President Directs Insurance Firm to Refund Rs. 2 Million with Profit to Policyholder

President Dr. Arif Alvi has directed a private insurance company to refund Rs. 2 million along with profit for six years to a policyholder who was wrongly issued multiple insurance policies with huge annual premiums instead of just one policy.

He added that as a Takaful Plan was mis-sold to the customer in 2015 and the company must have earned a reasonable profit in this period by investing it in business, therefore, it should refund the original amount with profit to him to meet the norms of justice.

The President gave these directions while rejecting a representation filed by Pak Qatar Family Takaful Ltd. (the company) against a decision of the Federal Insurance Ombudsman (FIO) directing the company to pay Rs. 2 million to Waheed Ahmed (the complainant).

As per details, the complainant purchased a Takaful Plan through Al-Baraka Bank Ltd in May 2015 and he was given the impression by the bank’s representative that he would have to make a one-time payment of Rs. 2 million and after five years, he would get his amount back along with profit. However, he was issued four small policies for 11 years with a collective annual premium of Rs. 500,000.

Since the complainant was unable to pay the huge amount of premium every year, he requested the company to cancel his policy and refund his deposited amount of Rs. 2 million, but to no avail. Feeling aggrieved, the complainant approached FIO which passed the order in his favor. The company, then, filed a representation against FIO’s decision with the President.

The President rejected the company’s representation and noted that the bank’s representative allured the complainant by giving wrong information about the Takaful Plan. He said that the complainant was misinformed that the Plans were for five years but subsequently, he was issued four insurance policies for eleven years, which he never opted for. He said that the insurance company received Rs. 2 million, invested the money, and must have earned considerable profits. “The equitable principle of enrichment envisages that one should not unjustly enrich himself at the expense of others”, he added.

The President highlighted that this doctrine rested upon the principle of economic and distributive justice enshrined in Pakistan’s Constitution. He stated that it would be unjust to deprive the complainant of his contribution in respect of profit which the company earned but unjustly declined to pay to the customer.

The President also upheld FIO’s observation that the company failed to provide any solid reason to deduct charges at high rates on his paid amount. He directed the company to refund Rs. 2 million along with profit to the complainant within 30 days.

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