A tsunami of trouble descended on Kantaben Lodhari after her husband, a sailor with Porbandar-based Pooja Shipping Company, went missing at sea in 2012.
Among other things, the insurance company rejected her claim leading to a protracted battle until almost a decade later the tide of justice turned in her favour.
The Junagadh consumer dispute redressal commission ordered the New India Insurance company to pay the complainant Rs 1 lakh with 6% interest from the date of filing of the complaint along with Rs3,000 for expenses.
Kantaben approached the commission after the insurance company rejected her claim.
Her husband, Porbandar resident Ramesh Lodhari and 21 other sailors left Mumbai on March 17,2012, for Salah, Oman and their ship was caught in a storm on March 20. The vessel then went missing. The company that had an insurance cover from.
‘The New India Insurance’ filed a claim on behalf of the 21 men lost at sea but the company repudiated the claim.
A claim is said to be repudiated when an insurance company refuses to accept liability and as a result, rejects the claim.
The insurance company in its reply argued that they had not received any proof or court order stating that Lodhari had passed away and hence it was not responsible to pay the claim. It further argued that in case a person goes missing, he/she is presumed dead after seven years and there needs to be a court order declaring the missing person dead.