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LIC asked to pay Rs. 1.24 lakh to woman for deficient services

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The Life Insurance Corporation of India has been asked to cough up Rs. 1.24 lakh after the company failed to honour a legitimate claim made by the widow of a beneficiary.
In a recent order pertaining to the case, the Thane District Consumer Redressal Forum held LIC to be deficient in its services as it failed to verify the credentials of another woman, who also claimed to have married the deceased –Nitin Kishid.

Forum President Sneha Mhatre and member N D Kadam ordered LIC to pay the claim/insured amount of Rs. 50,000 from the date of the death of the deceased in September 2000, along with interest at 8 per cent per annum (amounting to Rs. 64,000) besides Rs. 5,000 for mental worries and Rs. 5,000 towards legal expenses to the legally married woman.

The claimants Anita Nitin Kashid and her daughter, residents of Nuribaba Dugha road of Thane, claimed in their application that the deceased worked with the Thane Municipal Corporation since 1990 and he had in 1998 taken the LIC’s money back policy for Rs. 50,000, valid for 20 years.

The duo stated that Nitin died on September 2, 2000 after which they lodged their claim with LIC.

The insurance company, however, rejected the claim stating that the policy holder had given the name of one Shakuntala as the nominee instead of the present claimant in the policy papers.

LIC contested the claim and submitted that the claimant/applicant was not the legal heir of the deceased and hence the claim cannot be settled against her.

They also came up with the argument that the complainant had not submitted a succession certificate issued by the judicial magistrate to her along with the claim papers.

The Forum, however, in its order observed that the complainant had submitted the marriage certificate, the birth certificate of the daughter of the deceased and NOC from Shakuntala (Nitin’s alleged second wife).

LIC insisted on the complainant getting the additional succession certificate even when it was proved that the complainant was the wife of the deceased.

The Forum also observed that the LIC while including the name of Shakuntala in the policy failed to verify her as the legally married wife of the deceased.

All these amount to deficiency in services and hence LIC needs to in the first place honour the claim and also pay an interest at 8 per cent per annum from the date of death of the deceased, the Forum said.

It also needs to pay the compensation for mental suffering and legal expenses it added.

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