The PSU lodged an insurance claim for an amount of Rs 34.40 lakh under ‘burglary and housebreaking policy’. The insurance firm rejected the claim saying theft did not come under the purview of the policy as there was no evidence to show someone had forcibly broken into the factory premises or threatened employees before making away with the goods. The bench dismissed the PSU’s petition.
Citing a 2004 SC judgment, Justice Rao said, “In the absence of violence or force, the insured cannot claim indemnification against the insurance company. The terms of the policy have to be construed as it is and we cannot add or subtract something. Howsoever liberally we may construe the policy, we cannot take liberalism to the extent of substituting the words which are not intended. “…in common parlance, the term ‘burglary’ would mean theft but it has to be preceded with force or violence. If the element of force or violence is not present, then the insured cannot claim compensation.”-from TOI