The Central Mumbai district consumer forum recently ordered the ICICI Lombard general insurance company to pay a Wadala resident Rs 8,51,561 with nine per cent interest from September 2012 as compensation for a stolen truck belonging to her late husband. The forum also directed the firm to pay an additional Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000 towards the complainant's mental agony and litigation costs.
The case dates back to August 2010, when a truck owned by Akhtar Hussain Khan was stolen. Akhtar searched for his vehicle, but failed to trace it. He then approached the police and got an FIR lodged. He also approached the insurance firm for its claim amount. However, Akhtar passed away in September 2011 before he could claim the money.
After Akhtar's death, his wife Jamiunnisa Khan and legal heir, approached the firm for the claim amount. However, when the insurance firm failed to grant the same, she approached the consumer forum and filed a complaint.
After going through the complaint, the forum asked the insurance firm to file its reply. The reply claimed that the vehicle was hypothecated (the practice of a borrower pledging an asset as collateral for a loan, while retaining the asset's ownership and enjoying its benefits) to Magma Fincorp Limited. The firm said that the finance company was also entitled to recover the claim, so Jamiunnisa cannot claim the entire amount.
The forum held that the vehicle was hypothecated to Magma Fincorp Limited. “In view of the law laid down by the Supreme Court, the finance company is entitled to the claim and the complainant is entitled to the balance amount. However, since the finance company is not present, the complainant may request the finance company to submit the claim to the insurance firm,” held the forum, directing the insurance firm to pay back the amount after the finance company satisfies the claim amount.