A consumer forum here has directed National Insurance Company Ltd to pay around Rs 11 lakh to a man for loss of jewellery in a theft and expressed "shock" over the firm's ignorance of facts.
The New Delhi Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, presided by C K Chaturvedi, asked the firm to pay Rs 10,75,934 to Delhi resident Atam Prakash Sood, and said it "committed deficiency in service". The amount included a compensation of Rs 70,000.
"Opposite Party (insurance firm) has attempted to invent ground to deny as if the complainant invited the burglars in the house and collaborated with them to get the valuables stolen by theft.
"We are shocked at its ignoring the facts recorded by its own surveyor and Opposite Party agreeing with the opinion of surveyor on the conclusion which is beyond the brief of surveyor," the forum said.
The bench, also comprising members S R Chaudhary and Ritu Garodia, noted that the record of FIR by police and other facts were self explanatory on the aspect of burglary in the house.
"The liability of Opposite Party is absolute in this case of loss of jewellery by misfortune," it said.
The forum said that the firm had totally misdirected itself and has declined with mala fide intention the claim for loss of jewellery declared by the man at the time of taking insurance cover.
"The Opposite Party has committed deficiency in service. We held it liable for deficiency and liable for compensation to complainant to the extent of value of jewellery declared of Rs 10,05,934... and pay for compensation for the harassment, deficiency, litigation and mental agony, which place at Rs 70,000 in this case," it added.
Sood had told the forum that on the intervening night of May 19-20, 2010, some persons robbed jewellery from his house. He had taken 'All Risk Household Cover Policy' issued by the insurance firm and informed it about the theft.
However, the claim was repudiated by the firm and, thereafter, he filed the complaint with the forum, alleging deficiency on its part.
The firm, however, contended before the forum that there was no offence of burglary in law and raised question that why guard of the house could not prevent the burglary, adding that there was violation of policy condition as complainant failed to take care of the valuables.