HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited Vs Punam Gupta

UT consumer forum directed HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited to refund Rs 50,000 along with interest and Rs 10,000 as compensation for harassment and Rs 3,500 as cost of litigation to Punam Gupta, a Sector 24 resident.

Punam Gupta purchased ‘Young Start Suvidha Plus Policy’ in November 2007, worth Rs 50,000 along with documentary proof and the application form. The agent reportedly informed her that after three years she would get double the deposited amount.

However, she did not receive documents or acknowledgement and her enquiry revealed that the insurance company had carelessly sent the documents to some other address. This, despite Gupta submitting the correct address. She added even the policy papers were prepared in the wrong name. Though she got policy papers, Gupta still gave a written request for correction of name and address for further correspondence. She also made a request that she was not able to deposit Rs 50,000 for rest of the two years because the insurance company was not giving the details enquired.

Finally, she deposited the original documents but the same were not returned to her after correction. Enquiry revealed that the documents were misplaced. Alleging harassment and deficiency in services, Gupta filed a complaint under Consumer Protection Act. HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited stated fresh policy papers were issued on receipt of a complaint from Gupta and after the name and address of policy holder was changed, the documents were issued again. It added in view of allegations made against the courier agency, the insurance company was always ready and willing to issue a fresh policy.

After going through the facts and fully analyzing the case, the forum, headed by Lakshman Sharma, held, “The insurance company did practically nothing to incorporate necessary corrections in respect of her name and postal address in the policy documents. Also, it did not bother to supply the original documents to her for a long time and unfortunately not supplied the same till date, which is clearly a gross lapse and grave deficiency in service on their part.”