The complainant/appellant obtained an insurance cover from the respondent company for the period from 15.07.2004 to 14.07.2005 for the premises situated at Gala No. 7A, Laxmi Industrial Estate, Penkar Pada Road, Mira Road (E), Distt. Thane. A renewal notice was sent by the respondent to the appellant company at the address at which the above-referred policy had been issued. The address, however, was changed by the complainant company which gave a new address i.e. 21/21A, Gokul Industrial Estate, Sagabag Opposite Hotel Mahalaxmi, Sakinaka, Andheri(E) Mumbai. Accordingly, the insurance policy for the period from 15.07.2005 to 14.07.2006 was issued at the new address provided by the complainant company.
2. The policy issued by the respondent to the appellant for the new location clearly provided that the benefit of insurance in case of loss due to flood will be available to the insured after 30 days of commencement of the risk. The benefit of the insurance in a case of loss due to flood, therefore, was available to the complainant only w.e.f. 15.08.2005.
3. The case of the complainant/appellant is that extensive damage due to flood took place at its premises on 26.07.2005. A claim in terms of the insurance policy was, therefore, lodged by the complainant/appellant with the respondent. The claim was repudiated vide letter dated 18.08.2005 which to the extent it is relevant reads as under:-
As can be seen from, the policy, the policy was subject to 30 days waiting period for Flood Loss. The words “Flood risk will be commencing after 30 days of commencement of risk" is shown on the face of the policy issued to you. The policy was Issued w.e.f, 15,7.2005 and the loss has occurred within 11 days of the policy issue date.
In view of the above, we regret that we are unable to consider your claim and are treating the same as "No Claim".
4. Being aggrieved from the rejection of the claim the complainant/appellant approached the concerned State Commission by way of a consumer complaint. The respondent company resisted the complaint primarily on the ground on which the claim had been repudiated.
5. The State Commission having rejected the consumer complaint the complainant/appellant is before this Commission.
6. The only issue involved in this policy is as to whether the benefit of insurance in case of loss/damage was due to flood was available to the complainant/appellant on 26.07.2005 or not. As noticed earlier in the insurance policy it was clearly stated that the benefit of insurance coverage against flood would be available to the insured only after 30 days from the commencement of the risk. The policy being from the period from 15.07.2005 to 14.07.2006, the risk commenced on 15.07.2005 and, therefore, the benefit of insurance coverage in a case of loss/damage due to flood was clearly not available to the complainant/appellant on the date the loss happened.
7. The Ld. Counsel for the complainant/appellant submits that this was not a new insurance policy and was only a renewal of the policy which was taken for the period from 15.07.2004 to 14.07.2005 and, therefore, the benefit of insurance was available to complainant/appellant. In support of his submission the Ld. Counsel for the complainant/appellant has drawn my attention to a letter dated 23.06.2005 sent by the Mumbai office of the insurer to all its branches. The afore-said letter to the extent it is relevant reads as under:-
“In view of the outbreak of monsoons this year, extreme caution has to be exercised while granting flood covers.
For new proposals change of location, if any, no flood cover to be given, or if imperative, thirty days waiting period to be imposed.
For renewals without break, flood cover to be excluded, if possible. In such cases client’s consent to be taken.”
8. It is evident from the above-referred circular that in case of any renewal of an existing policy, the benefit of insurance against loss/damage due to flood was not to be available to the insured if the insurance coverage was sought in respect of a different location. In other words, if the policy was renewed without change of the risk location, immediate benefit of flood coverage was to be available to the insured but in case of change of location, such a benefit was not to be available for 30 days from the date of commencement of the risk. The same was to be position in case of a new insurance policy. Though, the complainant did not take a new policy, it had taken renewal of th
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e previous policy at a different location. Since there was a change of location, the benefit of flood coverage was not available till 14.08.2005. The loss having happened on 26.07.2005 the complainant is not entitled to any reimbursement for the loss suffered by it due to floods on that date. The view taken by the State Commission does not call for any interference by this Commission in exercise of its appellate jurisdiction. The appeal being devoid of merit is, therefore, dismissed with no orders as to costs.