At, Rajasthan State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Jaipur
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE G.S. HORA
By, PRESIDING MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE MRS. VIMLA SETHIYA
For the Appellants: Amar Nath Pareek, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1, Hemant Sharma, Advocate, R2, None.
1. This appeal arises out of order dated 20.2.2008 passed by the District Consumer Forum (DCF), Bundi whereby the Appellants have been directed to pay to the Complainant a sum of Rs. 36,863 within a period of one month failing which the Complainant is to get interest @ 9% per annum from the date of presentation of complaint. Besides this, the Complainant has been awarded Rs. 5,000 as compensation for mental agony and Rs. 2,000 as cost of litigation.
2. The Complainant had obtained a 'Shopkeeper Insurance Policy' for the period from 21.9.2002 to 20.9.2003 for a sum of Rs. 3,00,000. As there was short of accommodation in the shop, the Complainant constructed a new Godown at Uniara Road, Nainwa. It has stated in the complaint that the stock was shifted to the new Godown for which an intimation was sent to the Insurance Company as well as the Bank vide letter dated 7.4.2003 which was sent under postal certificate. During insurance, there was fire in the Godown for which a claim was filed. The Surveyor assessed the loss at Rs. 46,863. Out of this amount, loss at Rs. 10,000 was to be borne by the Complainant. The learned DCF relying upon the version of the Complainant, passed the order as per the Surveyor's report. Feeling aggrieved, this appeal has been filed.
3. The learned Counsel for the Appellant while relying upon I (2010) CPJ 83 (NC), Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. & Anr. v. P.R. Automobiles & Oils & Anr., argued that there is no evidence to show that the Complainant had sent the intimation about the change of place. Even though it is held to be so proved then also mere receipt of request for change of address was not sufficient to make policy applicable to changed premises. For change of place, the endorsement is required to be made in the policy. Till then no risk can be assumed in respect of new location.
4. From the record, it appears that the Complainant had sent an intimation through UPC on 7.4.2003, therefore, in absence of rebuttal presumption is in favour of the Complainant that the intimation must have been received by the Insurance Company in ordinary course of business. The Insurance Company should have taken follow-up steps to bring about the change in the policy. No such effort appears to have been in this regard and therefore there is deficiency in service on the part of the Insurance Company.
5. As per the above judgment of Hon'ble the National Commission, mere receipt of request is not sufficient to make policy applicable to changed premises unless the endorsement is made in the policy. The Complainant shall not be entitled to get any loss arising out of any incident in the changed location. We have to see as to what amount of compensation the Complainant is entitled to as there has been deficiency in service on the part of the Insurance Company by not taking follow up action even after the receipt of the intimation. For that the Complainant is awarded Rs. 25,000. As no endorsement was made in the policy regarding change of address, the entire amount assessed by t
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he Surveyor cannot be awarded to the Complainant. 6. Consequently, the appeal is partly allowed. The Insurance Co. is directed to pay to the Complainant a sum of Rs. 25,000 as compensation and Rs. 2,000 as cost of litigation. 7. The impugned order stands modified to the above extent. Appeal partly allowed.