President asks insurance company to pay 1.2 million rupees to insured’s widow

Islamabad: President Dr Arif Alvi has requested Jubilee Life Insurance Co. Ltd to pay Rs 1.2 million to the widow of a deceased policyholder.

The company had ignored the payment of 1.2 million rupees as the unit price of the policy and simply refunded an amount of 4.5 million rupees, deposited by her late husband as a premium, to the widow.

Complainant Iffat Naheed had lodged a complaint with the President against the order of the Federal Insurance Ombudsman (FIO) which ordered the case to be closed as the insurance company had reimbursed 4.5 million rupees in connection with ‘an alleged out-of-court settlement to the widow.

While accepting the widow’s plea, the president felt that the company, having invested the policyholder’s money in the business, must have made considerable profits.

The President pointed out that it would be unfair to deprive the plaintiff of contribution to the profits made in accordance with the principle of economic and distributive justice enshrined in the preamble of the Pakistani Constitution of 1973. According to the details, Muhammad Shafique had obtained a police of life insurance from Jubilee Life Insurance Co Ltd in 2016 and deposited Rs 4.5 million with the company.

Muhammad Shafique died on 08.12.2018 and his widow filed the death insurance claim, after which the company reimbursed her the 4.5 million rupees, paid by her late husband, as an ex gratia payment.

Feeling aggrieved, the plaintiff approached the FIO to seek justice, which issued the contested order.

Subsequently, Iffat Naheed filed a petition with the President for redress of his complaint.

After investigating the matter, Chairman Dr. Arif Alvi accepted the plaintiff’s representation and ordered the company to pay an amount of Rs 1,235,339 to the plaintiff within 30 days.

He observed that the FIO had failed to notice that the amount of Rs 4.5 million refunded to the Complainant under the guise of an ex gratia amount was the actual amount which had been deposited by the deceased policyholder.

The President called the alleged Rs. 4.5 million out-of-court settlement against all standards of justice and fairness and said that the plaintiff, due to acute financial difficulties, had accepted whatever was paid for by the company and that it was not an act of free will and volition.

Referring to Article 3 of the Constitution of Pakistan which provides that the State shall ensure the eradication of all forms of exploitation, the President pointed out that the Insurance Ordinance of 2000 was enacted to regulate the activities of the insurance sector and ensure the protection of the interests of policyholders.