Hyderabad: HDFC directed to pay Rs 5.50L to widow after denying insurance

Hyderabad: In a case dating back to 2019, a consumer court in the city directed HDFC bank to pay Rs 5,50,000 to a woman after she was denied an insurance claim of Rs 7,00,000.

The complainant, Gonda Varudhini filed a case against HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited, alleging that the defendant denied her the life insurance claim. Vardhini’s husband had availed HDFC’s pro-growth plus life insurance policy on July 18, 2017. The customer paid an annual premium of Rs 1 lakh for the insurance which was to mature on July 18, 2027.

The man was admitted to Care Hospitals due to health issues, where he died of cardio-respiratory arrest on May 11, 2019. Being the nominee, Varudhini claimed the insurance cover. The bank denied the insurance stating that the man had not disclosed his health conditions while applying for the insurance.

The deceased is said to have suffered from diabetes, which he did not disclose to the bank. Hence the claim was denied and HDFC refunded the total premium amount to the complainant. In a letter dated August 1, 2019, the bank mentioned that it is refunding the premium amount to the complainant.

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However, On August 27, 2019, Varudhini approached the review committee stating that she would accept the refund under protest. The committee did not find merit in her complaint and dismissed the claim. Following the rejection from the review committee, Varudhini approached the consumer forum.

She complained of unfair trade practices by the HDFC. The bank contested the complaint in a written reply and questioned its maintainability. The court observed that the man did not have diabetes while applying for the insurance policy. Hence the bank’s claim that he withheld information was dismissed.

The court directed the bank to compensate the complainant with Rs 5,35,000 for the balance amount of the insurance policy. Another Rs 10,000 for the damage caused to the complainant. The court further directed the bank to pay Rs 5,000 to Varudhini as the cost of payments.