Firm must pay insurance claim despite lost licence

Mumbai: An insurance provider will have to pay two Kolhapur-based sisters around Rs 22,000 in compensation in addition to Rs 1 lakh after it rejected the claim they made when their parents died in a mishap on the grounds that the driving licence was not produced.
The Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, while upholding a district forum order, took a strong view against private Insurance Company , which did not help the complainants even after they said that the licence had been lost at the accident site. “Complainant could not produce original licence as the insured father died in an accident and licence was not traceable. Depriving complainant to receive genuine insurance claim arising out of accidental death will amount to grave injustice,” the commission said.
The vehicle, a Bajaj Platina bike, belonged to the complainant Minakshi Shinde’s father. It was insured along with the owner-cum-rider to up to Rs 1 lakh. On April 5, 2007, Minakshi’s parents were involved in a head-on collision with a truck and died. During the accident, the father’s driving licence was lost. Minakshi and her sister filed the claim. But, the firm refused to pay on the grounds that the driving licence was not submitted.
The company also rejected a request by the complainants for a copy of the driving licence, which had been submitted to it before the policy was issued. Efforts to get a copy from the Regional Transport Office proved futile. Aggrieved by the non-cooperative attitude of the insurance firm, the sisters filed a consumer complaint in the district forum in 2009. The forum passed an order in their favour on August 10, 2010. The firm then filed an appeal with the state commission.
The commission said, “In this case, the insurance company, which possessed the record of driving licence prior to issue of insurance policy, could have acted on the available record…. Not only that, the request of the complainant for a spare copy of the said record was also turned down.” It added that the copy would have helped the complainant get a record from the competent authority.

Source :The Times of India.
Date : 03/04/2013

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