Consumer Issues
NCDRC asks National Insurance to pay Rs2.35 lakh for vehicle damage

In an eight-year-old case, the National Comsumer Forum, while allowing additional payment as per surveyor report, said, the complainant did not claim total loss and hence the insurer cannot be forced to pay full compensation

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has asked National Insurance Co Ltd to pay Rs1.85 lakh with an additional amount of Rs50,000 to a vehicle owner whose vehicle was damaged in a accident about nine years ago.

“It would be appropriate to allow Rs50,000 in addition to the amount awarded by the State Commission, which will meet expenses to be incurred on repairs and replacement of parts (of the vehicle),” the National Consumer Forum said in its order  on 17 April 2014.

The case relates to Sawada (Dist Jalgaon, Maharashtra)-based Ismail Khan Amir Khan, whose insured vehicle (Matador) met with an accident on 26 June 2005. As National Insurance Co did not settle his claims for the damage of Matador, Khan filed a case before the Jalgaon District Consumer Forum.

In its order, the District Forum while allowing the complaint directed the insurer to pay Rs4.5 lakh along with interest and also pay additional Rs2,000 for mental agony to Khan.

Aggrieved by this order, National Insurance filed an appeal before the State Commission stating that the complainant (Khan) has not pleaded that it was a case of total loss. The State Commission, while partly allowing the insurer's appeal, reduced the compensation to Rs1.85 lakh from Rs 4.5 lakh.

Khan then approached the NCDRC seeking restoration of order issued by the District Forum. He said, “The District Forum rightly allowed compensation, but the State Commission committed error in reducing compensation, hence revision petition be allowed and impugned order be set aside.”

During the hearing, the NCDRC reviewed report submitted by the surveyors, who after assessment gave the estimate of Rs50,000 for the vehicle loss. “Perusal of spot survey and surveyors report reveals some discrepancies. Without opening vehicle and these assembly items, surveyor rightly did not assess loss, but it can be presumed that some loss must have been caused to these items.  In such circumstances, it would be appropriate to allow Rs50,000 in addition to amount awarded by the State Commission, which will meet expenses to be incurred on repairs and replacement of parts, which have not been dismantled and surveyor have kept them open for assessment,” the Forum said.

While sustaining the order issued by the State Commission, the NCDRC said, “As far as total loss of the vehicle is concerned, complainant has not pleaded in the complaint that it was the case of total loss and in such circumstances, total loss of the vehicle can not be inferred. The District Forum committed an error in allowing Rs4.5 lakh on the basis of total loss.”
The National Consumer Forum, however, asked National Insurance to pay additional Rs50,000 for the vehicle loss as per surveyor report to Khan.

Revision Petition no. 1239 of 2012

Petitioner                     : Ismail Khan Amir Khan
Respondents                : National Insurance Co Ltd
                                          Saibaba Market, IInd Floor, At post Jalgaon,  
                                          District Jalgaon (Maharashtra)


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