The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission of Chandigarh has directed an insurance company to pay Rs 4,77,716 to a Panchkula woman for withholding the accident claim of her car.
Amarjit Kaur Kang of Panchkula alleged in the complaint that she got her car insured by the United India Insurance Company Limited with effect from July 28, 2019, to July 27, 2020. On December 25, 2019, the complainant had given her car to one Ravi Bhola for his personal use who further handed it over to his driver, Sumit. On the evening of December 25, 2019, near Maloya turn temple, Chandigarh, the car, driven by Sumit, met with an accident after hitting a person and dashing against a wall resulting in damages.
An FIR was registered. The complainant however got the car released on superdari by the order of the court. She informed the insurance firm about the accident and submitted an estimate of Rs 14,37,074.56 as obtained from a repairer. The cost exceeded the Insured Declared Value (IDV) of the car, as a result of which it was declared as a total loss.
However, the insurance firm vide letter dated December 3, 2020, informed the complainant about the closure of her claim on the ground that the driving licence of the driver Sumit was not provided to them and the complainant could not arrange a meeting of Sumit with the firm.
Kang further averred that as Sumit was not personally known to her she could not arrange his meeting with the insurance firm, though after persuasion, the complainant obtained a copy of his driving licence and handed over the same to the insurance firm.
It was contended that the insurance firm wrongly withheld the genuine claim of the complainant, which amounts to a deficiency in service on their part.
United India Insurance Company Limited through the Regional Manager of Chandigarh in reply submitted that the complainant’s claims didn’t stand as she violated the terms and conditions of the insurance policy. It was also specifically alleged by the insurance firm that the complainant had not intimated to them about the alleged accident. She also didn’t lodge the claim within a reasonable time as per the terms and conditions of the policy.
The Commission after hearing the matter held that it has come on record that FIR was immediately lodged by one Tej Parkash after the accident with the police station Maloya. There is no room for manipulation by the complainant. It appears from the evidence led by the insurance firm that despite having received a copy of the driving licence and all other documents for processing the claim, the company’s act amounts to deficiency in service, especially as the claim of the complainant was closed merely on technical grounds.
The Commission further held that so far as the quantum of relief to be awarded to the complainant is concerned, as it has come on record that the estimated repair cost was assessed at Rs 14,37,074.56 whereas the IDV of the subject car was Rs 4,17,716, it is safe to hold that the cost of repair exceeded 100 per cent of the current market value of the subject car and the same is covered as a constructive total loss and the complainant is entitled to the IDV (less excess clause, if any) alongwith interest and compensation etc. for the harassment suffered by her.
The Commission thus ordered the insurance firm, United India Insurance Company Limited to pay Rs 4,17,716 (less excess clause, if any) to the complainant, along with an amount of Rs 50,000 as compensation and Rs 10,000 to the complainant as costs of litigation.