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Pay Rs13.39L claim to truck owner, insurance co told
The Times of India May 18, 2019.

Coming to the rescue of a truck owner, the District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum (DCDRF) directed the National Insurance Company (NIC) to pay Rs. 13.09 lakh towards insurance claim with 7% interest from June 13, 2017.

While partially allowing owner’s complaint, the bench comprising President Sanjay Patil and member-- Chanderika Bais and SR Ajane-- further told the company’s city-based officer to pay Rs. 20,000 towards physical and mental harassment and Rs. 10,000 for cost of litigation within a month.

The bench ruled that just because there was a delay in lodging the police complaint of a stolen vehicle or informing the NIC about the theft, it can’t deny the complainant’s genuine claim for insurance. The judges held that the NIC had engaged in ‘deficiency in service’ as per the Consumer Protection Act and therefore was liable to pay the insurance amount alongwith Rs. 30,000 towards compensation.

Complainant Ravindra Kotal purchased the truck in January 2015 and had insured it from the NUC the same day. He gave the vehicle along with a driver to a builder on Rs. 1,20,000 rent per month. The truck was stolen on September 10, 2015, from the parking area. The driver then informed owner about the theft. Later, Kotal lodged a complaint with Yashodhara Nagar police station. After the police further submitted a final report to judicial magistrate first class(JMFC) on July 25, there were no leads on the missing truck.

Five days later, the complainant submitted the cops’ final report with NIC to claim insurance for the stolen vehicle. He submitted required documents to the company in December 2016. The NIC however, dismissed his claim pointing out that there was delay in lodging the FIR and informing about the truck’s theft.

Kotal then knocked consumer forum’s doors contending that he was unable to pay regular instalments of the bank towards truck’s loan and he was made to pay penalty for the delay.

In reply, NIC argued that Kotal can’t be counted as their consumer since he is involved in other businesses and that he had bought the truck for commercial gains. It also pointed out that the complainant didn’t provide all the necessary documents.

While pronouncing the verdict, the judges observed that the company hadn’t refused the truck’s insurance policy shows that Kotal is their consumer. They held that it was a disservice on NIC’s part as they refused customer’s insurance claiming citing delay in informing about the theft.

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