In a ruling that will benefit many insurance holders, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has held that death due to mosquito bite causing malaria is an accident.
"It is difficult for us to accept that the death due to a mosquito bite would not be a death due to an accident," Justice V K Jain said.
"It can hardly be disputed that a mosquito bite is something which no one expects and happens all of a sudden.
"As per the information available on the website of the insurance company, an accident may include events like snake bite, frost bite and dog bite. Hence it would be very difficult to accept the contention that malaria due to mosquito bite is a disease and not an accident," the commission said.
The order came on a claim filed by Mousami Bhattacharjee whose husband, Debasish, died in January 2012.
He had taken a housing loan from the Bank of Baroda and availed of an insurance policy of the National Insurance Company. The sum insured was payable in the event of his death.
When Mousami approached the insurer to enable them to liquidate the housing loan, the claim was rejected.
She then moved the district consumer forum in West Bengal in February 2014.
The insurer submitted before the forum that Debashish had died due to a mosquito bite and not due to an accident.
The forum had passed an order in Mousami's favour following which the insurance company approached the West Bengal Consumer Commission, but the appeal was dismissed in February.
Later, the insurance company had moved the National Commission.