A consumer forum here has asked an insurance firm to pay Rs 3 lakh to a couple for causing harassment and delay in addressing their plea for cancellation of policies sold to them fraudulently by the company's agent.
The New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum held Aviva Life Insurance Company Ltd guilty of indulging in "unethical behaviour" and "unfair trade practice" which caused "mental agony" and "financial difficulties" to the couple due to deficiency in service in not taking corrective measures immediately.
The couple, whose personal details and signatures were incorrectly or fraudulently filled by the agent of the insurance company, had sought immediate cancellation of the seven policies worth Rs 12.5 lakh in 2010.
The forum presided by C K Chaturvedi also noted that while the company "arbitrarily" cancelled four policies, it had initially refused to cancel the remaining three policies without giving any justification.
The forum said that by delaying the refund of premium amount with interest, the company resorted to unfair trade practice.
It further noted that complainant Sanjay Kumar had to go through severe harassment to the extent of flying back to India from Zambia, where he was working, for presentation of his passport before the company cancelled them after a year.
The forum termed the company's practice as unethical behaviour.
"Opposite party (insurance company) instead of immediately refunding the premium with interest, resorted to unfair trade practice of delaying/ denying the refund. Company's behaviour being evasive is liable for said unethical behaviour by which the complainant suffered mental agony and the financial difficulties....," the forum also comprising its members S R Chaudhary and Ritu Garodia said.