Consumer forum pulls up insurance company for illogical reasoning
Leaving the ignition key inadvertently with an insured motorcycle stolen from a paid parking lot cannot be ground for an insurance company to reject the claim against vehicle theft, the Pune district consumer court has ruled.
The bench of VP Utpat, OG Patil and Kshitija Kulkarni directed the ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company and the parking lot owner, Sachin Sonavane, to jointly refund Rs 31,556 (the insured declared value of the vehicle) and pay Rs 5,000 compensation to Aundh resident Prakash K Shinde for causing deficiency in service.
Shinde’s motorcycle was stolen from the paid parking lot of the famous Khandoba temple in Jejuri near Pune on 4 August 2013. Shinde had lodged an FIR with the police relating to the theft and had informed the insurance company about the incident on phone. The police had filed an ‘A’ summary report, meaning investigations pending for want of suspects who could not be identified in the case. Later, the insurance company rejected Shinde’s claim.
Citing police investigations, the insurance company had argued that the complainant, by leaving the ignition key with the motorcycle, had violated a key policy condition that required him to take all reasonable steps to safeguard the vehicle from loss or damage.
The bench, however, observed that the complainant did safeguard his vehicle by parking the same in a paid parking lot under custody of the parking lot owner and hence could not be said to have acted negligently merely for leaving the ignition key with the vehicle.