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Insurance claim on burglary enhanced by Supreme Court and 12% interest allowed for delayed payment.

January 11, 2018



Enhancement of Insurance claim by Supreme Court

A Bench of Supreme Court Judges Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta in I.C. Sharma v. The Oriental Insurance Company Ltd, Civil Appeal No. 3167 of 2017, enhanced the compensation allowed to the claimant by Consumer forum and NCDRC.


The facts of the case are the appellant had first purchased a householder insurance policy from the Oriental Insurance Company on 23.12.2000. This policy was renewed till 22.12.2005. As per this policy the coverage of articles/items in the house of the appellant was "as per list". It is not disputed that thereafter the Insurance Company discontinued "as per list" policies and instead started issuing policies for consolidated amounts. The original policy had expired on 22.12.2005 and fresh policy as per new scheme was taken out on 19.01.2006 and this was renewed from time to time. The last renewal was from 19.01.2007 to 18.01.2008.



The appellant had gone to the United Kingdom. Some time, between 27.01.2008 to 30.01.2008, a burglary took place inside the premises of the appellant, and he was informed about the same by a neighbor on 31.01.2008. The appellant requested his nephew to inform the Insurance Company and an FIR was also registered with the Mehrauli Police Station in South Delhi. The Insurance Company was also informed about the burglary on 31.01.2008 or on the next day. The police could not trace out the crime. The Insurance Company first offered a sum of Rs. 3,500/- to the appellant sometime in November, 2008 which he refused to accept. He, thereafter, met certain higher officials of the Insurance Company and an amount of Rs.29,920/- was offered to him. Being dissatisfied, the appellant filed a claim before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, which was disposed of by the District Forum on the ground that the articles mentioned therein were not mentioned in the list.


Thereafter, the appellant filed an appeal before the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission which was allowed on 15.01.2014 and he was awarded a sum of Rs.4,03,150/-. This amount was enhanced by NCDRC, but the claimant filed Special Leave Appeal with the Supreme Court.

The only legal issue which arises for consideration in Supreme Court was "what is under-insurance - and the effect thereof."

The apex court enhanced the compensation amount and awarded Rs. 25,000/- towards compensation and litigation expenses, and also allowed 12% interest p.a. from 1.1.2009   




Read the order of Supreme Court of India in I.C. Sharma v. The Oriental Insurance Company Ltd dated 10.1.2018



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