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Agarwal Packers - 'Insurance' and Claiming Damages
Nov 02, 2008 02:27 PM 4149 Views

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I was moving from Bangalore to Hyderabad towards end of February 2008. Based on feedback and recommendations from my friends and acquaintances, I shortlisted Agarwal and Leo Packers and Movers. I took quotes from both (interestingly, they matched very closely!) and finally decided to go with Agarwal because of their larger scale of business and word-of-mouth referral from a friend.

The sales, quotation and appointment setting were all smooth. On the day of the move, the guys arrived nearly on time and went about their business quite efficiently. Everything was packed and loaded into the moving truck well within the promised time. Since I had opted for the complete insurance, in the insurance declaration form, the loading officer recommended declaring the value of good as Rs one lakh. The interesting piece was this guy entered the value of the individual items on his own. So this is the note to the readers: Please take the time out to enter the value of individual items yourself - even if you are under pressure to fill up and sign the paperwork fast.

On the receiving side at Hyderabad, the truck arrived as per the promised time. The unloading crew was efficient and had the stuff unloaded, unpacked and placed in respective locations within reasonable time. However, one of the study tables was quite well smashed. We realized that it was made of particle board and the best way to pack it would have been to dis-assemble and pack the constituents separately. This has been purchased from LifeStyle (Bangalore) for Rs 8100 in year 2004. On checking the insurance declaration form, I realized that the loading officer had entered Rs 3000 as its value. While the replacement cost would be around Rs 8100+, I took solace in the fact that after depreciation, possibly even Rs 3000 was not a bad valuation. The delivery guys recorded the damage in the receiving / acknowledgement form and advised me to contact their claims division.

The fun began from that point onwards! A carpenter was sent after a few days to check if there was any possibility of repairing the table. He agreed that the table was beyond any repair.  Based on his report, the claims person told me over phone that they will be glad to reimburse the amount of Rs 1000 for the table.  On point out the fact that the value (which was entered by their own person) was Rs 3000, she gave some reasons around depreciating Rs 3000 to represent the current value. Over the next few days, we kept going back and forth and finally they were generous enough to raise the amount to Rs 1200 and finally Rs 1500.

By this time, the issue had become more of principle, rather than the money involved. We took recourse to legal assistance and sent over a notice to the company office, mentioning an intent to go to the Consumer Court. The claims person called up shortly after that and tried to negotiate at Rs 2000. We redirected the discussion to our legal counsel. Eventually after few more rounds of going back and forth, we were finally able to get Rs 3500 as the compensation.

Moral(s) of the story:

  • Fill in the insurance declaration form carefully with appropriate valuations. Don't let anyone rush you through it.

  • Get furniture dis-assembled to the extent you can - especially for particle board or MDF stuff.

  • In case of damage/claims, follow the official process of reporting damages accurately. Take photos and preserve/store the broken pieces/evidence.

  • Be ready for a long haul battle - and don't give up, you have the Consumer Laws to help you get your rightful amount for damages.

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Agarwal Packers and Movers LTD. (Agarwal Group)