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Punjab's consumer court provides Rs 6 lakh relief to insured's family
A full bench of District Consumer Forum, Ferozepur, comprising of President Gurpartap Singh Brar and two members Meena Bishnoi and Gyan Singh, directed Max Insurance Company Limited to pay the insured amount of Six Lakh rupees to the nominee of a insured lady who died accidentally, but the company refused to entertain the insurance claim while saying that the insured hid her medical history.

Jassa Singh, husband of insured woman Sarabjit Kaur has filed the complaint with consumer forum. As per the information, Sarabjit Kaur who is resident of Ferozepur district in Punjab had purchased insurance policy for a period of 20 years from Max Life Insurance Company Limited. Under the said policy, she was to get fund value of the policy after maturity of the policy i.e. after 20 years and in case of her death, nominee of the said policy was entitled to get an amount of Rs.6,00,000/- as death claim. Complainant Jassa Singh was nominee of his wife in the said policy.

Sarbjit Kaur died on November 27, 2012 27 after falling from the roof of her house. The matter was reported to the police and investigation was conducted by the police of Police Station, Mallanwala and during investigation, it was found that she had died accidentally.  

Complainant Jassa Singh lodged the claim with the Max Life Insurance Company Limited on account of death of insured Sarabjit Kaur, but  the said company repudiated his claim vide letter dated 28.2.2013 on the ground that the medical disclosure, as required in the proposal form, was not made by late Sarabjit Kaur.  

On this Jassa Singh filed a complaint before the District Consumer Forum, Ferozepur on July 16, 2013.  Max Life Insurance Company Limited appeared and filed written reply to the complaint pleading therein that the deceased life assured (Sarabjit Kaur) was suffering from Pulmonary Tuberculosis and HIV+ much before the proposal form filled in by her and she had suppressed the fact about her illness. Both the parties led their evidence in support of their respective versions.

After hearing the learned counsel for the parties as well as after going through the pleadings and evidence led by the parties, the District Consumer Forum, Ferozepur held that the proposal form was filled in by the agent of the opposite parties and the deceased Sarabjit Kaur had only put her signatures on the said proposal form in Punjabi script; report of Integrated Counselling & Testing Centre Laboratory, District Ferozepur dated 26.12.2010, produced by the Max Life Insurance Company Limited to prove that Sarabjit Kaur was detected as HIV positive case, was having cutting/overwriting in its PID number besides some other cuttings and the alleged Pulmonary Tuberculoses and HIV+ was not the cause of death of deceased life assured Sarabjit Kaur, rather, her death was occurred due to falling from the roof.

Ultimately the consumer forum concluded that the repudiation of the claim of the complainant by the Max Life Insurance Company Limited was not justified. The full bench of the consumer forum then while accepting the complaint of the complainant,  directed the Max Life Insurance Company Limited to pay the sum assured of Rs.6,00,000/- on account of death of deceased life assured Sarabjit Kaur along with interest at the rate of 9% per annum from the date of repudiation of the claim i.e. 28.2.2013 till realisation to complainant Jassa Singh.

Besides the forum also directed the Max Life to make a payment of Rs.5000/- as compensation for harassment and Rs.3000/- as litigation expenses, within a period of thirty days from the date of receipt of a copy of the order.  

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