On Thursday, against the Wafaqi Mohtasib’s (WM) directives, President Dr. Arif Alvi rejected four similar arguments made by the State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan (SLICP). He instead ordered SLICP to satisfy four claimants’ claims for Rs. 1.95 million.
The president gave the SLICP instructions to strengthen and improve its business practises before and after the award of policies in order to reduce the risk of future lawsuits that would burden policy beneficiaries needlessly and cost the state and parties involved in the litigation unnecessary expenses.
In his ruling, the president noted that SLICP’s mismanagement had been proven, and he mandated that the company not only satisfy claims with four claimants totaling Rs. 1.95 million but also pay them the profit earned over the full period of payment withholding.
The president pointed out that the SLICP’s position was untenable because the policyholders had been deemed medically fit during the medical examination by the SLICP authorised medical officer prior to the policy’s issuance, as well as by the field officers who had deemed the deceased policyholders healthy at the time the policies were issued. As a result, the claim of pre-insurance ailments was therefore barred by the estoppel principle.
In addition, the president cited the Contract Act of 1872, stating that even if a party’s assent was obtained through deception or fraud, the contract would not be voidable if the party had the means to ascertain the facts with reasonable diligence.
President Alvi added that in accordance with the Lahore High Court’s ruling, conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and mellitus could not be deemed exceptional reasons because most people with these conditions lived decades or longer than people without them by taking better care of themselves. As a result, it was not possible to characterise the concealment of these conditions as fraudulent.
According to information, four distinct policyholders had each bought a life insurance policy from SLICP for an amount assured of Rs. 900,000, Rs. 425,000, Rs. 425,000, and Rs. 200,000.
After they passed away, the complainants, who were their family members, filed insurance claims. These claims were denied on the grounds that the deceased policyholders had pre-insurance conditions like liver disease, diabetes, hepatitis, and heart disease that they had knowingly chosen not to disclose when they applied for the policies.