New Delhi: A consumer court has said the
primary responsibility of ascertaining the cause of fire in an
incident is that of an insurance company for the purpose of
settling the claim.
Citing the rules of Licensing Professional Requirements
and Code of Conduct Regulations, the Delhi State Consumer
Commission said the company cannot reject the claim for not
disclosing the cause of fire incident.
"The rule provides that the surveyor of the insurance
company will examine the circumstances and the cause of loss,
which implies, for surveyor to determine the cause of fire,
and as such, it was the duty of the company to determine the
cause of fire," the SCDRC said.
The Commission, comprising president Justice B A Zaidi
and member M L Sahni, passed the order on a petition of the
Oriental Insurance Company Ltd challenging the District
Forum`s direction to pay the damages amounting to Rs 16.32
The insurance company had rejected the claim of the
policy holder, Unique Fragrances, on the ground that the cause
of fire had not been established in the surveyor`s report.
The Commission upheld the Forum`s decision, saying the
damages awarded by the consumer court were correct.
"The surveyor has not mentioned in his report that it was
self-inflicted fire and assessed the loss of Rs 16.32 lakh
which was granted by the District Forum as claim for damages.
The award of the Forum cannot be faulted," it said while
dismissing the insurance company`s plea.
Earlier, the company had alleged since the cause of the
fire had not been disclosed in the complaint and in the report
of the surveyor, it can reject the claim.
However, the Commission rejected the claim of the