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Bangalore, July 31

BAJAJ Allianz General Insurance Company Ltd (BAGICL) has received claims for at least 10,000 motor vehicles after the recent floods in Mumbai.

Speaking to newspersons here, Mr Kamesh Goyal, Chief Executive Officer of BAGICL, said that more industrial risk claims from Maharashtra's industrial belt, in Bhiwandi, Taloja and Panvel, are yet to come. Surveys are already underway to assess the impact of the floods, he said.

He said that these claims are expected to start within the next few days and are likely to impact the balance sheet of the company during the current financial year.

Mr Goyal said motor claims would have to be met directly from the company, unlike the industrial risks that are supported by reinsurance cover. Besides, he said the company also had a 2 per cent share in the ONGC rig that was destroyed by the fire last week.

Despite the large claims, Mr Goyal said that the company would not be requiring any immediate large capital infusion. This was because motor insurance was not loss-making contrary to the industry trends, he said.

However, he added, both partners were prepared to infuse more capital into the company as and when required. BAGICL is currently capitalised at Rs 183 crore.

The additions to capital came mostly from internal generation of resources since the company has not paid any dividend to its equity holders.

Underwriting profits, during the last financial year, he said was Rs 37.6 crore and another Rs 40 crore of the profits were contributed by investment income resulting in a profit before tax of Rs 77 crore, he said. He said that the company was able to make profits since inception, despite settling claims for as much as Rs 444.07 crore, he added.

He said that even in medical insurance, the company was able to contain claims through its HAT (Health Administration Team) mechanism. This meant that the company has a panel of medical specialists to assess the claims.

HAT, he said, was superior to the third party administration mechanism currently being adopted by most of the general insurers in the country. During the last financial year, the company had grown by 80 per cent, against the industry average of 12 per cent. Premium income during the period was Rs 857 crore. This year also the company hoped to grow the premium income by at least 40 per cent from the previous year's level, he added.

He said that the company was pitching in for all the major risk business in energy, infrastructure and aviation sectors. BAGICL is already one of the co-insurers in the Bangalore international airport project, which has gone into financial closure. The sum assured for phase one of the airport project is Rs 850 crore, he said.

Bajaj Allianz is a joint venture between global insurer Allianz and the Bajaj group.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 1, 2005)
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