While hearing an appeal filled by the insurance company on Tuesday September 25, challenging the decision of murder to not be treated as accident, the apex consumer body – National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission ruled out the plea stating that “an insurance company cannot deny claim in case of murder of a person insured for accidental death unless such crimes are expected in the policy.”
In connection with a 2009 murder case, NCDRC termed the approach of insurance company – Royal Sundaram – as “unfair trade practice”. It directed the insurance company to pay the compensation of Rs 2 lakh within four weeks to the family of victim who was murdered.
The two member bench comprising S M Kantikar and Dinesh Singh asked the insurance company to amend its terms and conditions and explicitly convey its position in respect of “murder” so that consumers can understand it easily at the time of purchase of the policy.
“Murder was not specifically excepted in the policy. If ‘murder is not an accident’ had to be adopted by the insurance company or if every/select murder had to be inquired into and determined whether or not it was an accident covered under the policy, the same should have been explicitly and categorically stated in the policy In the absence of ‘murder’ in the exceptions and in the absence of such explicit and categorical averment in the policy a reasonable man of normal intelligence would conclude that murder is an accident within the terms of the policy,” the NCDRC bench said in its order.