The Chandigarh Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has held an insurance company guilty of deficiency in service after it failed to pay the full maturity amount to a complainant.
The forum has directed the insurance company to pay the full maturity amount of Rs 77,341. The company has also been directed to pay the money with an interest of 9 per cent per annum with another Rs 20,000 for litigation costs and causing mental agony and harassment.
Daljit Singh Sandhu, a resident of Sector 35, approached the forum with a complaint against Kotak Mahindra Insurance Ltd alleging that in 2003, he had taken a policy having annual premium of Rs 10,330 and a term of 10 years.
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Upon maturity of the policy, the complainant had approached the company and filled the surrender form on March 19, 2013. According to the complainant, he was told that one-third of the amount was paid in his account and the insurance company assured to send two-third of the maturity amount so that he could purchase annuity from the Life Insurance Corporation of India. Sandhu stated that the company informed him that the cheque amounting to Rs 77,314 had been sent to his address. But, the complainant claimed to have not receive two-third of the maturity amount.
On June 25, the complainant was asked by the company to give the surrender form again alongwith more documents after following which he completed all the formalities. Sandhu further alleged that the company failed to send the remaining maturity amount despite receiving all the documents.
On February 26, 2014, the complainant had sent a letter dated 26.11.2013 and a legal notice to the compnay, but to no avail.
In its defense, the company pleaded that the complainant is not a consumer as the policy had been purchased for profit making purpose and denied all the allegations.
The counsel of the company urged that the complainant gave a maturity form wherein he expressed that annuity payout be deposited with the LIC of India and accordingly a letter dated June 29, 2013, was sent to the LIC at the address of the complainant alongwith a cheque of Rs 77,341 towards the two-third annuity as payout in favour of LIC of India.
The complainant was asked to contact the LIC for the purchase of required annuity plan. The counsel for the compnay also argued that the maturity amount was sent to LIC as per the instructions of the complainant, but, the said cheque has not been encashed till date. He has further argued that upon receipt of information regarding non-receipt of the annuity payment, a fresh cheque was created and it was tried to deliver by hand which was not accepted by the complainant.
The forum stated: “After scanning the entire evidence, we find gross deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party (OP). In the first place, the complainant has specifically pleaded that he approached the OP on maturity of the policy and filled the surrender form. In that surrender form, the complainant has clearly indicated that he has ticked against the name of LIC of India for annuity payout. The allegations of the complainant in respect to the surrender form have not been specifically denied by the OP, therefore, the same would be deemed to have been admitted.”