The Chandigarh Consumer Forum has directed an insurance company to pay US $50 (equivalent to Indian currency), and Rs 15,000 as compensation and litigation cost to the two sons of Haryana Cadre IAS officer Ashok Khemka, who were robbed of valuables at South Africa. The insurance company had rejected their claim.
Shreenath Khemka (24) and Ganesh Khemka (22), said in their complaint that on June 11, 2019, for a trip to South Africa, they had purchased Digit On-The-Move Policy from Go Digit General Insurance, which covers trip abandonment, financial emergency cash if money is stolen, emergency cash if needed and loss of baggage and personal belongings. The complainants alleged that on June 15, when they reached South Africa, in the Central Business District of Johannesburg, they were attacked by 5-6 persons who took away their debit card, credit card, driver’s licence, cellphone and wrist watch — items worth Rs 54,000.
The duo approached the Johannesburg Central Police Station and registered a complaint. On the same day, they wrote a email to the insurance company for reimbursement of the amount robbed and providing emergency financial assistance. However it was declined by the firm stating that emergency financial assistance and loss of baggage and personal belongings were not covered. They moved a formal complaint against the insurance firm on July 9.
The insurance firm said that the complainants had asked for emergency cash assistance; compensation for loss of personal belongings and trip abandonment. However, the said risks were not covered under the policy.
The forum after hearing their arguments held that report was made in South Africa as well as in the Daily Diary Register of Chandigarh Police Station, which show that complainants were definitely robbed. The forum held that the complainants only prayed for indemnification of loss of personal belongings and have not claimed daily allowance.
But, the terms and conditions and certificate of insurance do not provide for indemnification of loss of belongings, thus, the relief prayed for by the complainants is liable to be modified.
The forum, in the judgment released Friday, ordered the firm to pay daily cash allowance of one day US $50, in equivalent Indian currency as on date of robbery, along with interest at 9 per cent per annum from date of incident till realisation, along with Rs 10,000 as compensation and Rs 5,000 as cost of litigation.
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