Insurance firm told to pay for rejecting 'drunk' driver's claim
District consumer disputes redressal forum, Chandigarh, has held an insurance company deficient of services for repudiating accident claim and directed it to pay Rs 35,000 as compensation to an SAS Nagar resident, the complainant in the case.chandigarh Updated: Oct 19, 2013 11:43 IST
District consumer disputes redressal forum, Chandigarh, has held an insurance company deficient of services for repudiating accident claim and directed it to pay Rs 35,000 as compensation to an SAS Nagar resident, the complainant in the case.
A resident of Sector 68, SAS Nagar, Mohit Verma, had moved the consumer forum against ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Limited accusing the latter of deficiency in services for repudiating an accident claim on grounds that Verma was under the influence of liquor at time of accident.
Allowing Verma's complaint, the forum directed the insurance company to indemnify the complainant Rs 3.73 lakh as assessed by the surveyor along with Rs 11,000 as cost of litigation apart from the compensation.
The forum relied on the report of the medical officer, GMSH, Sector 16, which opined that, "Mohit Verma, driver of the vehicle in question, had consumed alcohol, but was not under its influence."
Thus the consumer forum held, "The claim of the insurance company that the driver of the vehicle in question, being under the influence of alcohol, is neither substantiated nor proven from the documents that are on record."
The forum, while holding the insurance company deficient of services, said, "The surveyor had nowhere mentioned that he had investigated the fact that whether the driver was under the influence of alcohol or not.
In these circumstances, the only trustworthy, cogent, convincing and reliable evidence that conclusively establishes that Verma was not under the influence of alcohol is the report of the duty medical officer, Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, Chandigarh, and the same being independent and from a responsible government servant, competent to give such a report, is to be believed."
Verma, in his complaint before the forum, said his Skoda Supreb car, insured with the insurance firm, was damaged in May 2012, as the vehicle hit an electricity pole in an attempt to save a motorcyclist.
He said an FIR was registered against him and the car was also taken in police custody. Verma was taken to GMSH, Sector 16, Chandigarh, for medical examination, where the doctor had given the report that he was smelling of alcohol but was not under its influence. Later, Verma was released on bail and the vehicle was also got released, following which a claim was filed that was rejected.
The insurance firm justified the repudiation of the claim, saying as the complainant (Verma) was under the influence of liquor, at the time of the accident, no claim is payable under the policy of insurance.