New Delhi: Delay in informing an insurance company in a vehicle theft case cannot be a ground to deny claim to a policy holder who had filed a police case immediately after the incident, the Delhi Consumer Commission has held.
“It is the police which is the statutory authority to investigate into the criminal offence as provided by the CrPC. Delayed information to the company cannot form the basis for rejection of the claim against theft,” the Commission headed by President Justice J D Kapoor said.
The Commission was hearing a plea of the New India Assurance Corporation Limited (NIACL) challenging a District Forum’s order for paying a vehicle theft insurance claim of Rs4.5 lakh, along with a compensation of Rs1 lakh, to Pradeep Nagi.
The insurance company argued that the information regarding theft of the vehicle was received by it five months after the incident while the complaint was registered with the police on the second day.
“As far as objection to the delayed information is concerned, what is relevant and material is whether report was lodged with the police without any reasonable delay and whether it has filed the final report,” the Commission said.
The Commission said that in cases of theft of a vehicle, the insurance companies cannot initiate any parallel investigation rather it has to act upon the police report.
If the company is suspicious about the veracity of the report, it may inquire into the facts and bring it to the notice of the police for investigation, the Commission said.
The Commission, also comprising member Rumnita Mittal, directed the insurance company to reimburse the prevailing price of the insured vehicle which was stolen in September 2002, four months after it was purchased by Nagi, along with the compensation of Rs1 lakh.