A consumer court in the state capital has foiled an insurance company’s attempt to skip payment for loss of property to a claimant, as promised in a seven-year-old policy.
The court has directed the Oriental Insurance Company Limited to settle the claim of Rs. 30,93,188 along with an interest of 12% per annum with effect from the date of filing of complaint.
Moreover, the consumer has been made entitled to a litigation fee of Rs. 25,000 by the court.
Holding it guilty of deficiency in service, the court on Wednesday directed the insurance company to pay the claim to Sitapur-resident Abhishek Jindal whose 20,200 gunny bags of food grains among other things were gutted when his godown caught fire on September 11,2006.
The court further directed that the compliance of the order should be made within three months from the date of judgment (July 31,2013), failing which the rate of interest would be applicable at 18% per annum.
In April 2006, Jindal had bought an insurance policy of Rs. 50 lakh for his godown.
The policy, valid till April 2007, mentioned that the amount would be paid to the claimant in case the stock of food grains is destroyed in case of earthquake or spontaneous fire.
On September 11, 2006, a fire destroyed over 14,137 quintals of material stored in the godown.
When the owner claimed the resultant economic loss to the tune of Rs. 48,87,308, the company treated it as ‘no claim’.
The company argued the claimant had concealed facts like the quality of his godown etc at the time of taking the policy and thus was guilty of misrepresentation of facts and committing fraud.
The company also alleged Jindal deliberately let the stock get destroyed and did not make any effort to minimise the loss.
Jindal later approached the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission here in Lucknow to seek help.
“The court rejected the claim of the company that the claimant had committed fraud and concealed material facts while signing the policy. Firstly, the argument is not relevant as per the law and secondly, the company could not prove their arguments,” Sarvesh K Sharma, advocate of the complainant, said.