Insurance company `cannot benefit from its own lapses`

  • | Tuesday | 5th December, 2023

DEHRADUN: The state consumer commission, upholding the stance of the district consumer disputes redressal commission, on Monday reprimanded United India Insurance Company Limited (UIICL), saying the company cannot exploit its own missteps to refuse claims.In 2010, a rock fell on a four-wheeler, causing substantial damageto the vehicle. However, UIICL rejected the subsequent claim, citing the absence of a fitness certificate for the vehicle.The commission found that the insurance company failed to ask for the certificate during the cooling-off period and issued a policy without the necessary documentation.Consequently, UIICL has been ordered to disburse Rs 66,000, along with 6% interest since the complaint was lodged in February 2013.Khem Raj, a Tehri Garhwal resident, had insured his pickup vehicle with UIICL in June 2010 for a one-year term. After the vehicle was damaged, UIICL appointed a surveyor to instruct Raj to submit repair bills. However, UIICL in August 2011 told him that the vehicles fitness was valid only until May 2009 and rejected the claim. The district commission, after examining arguments and evidence, passed a judgment in September 2015, ordering UIICL to pay the compensation. UIICL contested this decision in the state commission in October 2015, saying the vehicles operation without a fitness certificate violated Motor Vehicles Act provisions, which is a breach of the insurance policy.The state commission said that UIICL, having neglected to scrutinise the fitness certificate during policy issuance, cannot take advantage of its own lapse.

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