Hit-and-run driver loses insurance plea

Court backs insurance company's view that it is not liable for full amount of compensation to the cyclist injured by its client. 

An unlicensed hit-and-run driver has been ordered to pay compensation of about 38,000 yuan (US$5,499) for medical fees after Hongkou District People's Court rejected his claim that his insurance company should pay.

The court said the insurance company was only liable for the amount involved in its coverage of compulsory insurance for traffic accident liability, which was 16,000 yuan.

The court said the driver, surnamed Xu, crashed into cyclist Chen at a crossroad on March 6 last year. Chen was injured but Xu fled the scene.

Traffic police said Xu was primarily responsible for the accident because he hadn't obeyed the traffic rules and had run away. However, the accident was not serious enough to be considered a crime. Chen had also violated traffic rules.

When Xu and Chen failed to agree on compensation, Chen took Xu and his insurance company to court.

Chen said four of his teeth had been damaged and he was seeking 90,000 yuan for medical treatment.

Xu claimed that as his car was insured the insurance company should pay the compensation.

The insurance company refused because Xu was driving without a license and had fled the scene.

Xu lost his license on May 5, 2015, after a traffic violation and hadn't renewed it, the court heard. He bought compulsory insurance for traffic accident liability and commercial insurance for his car in November 2017.

The court said the insurance company should pay the part covered in the compulsory insurance for traffic accident liability but ordered Xu to pay the rest because his unlicensed driving meant he failed to meet the standards of commercial insurance.


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