Consumer can avail free-look time and cancel the insurance policy after he gets the papers.

(North West District)
CSC-Block, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi-110088.

Case No. 556/2008

Vivek Aggarwal
J-142, Ist Floor,
Today Elecgancy
Mayfield Garden, Sector – 51,
Gurgaon, Haryana.

1. Mr. Gulshan
Agency no: 743
Branch 12 TB , Adarsh Nagar,
2. Life Insurance Corporation of India Ltd.,
Divisional Off:-
The Branch Manager
Adarsh Nagar, Panchavati,
Branch – 12 TB, Delhi – 33.

Complainant is a Life Insurance Policy holder with OP2 through an agent OP under the scheme of Jeewan Saral and had paid a sum of Rs.51,043/- vide proposal no.009952 dated 6th February 2007. It was promised by the agent that the policy document shall be sent within 15 days. The cheque so issued for premium was debited to the complainants account on 9th February 2007. After expiry of 15 days, complainant contacted OP on 2oth February 2007 for the policy documents when assurance was given that the document shall be delivered to him soon. But there was no response by the OPs even after his subsequent calls number of times. OPs even stopped receiving his calls. Since complainant was alarmed for some conspiracy, he wrote e-mails to help desk of OP2 on 2 May 2007 asking them to cancel the policy and refund the money. On this step of complainant OP1 called up the complainant and informed that it was too late and the policy cannot be terminated now. He also informed that he has received the policy documents on his behalf. After some time the said documents were delivered to him by OP1. Complainant immediately contacted OP2 on 8th May 2007 and submitted an application alongwith policy document with a request to refund the premium money paid to OP2 with a plea, that he is entitled to do so under free look up period of 15 days . It is to be noted that the policy was delivered to complainant on 7th May 2007 and this should be considered the time of delivery of documents to complainant where after he could avail of 15 days free look period. OP refused to entertain his request and complainant comes to forum for redressal of his grievance and refund of the total amount of Rs.51043/- and compensation with cost of litigation.
Notices were sent to the parties. Both the OPs appeared and filed written statement, evidence & written argument. Complainant also filed rejoinder to the written statement filed by the OPs and followed by evidence and written arguments. The matter was finally argued by all the parties. OP1 in their written statement denied having any rule in the whole affair as he is merely an agent and he has to do nothing with the refund of premium to the complainant by OP2. He further denies about any call made by complainant on 20.2.2007 inquiring about the status of the policy. He also denies that he ever informed complainant about the fact that it was to late for the policy to be terminated. However he admitted that policy was collected from OP2 by him on 28.2.2007 and the same was delivered to the complainant on 1.3.2007 rest of the contentions of the complaint against OP 1 are denied.
The written statement filed by OP2 reveals that they deny their responsibility towards the policy holder, firstly on the ground that they were not liable for the mistake of the agent who had defaulted in handing over the policy papers to the complainant. OP also took a plea that Jeewan Saral Insurance Policy bearing no.123360872 dated 28th February 2007 was issued by OP2 subject to certain terms & conditions. Condition no.3 of the Insurance Policy reads inter alia as under:-
“ Non-forfeiture Regulations (applicable to regular premium policies only) If after at least three full years premiums have been paid “.

Since in the present case the policy has not been in force for a period of three years, as such nothing becomes payable to the complainant. However, it has not been denied by the OP that complaint asked for refund. It is further stated by OP2 that The policy bonds already delivered to OP 1 for handing over the same to the complainant as per usual practice. Complainants rejoinder to this written statement and rebuts the contents of written statement states that the complainant had never authorized OP1 to collect the policy in question neither OP1 informed him about receipt of the documents till he decided to cancel the policy. He had received the policy on 7th May 2007 after 2 ½ months. OP are deficient to provide the services to the complainant and he is entitled to avail the option of refund from the OPs.
It is an admitted case of OPs that they had given the policy paper to OP 1, and not to the complainant directly. This is also matter of record that complainant contacted OP2 for his policy papers after expiry of stipulated time of fifteen days on 20th February 2007, when he was assured, he will receive the papers. He was kept in dark about the fact that policy papers were given to OP1 who is the authorized agent of OP2. Complainant has also extended an argument that he was entitled to avail of an opportunity of free look after fifteen days when he received the policy.
In the present case, policy papers were received by complainant on 7th May 2007 through OP1. Receipt enclosed does not show any date neither OP1 has filed any other document to prove that policy bond were delivered to complaint before 7th May 2007. Whereas he had already opted for cancellation on 2nd May 2007 even before receiving the papers due to non receipt of policy documents. It is very much clear from the above facts that the authorized agent of OP2 had defaulted in supplying the papers to the complainant which led the complainant him to cancel his policy. OPs argument that they are not responsible bears no strength. OP1 is an authorize agent of OP2. OP2 as a principle is liable for the acts of his agent under the law of vicarious liabilities of principal for the act of his agent.
Therefore, we are of the firm opinion that both the OPs are Jointly & Severally liable to the complainant for refund of Rs.51043/- . We also direct both the OPs o compensate the complainant with an amount of Rs.7000/- towards harassment & mental agony caused by him and also pay Rs.5000/- towards cost of litigation.
The above orders shall be complied with within 30 days failing which the complainant shall be entitled to interest on the entire awarded amount @ 10% per annum from the date of this order till payment. If OP fails to comply with the above orders, the complainant shall be at liberty to approach this Forum under Section 25/27 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
Copy of this order be made available to the parties free of cost as per law and Case File be consigned to Record Room.

Announced on…………………….



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