Friday, October 18, 2013

Consumer forum imposes penalty on United India for not settling claim

United India Insurance Company Limited, a state-owned general insurance major, has been imposed a penalty of Rs. 50,000 by SAS District Consumer Forum for not settling the claim of one Mr. Prithi Sodhi, a resident of Derabassi in Mohali district of Punjab.

In November 2011, the complainant Mr. Sodhi was left unconscious after he was looted and his Tavera car was stolen by 5 people in Yamuna Nagar. Soon after he regained consciousness, he approached the nearby police station, Chhachhrauli. After the medical examination was conducted, the police registered a case of theft.

Within three days of theft, the complainant approached United India Insurance office to claim motor insurance. However, the insurer repudiated the claim saying that the terms and conditions of the insurance policy has been violated as complainant was using his vehicle as taxi for profit making purpose. The insurer also stated that there was a delay of three days in informing the incidence.

Thereafter, the complainant moved to district consumer forum. Where, during the legal proceedings, the leading general insurer could not prove that the vehicle was used as taxi for profit making purposes. The forum also cited that the delay caused in reporting to the insurer about the theft could be explained as the complainant was busy with the police procedures.

In its verdict, the forum ruled, “The United India Insurance Company was wrongfully repudiating the claim." Since, the forum found the insurer deficient in services; it ordered the insurer to pay the entire amount, Rs. 300,000 as the insured amount and Rs. 50,000 towards penalty for deficiency in services, within a month.

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