Many vehicle owners, who drink, are under the misconception that if they have an accident, their vehicle insurance will cover them financially and handle any expense arising. On the contrary, no motor insurance company in India covers drunk driving or driving under the influence. However, driving under the influence can have an impact on your auto insurance rate even though the policy will not financially cover you.

What Does the Law Say?

The Indian Motor Vehicle Act states that if a person has alcohol in their blood, regardless of the quantity, they can be imprisoned for up to six months. The law is very clear about driving under the influence and the penalty for it. However, in urban areas, drunk driving is a major problem.

What about Auto Insurance?

For insurance companies, driving under the influence is a negative for them. Drunk drivers have a greater risk of causing or being involved in accidents which make them a riskier profile than other insurance policy holders. Remember that if you are fortunate to survive the ordeal of DUI with just a police case, you will still need insurance (either new or renewed). Here, you will find that the insurance premium will have shot up by as much as 40%. It’s because now you are classified as a driver with a greater risk and higher risk translates to higher premium amount to secure the risk.

Third parties suffering car or bodily injury too would be fully eligible to be paid for the damages, and the policyholder cannot claim DUI as a factor to avail a relief here.

Additionally, if a policyholder has taken an add-on of the accidental death benefit, in most cases it will not likely be paid out by the company if the death was due to driving under the influence of alcohol.

The Loophole

It is prudent to remember that in India, car insurance is not issued in the name of the driver. Rather, the insurance is issued on the car number. Hence, it can be difficult to identify the driver of the vehicle and whether they were drunk unless the driver is caught and subjected to a blood test. So, if the driver cannot be identified, auto insurance companies will be unable to hike the auto insurance premium, as there will be no record of the accident to show that you were driving the vehicle.

The Bottom Line

Driving under the influence is irresponsible. It can prove to be fatal for you and other people. Hence, if you intend drinking, it is best to designate a non-drinking friend to drive you home, hire a taxi or hire a driver to drive you home in your vehicle. Drinking and driving can not only adversely affect your auto insurance rates, but it can also wreak havoc in your life. Do you still want to risk it?

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