Family awaits insurance money

Published: Oct 24, 2012, 07:58 IST | Niranjan Medhekar |

Members of Suneeta Nighoot's family, who succumbed to injuries she sustained in road mishap last August, are still waiting for insurance firm to clear their claim; accuse Oriental Insurance Company of deliberate delay

Though an insurance policy would never be able to fill up the vacuum left by the person’s death, but it definitely helps the person’s family financially to a certain extent. 

Unfortunately, the wait for Suneeta Nighoot’s family is yet to end despite claiming the policy money under the student insurance scheme of the University of Pune (UoP) last year. Family members now believe the insurance firm — Oriental Insurance Company — is deliberately delaying the payment.

Suneeta (29) was pursuing her MSc in Environmental Science from Ahmadnagar’s New Arts, Commerce and Science College, when she met with an accident on the Ahmadnagar-Manmad Highway on August 2, 2011.

Agonising wait: Avinash Nighoot displays Suneeta’s photo; (below) their  daughter. Suneeta was one her way to college when an Indica car knocked her down on the Ahmadnagar-Manmad Highway on August 2, 2011. Pic/IMzanglu Aier

She was one her way to college when an Indica car hit her from behind. Suneeta sustained grievous injuries in the mishap and succumbed the next day at a private hospital. She was married at the time of the accident and has a seven-year-old daughter.

Neither Suneeta’s husband Avinash, nor her in-laws were aware of the UoP insurance scheme under which Suneeta was cover. Later, the college authorities took the initiative and submitted necessary documents at the insurance company on Avinash’s behalf.

When contacted, college principal Dr Bhaskar Zaware said the college officials had submitted Suneeta’s documents at Oriental Insurance Company’s office well in time.

“First, we submitted a set of documents in October 2011 including Suneeta’s death certificate, accident report, police panchnama, post-mortem report and a request letter from college. But the company officials demanded her marriage certificate stating mismatch of name in college records and death certificate. We then submitted her marriage certificate in February 2012. But till date, the family members haven’t received the insurance money,” said Dr Zaware.

Suneeta’s father-in-law professor Nighoot accused the insurance company of deliberately delaying the payment.  “Along with other mandatory documents, the college had attached a bonafied certificate of Suneeta. I personally visited the Oriental Insurance Company office some six months ago. But we still haven’t received a single paisa of the insurance money,” said Nighoot.

When contacted, UoP’s student welfare department director Dr Pandit Shelke said he was unaware of this case. “I recently took charge of the post. So I don’t have all the details of the case. But if the college has submitted all the documents, then it is the insurance company’s responsibility to settle the claim,” said Dr Shelke.

Commenting on the issue, Oriental Insurance Company manager Suneel Bharadwaj, said, “In Suneeta’s case, the girl was married and the college failed to update its records.” But Shivaji Sable, senior superintendent of the college, rubbished Bharadwaj’s claim.

“The girl did not change her name after marriage and used her maternal name while pursuing her MSc. As per government rules, it is mandatory to use the same name, the one used during HSC exam, while pursuing higher studies,” said Sable.

Similar case
Yougesh Ganjve, who was pursuing a master’s degree in Electronics, was another victim of a road mishap. Here too, the Oriental Insurance Company took nine months to clear the amount. Only after repeated attempts made by the college did the authorities settle the claim. 


Fact file
>> A total of 10,862 students are pursuing undergraduate and post-graduate courses from the New Arts, Commerce and Science College
>> The college deposited Rs 73,770 with the UoP under student insurance scheme for the academic year 2011-12
>> Two students — Suneeta and Yogesh — met with accidental deaths in the academic year 2011-12

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