Pay expenses of flying man’s remains to India, insurer told | India News – Times of India

VADODRA: Insurer has to pay repatriation expenses if the insured person dies while travelling abroad, even if he/she didn’t reveal the pre-existing medical condition while taking the policy, a consumer court in Vadodara ruled recently.
The district consumer disputes redressal commission (additional) ordered an insurance firm to pay Singaporean $3,978 (roughly Rs 2.5 lakh) to the family of one Mafatlal Chauhan towards the expenses of flying his remains to India.
Chauhan had taken overseas travel insurance from Oriental Insurance Company Ltd while flying to Singapore in March 2010. During his stay there, he died of ischemic heart disease. His remains were flown to India for final rites.
Chauhan’s family filed a claim for the expenses of bringing his body back to the country. The insurance firm refused to pay, saying Chauhan had a pre-existing heart condition, which he didn’t reveal while taking the travel cover.
The firm said that the policy carried specific exclusion of all medical expenses incurred directly due to past history ailments and consequences attributable to, accelerated by or arising therefrom.
Chauhan’s wife Sudha and son Vikramsinh then filed a complaint with the consumer forum in 2012 and sought $25,000 towards personal accident cover and $3,978 towards repatriation expenses. The insurance firm produced cashless process papers for the deceased’s mediclaim from another insurer regarding percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty to prove that the deceased had a pre-existing heart condition.
The forum, however, observed that for the repatriation benefits, only the death of the insured outside India and proof of expenses were relevant. Finding the reasons for repudiation of the claim unjust and arbitrary, the forum ordered the insurance firm to pay $3,978 along with 9% interest from the date when the complaint was filed till the date of payment.

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