A consumer forum here has asked New India Assurance Co Ltd (NIACL) to pay Rs 17 lakh to a woman for "deliberately" narrowing down the meaning of floods to defeat her "rightful claim" of damages.
In her complaint, Neelam Kumar Jain said that on August 25-26, 2010, there were heavy rains in and around Delhi and a flood situation developed with rise of water level in Yamuna to 1.2 m above the danger mark. This led to water logging through sewerage system and water collected in her godown up to 3 feet and damaged the goods kept there.
NIACL, while denying Jain's claim, said water-logging had occurred due to water-seepage and not due to flooding.
The New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, however, rejected the contention and directed NIACL to pay Jain Rs 14,60,640 towards loss incurred by her, along with Rs 2.5 lakh as compensation and litigation cost.
"The river itself is not required to flow into the premises to say that flood caused the damages. The flood in the river leads to effects on the banks, underground reservoirs and water bodies, to push water to escape to all areas including roads even at high levels," the forum said.
"The opposite party (insurance firm) has deliberately tried to narrow down and restrict the meaning of floods in an arbitrary manner with mala fide intention to defeat the claim.
The opposite party has over stretched itself to deny rightful claim of complainant and has committed gross deficiency in service by repudiating the just claim arbitrarily," the bench presided by C K Chaturvedi said.