CHENNAI: A new online facility by the State police has been making it easier than never before for families of road accident victims to claim compensation. The online facility, as part of the crimes and criminal tracking network system (CCTNS), is directly allowing the victim or their families to download the case documents to claim for insurance. On the other hand, the insurance companies are also given access to the documents so that they directly contact the victims, offering compensation, to save the time-consuming legal process.
So far this year alone, around 18 families of accident victims have received claims from the insurance companies within a few months of the accident, with the help of the online facility from the CCTNS implemented through the state crime record bureau (SCRB). The online facility enables victims to gain access to the documents relating to their case through the mobile number registered with the police thereby expediting the claim settlement process.
For instance, when 22-year-old Royston from Kambar Nagar in Chennai met with an accident and was hospitalised for more than five months, he hesitated to claim insurance. Fearing that he may have walk to the police station for months to obtain the case documents and then again to the insurance company to claim settlement, he decided to skip the process.“My uncle informed me about the online facility on the Tamil Nadu police website and I filed a case with the MCOP tribunal and produced the documents which I downloaded. The insurance company, which also has access to the documents through the online facility, came forward for a settlement of `3.25 lakh in 41 days,” says Royston.
“Normally, in such cases it would take years to get the amount and his claim would have joined the thousand other such cases pending before the courts. But, this facility has brought in transparency. However, the awareness of this is yet to increase. Meanwhile, a loophole in the process is that police stations delay filing charge-sheets which are required for settlement at the insurance companies,” says advocate V S Suresh, who specialises in road accident claim cases.
Further explaining, he says that in the city the traffic investigation wing deals with the accident cases, but in the districts it falls under the law and order police stations, which further delays the process of filing a charge-sheet. The police, on the other hand, blame lack of witness and other department work for the delay.
A senior police office in the State Crime Record Bureau, explaining the facility, says that every police station will upload the documents related to road accidents. “The insurance companies could directly access the claim cases filed and instead of waiting for the tribunal to hear and decide the compensation, the system enables the insurance companies to instantly verify the facts and pay compensation to the victims,” said the officer. So far, around 50,000-plus road accident cases have been charge-sheeted and documents made available online.
Meanwhile, the insurance companies say the online facility has helped them in collecting vital details. “Everyday, we check accident details filed on the CCTNS and also check if any victim has filed claims from our company. And we establish contact with the victims and ensure compensation claim is filed. Meanwhile, we collect other documents, including the damage cost from the victim and offer a settlement amount. And then approach the tribunal court and in the first hearing itself mostly we ensure the case is disposed of,” says, M S Sreedhar, Managing Director of Royal Sundaram Insurance Company.