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Insurance companies should not be too technical while settling claims, says SC
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has said that insurance companies should not be too technical while settling claims and ask for documents that the insured is not in a position to produce due to circumstances beyond his control.
A bench of Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna observed that insurance companies are refusing claims in many cases on "flimsy grounds". The observation of the top court came while allowing an appeal against the August 2021 order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) in a matter relating to the settlement of a claim under the insurance policy for a truck that was stolen in 2013.
The bench said that the appellant, who was the owner of the truck, was wrongly denied the insurance claim and the insurance company had become too technical while settling the claim and had acted "arbitrarily".
The apex court noted that the insurance claim was not settled mainly on the ground that the appellant had not produced either the original certificate of registration or even the duplicate certified copy of the certificate of registration issued by the RTO.
The appellant was asked to furnish documents that were beyond his control to procure and furnish, it said, adding that once there was valid insurance and the truck was stolen, the insurance company ought not to have become too technical and refuse to settle the claim on non-submission of the duplicate certified copy of the certificate of registration, which the appellant could not produce due to the circumstances beyond his control.
In its order, the apex court said, "In many cases, it is found that the insurance companies are refusing the claim on flimsy grounds and/or technical grounds. While settling the claims, the insurance company should not be too technical and ask for the documents, which the insured is not in a position to produce due to circumstances beyond his control."
It held that the appellant is entitled to the insurance amount of Rs 12 lakhs along with interest at 7 per cent from the date of submitting the claim.
It also set aside the order passed by the district consumer disputes redressal commission at Durg in Chhattisgarh dismissing the complaint filed by the appellant as well as the orders passed by the state commission and the NCDRC confirming the same. (ANI)