Twelve years after his shop was burgled, a jeweller in Vile Parle will receive more than Rs46.45 lakh as insurance claim for the stolen ornaments.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on Tuesday directed United India Assurance Company Ltd to pay the claim amount to Champaklal Shah within six weeks.
The commission pulled up the insurance company for delaying the decision on the claim submitted by Shah.
"The insurance company has taken more than eight months to consider the report of the surveyor. Only when the complainant pursued his case relentlessly that the company finally repudiated the claim," it noted.
On January 25, 2000, Shah, owner of Rushabh Jewellers, discovered that his shop had been looted and gold ornaments weighing 6,810gm and Rs. 45,000 cash had been stolen.
The insurance company appointed a surveyor, who assessed the loss at Rs. 28.49 lakh.
However, the company rejected the jeweller's claim citing three reasons - stolen jewellery was not kept in burglar-proof safe, the shop was not occupied in the night, and the accounts maintained by the jeweller were not reliable.
The consumer commission, however, found that the insurance company had accepted the policy proposal only after approving the strong room to be constructed by the jeweller for storing ornaments in the night.
Besides, the commission noted, no specific design had been given in order to meet the company's security requirements.
On the point of occupying the shop during night, the commission said as the shop was a protected enclosure without any windows and with only a door/opening in the front, it could not even be conceived of that anyone could stay inside during the night. It also discarded the last objection about reliability of accounts.