The Goa State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission headed by Justice (retd) N.A. Britto on November 1 allowed a complaint filed by Bhupender Gahlawat, New Delhi against Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Ltd., Pune and Goa pertaining to a claim of loss by fire for a restaurant/shack “Kneez Up” at Velsao-Pale and the goods inside it under a standard fire and special peril policy valid upto January 10, 2013.
The Commission said the complainant was entitled to recover from the insurer Rs. 17.63 lakh which had to be paid to Mr. Gahlawat with pending and future interest of 9+2 per cent from September 10, 2012 until payment. The complainant was also entitled to compensation of Rs. 50,000 for harassment and mental agony and Rs. 10,000 by way of costs within a period of 30 days, failing which the amounts shall carry further interest at the rate of nine per cent until they were paid.
The complainant is a businessman who took on lease an area of 1,037 sq. mts of private property in coastal village of Pale, Velsao by a lease agreement and constructed a temporary shack as per the policy of State Tourism and obtained all the necessary NOCs and permissions.
A major fire broke out in the shack, destroying it and the complainant estimated the value of loss at Rs. 42.6 lakh. However, the surveyors M & M Associates assessed the loss at Rs.17.63 lakh, but pointed out that the fire brigade or the police were not able to identify the cause of fire and left the acceptance of liability to the discretion of the insurance company.
The Commission rejected company’s plea that the complainant did not disclose some of the material facts at the time of the insurance proposal.