Ludhiana consumer forum directs car insurance firm to pay ₹ 96,000

February 1, 2023

The district consumer disputes redressal forum directed an insurance firm to pay 81,275.77 after finding that the company did not settle the complainant’s claim. The president of the forum, Sanjeev Batra also asked SBI General Insurance Company Ltd. to pay compensation of 15,000 towards the complainant’s claim of vehicle.

According to a report, the complainant Amarjeet Yadav’s car got damaged from back in an accident. After the insurance firm refused to settle the claim, he filed a complaint under section 35 of Consumer Protection Act on March 16, 2021, seeking 72,000 as litigation charges and refund of 1,31,525 that he spent on account of repair of the vehicle along with interest @18% per annum.

The case

The complainant got his car repaired from the authorised dealer of Toyota at Jalandhar and after repair an invoice for 1,31,525 was raised, which was paid by him despite the fact that the vehicle was insured during the relevant period and it was also intimated to the insurance company.

Amarjeet in his complaint stated that insurance company appointed surveyor who visited the spot and checked the Innova car but despite number of reminders, the claim of the complainant was not paid. He received a letter from the company vide which he was informed that his claim has been repudiated alleging that he has sold the vehicle to someone about four years ago prior to the accident.

Amarjeet said the repudiation made by the insurance company is illegal and is on flimsy ground. He has never sold the vehicle to anybody. Moreover, prior to the accident, minor claims were lodged with insurance company and same were dully paid, he added.

The insurance company contended that the car owned by the complainant was insured by it for the period August 1, 2020, to July 31, 2021, and all the terms and conditions were understood by the complainant.

The claim was intimated by the complainant for damage to the vehicle insured on December 26, 2020 due to involvement in road accident and the insurance company immediately appointed an independent and IRDA licensed surveyor Rajnish Kumar to conduct the survey and assess the loss to the vehicle and liability of the insurance company in terms of the policy terms and conditions. The surveyor submitted his report while assessing the claim amount he reported that the complainant had no insurable interest in the vehicle as he had already sold the vehicle 4 years back, but the vehicle was still being used in the name of the complainant. Then the authorised officer of the insurance company duly considered the claim and after due application of mind and in view of investigation report the claim was rejected, the insurance company further alleged.

Consumer forum’s order

The commission in its order observed that the observation of surveyor Rajnish Kumar are self-contradictory. Without adducing any cogent evidence, he opined that the vehicle was sold four years ago. So, it cannot be said that the complainant had not any insurable interest as well as no insurance contract at the time of taking policy or at the time of loss. As such, the repudiation of the claim of the complainant is not justified.

“The insurance company shall pay 81,275.77 to the complainant along with interest @8% per annum from the date of repudiation of the claim till actual payment within 30 days. The insurance company is further ordered to composite compensation of 15,000,” ordered the commission.

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