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Insurance firm told to consider customer’s plea

Special Correspondent

He wants terms and conditions of policies to be printed in the regional language

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed National Insurance Company to consider the representation of a person seeking to know the address of its local branch and demanding that the company print the terms and conditions of insurance policies in the regional language and reimburse his medical expenses, and pass orders in three weeks.

Disposing of a writ petition, Justice A. Kulasekaran said that without going into the merits of the case, he was passing the order, given the limited submission of counsel for the petitioner G. Devi and V.S. Suresh.

R. Ayyanar, 30, a mason of Annai Sathya Nagar, was injured in a road accident caused by cattle.

When he bought a motorcycle on loan, he was informed that the vehicle was insured against accidents and theft. The insurance agent assured him that in the event of an accident, the company would bear the medical expenses.

In the policy, there was no mention of the company’s Chennai address.

As he did not know English, he trusted the agent. When he wrote to the company seeking reimbursement of Rs.1.50 lakh towards medical expenses, Mr. Ayyanar was told that he was not eligible for the claim, and that the company was not responsible for the promise made by the agent.

In July this year, he wrote to the insurance company, seeking to know the address of its local branch and demanding that the company print the terms and conditions in Tamil and reimburse his medical claim. There was no response.

Mr. Ayyanar said he got himself admitted to a private hospital on the strength of the assurance given by the agent.

As the terms and conditions were not in Tamil, the agent had misled him.

Mr. Justice Kulasekaran said that though the relief sought through the writ petition was larger, counsel for the petitioner had confined the argument to a directive to National Insurance Company — represented by its Branch Manager, Direct Agents Branch, Tidel Park, Taramani — to dispose of the petitioner’s representation expeditiously.

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