Insurance firm told to pay auto driver Rs 50,000 compensationhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/insurance-firm-told-to-pay-auto-driver-rs-50-000-compensation/

Insurance firm told to pay auto driver Rs 50,000 compensation

The Chandigarh Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed New India Assurance Company to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation to Sanjay Kumar,an auto-rickshaw driver,for harassing him mentally and physically in the settlement of his insurance claim.

The Chandigarh Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed New India Assurance Company to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation to Sanjay Kumar,an auto-rickshaw driver,for harassing him mentally and physically in the settlement of his insurance claim.

President of the Commission Justice Sham Sunder and Member Neena Sandhu have also directed the company to pay Rs 95,760 to Kumar as 75 per cent of the insured declared value of the vehicle,along with litigation costs of Rs 5,000.

The high compensation was awarded by the Commission on the ground that an auto-rickshaw driver,who was earning his livelihood by plying the three-wheeler,was made to run from pillar to post on account of indifferent attitude of the company. The Commission has also upheld the decision given by Chandigarh Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I,regarding the complaint filed by Kumar.

In his complaint,Kumar had stated that in January 2009,his auto-rickshaw which was parked in front of his house in Mohali village was stolen. Kumar lodged a theft report with the police. He also submitted an insurance claim to the company,along with the ‘vehicle untraced report’. His claim was denied on the ground that he did not fulfil the terms of the policy. Aggrieved,Kumar filed a case in the Forum.

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In its reply,the company stated that the auto-rickshaw was being used by the complainant for ferrying passengers within the municipal limits of Mohali,but had been stolen from Chandigarh. The company added that the route permit for the vehicle did not cover the date of loss. Also,the theft took place in January 2009,but the validity of the route permit was from October 2009 to 2014. As a result,the file was closed as ‘No Claim’.

After considering the case,the Consumer Forum held that the complaint had merit,and gave its decision in Kumar’s favour. The insurance company challenged the Forum’s decision in the Commission. The Commission upheld the decision given by the Forum. The only modification made by the Commission in the Forum’s order was that the company was directed to pay 75 per cent of the Insured Declared Value (IDV) of the vehicle to Kumar. The Forum had ordered that the total IDV be paid to Kumar.