insurance

 

You are insured. Hopefully you will not need to file a claim. And if, unfortunately you do, the policy you have been paying on for years in good faith will come to your rescue at least partially.

That is what is supposed to happen in an ideal World.

We don’t, however, live in one . As I am finding out in a very interesting fashion, which could be useful and of interest to you as well.

Details are in the E-mail as under, redacted as of now to leave contact details etc. It is self explanatory . Essentially, a charge under head ” Imposed Excess ” of Rs. 2,000 was put in my policy WITHOUT ever informing me about the same/ explaining what it was / taking my concurrence on the same !

In good faith I kept the policy without checking it closely ( since I had no reason to think it was against the Rules and my Development Officer also hadn’t mentioned anything exceptional ). I checked more closely only when Rs. 2000/= was DEDUCTED from a claim I filed , and found indeed this charge has been mentioned in my Contract !

Further, I tried to Google on the ” imposed excess” being arbitrarily charged me and find NO mention of it in IRDA rules etc.!  Indeed many insurers seem to be putting such charges WITHOUT  it being allowed !

Read on ! Your suggestions on what to do next would be much appreciated, as would be your experiences if any.

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———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Hardeep
Date: Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 11:36 AM
Subject: Fwd: “Imposed Excess ” charges put on my Insurance Policy No. #339 and # 440 ( Car )

To: Insurance

REMINDER !

No reply has been received from you for six days now. Please expedite. Even if you do not plan to do anything kindly regret .

Thank you

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: hardeep
Date: Fri, Jan 16, 2015 at 12:08 PM
Subject: “Imposed Excess ” charges put on my Insurance Policy No. # 339 and # 440 ( car )

To: Insurance

Kind Att : Divisional Manager,

Dear Sir

Please be advised as under :

a) Both policies referred in Subject are for the same vehicle. Policy No. # 339  is from 17th May 2014 to 16 May 2015 while the latter # 440 is from 17th May 2013 till 16th May 2014.

b) Prior to 17th May 2013 the vehicle was covered by HDFC Ergo till 15th May 2013. Since it became out of insurance, the Surveyor appointed by yourselves surveyed it on 17th  May 2013. At the time he pointed out some dents and scratches etc.. and said that the same will not be covered by your Company. I agreed to that. This was the only thing ever mentioned by him.

c) The Vehicle was duly insured on 17t May 2013 itself via your Development Officer ( DO ) . I received it a few days later and not being told anything was exceptional in the same, duly kept the policy without checking it closely.

d) This vehicle met with an accident in November 2014. A claim was duly raised by me which was settled vide File No. 122 by yourselves in last week of December 2014.

e) Later, on checking I found out that I have got only Rs. 5,652/= while the Garage   had informed us about Rs. 7,500 will be received. On further checking , the Surveyor  told me Rs. 2000/- has most probably been deducted from the amount passed by him since a charge ” imposed excess” of this amount has been mentioned in the policy.This is the FIRST TIME this term was ever mentioned to me by anyone !

f) On further checking with the Development Officer   I am advised ONLY ON 14th Jan. 2015 !! – that the Surveyor as appointed by your Company on 17th May 2013 pointed out the following damages in subject vehicle :
– Front Bumper Scratch
– Wind Shield Glass chipped off
– Tail Lamp Broken
– Front door dented Left side quarter panel
– Right Side Front and rear door dented

And- as advised by the Development Officer ( DO ) –  on this account the Surveyor in May 2013 recommended an ” imposed excess” charge of Rs. 2000/= which was accordingly been put in the policy. Hence when the Claim came Rs. 2,000 was deducted.

g) Let me again REITERATE – I have NEVER been told of this charge called “imposed excess” of Rs. 2000 by the Surveyor in May 2013 OR by anybody else since then, including the DO till I MYSELF inquired from the DO around 12th January 2015 as to what was this !! In fact the Surveyor on 17th May 2013 told me these are minor damages  ( which indeed they are) which happen in most cars due normal driving on Indian roads. He further told me that these damages will not be covered by the insurance company. This is the ONLY thing I have agreed to since it was fair and logical.

h) So, the imposed excess charge being put by you is WITHOUT any prior intimation OR concurrence by me ! Indeed, had I been told of this I would have not got this vehicle insured by your Company to begin with as it is totally arbitrary and unreasonable. Insurance of this vehicle was shifted from HDFC Ergo only because the Agent there forgot to remind me ( which is why the policy lapsed ), and on myself remembering the same I decided to shift to your Company since most of policies were / are being handled by the same DO.
i) Let me also point out that we have been dealing withthe same DO since about 2000. On checking I find almost Rs. 2 lacs have been paid out in various premiums to your Company . And as far as I can remember, this is the SECOND claim raised on your Company ( the first was for Scooter Insurance, raised in the year 2001, for about Rs. 1500/= ). I have been paying whatever has been asked by the DO without checking/ comparing solely on good faith. Hence, it is all the MORE disturbing for me to find out somethings are being put in our policies WITHOUT any information to me or concurrence by me !!

j) Coming  to the damages pointed out by the Surveyor in May 2013, let me inform you :
– The Wind Shield chip was SO SMALL even I was not aware of it !! In any case, during the next service of the Vehicle ( around 25th May 2013), the Wind Shield has been REPLACED by a new one at our cost !!
– The Tail Lamp was broken only on a small edge. Yet it was fully working. In any case, even the same has been replaced sometime ago at our cost and now it is fine !!
– The other damages were, as I said above ,  even agreed by the Surveyor to be too small to raise claims on.
– In fact for some minor damages we have done the repairs ourselves ( and Mr. Arora knows about this )  rather than bothering with claims etc. But with incident such as this I am now wondering whether that was the right thing to do !

k) The DO further informs me that ” imposed excess” means this amount will be deducted in ALL Claims, whether they pertain to the damages noted by the surveyor or not !! I find this all the more illogical and against principles of both logic and natural justice.

l) I have been trying to find out about this charge from various people. None that I spoke to seems to be aware of this.Please revert to me with your Company’s Rules on this as well as the IRDA recommendations so that I am fully informed.

m) In closing I request you to :

1) Reimburse this charge deducted from our claim since this was never informed to me prior to your issuing the policy, neither have I agreed to it ever.
2) Remove this charge from Policy No.#339 as well. If need be, the vehicle can be inspected again.

n) ALSO, reading Policy 31140031140100000339 closely now, I see that Limits of Liability for Individual Covers (OD) has been put as Rs. 2,35,000/=. This was not there in last year’s policy. Please advise me what this is and if it is in line with Motor Vehicles Act / IRDA recommendations.

I look forward to your immediate actions and advise so as to proceed further appropriately.

Thanking you

Yours Sincerely

=====

There has been no response till date.

On the other hand I have found till now  :

a) An article which talks about various malpractices being followed by insurance companies. The same clearly mentions ” Imposed Excess” is not allowed and all such deductions should be refunded !

Find the Article on :

http://www.hardnewsmedia.com/2011/02/3830?page=show

And I quote from the same :

Questions have also been raised on the practice of deducting a substantial amount in the name of ‘imposed excess’. This is in violation of the All India Motor Tariff, which only mentions ‘compulsory excess’ and ‘voluntary excess’. When a public interest litigation was filed in the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, IRDA acknowledged this violation, and said it had directed the insurers to refund the amount in five cases and hence the case should be rejected. But, although millions of consumers have paid upto Rs 40,000 in such cases, there has been no effort to educate the public through advertisements, and no circular asking the insurers to refund the amount.

b) Ruling of  Central Information Commissioner vide Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2012/002701 clearly advising the Insurance Company to inform the Complainant the Rules under which this ” imposed excess” has been put. I am not aware what happened thereafter. Copy of the Ruling is put hereunder.

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So, in ending please Dear Reader  :

a) Check your Insurance policies thoroughly. Good Faith does not pay, as I am finding out, even if you are dealing with the same DO for YEARS altogether ! When the Claim comes your ” friendly” DO / Agent will avoid you !

b) If you have any experience / suggestions to share, please do !

c) I do intend to take this all the way up,, via Consumer Forum if necessary. If you have suffered similarly , join in !