Insurance firm fined Rs 25k for not settling snake-bite victim’s claim

  • Shailee Dogra, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Oct 10, 2014 10:50 IST

Coming to the aid of a woman who had been making the rounds of an insurance company office for the past over two years for the settlement of death claim of her husband who died of a snake bite, the district consumer disputes redressal forum, SAS Nagar, has directed National Insurance Company Limited to pay Rs 25,000 as compensation for deficient services and unfair trade practices.

Mamta Devi, a resident of Punsar village in Dera Bassi, had moved forum against the company in April after it failed to settle the claim.

Mamta said her husband Sohan Lal had availed an insurance scheme, as per which, he was also covered under the Group Nagrik Suraksha Policy for a sum of Rs 4 lakh for the period from July 2011 to July 2012.
She added that on December 6, 2011, her husband was cutting fodder in the fields when he was bitten by a snake. Her husband was taken to Vivekanand Hospital, Lalru, where he was declared brought dead following which a DDR was registered.

The insurance company admitted that the claim was filed in January 2012 by Mamta.

Blaming Mamta for non-settlement of the claim, the firm said despite giving ample time, the complainant failed to submit the post-mortem report.

The forum presided over by Madhu P Singh on October 7 held, “It is a well settled law that the insurance company cannot insist on production of FIR and post-mortem report if the factum of accidental death is proved by other evidence like death certificate. Therefore, the contention of the insurance firm that no post-mortem report has come forward with the claim petition is bereft of any merit, particularly when the insurance company themselves have failed to show any communication from their side to the complainant asking her to submit the autopsy report.”

However, the forum clarified that no medical expenses were incurred on the deceased, therefore the complainant was not entitled to any mediclaim.

As per the directives of the forum, the company would pay Rs 3.2 lakh to Mamta with 12% interest from January 2012 when the claim was lodged till actual payment, along with Rs 10,000 as litigation cost.

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