Insurers often lack heart in dealing with claims

25 December, 2016

NEW DELHI: Insurance firms often lack a heart when dealing with claims, the chief of India's apex consumer protection body said on Saturday. Justice D K Jain, president of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), also cited examples of surveyors doing their best to delay or deny compensation.

"Insurance companies should have a heart. I feel they lack it," said Justice Jain at an event on National Consumers Day. He said surveyors of insurance companies often looked into clauses written in the smallest fonts with a magnifying glass to prove that the insured person failed to provide the most minute details while buying a policy.


Justice Jain said it was a common practice among insurance agents in India to fill up the form while selling policies, with the insured person asking no question.


He cited as example the case of a man who died in a road accident, whose family's life insurance claim was rejected by the insurance company on the ground that the victim had not mentioned in the policy that he had diabetes. "I asked, what is the nexus between diabetes and road accident...," Justice Jain said.


He added that there had been several cases of medical negligence where the district forums and state consumer commissions had decided in favour of consumers. In many such cases, the doctors agree to settle the case mutually with the complainants if they need to pay up to Rs 4-5 lakh, provided the complaints are withdrawn. "But then the counsellor of insurance company says that they will not pay the claim amount unless medical negligence is established and thereby they avoid their liability to the insured person. The consumer only suffers," Jain said.