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Chandigarh: Insurance firm to pay Rs 45,000, 500 each to V-C, wife for delay in flight hours
The Indian Express, April 16, 2019

THE CONSUMER Forum of Chandigarh has directed an insurance firm to pay Rs 45,000 and $500 each to the Vice-Chancellor of Chitkara University, Himachal Pradesh, and his wife for rejecting their claim of delay in flight hours as per the travel policy agreement.

Dr Varinder Singh and his wife Monika Singh Kanwar opted for the policy for the trip from New Delhi to Hangzhou (China) and from Hangzhou (China) to New Delhi. The duo were insured with the travel policy of ICICI Lombard Insurance firm from July 22 to 28, which included the benefit of trip delay of 6 hours to be indemnified with $500 and for this, the complainant had paid a premium of Rs 671 for the policy taken.

The complainants stated that their flight from Hangzhou (China) via Hong Kong to New Delhi, scheduled for July 26, 2018, got delayed for more than 24 hours, due to which they reached New Delhi on July 27, 2018, following which Dr Singh, who is the VC of Chitkara University, had to cancel his prefixed meetings and scheduled travel to Chandigarh, causing him economic loss. Singh and his wife then staked his claim with the insurance firm for payment of $500 due to delay of flight by more than 6 hours, as covered under the policy. However, their claim was rejected. They thus moved a formal complaint at the consumer forum.

The ICICI Lombard Insurance firm in reply submitted that the claim of the complainant was processed and he was requested through emails to submit the required documents as per terms and conditions of the policy, but since he failed to submit the same, his claim could not be processed. The claim of the complainant was neither repudiated nor closed, rather it could not be processed due to non-supply of requisite bills/documents.

After hearing the arguments and facts of the case, the forum held, “…plea of the Insurance Company seems to be unjustified altogether for the simple reason that no such condition was ever brought to the notice of the complainant that in case the complainant is to claim any amount on account of any flight delay for agreed $500, then he is to submit documents…”, read the judgment released on April 10.

The forum while rejecting the arguments of insurance firm stated that the insurance firm cannot backtrack from the commitment under the garb of non-submission of any document showing the details of expenses incurred during the delayed period, which have little relevance, and the demand of the insurance company is highly absurd, which also reflect their indulgence into unfair trade practice to defeat the genuine claim.

The forum thus directed the ICICI Lombard General Insurance and ICICI Lombard Travel Insurance, and Falck Global Assistance, to pay $500 to each of the complainants in Indian currency taking the Indian currency value as on October 6, 2018 (date of lodging of claim), along with compensation of Rs 30,000 and litigation cost of Rs 15,000.

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