HYDERABAD: Hyderabad III District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum here has directed a private insurance company to refund Rs 17 lakh and pay a compensation of Rs 50,000 for failing to explain the terms and conditions of the policies to a customer, thus misguiding him to take unwanted policies.
On the pursuance of the officials of Axis Bank, A Narender agreed to take two insurance policies, from Max New York Life Insurance in December 2010. He paid Rs 12 lakh in two instalments as first and second premium for his policy and another Rs 5 lakh towards the insurance premium for his daughter’s policy.
He said that he was not informed anything about the said two policies before hand and had taken them under the impression that they were issued to him for a short term duration. But to his utter surprise the terms and conditions of the two policies indicate that he has to pay the premium till the age of 63 years for one policy and premium for the second policy till December 2073.
He said he was misled and misguided by the insurance company to take the above said two policies and claimed that he never sought for such a long duration policy. He claimed that his repeated requests for refund of Rs 17 lakh fell into deaf ears as insurance company just tried to wash off their hands by saying that refund request was made beyond the free look on period (15 days). Left with no option, Narender approached the consumer forum for refund and compensation.The insurance company remained exparte and the complaint against Axis Bank Limited was dismissed as not pressed.
During trial the bench observed that the insurance company issued one policy, beyond the longevity of the guardian and other policy, the insurer was supposed to pay the premium till he attains the age of 75 years.
“The very issuing of the policy in the name of minor beyond longevity itself shows the unfair trade practice of the company. And issuing a policy which requires the policy holder to pay premium beyond 60 years of age shows the amount of suspicion about the conduct of the insurance company. The insurance company has not only indulged in unfair trade practice, but there was deficiency in service provided by them as they failed to refund the amount when the policy holder informed them that the terms and conditions of the policies were not explained to him by their agent. They should have in all fairness settled his claim and instead washed off their hands by saying that beyond the free look period they cannot do anything,” the bench said.
The forum,comprising its president Y Chandrasekhara Reddy and members D Mahesh Kumar and C Nirmala, passed an order in favour of Narender and directed the opposite party to refund Rs 17 lakh with 9 pc interest per annum from the date of the complaint (January 2, 2015) till realisation and to pay Rs 50,000 towards compensation, and Rs 2,000 towards costs to the complainant.