On this topic, we are sure that many of us are never made aware ourselves of the same either by the company or the authorized distributor at the time of getting the connection.
Yes there is an insurance policy that covers all consumers of LPG companies. The policy provides an insurance of Rs.40 Lakh in the event of accidents and Rs. 50/- Lakh for deaths due to cylinder blast.
Rule: According to a Citizen Charter available on the Indian Oil Corporation website, “All registered LPG consumers are covered under an insurance policy taken by the PSU Oil Companies. In case of an accident the customer must immediately inform the distributor in written. The distributor then informs the concerned oil company and the insurance company about the same. The distributor will offer assistance to the customer in completing the formalities of insurance claims arising out of the accident. All LPG distributors also have 3rd Party Liability Insurance to cover losses in the event of an accident. Meanwhile the HPCL website states that “All registered HP GAS consumers are insured against outcome of an accident at their registered premises due to LPG. Details are available with all the distributors and the Customer Service Cell. HPCL has also a Public Liability Insurance Policy.”
It means that if an accident is caused by cylinder explosion at the consumer’s premises a consumer can claim for damage of same. The distributor is obligated to offer assistance to the customer in completing the formalities of insurance claims arising out of the accident. While the LPG Company is bind to honor the request of customer.
Now it is a very important piece of information that we believe every LPG consumer should be made aware of.
1- However, due to NIL awareness levels, no claims are lodged against Domestic LPG explosions.
2- According to IOC Ltd Citizen Charter, the IOC distributor will offer assistance to the consumer in completing the formalities of insurance claims arising out of the accident.
Download Citizen Charter
3- HPCL website states all registered HP GAS consumers (having valid SV) are insured against outcome of an accident at their registered premises due to LPG. Details are available with all the distributors and Customer Service Cell In addition, HPCL has also taken a Public Liability Insurance Policy.
Citizen Charter by HPCL
News: In 2003, Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd announced a Rs 15 lakh insurance scheme for its domestic cooking gas (LPG) users to cover for loss of life and injuries due to an accident with an LPG cylinder. Over the years, the amount has increased to Rs40 lacs/-. The dealers have to pay the premium to the insurance companies.
However, due to NIL awareness levels, no claims are lodged against Domestic LPG explosions.
Rules: According to IOC Ltd Citizen Charter, the IOC distributor will offer assistance to the consumer in completing the formalities of insurance claims arising out of the accident.
Valid SV stands for Valid Subscription Voucher.
Must remember tips:
a- Check with your LPG distributor on the requisites for a valid insurance claim.
b- Use only Original accessories which are ISI approved.
c- Request your dealer to do the maintenance check every year.
d- Preserve the maintenance check receipt.
e- In case of death due to explosion of gas cylinder, the victim has to appeal in the court demanding compensation
f- Insurance agents said it is very easy to get the claim informs cops and gas agency, wait for survey by insurance officials and soon you will get the claim amount.
g- No gas company or insurance company will create awareness. The main challenge in claiming the insurance amount is that the evidence has to be preserved till the survey by insurance officials. In majority of the households, the scene of accident is immediately cleaned up, so that the routine life can go on.
Which are Petroleum/ LPG/PNG-
Public sector Companies who are supplying Domestic LPG in cylinder are as–
- Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. with their subsidiary company IBP (Indo Burma Petroleum).
- Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd.
- Bharat Petroleum Ltd.
- Reliance under the company “Mahanagar Gas Distributors Ltd.” in Mumbai & Gujarat is a private sector Company.
- Indraprastha Gas Ltd. (IGL) in Delhi Region is producing CNG by Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL).
- M/S. IGL is also responsible for running CNG filling stations and provides domestic cooking gas through Pipeline.
Must aware for:
– Complaint against domestic supply of PNG are negligible due to lack of knowledge.
– PNG complaints are mainly for delay in getting pipeline connection though the consumers have deposited their initial payment. The waiting period is enormous and not defined clearly.
– The average number of complaints received at NCH against irregular service and for other problems against LPG distributors are generally ranging from 350 to 500 per month.
Major complaints from the users of LPG:
– At the time of new connection, dealers are insisting that the customer must take various appliances (like gas stove at Dealers’ choice, Rubber hose and other allied equipment.)
– Delay in supplying gas cylinder is a chronic problem for all gas suppliers. Dealers are not entertaining the phone calls and not registering the customer’s booking.
– Gas cylinder is less in weight.
– Tedious formalities in booking a new gas connection.
– Refusal for registering complaints by the dealers.
Main complaints by PNG users:
– Abnormal delay in getting new connection.
– Billing problem.
– No appropriate complaint registering centre (CRC).
– Delay in attending complaints etc.
Advocacy: When the initiative took to link all the Customer care executives of PSU companies dealing with consumer grievances. The very poor responses were received from IOCL & BPCL. HPCL has provided a dedicated site (CMS- Complaint Management System) to log complaints of consumers for on line redressal instead of forwarding to the Nodal officer.
Redressal System: As per below-
1st Tier: PSU Oil Companies have provided their own network system to handle consumer grievance spread throughout the country. Each company has circulated their own IVRS which are applicable throughout all metro cities. State-wise Regional Customer care centers exist where grievances can be lodged. IGL has a 24 hrs customer care center. Emergency telephone nos. are provided by the agencies at various places.
2nd Tier: Complaint can be sent to the nodal officer of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) in the regulator in this area meant to pay attention to regulation for consumer complaints.
3rd Tier: As a last step to approach the Consumer Forum.
Government Proposal- Customers may not get cheaper cooking gas: The government may soon decide whether you actually need the subsidy on your cooking gas cylinder by drawing a line on who deserves it. In a bid to reduce expenditure and avoid wasteful outgo of fuel subsidy, the Centre is likely to further prune the eligibility criteria for consumers who actually need subsidies on cooking fuels – LPG and kerosene.
Presently a subsidy of Rs 300-350 is available on an LPG (cooking gas) cylinder. Top government sources revealed that while subsidies on LPG and kerosene will not be completely eliminated, a classification of the category of consumers who do not need subsidies is being carried out by the finance ministry.
Questions: 1- Which class of consumers actually needs subsidies on its consumption of cooking gas?
2- Should a family of three to four members which can afford to spend anywhere between Rs 4,000 to 5,000 on an average for eating out in a month be given the LPG (cooking gas) subsidy?