Two insurance companies ordered to settle motor insurance claims rejected earlier

The Mumbai suburban district consumer disputes redressal forum passed a judgement ordering two insurance companies – New India Assurance and Chola MS to settle motor insurance claims of two vehicle owners, which were earlier rejected by them.

The first case involves Gunapal Shetty, who had taken a car insurance policy for his Tavera from New India Assurance Company. On June 26, 2009, the vehicle owner found his car missing from the spot where he had parked it in Chembur at night. He contacted the police authorities and filed a complaint. In February 2010, he contacted his insurance company to raise a claim. The insurer rejected his claims on the grounds that there was a breach in the conditions laid down in the policy as Shetty had given the car on hire.

Shetty approached the forum which observed that the purpose for which the vehicle was used cannot be a ground for repudiation of claims. The forum ordered New India to pay Rs 4.5 lakh plus 9% interest from the date the claim was filed which comes to Rs 80,000. In addition to this, it asked New India to pay Rs 5,000 as compensation  to the policyholder.

In a separate case involving Cholamandalam MS and bike owner Kamal Bhisaniya, the insurance company had rejected the claim on grounds that there was a delay from policyholder’s end in filing the claim.

On March 5, 2006, Andheri-based Bhisaniya found his bike missing and reported it as stolen to the police department. After a week of no success in finding the bike, he contacted the insurer and filed a claim. Chola MS rejected the claim ass there was a delay in filing the claim.

The forum observed that delay in filing claim cannot be grounds for repudiation and held the company guilty of deficiency in service. It ordered Chola  MS to pay Rs 35,000 plus 9% interest plus a compensation of Rs 2,000. 

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