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'Mediclaim not to be denied to social drinkers'

'Taking alcohol is not an impediment in obtaining an insurance policy', says Justice Kapoor.

india Updated: Jan 07, 2007 15:16 IST

In a ruling, which will lift the spirits of those who drink moderately, the Delhi state Consumer Commission has cautioned insurance companies against the practice of repudiating mediclaim policy of such persons on frivolous grounds.

"Taking alcohol is not an impediment in obtaining an insurance policy and there must be some medical evidence to prove that the insured suffered an infirmity in the near proximity of getting a policy owing to this habit," said Justice JD Kapoor, President of the Commission adding they (companies) could not repudiate such policies summarily.

"They (companies) are labouring under a misconception and utter ignorance of knowledge that to take liqour in moderation every day was not tantamount to being alcoholic to an extent that one was bound to suffer the consequences of acute liver cirrhosis or the like," the Commission said.

The order came on an appeal filed by Oriental Insurance Co Ltd (OICL) against the order of a District Forum which had asked it to pay Rs 1.19 lakh to one Karan Sehgal, 53, a resident of Shakti Nagar here, whose mediclaim was repudiated on the ground that he was treated owing to his drinking habit.

Dismissing the appeal, Justice Kapoor said if reimbursements to insured will be denied in such a manner then more than 90 per cent population would be out of their net and they (companies) would be rendered out of business in the backdrop of modern day life style.

First Published: Jan 07, 2007 15:16 IST