Airshow organisers evade queries to car owners

Gutted cars parking area after a massive fire on the 4th day of 12th edition of Aero India 2019, at Yelahanka Air Base in Bengaluru, on Saturday. PTI

Is the Aero India exhibition covered under the public liability insurance policy? Will there be any compensation for the loss of cars burnt at the worst ever fire accident at the Yelahanka Air Force Station on Saturday?

Who is responsible for the fire accident that occurred at the Yelahanka Air Force Station on Friday in which more than 300 cars were gutted? These are the questions raised by a large number of affected people. If the event is covered under public liability insurance, all the affected people will get adequate compensation, insurance industry sources said.

The confusion is emancipated from the fact that there are three organisers for the Aero India exhibition - Ministry of Defence (MoD), Defence Exhibition Organisation and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

However, the Ministry of Defence and Defence Exhibition Organisation have passed on the buck to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

“We have outsourced the event to HAL and we do not know if they have insured the entire event under the public liability insurance policy,” a spokesperson of the Ministry of Defence told DH.

According to insurance industry sources, the people who have lost their cars in the worst ever fire accident would have got compensation if the organisers of Aero India had taken a public liability insurance policy.

Public liability insurance offers cover for third-party liabilities (bodily injury/property damage) arising out of the premises and operations of the insured and legal costs incurred in connection therewith.

“Availing a public liability insurance policy for such a large public event is mandatory. If the organisers have not taken such a policy, then the government should take the responsibility and announce compensation to the victims,” an official of a public-sector insurance company said.

Spokespersons of all the three defence establishments were also evasive on giving clarity on whether the organisers had taken a public liability insurance cover for the event - which would have given protection to all the damaged cars, fully.

“We don’t know who is actually responsible for this,” an official from MoD said.

Meanwhile, the automobile dealers have announced assistance to the public to get their insurance claims cleared properly.

“In regards to Bengaluru fire mishap, for any claim related queries for all Maruti Suzuki customers are requested to contact the helpline: 9900059969,” Kalyani Motors, a Maruti Suzuki dealer said in a message.

Some of the insurance companies such as New India Assurance Company and HDFC Ergo have opened public helplines to help the customers claim their insurance.

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Airshow organisers evade queries to car owners

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