Jagannath Bag, Member
The Complainant, i.e,. Ashian Oil Pvt. Ltd., with which Ashis Oil Mills Pvt. Ltd. has been amalgamated on 03.06.2009, took a policy, being No. 030300/46/09/04/90000383 from the OP covering the risk of burglary in their factory-cum-godown. On the night between 6 and 7 July, 2009, a burglary took place in the Complainant’s factory -cum-godown causing a loss of goods valued at Rs. 18,01,054/- . The Complainant lodged an FIR at Galsi P.S. The matter was investigated by the police authority. Some miscreants were arrested. A case bearing No. 103 /09 under Sections 395/397 IPC was initiated in the court of Ld. Chief Judicial Magistrate at Burdwan. Insurance claim for a total sum of Rs. 18,01,054 /- was filed with the OP. A seizure list was received from the Sub-Inspector of Galsi Police Station on 12.12.2009. The Complainant sent reminders and representations to the OP Insurance Company, but no step was taken by them. The Divisional Manager of OP Insurance Company informed by their letter dated 16.04.2012 vide No. miniclaim (uii/Misc.clm) /46 /07 /12 that the insurance policy was closed. Such closure was done without giving any proper reason . A legal notice was sent in reply to the letter of the Divisional Manager of the Insurance Company denying all allegations made by the OP. The Complainant also denied that they had ever sent any consent letter to withdraw the claim as alleged by the OP. In the said context the complaint has been filed with a prayer for direction upon the OP to pay the insurance claim of Rs. 18,01,054/- together with compensation of Rs. 5,00,000/- for causing harassment , torture, mental agony and damage to reputation , and litigation cost of Rs. 10,000/-.
The complaint has been contested by the OP Insurance Company.
It has been stated that the Complainant took the policy for coverage of indemnity of cash and coins in table drawer and / or iron boxes with sum insured value of Rs. 15,00,000/- at the office of the complainant at Santinekatan Building, 8, Camac Street , 7th Floor, Room No. 2, Kolkata-700017 as insured premises. The policy in relation to which the complaint has been filed does not cover the stock of goods of the Complainant at factory-cum-godown at Galsi, Burdwan as insured premises. It has also been stated that the cause of action purportedly occurred between 6 and 7 July, 2009 and as a result , the claim is time barred and not maintainable . The Complainant by amending the original complaint has twisted the purported claim entirely. The alleged incident of dacoity took place between 6 and 7 July 2009 at the factory of Ashis Oil Mills Pvt. Ltd. The OP engaged an independent licensed Surveyor of IRDA who surveyed the factory premises of the insured being Ashis Oil Mills (P ) Ltd. on 10.07.2009 and thereafter . The insured raised a claim of Rs. 11,20,847/- . The Complainant was requested to submit required documents with reminders following but having received no such document , the Surveyor treated the said claim as closed for being not pursued by the insured. The insured submitted part of documents but without the accounts of the stock as on the date of loss i.e., 7th July 2009. The final report of police was also not submitted. On the basis of the recommendation of the surveyor , the claim was repudiated as the stolen materials do not form part of the stock in trade. Actually the stolen materials were construction materials which were stored for upcoming plant installation and the risk of such construction materials was not covered under the policy. Accordingly, Surveyor recommended repudiation of the claim preferred by the insured.
The Complainant filed evidence and the OP having raised questionnaire, replies were furnished by the Complainant. Again, the OP having filed evidence, questionnaire was put by the Complainant and replies were furnished by the OP. Both the Complainant and the OP have filed their respective BNA.
Ld. Advocate for the Complainant submitted during hearing that the policy covering the risk of burglary was valid when the burglary in the factory-cum-godown took place on the night of 6/7 July, 2009. It would be evident from the seizure list that the police arrested some miscreants and part of the burgled goods was recovered which shows that the burglary took place but the OP Insurance Company refused to entertain the insurance claim in spite of the fact that the loss of the burgled goods was estimated at Rs. 9,71,637/- by the Surveyor. Though at the time of filing the original complaint a different policy was noted, by amendment the correct policy particulars were provided and all necessary documents were submitted to the Surveyor. The policy covered all materials that were stored in the factory premises and as such the Insurance Company can not avoid their responsibility to compensate for the loss incurred and enquired into by the Surveyor.
Ld. Advocate appearing for the OP submitted that the policy on the strength of which the Complainant claimed insurance claim was issued in the name of Ashis Oil Mills Pvt. Ltd. which has, as per the Complainant’s version, been amalgamated with the Complainant. Such amalgamation of insured companies was never reported to the insurance company. Again by the policy issued in the name of Ashis Oil Mills Pvt Ltd., the goods alleged to have been burgled are not covered. It revealed from the report of the Surveyor that inspite of several letters / reminders , the Complainant failed to provide necessary documents . The loss estimated by the Surveyor is related to construction materials which were not covered by any policy . Hence, the question of allowing the claim does not arise. The repudiation was made strictly in accordance with terms and conditions of the policy.
Ld. Advocate for the OP cited the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Civil Appeal No. 2080 of 2002 as reported in 2013 (2) CPR 315 (SC) holding , inter alia, that insured can not claim anything more than what is covered by insurance policy.
Decision with Reasons:
The Complainant is a consumer under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, as he admittedly obtained the insurance policy for consideration in the form of insurance premium.
The point for consideration is whether the Complainant is entitled to the claim and other relief as prayed for in the petition of complaint.
We have perused the materials including the survey report on record and heard the Ld. Advocates appearing for both parties.
It has been observed by the Surveyor appointed by the OP Insurance Company that the policy under consideration did not cover the construction materials, while the total value of stock-in-trade i.e. raw materials, wip, finished goods, by- product and stores and supply held by the company as on 07.07.2009 is Rs. 2.60 crore.
It appears from the report of the Surveyor that on expiry of the Burglary Policy No. 0300/46/07/04/00001333 on 25.03.2009, the Complainant took another Insurance Policy vide No.03.03.00 /46 /09/04/00000068 for the period from 13.04.2009 to 12.04.2010 covering stock- in- trade vide stock of all types of oil seeds and or oil bearing materials , all types of vegetable oil, rice bran oil, stores materials, consumerables, chemicals and packing materials and other similar nature of goods . In fact, the Company did not take coverage for any construction material.
As per observation of the Surveyor, the Complainant could not file the final police report. On the basis of scrutiny of the documents submitted by the Complainant to the Surveyor, assessment of the loss suffered by the Complainant was to the tune of Rs. 9,71,637/-, but such loss is related to construction materials which are not covered by the policy in question as such materials are not a part of stock- in- trade of the Company. Again, it has been observed by the Surveyor in his concluding remark in the report that burglary policy No. 03.03.00 /46/07/04/00001333 covering stock-in-trade consisting of M.S. rods of different sizes, M.S. Plates, Cement, Asbestos sheets, M.S. Joist, M.S. Angles , Beans and like goods, Electric Motors, Gear Box machinery and oil mill (Expeller Sea refinery unit physical) of store items, ie,. Stock store in the nature of project materials, expired months before the date of loss. No evidence could be produced by the Complainant that such construction materials were covered by the policy which he referred to in his amended petition of complaint. While the stolen materials do not form part of the stock- in -trade which were stored for upcoming plant installation, the policy in question covered the stock- in- trade including all types of oil seeds and / or vegetable oils , rice bran oil , etc. It appears that the amended policy covers only the cash and coins in tables and drawers and / or iron boxes at the office of the Complainant. at Satinekatan Building, 8, Camac Street, 7th Floor, Room No. 2 , Kolkata 17 as insured premises which has in no way been connected with the factory- cum -godown of the Complainant at Galsi. The Complainant referred to the policy No. 0303000/46/09/04/00000383 which was valid from 12.06.2009 to 11.06.2010 covering the risk of cash and currency only.
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clined to hold that while the burglary of construction materials at the factory -cum- godown of the Complainant took place, the policy in question did not cover the articles which were allegedly stolen and for which insurance claim was raised. In that view of the matter, we find that the claim of the Complainant has been repudiated by the Insurance Company rightly by relying upon the report of the Surveyor who recommended such repudiation. No counter evidence could be produced by the Complainant against the survey report. No deficiency in service on the part of the Insurance Company stands substantiated . The Complainant is not entitled to any insurance claim or relief as prayed for in the petition of complaint. The OP Insurance Company is quite justified in asserting that the insured can not claim anything more than what is covered by insurance policy. The complaint does not succeed. Hence, Ordered That the complaint be and the same is dismissed on contest. There shall be no order as to cost.