HYDERABAD: Bajaj Allianz General Insurance at Begumpet has been directed by the Hyderabad district consumer forum to pay a Miyapur-based customer nearly Rs 3 lakh.
The complainant, Mr N. Parthasarthi, owner of Dosa Plaza in Miyapur, had taken a fire insurance policy for his restaurant amounting to a sum assured of `22 lakhs in September 2011, with a premium of `4,416.
In February 2013, Mr Parthasarthi’s restaurant caught fire due to a short circuit. He filed a claim with all the required documents and sought `5 lakh for restoration of property. The surveyor from Bajaj Allianz settled the claim for Rs 91,908, after removing many items from the complainant’s list.
The major point of contention between the two parties was whether the policy covered electrical appliances; the surveyor had removed the value of TVs, fans and air-conditioners. Adequate proof was provided to the forum showing that the policy listed electrical appliances of the restaurant at Rs12 lakh.
While Mr Parthasarthi asked the insurance company to pay the remaining amount of `4 lakh needed to restore his property, the company alleged that the complainant had agreed to the final settlement, which was denied by Mr Parthasarthi.
Bajaj Allianz said that the complainant had signed a discharge voucher for the full settlement and the Central Forensic Science Laboratory said that there was no discrepancy between the sample signature provided and the one on the voucher. They claimed that the complaint was made with ‘malafide intention for wrongful gains’.
The court referred to the judgement of an earlier case which involved National Insurance Company in 2009 which stated that appropriate relief should be given if discharge vouchers were obtained by fraud or misinterpretation.
The court observed that the complainant was ‘compelled to sign the voucher due to the dominant position of the insurance company officials’ and since the electronic goods in the restaurant were also damaged in the fire, Bajaj Allianz has to pay a sum of `1.65 lakh after accounting depreciation of the goods along with a compensation of `1 lakh....