9 years later, Mishra wins insurance claim; consumer forum holds insurance firm guilty of deficiency in service and directs it to pay Rs 2,46,820 to the complainant

Mumbai : After nearly nine years, a city-based businessman, whose grains shop was badly damaged in July 26 Mumbai floods, has won the insurance claim for his shop. The south Mumbai district consumer forum has held New India Assurance Co. Ltd guilty of deficiency in service and directed to pay Rs 2,46,820 to the complainant. 

It was a case of Santa Cruz resident Ramashankar Shrinath Mishra. He had taken an insurance policy of New India Assurance Co. Ltd., for his grain shop. On July, 26, 2005 his grain shop was fully affected due to heavy rain. Mishra lodged a claim, but the company did not settle the claim on time and appointed a surveyor. At first the company held that the total loss of the complainant was Rs 2, 38,820. However, the company didn’t settle the claim and appointed another surveyor which reported the total loss to be Rs 44,779. Subsequently, Mishra approached the consumer forum.
The forum observed that there is no prohibition for appointment of Surveyor by Insurance Company but while doing so, the Insurance Company has to give satisfactory reasons for not accepting the report of the first Surveyor and need to appoint second Surveyor.
“In the present case the insurance company did not bring on record as to how the addendum report was filed by the same Surveyor on 30/11/2005 when he had already assessed the loss sustained by the Complainant to the tune of Rs.2,38,820/-,”the forum noted. The forum also refused to accept the argument of the insurance company that shop of the complaint is of 110 sq. ft. and could not have stored such huge stock quantity and therefore net assessed loss sustained by the complainant assessed to the tune of only Rs 44,779.
“In our view, the company by keeping aside the first survey report of the same Surveyor wrongly offered the amount of Rs.44,779/- and thereby adopted unfair trade practice against the Complainant. We hold that the same can be considered as deficiency in service,” the forum held.

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