CHENNAI: Packers and movers must compensate the consumer for the damages to goods even if the cause of damage was not covered under the insurance clauses, a consumer forum in the city has ruled.
The District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum, Chennai (South) has recently directed the Mumbai-based Kalwania Roadways to reimburse the fee and also to compensate one of its customers after Rs 32,000 worth goods were damaged during transit from New Delhi to Chennai.
The petitioner, Sunit Kumar Agarwal, a resident of T Nagar, had engaged Kalwania Roadways to transport goods from New Delhi to Chennai after paying Rs 67,000 in September 2013. The household goods were insured under Future General India Insurance, also a Mumbai-based company for a value of Rs 1,50,000.
When the complainant found that goods worth Rs 32,000 were damaged when delivered, he applied for insurance but the insurance company rejected the claim, saying that it only covers damage caused due to certain types of accidents, like fire, lighting, bridge breaking, collision with or by the carrying vehicle, overturning of the carrying vehicle or derailment or accidents of like nature to the carrying railway wagon or vehicle.
Stating that since the damage was not caused by the perils listed as per its policy, the insurance company claimed that it had repudiated the complainant’s claim.
The District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum, Chennai (South) agreed that the insurance company did not have to reimburse the complainant because the damage did not fall under their criteria of perils. However, the forum ruled that the Kalwania Roadways is responsible for the damage and has to compensate the customer.
The forum, presided over by B Ramalingam, found that the goods had been damaged in the course of transportation. “The normal course of defect in packing and handling in loading and unloading in the vehicle and in the course of transport had caused the damage. Therefore, the first opposite party (Kalwania Roadways) was alone responsible for the damage,” the forum said.
As a result, the consumer court has directed the packers and movers company to pay a sum of Rs 32,000 with interest of nine percent from October 2013. Additionally, the company has been asked to pay Rs 5,000 as cost to complainant.