In Focus

Insurance firm directed to pay farmer’s widow ₹ 2.20 lakh

The Pune District Consumer Redressal Forum has directed the National Insurance Company to pay complainant Geeta Arun Dube, an amount of ₹ 2 lakh, together with interest thereon, at nine per cent pa; this is with effect from the date of filing of her complaint till realisation of the entire amount.

Representational Image

“Despite submission of relevant documents pertaining to the insurance claim by the complainant to the company, it has failed to settle the legitimate genuine claim of the complainant. Therefore, the complainant was required to suffer mental torture and was compelled to file present complaint before us. Hence, complainant is also entitled for Rs 20,000 towards compensation for mental agony and costs of litigation collectively,” the forum stated in its order.

Dube stated in her complaint that she is the wife of Arun Maruti Dube, who was a farmer and died on 24 January 2016, due to injuries sustained in a road accident. Reportedly, the deceased fell off his bicycle, and was admitted to hospital for treatment. Unfortunately, he died during treatment on the same day.

However, the insurance firm did not intimate the wife about the status of her claim. Later, she got the information through an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, that her genuine claim was repudiated.

Relevant claim papers produced on record by the complainant show that the cause of death of Arun Dube was due to heart attack. This insurance policy provides for compensation to farmers who sustain any bodily injury resulting solely and directly from accidents caused by external violent and visible means, resulting in specified contingencies such as death.

Hence, natural death is excluded from the scope of the policy.

The claim of complainant was repudiated on these grounds and the company submitted that the present complaint is liable to be dismissed with costs.

The forum held that there is sufficient evidence on record to show that the deceased, who was the farmer owning agricultural land, accidentally fell down from a bicycle and died.

“The complainant is the widow of the deceased farmer and has complied with all the substantial formalities as required under the agreement and government resolutions. Therefore, as per the terms and conditions of the agreement, considering the facts and circumstances of the case, the insurance company is liable to satisfy the claim of the complainant,” the order stated.