Finding the Punjab National Bank (PNB) deficient in providing service and following unfair trade practice, the district consumer forum has directed it to pay Rs 50,000 to the complainants as accidental death insurance with a yearly interest of 9% on the compensation amount from the date of filing of the claim till its realisation.
Ladhewali residents Bhupinder Singh and Kuldeep Kaur along with their son Atinderpal Singh had filed a complaint in the consumer court on September 8, 2015, after the bank failed to honour their insurance claim following their other son’s death.
According to the complaint, the couple’s son Gurinder Pal Singh got an ATM-cum-debit card issued in his mother’s and his name. Under a bank scheme, he was insured for an amount of Rs 50,000 along with his brother Atinderpal.
The policy stated that in the event of accidental death of Gurinder, the amount was to be given to his legal heirs, with no specific terms and conditions issued in this regard.
Gurinder died in an accident on November 25, 2013. Later, when his family submitted the insurance claim application along with requisite documents, the bank refused to pay up.
In its reply to the forum, the bank said under the terms and conditions of the scheme, the ATM card should be “active” at the time of the incident and should have been used within 90 days from the death of the account holder. The claim, too, was to be filed within 90 days.
Although Gurinder died in November, 2013, the claim was filed on October 14, 2014, due to which it was not maintainable and rightly rejected, stated the bank.
After considering both sides, the forum ruled that it is evident that the bank wrongly rejected the claim of the complainant merely on account of delay in filing the claim or giving information regarding the death of the account holder. It amounted to deficiency in service and unfair trade practice, said the forum.
“Accordingly, the complainants are entitled to compensation amount and are also entitled to compensation which can be allowed to the complainant in the form of interest,” the forum ruled.