Consumer Issues
Insurance companies lingering on settling claims: Consumer forum

The consumer forum made the observation while pulling up New India Assurance for sitting on a claim for over three years prior to rejecting it and directed the insurance company to pay its policy holder Rs13.84 lakh, including Rs1 lakh compensation

New Delhi: Insurance companies are lingering on settlement of claims and using the money legally entitled to the insured for as long as they can, amounting to unfair trade practices, a consumer forum has held, reports PTI.

 

“This has become a general practice that the insurance companies tend to linger on the settlement of the claim and use the money which the insured is otherwise legally bound to have for as much longer period as they can. This clearly amounts to harassment and unfair trade practice,” the North East District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum said.

 

The forum presided by NA Zaidi made the observation while pulling up New India Assurance Company (NIACL) for sitting on a claim for over three years prior to rejecting it and directed the insurance company to pay its policy holder Rs13.84 lakh, including Rs1 lakh compensation.

 

“We hold the rejection of the claim by respondent company (NIACL) as wholly untenable and it smacks of vendetta to cover their own shortfall for not deciding the claim of complainant for more than three years.

 

“We allow this complaint and direct the respondent company to pay the complainant Rs12.79 lakh, the sum assessed by the surveyor, with compensation of Rs1 lakh for harassment suffered. We further award Rs5,000 as cost of litigation,” the forum said.

 

The order came on the plea of Delhi-based cosmetic company Colorbar Cosmetics Pvt Ltd, whose stock insured with NIACL was damaged in a fire in September 2007.

 

The cosmetic company had filed a claim for the loss and NIACL had appointed a surveyor who had assessed a loss of Rs12.79 lakh, the firm had said in its complaint.

 

It alleged that despite the surveyor's assessment, NIACL did not settle the claim and then after three years had rejected it in October 2010.

 

NIACL, in its defence, had contended that it had rejected the claim as the cosmetic firm’s stock was in the custody of another firm which was not related to Colorbar.

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Tata AIG Gen launches service for approving claims within four hours

The fast-track approval feature is available for existing as well as the new customers of Tata AIG General Insurance

Mumbai: Tata AIG General Insurance says it has introduced a service where it will settle health claims within four hours of filing for a claim, reports PTI.

 

“Normally it takes over six hours for claims approvals due to processing. We thought to tighten the procedure further and bring down the time to only four hours. We introduced this feature to prevent a medical emergency from becoming a financial burden on our customers,” Tata AIG General Senior Vice-President, Consumer Lines, Ramesh Ramani told PTI here.

 

This fast-track approval feature is available for existing customers as well as new ones, he added.

 

The private insurer is relatively a new entrant in the health space and launched its first product in the segment around 10 months ago.

 

“Being a new player in the health space we are planning to introduce innovative features and products that will not only establish our brand but also help us increase our customer base,” Ramani said.

 

The insurer, a joint venture between the Tata Group and American International Group Inc (AIG), has eight health policies under its portfolio. It has sold over 20,000 health polices between April-December 2012.

 

Going ahead, the private insurer is looking to launch segment-specific products under the health category.

 

“We already have filed few segment specific health products with the regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA). We hope to launch our first such product in the next six months,” Ramani said.

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Nigerian held for lottery fraud in Delhi

The Nigerian along with his fellow nationals cheated people by creating a fake website of RBI and sent text messages to people randomly wherein they stated that they have won a lottery worth crores

New Delhi: A 36-year-old Nigerian national was arrested here for allegedly cheating people of lakhs of rupees by making them believe that they have won a lottery organised by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), reports PTI quoting Police.

 

Franklin Idiumo was apprehended following investigations into complaints about cheating a woman of Rs22 lakh after falsely telling her that she had won a lottery of Rs1.7 crore, said BS Jaiswal, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer).

 

The victim approached police on 12th January that she received a call that she has won a lottery and she was lured to deposit some money for claiming it.

 

She paid Rs22.38 lakh through various instalments in different HDFC Bank accounts as asked by the fraudsters.

 

During the said transaction, she got suspicious and reported it to the bank which froze the account in which she deposited the money, Jaiswal said.

 

The victim informed the police two days ago that she received a phone call from one person that her lottery amount that has been sent at her residence through one of their representatives.

 

“Idiumo came to her house at Rohini. He was intercepted at the spot along with an electronic safe. On opening, it was found to be containing small packets of black hard papers concealed in white cotton.

 

“Idiumo also could not produce any valid travel documents for his presence in India,” Jaiswal said.

 

Idiumo told police that he along with his fellow nationals cheated people by creating a fake website of the RBI and sent text messages to people randomly wherein they stated that they have won a large sum of money in a lottery.

 

The people who replied to their messages were asked to deposit a sum of money in an account number they told in exchange of a code that would enable them to facilitate the transfer of the said money in to their account.

 

Further they told them to deposit more money on one pretext or the other.

 

They used to befool people by giving them black paper and convince them that these are defaced US dollars which can be brought into real form by applying special chemical, Jaiswal said.

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