Decided on August 26,2004



- (1.) THE brief facts as set out in the complaint are that the complainant, Hema Electronics, is a registered sole proprietrix firm dealing in the business of electronic goods, with its place of business at Plot No. 9, Old Air -Port Road, Balanagar, Hyderabad -42. Subsequently from 1.7.1999 the said firm was shifted to 4 -208, Geethanagar, Ferozguda, Ranga Reddy District. The complainant submits that she opened a cash credit account No. 330027 in November, 1995 with opposite party No. 2 and obtained financial assistance by hypothecating the goods. Opposite party No. 2 insured the goods of the complainant for a sum of Rs. 4,55,000/ - and was regularly paying the premium and renewing the policy from time -to -time directly with opposite party No. 1 and the premium amount was being deducted from the account of the complainant. It is also submitted that at the time of initial payment of the premium for insurance of the goods in November, 1995 the address of the complainant was given as: M/s. Hema Electronics, Plot No. 9, Old Air -Port Road, Balanagar, Ranga Reddy District. Thereafter the complainant shifted her place of business to: M/s. Hema Electronics, 4 -208, Geetha Nagar, Ferozguda, Ranga Reddy District. She informed the following agencies about the change in address: (a) Opposite Party No. 2. (b) District Industries Centre, Balanagar, Ranga Reddy District. (c) Department of Telecommunications (d) The National Small Industries Corporation Ltd. (e) The Commercial Tax Officer, Balanagar. (f) Income Tax Department. It is also submitted by the complainant that by letter dated 1.7.1999 she requested opposite party No. 2 to inform opposite party No. 1 about the change of premises. Opposite party No. 2 acknowledged the said letter on 5.7.1999 and the complainant shifted the premises in July, 1999 and the insurance premium fell due for the period from 27.11.1999 to 26.11.2000. Opposite party No. mechanically received the premium and renewed the policy without even verifying at the time of renewing as to when its client is situated. The premium was deducted from the account of the complainant and the same was remitted to opposite party No. 1 by opposite party No. 2 directly for the period from 27.11.1999 to 26.11.2000.
(2.) ON 23rd and 24th of August, 2000 there were heavy floods in and around twin cities particularly in the low lying areas and Balanagar area was the worst affected and the entire stock worth Rs. 4,76,505/ - kept in the premises of the complainant was washed away. Opposite party No. 1 appointed an appraiser and he along with the staff of Divisional Office of opposite party No. 1 carried out inspection and assessed the loss at more than Rs. 4.1 lakhs without objecting to the difference of the address. Thereafter opposite party No. 1 repudiated the claim on the ground that the fact of shifting of the premises was not intimated either by the Bank i.e., opposite party No. 2 or by the complainant. Opposite party No. 2 by their letter dated 23.9.2000 admitted that the complainant informed them about the change of address by letter dated 1.7.1999 but while renewing the policy during November, 1999, the change of address was not informed to their agent. In spite of opposite party No. 2 requesting opposite party No. 1 to settle the claim of the complainant, opposite party No. 1 refused to settle. Thereafter the complainant got issued a legal notice dated 12.2.2001 to both the opposite parties and on 12.3.2001 opposite party No. 1 replied and epudiated the claim of the complainant and opposite party No. 2 stated that it was for the Insurance Company, opposite party No. 1 to settle the claim. Vexed with their attitude the complainant approached this Commission seeking a direction to the opposite parties to jointly and severally pay the claim amount of Rs. 4,55,000/ - together with interest at 12% p.a. from the date of claim, Rs. 1,00,000/ - towards damages and other costs.
(3.) OPPOSITE party No. 1 filed counter submitting that at any point of time were they informed by the complainant or by the Bank about shifting of the said premises to 4 -208, Geeta Nagar, Ferozguda, Ranga Reddy District. They deny the conmplainant opened cash credit account with opposite party No. 2 and that opposite party No. 2 insured the goods for a sum of Rs. 4,55,000/ -. They contend that in the absence of specific communication about the shifting and any indorsement under the concerned policy, the coverage cannot be extended to any location as per exclusion Clause "G" of Fire Policy which is as follows: "Property insured if removed to any building or place other than in which it is herein stated to be insured except machinery, equipment temporarily removed for repairs, cleaning, etc., for a period not exceeding 60 days." Therefore, there is clear violation of this clause and hence in repudiating the claim, there is no deficiency of service. They also contend that intimation of shifting is mandatory because then they would find out whether such premises is suitable or not so as to insure, renew or continue the policy, otherwise the very purpose of the said exclusion clause in the said policy stands frustrated. Therefore, in the light of the above, opposite party No. 1 sought dismissal of the complaint. Opposite party No. 2 filed counter submitting that they did not receive any benefit out of the premium paid to opposite party No. 1 on behalf of the complainant. They also contend that they are not liable to pay compensation jointly and severally since they did not receive any amount for them to bear the risk along with the Insurance Company.;

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