Public Liability Insurance Act 1991

Public Liability Insurance Act 1991 came into force from 06/01/1991 in India and its objective is to minimize the risk of injury or damages by providing compensation for injuries caused due to civil liability”.

What is Public Liability Insurance Act 1991? 

In 1991, the Indian parliament enacted a law called the ‘Public Liability: Insurance of Third Parties in respect of Personal Injury’. This act was design to mitigate risks that arise out of personal injury. The objective was to minimize personal injury and compensate third parties who are injure due to civil liability. Under this act, insurance policies can be taken against risk involve in traveling on public roads. The main features of this act are as follows:

Minimization of Risk Indian army book is include in the scope of this act for the first time in Indian history. Until 1991 women came under their own category of liability. In that year, Iawards the women the same protection and coverage as it is given to men. No other nation has given such a privilege to women. The Indian government is going to grant all its citizens a liability insurance policy that will cover them against any civil actions arising out of negligence on their part while traveling on public roads. In order to provide safety on our roads, we need special measures which help reduce accidents. And injuries that may occur due to negligence or omissions on our part.

Public Liability Insurance Act 1991 

The act is applicable only to motor vehicles. The third party insurance policy insures the vehicle against any claims of civil liability arising from injury or death caused to a third party by the use of the vehicle. The responsibility and compensation for all the injuries caused by our negligence lies with us. It is not enough to take care of ourselves; we must also take care of others. Motor vehicles are vehicles that travel on roads. It is our duty to protect other people from any accidents that may occur due to their use.

The Personal Injuries (Compensation) Act, 1965

was replaced by this act in India, as it provided only an interim relief till an injured person got justice in court proceedings. This act is applicable only to vehicles with a GV body weight of over 750 kg. The term ‘specially construct vehicle’ is define under this act as follows:

  1. A vehicle which is built, or adapt. And used for any purpose other than that of carrying goods on road, including a pick-up truck. 
  2. A trailer (not being a trailer which has been specially construct or adapt) with a gross weight exceeding 10,000 kg while it is being drawn by any vehicle. And capable of being propel by the engine of such a motor vehicle on roads. 

3 . A tractor as defined in clause (2) of Section 2 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, not being a tractor which has been specially construct or adapt for use otherwise than on road. And whose body has been specially construct or adapt to carry any load. 

  1. Any other vehicle which is neither specified nor include in the definition of an “ordinary private motor vehicle” as defined in sub-section (38) of section 2 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.


The minutiae and details regarding insurance policies can be found in Section 3 of this act.

The terms used in the Act are interesting to note. And include “the use of roads” as opposed to being a “driver”. In India, it is consider a civic duty to provide for the safety of others. This is a milestone for Indian society and Parliament has taken various steps that are beneficial for our roads.

The provisions of this act will be available from July 1, 2017.


In this Act, there are certain definitions that make it very clear how the insurance companies will calculate the compensation for injury caused by the negligence of another person.


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