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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Consumer forum awards Rs. 5 lakh to victim's family

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Panchkula, October 16, 2013
First Published: 22:15 IST(16/10/2013) | Last Updated: 00:16 IST(17/10/2013)

In relief to the parents of a man who died in a road mishap, the Panchkula district consumer disputes redressal forum has ordered payment of a Rs. 5 lakh insurance claim that was denied to them earlier. Besides, the bank that facilitated the insurance policy has also been fined Rs. 10,000.

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Victim Manoj Kumar Dhiman, resident of Abdullapur in Pinjore, had opened an account with Axis bank in October 7, 2011, and got a personal accident insurance cover of Rs. 5 lakh, valid till April 14, 2012, with the account from New India Insurance Company. After 42 days, he died in a road accident.

When his father Jagdish Chand went to the bank to claim the amount, he was asked to open another account so that the money could be deposited. But later he was denied the claim.

Chand and his wife Nirmal then filed a complaint before the consumer forum. The bank denied liability on the plea that the deceased did not mandatorily use the debit card at any shop within 90 days prior to the date of accident and he also did not maintain average quarterly balance of 15,000 in the account. But the forum - president Ashok Kumar Jain and members Anita Kapoor and Anil Sharma - dismissed both contentions as Manoj died within 42 days of issuance of the policy. 

The insurance firm raised the issue of delay in claiming the money.

But, Manoj's parents said they had informed the bank about their son's death on December 16, 2011.

The forum thus ruled that there was no proof that the reasons of delay had been specifically ascertained or recorded by the company. It held the company as well as the bank liable for deficient services.

It ordered the insurance company to give Rs. 5 lakh to the family with 9% interest, while the bank has been asked to pay compensation of Rs. 10,000 for causing mental agony, harassment and the cost of litigation.

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