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Mehinder Sharma v/s Aviva Life Insurance Co. Ltd. & Another

    First Appeal No. 1848 of 2018

    Decided On, 24 October 2018

    At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE V.K. JAIN
    By, PRESIDING MEMBER

    For the Appearing Parties: Ranjeet Singh Godara, Advocate.



Judgment Text

Oral:

The complainant / appellant purchased several insurance products from respondent No.1. The said products are stated to have been purchased through respondent No.2 Canara Bank. The case of the complainant / appellant is that while selling such products, the bank assured him return of 20% per annum on his investments, low administrative charges of 10% and gave assurance that the premium payment would be for minimum premium payment term of three years and maximum premium payment of five years and that he could exit any time after making payment for the minimum premium

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payment term with no exit load. According to the complainant / appellant he was also assured that if the premium paid by him was not withdrawn he would continue to be covered by the insurance cover during the currency of the insurance policy. This is also his case that he was assured that his money would be doubled in a period of five years. The complainant paid the premium in respect of the insurance policies taken by him for three consecutive years, thereby paying Rs.20.00 lacs for each policy. Thereafter, the complainant / appellant did not pay further premium in respect of the said policies. On receipt of the payment notice, the appellant / complainant contacted the insurer and was told that premium has to be paid throughout the term of the policy and in case of surrender, surrender charges would be applied. He also came to know that the return on the amount paid by him to the insurer was not as per the assurance given to him by the bank and despite he having paid premium amounting to Rs.20.00 lacs each, the fund value of each policy was only Rs.17,23,190/-, whereas Rs.6,36,143/- had been deducted towards several charges from each policy. Thereafter, the complainant / appellant obtained one more policy directly from the insurer. The said policy carried annual premium of Rs.10.00 lacs. After making first payment, he stopped paying further premium in respect of the aforesaid policy taken by him. A cheque of Rs.1,53,019/- was received by the complainant from the insurer but was not encashed. The complainant then approached the concerned State Commission by way of a consumer complaint, seeking cancellation of the policy No. LLG 1240676 and refund of the premium paid by him in respect of the said policy. He also sought 18% compound interest on the amount which he had paid.

2. The State Commission however, was not satisfied with the averments made in the complaint and dismissed the same vide impugned order dated 24.7.2018. Being aggrieved the complainant / appellant is before this Commission.

3. I have perused the insurance policy No. LLG1240676 issued to the complainant. The said policy was issued under a plan namely ‘Lifelong Unit Linked Plan’. The payment commenced on 12.6.2006 and the last installment was payable on 12.6.2044. The policy contained no such assurance as is alleged to have been given to the complainant by respondent No.2 Canara Bank. On receipt of the insurance policy, the complainant / appellant obviously came to know that no assurance alleged to have been given to him by the bank will be honoured by the insurer Aviva Life Insurance Co. Ltd. The second page of the insurance policy would show that if the insured did not agree with any of the terms and conditions of the policy, he had the option to cancel the policy. In that case he was required to return the policy documents, policy schedule and premium receipt, along with a letter stating the terms and conditions with which he disagreed. The said option was to be exercised within fifteen days of the receipt of the policy documents. Admittedly, no such option was exercised by the complainant / appellant within fifteen days of the receipt of the policy or even soon thereafter. The conduct of the complainant / appellant in not exercising the option to cancel the policy despite the said option having been expressly made available to him in the policy itself, clearly shows that all the terms and conditions of the insurance policy were accepted by him and that is why the option for cancellation of the policy was not exercised by him. Therefore, the complainant has absolutely no case as far as the insurer is concerned.

4. As regards the assurances alleged to have been given to the appellant / complainant by Canara Bank, admittedly, no written assurance was given to him by the bank. In the consumer complaint, the complainant did not disclose the name of the bank officer / official, who allegedly gave the said verbal assurance to him. Had any such verbal assurance been given, the least the complainant would have done was to name the concerned officer / official in the complaint and implead him as a party to the said complaint. Even on receipt of the insurance policy which contained no such assurance as is alleged to have been given to him, by the bank, the complainant / appellant did not send a notice / letter to the bank alleging therein that the same officer / official of the bank had given him the verbal assurance claimed by him. The aforesaid conduct of the complainant / appellant is yet another indicator that the in fact no verbal assurance was given to him by the bank officers.

5. Had the bank officers given the verbal assurance alleged by the complainant / appellant and had he taken the policy on the basis of the said verbal assurance, he would certainly have exercised the option to cancel the policy within the lookout period of fifteen days since the said policy was not in conformity with the alleged verbal assurance.

6. From whatever angle I may look at it, I find no substance in the allegations made in the complaint. The view taken by the State Commission therefore does not call for any interference by this Commission in exercise of its appellate jurisdiction. The appeal being devoid of any merit is hereby dismissed.
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