Impact of Drunk Driving on Motor Insurance


27 Jul 2023

In India, consuming alcohol while driving is a serious offense.

In India, consuming alcohol while driving is a serious offense. if you are caught drunk driving by the police, you will have to pay heavy fines and may face imprisonment. While you may be under the impression that your motor insurance policy will help you get out of the soup; however, this is not the case. Your motor insurance policy will not be able to provide cover if drunk driving leads to death, damage to property, or bodily injury.

Before understanding the impact of Drunken Driving on Motor Insurance, let’s get to know how alcohol consumption harms your health:

Short-term effects of drinking:

• Low blood pressure

• Decreased reflex responses

• Slow reaction

• Reduced ability to make decisions

• Increased confusion

Long-term health risks

• Heart stroke

• Digestive problems

• Memory problems

• Mental health issues

• Cancer

• Liver disease

Any individual who gets detected for alcohol consumption that exceeds 30 mg per 100 ml of blood, is said to be driving under the influence of alcohol. This also applies in the case of drugs. Traffic cops check this with the help of a breathalyzer, wherein the person needs to blow in a small pipe-like attachment that is connected to the breathalyzer. The device then displays the amount of alcohol content detected in your blood.

What do you need to know about drunk driving & motor insurance?

• Whether you have consumed alcohol or an intoxicating substance in a small or large proportion, it can directly have an impact on the way you drive the vehicle. Alcohol consumption leads to drowsiness and blurry vision, which can make you lose focus, and you may not be capable of exercising control over the vehicle. And this is dangerous for you as well as other vehicles plying on the road.

• Drunken driving is one of the major exclusions of a bike/car insurance policy, and you cannot raise a claim request under such conditions. This means that the insured policyholder will not be provided any financial compensation in case the death is due to drunken driving.

• If there is any damage to your bike or car due to drunk driving, you will have to bear the cost of repair and replacement. Not just this, drunk driving can be the reason for third-party death or leave you permanently disabled. So, even if you have a motor insurance policy, you may not be able to recover the damage expenses or claim financial support for your family from the insurer.

What does the law state against drunk driving?

• Under Section 185 in the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, driving in a drunken state or using a similar substance like this is punishable as per the law.

• First-time offenders may be imprisoned for up to 6 months and/or pay a fine ofRs.10,000.

• In case the person is caught for the act again within three years of the incident, then a fine of Rs.15,000 is applicable and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months.

Drunk driving is a serious offense in India. It is not just about getting a claim approved from an insurance policy; life is precious. Always obey traffic laws and avoid drunk driving.

Team Kotak GIC

The content of this blog has been created and carefully reviewed by the esteemed team at Kotak General Insurance, with the sole purpose of providing valuable guidance and sharing insights on the importance of general insurance. Our objective is to assist users in making informed decisions when purchasing or renewing insurance policies for their cars, bikes, and health. Our expertly curated information aims to empower our readers with the knowledge they need to protect their valuable assets and financial interests.