FPJ Legal: Insurance aggregator asked to pay compensation for false assurance

Bhavna UchilUpdated: Sunday, January 16, 2022, 11:32 PM IST
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A Bandra Consumer Commission has ordered an insurance aggregator portal to pay Rs. 15,000 to a customer for false assurance that medical tests would not be required, on a health insurance policy he bought for his mother.

A representative of the portal Policy Bazaar had called Chembur-based complainant Mitesh Kadam after he browsed the website for a policy of the firm Cigna TTK Insurance. Kadam’s mother being 56 years and having blood pressure and weight issues, he had asked the representative if there won’t be any loading charges. Such charges are additional for individuals considered ‘risky’ by insurance companies. He stated in his complaint that the portal's representative assured him there would be no such charges, that medical tests were also not required and that buying the policy for their portal would benefit him.

Kadam had then bought the policy by paying a premium of around Rs. 13,000. He said he then received a phone call from the insurance firm which asked him to get medical tests done for his mother. Kadam informed it about the portal’s assurance to the contrary. He had then contacted the portal about the issue, but it was fruitless. The insurance firm had eventually cancelled the policy and refunded the premium amount. Kadam had approached the consumer commission in Sep 2019.

In an order passed early this month, the commission said that on the basis of the assurance given by the portal he had bought the said policy and the firm later asked him to perform medical tests, which was against the assurance of the portal. It added that therefore the policy of the portal to handle the customer is not looking fair. It said further that if medical tests were necessary then it should have informed the complainant before receiving the premium amount. It failed to do so and put unnecessary burden on the complainant, the commission stated.

Stating that due to their negligence and unfair trade policy the policy was rejected, it called the act a type of misleading advertisement. It said the portal compelled him to buy the policy on false assurance and asked the portal to pay Rs. 10,000 as compensation and Rs. 5,000 as litigation expenses to Kadam.

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