, the total pending claims soared to 14,94,267. However, only 4,48,104 cases were resolved, representing a mere 29 per cent resolution rate.

Due to these excessive delays, Jain has filed an interlocutory application in the Supreme Court, demanding the central government establish an interim payment scheme under Section 164A of the Motor Vehicles Act. This scheme aims to provide immediate financial relief to road accident victims. Jain proposes a minimum interim payment of 5,00,000 for fatal cases and 2,50,000 for injury cases, as stipulated under the no-fault liability clause in Section 164 of the MV Act.

Jain's call for an interim payment scheme highlights the urgent need for reforms in the motor accident claims process. As the number of pending claims continues to rise, swift and effective measures are essential to ensure timely financial relief for victims and their families. The government’s response to this pressing issue will be crucial in addressing the growing backlog and improving road safety outcomes in India.

First Published Date: 28 May 2024, 12:18 PM IST
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