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Forum refuses to help ‘ignorant buyer’

india Updated: Jun 20, 2013 11:55 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
Kanchan Chaudhari
Hindustan Times
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The Mumbai Suburban District Consumer Forum has declined to grant any relief to a city resident who bought an insurance policy based solely on promises he says were made by the insurance agent.

“Any other person would have taken care to read the policy document, at least out of curiosity, to know if he/she has invested in a right scheme,” said the bench of forum president JL Deshpande and member ND Kadam.

“It was necessary for the complainant to read the details before signing the application for the policy,” it said.

The forum declined to accept that Andheri (W) resident Neil John D’Mello had not read the policy document even a year after receiving it.

D’Mello, who is self-employed, had alleged deficiency on the part of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company for demanding an annual premium for a policy that he purchased under the impression that it was a one-time-premium policy.

According to his complaint, D’Mello invested in the scheme after Ujjwal Kumar, an agent, met him in January 2007 and told him that he would get good Andheri resident Neil John D’Mello claimed that an insurance agent in 2007 offered him a one-time premium policy.

He was shocked to recieve a letter from the insurance company asking for an annual premium of Rs10.50 lakh in 2008.

Rejecting his complaint, the consumer court said he should have read the policy document before signing. returns if he invested in the onetime premium policy. D’Mello signed four sets of applications and paid Rs10.45 lakh to Kumar.

In 2008, he was shocked to receive a notice demanding an annual premium of Rs10.50 lakh.

He said he visited the agent and officers of the insurance company and told them he could not afford to pay such a high premium, but got evasive replies and ultimately moved the consumer forum in August 2011.

The forum rejected his complaint relying on a ruling of the National Consumer Forum which held that an insurance agent is just a facilitator between the insurance company and the insurance purchaser and false information given by the agent is not binding on the company.