The Audi Q7 was damaged in the 2013 flood and the insurance company only offered Rs.53,000 as payout
A long 7 year battle between the insurance company and an Audi Q7 owner ended in favour of the owner. Ch Sudhakar Raju of Telangana, purchased the Audi Q7 3.0TDI model in December 2012 for Rs.60 lakhs. He took out an insurance policy for the same.
However, within 10 months of purchase, on 15th September 2013, there were heavy rains due to which the car was stuck in a traffic jam at Jubilee Hills. The area soon flooded and all traffic came to a standstill right up to KBR Park area.
Audi Q7 Damaged In Flood
Flood water entered the engine of the Audi Q7 and it failed to start despite several attempts by the driver. Raju then got the car shifted to the Audi service center for repairs and approached the insurance company for due compensation.
The insurance company, who appointed a surveyor to assess the damage, surmised that it was due to hydrostatic loss that the car was damaged. Engine failure was on account of faulty handling by the owner and was hence not liable to receive compensation. Raju suffered a huge loss having spent Rs 20 lakhs on repairs of the vehicle.
Even as Raju, a resident of Banjara Hills, had paid insurance premium of Rs.1.12 lakhs, the company contended that the reason for the car’s damage was not covered by that policy but instead offered him a paltry amount of Rs.53,000 as damages.
They stated that the onus lay with the driver who made several attempts to restart the car. The argued that the driver should not have attempted to restart the engine due to which it caused further damage, using this reason for altogether rejecting the claim made by the owner for due compensation.
Consumer Court Verdict
Raju hence approached the Telangana State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (TSCDRC) seeking compensation. The battle continued for 7 years with the insurance company holding their grounds for not paying compensation but which was overruled by the Courts and finally the owner received his due from the Insurance Company.
The Consumer Court bench, headed by Justice MSK Jaiswal as president and Meena Ramanathan as member, argued in favour of the owner, that under the flood like situation, any driver would try to restart the car and the contentions of the insurance company were wrong in trying to pin the blame on the owner.
Ordering that the insurance company was wrong in its conclusions of negligence on the part of the owner, the Court ordered that the owner be paid compensation of Rs 17.54 lakhs along with 7% interest.