A district consumer commission has ordered the government-owned National Insurance Company Ltd to pay ₹1 lakh claim along with 9% interest from September 2013 onwards to the widow of the policyholder, who was a farmer. He died due to rabies and the same was confirmed by the KEM Hospital.
The insurer had rejected the claim stating that the papers were not in order and the deceased wasn’t a registered farmer at the time of buying the policy.
The commission has also asked to give ₹15,000 towards mental agony and litigation costs. The order has to be compiled within 45 days from Dec 30 when it was passed.
With regard to the insurer’s contention that the policyholder wasn’t a farmer, the commission underlined, “Considering the government resolution (GR) on the subject, we can safely conclude that it was the government’s intention to extend the scheme benefits to those farmers who acquire eligibility criteria even after the commencement of the policy. Accordingly, the deceased had become a registered farmer after the policy inception so he was deemed to have been covered under the insurance scheme.”
Rejecting the argument that the deceased registered himself as a farmer after taking the policy, the commission ordered, “No such exclusion clause is found in the GR. We are of the opinion that it was the intention of the government to extend the scheme benefits automatically to those farmers who registered themselves after the policy inception.”
It also pointed out that one of the GR provisions states that the insurer is under obligation to depute an employee at the tehsil office so that claim can be scrutinised immediately.