Mumbai: Insurance firm to pay 9% interest with Rs14.94L claim amount

Mumbai: Insurance firm to pay 9% interest with Rs14.94L claim amount

The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC) has directed New India Assurance to pay an insurance claim amount of Rs14.94 lakh with 9% interest which it had refuted stating that the original keys of the stolen dumber were not given while seeking the claim. The SCDRC has also directed that Rs50,000 be paid towards litigation costs.

Ashutosh M ShuklaUpdated: Monday, December 05, 2022, 07:03 AM IST
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Mumbai: The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC) has directed New India Assurance to pay an insurance claim amount of Rs14.94 lakh with 9% interest which it had refuted stating that the original keys of the stolen dumber were not given while seeking the claim. The SCDRC has also directed that Rs50,000 be paid towards litigation costs.
The order dated Nov 18, 2022, was passed by SP Tavade (president) and ST Barne (judicial member) of the SCDRC on a complaint by M/s VB Infraprojects India Pvt Ltd against the divisional manager / officer of New India Assurance.

VB Infraprojects is in the business of transport and material supply. The company had purchased 11 dumpers after financial assistance from ICICI Bank (Mumbai). After a day's work, the vehicles would be parked near the circle of Hiranandani Hospital, Powai. On Dec 10, 2012, the dumpers were missing from the spot when the drivers woke up the next day. Relevant information was then provided to police stations and the traffic police, while ICICI Bank was also intimated. The dealer who had provided the dumper was approached to provide the keys.
When the insurance company demanded, information, documents and the keys were given to them. However, the insurance company repudiated the claim saying that the keys were not original. The insurance company relied on the report by an investigator appointed by them. The investigator stated that the keys were not returned by the drivers nor was the case reported to the police.

Repudiating the claim, the Insurance firm said that the original keys were lost three to four months before the theft, which is also not mentioned in the FIR. And that as per a survey report, the driver had taken the keys.
Meanwhile, Infraprojects said that only one set of keys was given by the dealer earlier and the other set was provided only after correspondence. When Infraprojects approached the officer to reconsider the claim, despite assurances it was rejected. While repudiating the claim, the insurance firm said that the complainant was not a consumer and into commercial activity; and that this alone was grounds for the complaint to be dismissed.
The commission observed that there was a prompt FIR and a police report mentioned that the vehicle could not be traced. It said that the opponent insurance company has repudiated the claim only on grounds that the original keys were not made available. Relying on orders from the court and national commission, the SCDRC said that Infraprojects is entitled to the claim amount.

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