Consumer court penalises insurance firm for refusing to grant claim

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SummaryA compensation of Rs 50,000 has been awarded by the UT Consumer Forum to a man by HDFC Ergo General Insurance Company Limited for non-grant of an insurance claim of an insured car.

A compensation of Rs 50,000 has been awarded by the UT Consumer Forum to a man by HDFC Ergo General Insurance Company Limited for non-grant of an insurance claim of an insured car.

Krishan Kumar Dhaka, a resident of Chandigarh, alleged that he got a Skoda car insured with the insurance company in November 2010 that suffered an accident in April 2011.

According to the complainant, at the time of the accident, the vehicle was being driven by the complainant’s grandson, Arun Dhaka, with a cousin of his, Suraj, sitting beside him, both of whom sustained minor injuries in the accident.

The company was informed of the accident, following which it appointed a surveyor to assess the damage caused to the vehicle. The matter was also reported to the police and after investigation, a DDR was lodged at Mohali.

The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for repairs with the help of recovery van and it assessed the estimate for repairs.

Dhaka alleged that he submitted the insurance claim with the insurance company, which declared the vehicle as total loss and forcibly got a consent letter signed by him for Rs 7.50 lakh as the full and final settlement.

Dhaka further alleged that they failed to make even that payment of the amount within 15 days as stipulated in the consent letter.

In their written reply, the insurance company pleaded that, at the time of accident, the vehicle was being driven by Suraj Kumar and that they had requested the complainant to provide the license of Suraj to process the claim. It further averred that the complainant changed his stand and named Arun Dhaka in place of Suraj Kumar to have been at the wheel.

The forum observed that the insurance company had failed to adduce any evidence to corroborate that, at the time of the accident, Suraj Kumar was driving the vehicle.

Hence, it observed, that the refusal to indemnify the complainant for the loss caused to him amounts to deficiency in service by the company.

It was directed to pay the IDV of the vehicle that amounts to Rs 9 lakh and to take possession of the salvage at their own cost.

Additionally, the company was directed to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation for mental agony and harassment suffered by the complainant and to pay Rs 10,000 as costs of litigation.

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