Consumer Case No.616/2008
Sri S. Panduranga Reddy,
S/o. Late s. Narayana Reddy,
Aged about:70 years, Occ: Business
R/o. H.No.4-3-560/B/1, Tilak Road,
Hyderabad. . ……Complainant
1.M/s. Tata A/G General Insurance Co. Ltd.,
Rep by its Managing Director,
Aura Centre, 4th Floor,
Mahankali Caves Road, Andheri(E),
2.M/s. Tata AIG General Insurance Co.Ltd.,
Rep by its Branch Manager,
Hyderabad, Block-A, My Home Tycoon,
Kundan Bagh, Begumpet, Hyderabad-16. …..Opposite parties
This case coming on 06- 04-09 for final hearing before this Forum in the presence of Sri. K.Srinivasa Reddy , Advocate for the complainant and Sri.Abdul Khader, Advocate for the opposite parties No.1&2 having stood over till this day for consideration, this Forum pronounced the following:-
1. This complaint under Section 12 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 was filed by the complainant for a direction to the opposite parties 1&2 to pay an amount of Rs.14,602/- paid towards renewal of insurance policy along with interest @ 24% from the date of payment till the date of realization. To pay an amount of Rs.71,200/- @ Rs.800/- per day for engaging the taxi car from 23-12-2007 to 5-4-2008. To award Rs.50,000/- towards damage for mental agony, pain suffered by the complainant. To pay an amount of Rs.5,000/- towards legal expenditure, to pass any such order or orders as this Hon’ble forum may deems fit and proper in the circumstances of the case in the interest of justice and equity.
(By Sri. D.Mahesh Kumar, Member on behalf of the bench)
2. The brief facts of the case:- The complainant has taken Insurance policy from the opposite party No.1 vide policy No.010039516400, dated 23-12-06 in respect of the vehicle bearing No.AP 9BG2088. The said policy was expired on 23-2-2007. The complainant has received phone call from the opposite party No.1 on 7-12-07 requesting him to get renew of the said insurance policy by paying an amount of Rs.14,602 to their Bombay addressed with reference to “ MSIT of MSIJ No. 0712810932 “ Immediately the complainant had paid the said amount though his Credit card and was under the impression that he will receive the renewed policy before on 22-12-07. It is the say of the complainant that he has not received the renewed policy in till 24-1-08, though he was constantly contacting the opposite party No.1 to know the status of his renewed policy. Nobody has given any reply with regard to his renewal of car insurance policy. The complainant addressed a letter to the opposite parties requesting them to refund amount without any further delay as they have failed to renew the policy inspite of receipt of the amount on 7-12-07. Thereafter the complainant being a senior citizen forced to hire tax for Rs.800/- per day 22-12-07 to till date as his policy was not renew within time. As such he was put to loss and mental agony due to the irresponsible attitude of the opposite party .
The complainant got issued a legal notice through his counsel on 5-3-08 demanding the opposite parties to refund the amount of Rs.14,602/- along with interest at 24% p.a. and Rs.800/- per day from 23-12-07 to 5-4-08(for 89 working days) towards hiring the taxi and Rs. 10,000/- towards causing mental agony along with cost of the legal notice. In spite of issuance of the said legal notice the opposite party not chosen to reply nor renewed the policy nor refunded the amount. The opposite party has issued a notice on 30-4-08 informing the complainant to supply the proof of the insurance policy in order to process cancellation. It is the case of the complainant that he never requested the opposite party to cancel the policy and the opposite party failed to inform the status of renewal inspite of receiving the amount on 7-12-07. The complainant again got issued another notice on 21-5-08 informing the opposite party that he is ready to send the proof of insurance obtained from other insurer provide that the opposite party admit his claim. But there is no reply. Inspite of receipt of the said amount the opposite party failed to renew the policy which amounts to deficiency of service. Hence this complaint.
The opposite party filed its counter/written statement denying the contents of the complaint stating that the complainant had taken the policy for Rs.18,587 and it was valid from the period 23-12-06 to 22-12-07. It is contended by the opposite party that during the said policy period the complainant has claimed losses of Rs.6,276/- and the same has been paid by it. Thereafter a renewal notice was addressed to the complainant dated 19-11-07 for payment of premium. However the complainant paid the premium amount ignoring the actual premium amount payable as per the said notice. The complainant paid Rs.14,602 instead of Rs.15,605 the opposite party has received the said amount and insured the car to the extent of the policy premium was paid. Thereafter the opposite party has contacted the complainant for shortfall of the premium amount over the phone. Then the complainant sent a letter dated 5-3-08 inter-alia requesting for refund of premium amount and sought for taxi charges. The opposite party replied on 30-4-08 requesting the complainant to provide proof of insurance with other insurers before cancellation of the cover which is under risk. Thereafter the complainant again addressed a letter on 21-5-08 through his counsel reiterating his demand made in the earlier letter dated 5-3-2008 stating that if the opposite party accepts his demands for taxi fare then he would furnish the particulars of insurance made with another insurance company. The opposite party vide its letter dated 25-06-2008 replied to the said letter inter-alia apologizing for the inconvenience and requested the complainant to submit the documents in order to process cancellation request. Instead of providing the details, the complainant chosen to file the present complaint. It is the contention of the opposite party that it is bound to honour the claim once premium has been received, had there been any loss reported to the opposite party. H it requested the complainant to furnish the details of the insurance policy it any made with the other insurer. The opposite party admitted that it legally liable to refund the premium as the vehicle was covered beyond 22-12-07 until it got insured with other insurer. However as an exceptional case the opposite party decided to refund the premium amount subject to the furnishing proof of insurance with another insurer which the complainant has admittedly failed to do so. The opposite party further states that it had made an offer for an amount of not exceeding Rs.20,000/- towards the refund of the premium paid along with interest at 12% so that the matter could be resolved amicably. The complainant has not accepted for the said amount. With the above contentions, the opposite party seeks the Forum to dismiss the complaint.
In the course of enquiry, the complainant filed his evidence affidavit reiterating the contents of the complaint and got marked exhibits A1 to A10. As against the oral documentary evidence of the complainant.
The opposite party contended that they have filed certain documents in support of their case but after perusal of documents it is found that no exhibits were marked on behalf of the opposite party. It appears that the opposite party filed the documents in the section. Hence this documents were not marked as exhibits. Both sides have filed written arguments and advanced oral submissions.
Points for Consideration :-
1.Whether there was any deficiency of service on the part of the opposite parties in repudiating the claim of the complainant?
2.Whether the complainant is entitled to the reliefs sought for?
3. To what relief?
Points 1&2:- It is an admitted fact that the complainant obtained a policy (010039516400), from the opposite party no.1 by paying premium amount Rs.18,587/-. The said policy was in force from 23-12-06 to 22-12-07 vide Exhibit A1 (Last Page). It is the say of the complainant that he has received a phone call from the opposite party No.1 on 7-12-07 requesting him to remit the premium amount of Rs.14,602/- where as it is contended by the opposite parties that the complainant has to pay Rs.15,605 towards renewal of the policy . It is also contended by the opposite party that the its tele caller might have informed the complainant to pay the renewal premium amount of Rs.14,602/-, as such the complainant paid premium amount as mentioned by the telecaller by ignoring their renewal notice, as such the complainant paid lesser amount therefore the opposite party insured the complainant’s car to the extent of premium paid by the complainant. There is no material to show that the opposite parties requested the complainant to pay the premium amount of Rs.15,605. It is also noticed from Exhibit A2 that an amount of Rs.14,602 was paid by the complainant to the opposite party. As there is no response from the opposite parties with regard to renewal policy, the complainant vide Exhibit A3 dated 24-1-08 addressed a letter to the opposite party to refund the amount of Rs.14,602 paid towards renewal amount. It is also notice from Exhibit A4 that the complainant again issued a legal notice on 5-3-2008 requesting the opposite party to refund the premium amount paid through his credit card without any further delay. There is no proof to show that the opposite party renewal the policy inspite of receiving the amount. It is noticed from Exhibit A6 that the opposite party wrongly interpreted the request for refund of amount, but processed for cancellation. There is no material to show that the opposite party renewed the policy as contended by the them. Having collected the amount the opposite party ought to have renewed the policy promptly. The opposite party failed to communicate anything with regard to renewal of the policy and kept the complainant in dark.. The complainant again issued a legal notice vide Exhibit A7 on 21-5-08 informing the opposite party, that he never asked for cancellation of the policy and made it clear to inform about the status of policy but there is no response. There is no doubt that the opposite party even after collecting the premium amount of Rs.14,602 towards the renewal of the policy failed to process the same. Even after filing of the complaint, the opposite party has not come forward to say that after collecting the premium amount, policy was renewed or at least to communicate about less payment as contended by the opposite party. The entire record goes to show that the opposite party ket silent after collecting the amount and infact the complainant has paid an amount of Rs.14,602 to the opposite party as informed by the employee of the opposite party. The attitude of the opposite party in not renewing the policy or returning the amount, amounts to causing mental agony to the complainant. In view of our above discussion, the claim of the complainant has to be allowed as there is clear deficiency of service on the part of the opposite party..
Point No.3:- In the result the complainant’s claim is partly allowed and we direct the opposite parties 1&2 to refund Rs.14,602(Rupees fourteen thousand six hundred and two only) together with interest at 12% p.a. from 7-12-07 till the date of realization and further directed to pay 5,000/-(rupees five thousand only) as compensation and 1,000/- (Rupees one thousand only) as costs to the complainant within two months from the date of receipt of this order.