It was long delayed but thankfully not denied. Six years after Sahida Fernando’s vehicle was stolen, a consumer court in the city offered her much-needed respite by making the insurance firm pay her due and that too with interest.
The Oriental Insurance Company Limited had rejected Powai resident’s claim, but couldn’t furnish grounds for rejection in the court, following which the Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum held the insurance firm guilty of deficiency in service and directed it to pay Rs5,40,000 to the complainant, with 6% interest from the date her claim was repudiated. The forum also allowed the complainant Rs5,000 towards cost of the complainant.
The complainant took an insurance cover for her car on November 1, 2004, in which she had stated her vehicle’s worth as Rs5,40,000. Her car was stolen on December 13 and she registered a police complaint on December 14, and later a claim with the insurance company.
The insurance company appointed Satish Thanekar for inquiring into her claim, and he submitted his report on May 6, 2005. A year later on June 25, 2006, the company informed the complainant that her claim had been rejected.
The insurance company said the complainant had rented the car to another company for transporting its employees and the use for ‘Hire and Reward’ purpose had violated the terms of the policy and so her claim was rejected. The inquiry report submitted by Thanekar in 2005 had stated that the vehicle was being used only for personal purposes. On November 10, 2006, Thanekar had sent a letter to the complainant seeking reply over his finding of the police statement of a man who had said that the car had been rented to a company in Powai. The company submitted a photocopy of the police statement, which the forum denied to accept as evidence.
The forum said the company had repudiated the claim of the complainant on June 25, 2006, on which date the company only had Thanekar’s report of May 6, 2005. The company could not prove that the car was rented and the terms violated, the forum said.
It said the claim of the complainant was maintainable and the insurance company’s repudiation of claim was a deficiency in service by them.