Eight years after the deluge of July 26, 2005, that brought Mumbai to a standstill, a city-based private firm will get Rs. 12 lakh from an insurance company for a 1995 model of Mercedes Benz E-220 that was severely damaged in the downpour.
The south Mumbai district consumer forum recently directed Oriental Insurance Company Limited to pay the insurance amount — with interest at the rate of 6% per annum from August 2005 — within a month to Hilton Builders and Textiles Private Limited.
The car was insured for Rs. 8 lakh. After the flood, the complainant sought estimates on repairs for the car from a Mercedes showroom in the city, and lodged a claim of Rs. 8.58 lakh with the insurance company. When the insurance company failed to pay up, the firm approached the consumer forum in June 2007, seeking the claim amount at 18% interest per annum and Rs. 2 lakh for mental anguish caused.
The insurance company said that after a thorough survey, they had found the complainant was entitled to only Rs2.94 lakh. They said they had offered the firm this amount, but it had not responded.
From the record submitted by the insurance company, the forum found that the surveyor had estimated the loss at Rs6 lakh, but Oriental Insurance had reduced it to Rs. 2.94 lakh without stipulating any reasons.
The forum, therefore, held the insurance company guilty of deficiency in service.
The private firm will get additional sum of Rs. 8,000 towards cost of the litigation, but not the compensation.