The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company to pay Rs 25,000 as compensation for causing mental harassment to a woman,after her insurance claim was wrongly repudiated. The company has also been directed to pay Rs 2.69 lakh as the valid insurance claim and Rs 5,000 towards the costs of litigation.
The complainant,Kamini Sharma,a resident of Sector 44,said she had insured her new Hyundai Accent Verna car with the ICICI in October 2006 by paying Rs 25,822 in cash. The insurance policy,for a sum of Rs 6.98 lakh,was valid for one year. Sharma met with an accident in January 2007 and the car suffered extensive damage. A claim was lodged with the company.
To her surprise,Sharma received a letter from the company stating that the claim had been repudiated as the policy was cancelled due to cheque rejection. Claiming that she never made any payment through cheque,Sharma moved the consumer forum.
In its reply,ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company said the complainant issued a cheque to the agent and requested him to pay the premium on her behalf. The cover note was issued in the bona fide belief that her cheque will be honoured,but it bounced and thus the policy was cancelled, stated the counsel for the company.
Weakening ICICIs case was the fact that columns in the cover note requiring the insured to mention the date of the cheque,amount,cheque number,bank name and deposit slip number were left blank.
Announcing the verdict,the forum said: As per the complainant,she paid cash to the agent and the authorised agent may have given his own cheque to the company. Therefore,the matter is entirely between the agent and principal to settle and the complainant is not in the picture at all.