Our understanding of Insurance laws in India comes from our handling of disputes related to Commercial, Civil and Shipping laws. Our experience of dealing with a wide variety of claims before different courts such as Consumer Courts (National & State), Commercial Courts, High Courts (Commercial & Admiralty divisions) gives us a deeper insight into the Insurance laws which remains one of our core areas of practice whilst acting for insureds, insurers, re-insurers. We work in the areas involving issues of construction of policies, the scope of indemnity, non-disclosure, misrepresentation, breach of the duty of fair presentation, breach of warranty, breach of conditions precedent etc.
We accept instructions to appear in trials, appeals and other proceedings in issues arising out of following acts;
1. Insurance Act
2. IRDA Act and Regulations framed thereunder
3. Motor Vehicles Act
4. Marine Insurance Act
5. Merchant Shipping Act
6. Bill of Lading Act
7. Carriage of goods By Sea Act
8. Indian Ports (Major Ports) Act
9. Indian Steam Vessels Amendment Act
10. Carriers Act
11. Carriage by Air Act
12. Aircraft Act
13. Indian Railways Act
14. Contract Act
15. The Companies Act
16. Public Liability Insurance Act
17. Personal Injuries (Compensation Insurance) Act
Insurance business in India is heavily regulated. Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India is the statutory regulatory authority assigned with the task of regulating insurance industry in India and is also tasked with looking after interests of policy holders. Insurance Ombudsman, another authority, focuses on mediation of disputes between the insurer and the insured. Ombudsman is empowered to deal with complaints filed by policy holders and can pass awards in insurance policies of a certain value. Posts of Ombudsman are functional in various parts of the country an exercise territorial jurisdiction on written complaints submitted by the insured.
Claims under the policy are to be made before the Civil Courts which includes the Commercial Courts, Consumers Commissions, High Courts etc. Claims are to be made in accordance with the territorial (place where cause of action has arisen) and pecuniary jurisdiction (value of claim). An appeal lies to the next higher court against the judgment or award passed by these courts in a contested case. The final stage of litigation is before the Supreme Court in the form of a Special Leave Petition or a Civil Appeal. Procedural law of filing and hearing of cases including trials and appeals is contained in the Civil Procedure Code and Commercial Courts Act. Limitation Act prescribes the time limit under which a claim is to be made. Acts regulating litigation involving Insurance laws are as follows;
a. Consumer Protection Act
b. Commercial Courts Act
c. Code of Civil Procedure
The laws regulating the Insurance business in India are as follows;
a. Insurance Act
b. IRDA Act and Regulations passed there under
c. Insurance Amendment Acts
d. Exchange Control Regulations
e. Indian Stamp Act
f. Insurance Ombudsman Rules
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