Friday, February 4, 2011

Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Co Ltd told to pay full amount to widow

Ahmedabad: A consumer court imposed a fine of Rs 8,000 on an insurance company after it refused to pay the full insurance amount to a widow and her minor son. The court also asked the firm to pay the entire insurance money to two complainants..

The case is about Mukund Shah of Surat who had bought an insurance policy of Rs 1 crore from Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Co Ltd in 2002. Later the insurance amount was increased to Rs 1.15 crore. While taking this policy, Shah informed the company that he had different policies of Life Insurance Corporation to the extent of Rs 21 lakh.

Shah passed away in 2005. When his widow Nitaben and minor son Saumin sought the amount of insurance, Kotak Mahindra paid them Rs 92 lakh instead of Rs 1.15 crore. The company said that it had held back Rs 23 lakh because Shah had not revealed that he had LIC policies worth Rs 41 lakh. Since he disclosed a cover of Rs 21 lakh only, and suppressed information, the amount was deducted from the payment of insurance to his heir.

This strange stand by the insurance company led the claimants to file a complaint with the state consumer disputes redressal commission in 2007 against the company through advocate Himanshu Thakker. They claimed the remaining amount of Rs 23 lakh and compensation because the insurance company’s gesture amounted to deficiency in service.

The consumer court heard the case and concluded that the deduction of any amount from insured money on the pretext of partial disclosure was against the policy.

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