Claiming insurance coverage should make life simple, not troublesome

Pushpa Girimaji

Two years in the past, my automotive obtained stolen, however was finally discovered by the police and returned to me by way of a courtroom order. The subsequent occasions made me really feel that I’d have been higher off if the automotive had not been discovered. First of all, the insurance coverage firm took a really very long time to approve the price of repairs required on the automotive. They, actually, appointed two surveyors and wasted appreciable time. Second of all, the service centre promised to ship the automotive after the repairs in a month, however took six months to finish the job and hand over the automotive. So, altogether, I used to be denied the usage of my automotive for 9 months after I obtained it again. I need to file a case towards each the insurance coverage firm in addition to the service centre for the delay as I needed to journey by taxi throughout this time. Do I’ve a case right here?

Well, shopper courts have clearly held that inordinate delay in rendering a service constitutes ‘deficiency’ in service and customers who are suffering on account of such poor service are entitled to compensation. In this case, each the insurance coverage firm and the workshop are responsible of rendering a poor service that triggered you appreciable struggling bodily, mentally and financially. So you will have each proper to hunt compensation for the loss triggered to you.

I need to additionally point out that, in quite a few circumstances, the apex shopper courtroom has frowned on insurance coverage corporations that appointed a second surveyor or valuer to re-assess the associated fee for no obvious cause, besides that it didn’t go well with the curiosity of the insurer. In your case, I have no idea why the second surveyor was appointed, but when it was completed with none legitimate cause, clearly leading to additional delays, then you will have one other sturdy level towards the insurance coverage firm.

Similarly, the service centre or the workshop promised handy over the automotive after finishing the repairs in a month, however took six months to take action. This not solely constitutes unfair commerce follow, but in addition poor service. So the service centre too has to compensate you for the delay in repairing the automotive.

I’m not positive concerning the high quality of restore work completed. If that was not passable or if the workshop did not do the job as required or as promised, you will need to embrace that too in your criticism and search damages on that rating too.

Do you already know of any case much like mine that has come up earlier than the buyer courtroom? If sure, are you able to please elaborate on it?

The apex shopper courtroom checked out an virtually an identical case solely not too long ago. Here too the criticism was concerning the delay on a part of the insurance coverage firm in approving the repairs and the delay on a part of the service centre in giving the estimate and in finishing the work — all including as much as 18 months of delay. The different criticism was that although it was a ‘cashless policy’, the buyer needed to pay Rs 1,04,835 as depreciation fees.

Here, the decrease shopper courts had held the insurance coverage firm and the service centre responsible of offering poor service and requested them to pay 12 per cent curiosity on locked up worth of IDV (Insured Declared Value) of Rs 4,25,000 past a interval of six months for which the car was retained by the workshop; pay Rs 25,000 in direction of psychological and bodily harassment triggered to the complainant and Rs 10,000 in direction of prices. Both the insurance coverage firm and the workshop could be collectively and severally liable, the decrease shopper courts had mentioned.

This was upheld by the National shopper Disputes Redressal Commission. However, on the query of depreciation fees, the insurance coverage firm argued that the car was 5 years previous at the moment and as per the insurance coverage coverage, depreciation was to be utilized on the premise of the chart given and this was strictly adopted.

The National Commission, after contemplating this situation, held that “when there was a clear provision in respect of depreciation to be charged, the complainant cannot raise any grievances in this regard unless it is proved by the complainant that depreciation has not been correctly applied”. Since no such argument had been superior, there was no case for asking the insurer to reimburse that quantity, the Commission held. (Jaspreeet Singh Bakshi Vs SBI General Insurance Company and one other, Revision Petition No 605 of 2016, date of order: June 18, 2020)

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