Good news for policyholders, particularly those having motor insurance. Now your insurance company won’t be able to reject an insurance claim merely on the ground of delay in filing the claim. The Supreme Court, in the case of Om Prakash vs. Reliance General Insurance, has ruled that insurance claims cannot be denied to a person on grounds of delayed filing.
“If the reason for delay in making a claim is satisfactorily explained, such a claim cannot be rejected on the ground of delay. It is also necessary to state here that it would not be fair and reasonable to reject genuine claims which had already been…,” a bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice RK Agrawal and Justice S Abdul Nazeer has ruled, according to legal news portal livelaw.in.
According to a Times of India report, the Hisar-based customer’s insured truck was stolen, but his claim was rejected by the insurance company on the grounds of delay in filing it. The consumer then approached various consumer courts, including the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), “which had ruled that insurance companies could deny the benefit of cover for delay in filing the claims.”
However, setting aside the verdicts of various consumer courts, the apex court has ruled that the condition regarding the delay shall not be a shelter to repudiate the insurance claims which have been otherwise proved to be genuine. The SC has also directed the Reliance General Insurance Company to pay Rs 8.35 lakh to the customer.
The court has also reiterated that the Consumer Protection Act aims at providing better protection of the interest of consumers and it is a beneficial legislation that deserves liberal construction. This laudable object should not be forgotten while considering the claims made under the Act. Industry experts say that the very verdict of the Supreme Court would go a long way in restoring the faith of consumers in justice as well as in the insurance industry.