The Central Kolkata District Commission finds National Insurance Co. accountable for denying a claim based solely on delayed reporting.

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission-II, Central Kolkata (West Bengal), with Sukla Sengupta as President and Reyazuddin Khan as Member, found National Insurance Company responsible for inadequate service in rejecting a legitimate claim solely due to delayed notification of a stolen car by the insured. The commission emphasized that a genuine claim should not be dismissed merely due to delayed reporting to the insurance company.

Summary of Events:

The complainant owned a TATA Truck insured by National Insurance Company Ltd. (“Insurance Company”) with an annual premium of Rs. 28,436/-. During the policy period, the truck was reported stolen, and a police complaint was lodged accordingly. The complainant promptly informed the Insurance Company, which requested further documentation and conducted an investigation. Despite this, the Insurance Company rejected the claim, citing alleged policy violations. Dissatisfied with this decision, the complainant filed a consumer complaint in the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission-II, Central Kolkata (“District Commission”) against the Insurance Company.

The Insurance Company countered the allegations of mishandling the claim as unfounded and asserted that the complaint appeared to be motivated and false. It argued that the complainant lacked a valid cause of action and requested the dismissal of the application.

Findings of the District Commission:

The District Commission observed that the incident occurred on the night of 29th September 2015, when the driver parked the vehicle in front of the garage. By the morning of 30th September 2015, it was discovered that the vehicle had been stolen. The driver promptly reported the theft to the local Police Station on 1st October 2015, immediately after discovering it. Although there was a delay of 13 days in notifying the Insurance Company about the incident, the District Commission noted that the local police were informed promptly. Therefore, it concluded that the delay in informing the Insurance Company should not invalidate the claim, particularly since the claim itself was genuine. The Commission held that the Insurance Company could not arbitrarily reject a claim solely on the grounds of delayed notification by the complainant.

As a result, the District Commission ruled that the Insurance Company wrongly rejected the complainant’s claim, highlighting a lapse in service. The Insurance Company was instructed by the District Commission to reimburse the insured value of the vehicle in question, totaling Rs. 5,00,000/-, to the complainant within 45 days. Furthermore, the Insurance Company was directed to pay compensation of Rs. 1,00,000/- to the complainant.

Posted and reproduced in Public Interest by

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