Giving his motorbike for a test drive before sale cost Ashish Pandhi of Sector 16,Panchkula,dear. The prospective buyer stole the motorbike. Pandhis insurance claim was initially denied by his insurance company,but he has finally found relief through Chandigarh Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I.
President of the Forum P D Goel and Members Rajinder Singh Gill and Dr Madanjit Kaur Sahota have directed the insurance company to pay the insured amount of Rs 61,816 to Pandhi,along with Rs 15,000 as compensation for harassment and Rs 5,000 as litigation costs.
In his complaint before the Forum,Pandhi stated that he got his Bajaj Pulsar mobike fully insured with the insurance company for Rs 61,816. In May 2010,a man posing as a buyer approached him,saying that he wanted to purchase the motorbike. Pandhi entrusted the motorbike to him in good faith for a test drive,but the person did not return. Police submitted an untraced report for the motorbike in October. Pandhi lodged the insurance claim with the company. After this was refused,he approached the Forum for justice.
In its reply,the insurance company stated that Pandhi should not have handed over the keys of his motorbike to a stranger,allowing him to take a test drive. The company said this was in violation of the policy conditions,and that Pandhi should have taken all reasonable steps to safeguard the vehicle from loss.
After considering the case,the Forum observed that in an earlier case,the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission had observed that breach of terms and conditions of the insurance policy in case of theft of the vehicle is immaterial.
In this light,the Forum held that the insurance firm was under a legal obligation to reimburse the entire amount irrespective of the fact that the vehicle was given for a test drive in violation of the terms and conditions of the policy. The order was passed by the insurance company accordingly.