Observing that courts can’t alter the phrases of an insurance coverage coverage, the Nationwide Shopper Disputes Redressal Fee (NCDRC) final week struck down an order of the Maharashtra State Shopper Disputes Redressal Fee directing an insurance coverage firm to pay the declare quantity of Rs 55.19 lakh to a diamond dealer from Surat.
“A client discussion board or any court docket for that matter, doesn’t have energy to calm down the guarantee clause or any phrases and situations of an insurance coverage coverage,” mentioned NCDRC bench of presiding member Prem Narain and member C Vishwanath, after discovering that the state fee had tried to bypass the guarantee clause within the coverage drawn by Surat primarily based diamond dealer, M/s. Dharmanandan Diamonds Non-public Restricted.
The agency had on June 10, 2002, handed over 418 carat polished diamonds price Rs 78.62 lakh to considered one of its fee brokers, Arjanbhai Mangukia, who was supposed to point out the diamonds to some potential purchasers in Mumbai. Arjanbhai then got here to Mumbai together with the diamonds.
On the following day, he, nevertheless, was discovered murdered at his rental premises in Mumbai, and since police didn’t discover the diamonds with him, the agency lodged a declare of Rs. 78.62 lakh with its insurer, New India Assurance Firm Ltd.
The insurance coverage firm appointed a surveyor to evaluate the loss, which got here to be assessed at Rs 55.19 lakh. The corporate, nevertheless, repudiated the declare on the bottom of breach of the guarantee clause – the polished diamonds weren’t secured in a normal secure, as required beneath the phrases of the coverage. There was no normal secure on the rental premises of the agency’s fee agent.
The agency then filed a client grievance with the state fee, which allowed the grievance on October 30, 2015, and directed the insurance coverage firm to pay the firm–the loss assessed by its surveyor— Rs 55.19 lakh.
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Each the diamond dealer and the insurance coverage firm had challenged the order earlier than NCDRC. Whereas the insurance coverage firm was aggrieved by the order of cost, the agency sought full quantity of declare, Rs 78.62 lakh, as an alternative of Rs 55.19 lakh awarded by the state fee.
NCDRC upheld the stand of the insurance coverage firm that in view of the breach of phrases of the coverage, the declare was rightly repudiated and no quantity was payable to the agency.
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It appears that evidently the State fee has agreed with the assertion of the complainant that the situation of the guarantee was impractical and couldn’t be noticed as major work of the fee agent was to point out the diamonds to potential consumers and due to this fact, it was not doable to maintain the diamonds in normal secure on a regular basis, mentioned NCDRC.
It mentioned the argument didn’t maintain good within the case, because the diamonds got to the fee agent at Surat, from the place the valuable stones have been dropped at Mumbai, the place the agent was to remain for the entire week. Clearly, when the diamonds have been to be saved at a residence, they have been required to be saved beneath locked secure of ordinary make as per the guarantee situation of the coverage, however there was no secure at Mumbai premises of the deceased agent, it added.
“We’re of the thought of opinion that the guarantee talked about within the coverage has been breached and due to this fact, the insurance coverage declare isn’t payable,” it concluded.