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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

Chandigarh

Insurance firm told to pay 20K for rejecting taxi owner’s claim
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh , July 23, 2014
First Published: 13:06 IST(23/7/2014)
Last Updated: 13:13 IST(23/7/2014)

For rejecting the claim of a taxi owner on the grounds that a private vehicle was being used as the taxi, the consumer disputes redressal forum, Chandigarh, directed an insurance company to pay Rs. 20,000 as compensation to a Kharar resident.

Disposing of the complaint of Harpreet Dhiman, the forum directed New India Assurance Company Limited to pay Rs. 1.11 lakh towards the repair of the vehicle with 9% interest, along with Rs. 7,500 as cost of litigation.

Dhiman’s vehicle Xylo D2, which was being run as taxi, was insured with the company in March 2012 and had met with an accident three months later. He filed for a claim with the insurance company, but it was rejected in December 2012 on the ground that the policy was issued for private car and the complainant had not informed the company about the use of vehicle as taxi; and under the private car package policy, the claim of commercial vehicle could not be paid.

Dhiman then approached the insurance ombudsman, Chandigarh, for settlement of the claim, who found that the company’s decision to reject the claim was justified. He then approached the consumer forum.

Justifying the rejection of the claim, the company accused the complainant of deliberately concealing the material facts and documents from them. The insurance company claimed that the vehicle was insured for private car package policy, but the complainant used the said vehicle as a taxi in gross violation of the contract.

Dismissing the submissions of the insurance company, the consumer forum presided over by PL Ahuja on July 18 said the cover note nowhere showed that the complainant had purchased the policy of insurance for a private vehicle.

The forum held, “When the terms and conditions of the insurance policy, along with the policy, were not supplied or communicated to the complainant, the arguments of the insurance company that the complainant used the vehicle as a taxi in gross violation of the contract are devoid. Hence, the repudiation of the claim is illegal and unjustified. The circumstances point out towards deficiency in service on part of complainant.”


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