Decided on June 25,2020

Amar Plastics Appellant
Iffco-Tokio General Insurance Co. Ltd. Respondents


Anup K. Thakur, J. - (1.) The complainant, a partnership firm, on it's plot No.103, Road No.12, MIDC Area, Andheri (E), Mumbai-400093, has constructed two buildings namely (i) "Amar House" comprising ground, mezzanine plus one floor, and (ii) "Amar House Annexe". The complainant allowed one Atos Origin India Pvt. Ltd. (hereinafter "ATOS") to use and occupy the premises under various Business Conducting/ Leave and license Agreements. ATOS incurred substantial expenditure to refurbish the premises suited to their needs. Therefore, specific provision for a lock-in-period was made in the said Agreements. ATOS also availed a Standard Fire & Special Perils Policy dated 29.12.2007 from Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co.Ltd. (Ann. A).
(2.) Per the plaint petition, taking advantage of the policy allowing increased FSI for IT park on Amar house, and as the existing plinth and first floor was certified by RCC consultant to be strong enough to bear the load of additional floors, the complainant decided to build additional three floors on the existing structure of Amar House. The existing building was not to be demolished except for the roof/ceiling of the first floor which was required to be removed. As the complainant was bound by the lock-in period in the Agreement, it entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) dated 29.3.2008 (Ann.B) with ATOS: ATOS agreed to shift to an alternate office arranged by the complainant subject to the condition that the complainant would ensure safety and upkeep of ATOS's furniture, fixtures, fittings etc. under it's care and custody. One of the conditions of this MOU was that the complainant would take out a Contractor's All Risks Insurance Policy (CAR) to take care of any untoward accident or damages arising out of or during the period of the said construction. So, the complainant approached OP-2 - Birla Insurance Advisory & Broking Services Ltd. (hereinafter OP-2) and explained its requirement to take out a CAR to cover not only the complainant's properties but also that of ATOS lying in the complainant's custody. OP-2 forwarded various quotes from insurance companies including from Iffco Tokio General Insurance Co.Ltd./Opposite Party No. 1 (OP-1 hereafter).
(3.) Per the plaint, in an exchange of e-mails on 31.12.2007 between OP-1 and the complainant regarding nature of work proposed to be insured, OP-1 had been asked to revert if they required any further clarification (Ann. C & D). Since OP-1 did not revert, it was fully conscious of the nature of the work proposed to be undertaken by the complainant. In this way, the complainant availed a comprehensive insurance policy providing cover of Rs.22.50 crore under various heads as per it's needs, and paid the premium of Rs.1,38,371/-. OP-1 issued CAR Policy No.ICA32024152-2008, with various addendums/riders, effective from 19.5.2008 till 18.5.2009 (Ann.E). The complainant objected to the policy document which contained blatant and material misstatement and discrepancies about the quantum of insurance cover and the address. OP-1 thereafter issued a corrigendum titled as "General Endorsement No.2 dated 13.6.2008", rectifying the risk location address and the third party liability limit of Rs. 5 crore (Ann.F).;

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