FOUR YEARS ago, when 60-year-old Mahabir Singh approached the Chandigarh Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, complaining about an insurance company’s refusal to declare his accident-hit car as total loss car, little did he know that it would be a long struggle for justice.
Singh’s car, Volkswagon Jetta, had met with an accident in 2012 in the city. He says, initially he approached United India Insurance Company Limited claiming his car should be declared “total loss”, which the company did not agree to.
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“The insurance company then appointed surveyors and got the car repaired even as the manufacturing company had recommended not to as the car was badly damaged,” says Singh. “The bill for repair was more than Rs 8 lakh. And when I approached the insurance company, they didn’t agree to pay me more than Rs 5 lakh. Also, the car’s delivery was not up to the mark. I kept requesting them that my car should be declared as total loss car.”
After the insurance company’s refusal, he approached the consumer forum. “I registered a complaint in October 2013, and few months later, the court announced the decision in my favour,” says Singh. The court directed the firm to pay Rs 11 lakh, 9 per cent interest, and Rs 50,000 additional compensation for harassment.
The company made an appeal to the State Consumer Commission. The appeal was dismissed by the state commission. The insurance company has approached the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in New Delhi. The hearing is on April 28.
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