Money & Banking

IRDAI’s proposed hike in self-assessment of losses to simplify claim-filing for customers: Industry players

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on November 07, 2019 Published on November 07, 2019

Representative image   -  istock.com/ninitta

Insurance companies believe that the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India’s proposed hike in the limits for self-assessment of damages will benefit customers, who may now be able to report damages of higher values on their own without having to wait for days for a surveyor.

The proposed changes will apply not only to motor damages but also to other losses such as fire, marine and home insurance claims.

The exposure draft of the IRDAI (Insurance Surveyors and Loss Assessors) (Amendment) Regulations 2019, which was released recently has proposed hiking the loss limits for appointment of surveyors.

For filing of motor insurance claims, it has proposed that policy holders can report claims up to Rs 75,000 against the current ceiling of Rs 50,000. For claims other than motor insurance, IRDAI has proposed a threshold of Rs 1.5 lakh against the current Rs 1 lakh.

Roopam Asthana, CEO and Wholetime Director, Liberty General Insurance, said that this is a long pending correction in view of the inflation in labour and component costs in the case of motor insurance. “Surveyors are required for managing complex claims and simpler or low-ticket size claims should be left to the insurance companies to handle directly with their customers,” he said.

Bisheshwari Singh, Principal Officer, Universal Sompo General Insurance, also called it a customer-friendly move and said the threshold could be even higher.

“In my opinion the requirement of IRDAI licensed surveyor for motor should be a minimum of Rs 1 lakh and for others Rs 2 lakh. Due to inflation, prices of parts (components) of motor vehicles have increased. Even simple losses like breakage of windscreen, side mirror, and bumper, among others, could cost more than Rs 50,000,” he noted.

Similarly, small losses due to fire or burglary are assessed on estimated basis, and do not require any technical expertise, he pointed out, adding that companies have sufficient database and have started using artificial intelligence (AI)-based tools to settle such losses promptly.

To ease the waiting period for surveyors to reach and assess the damage, many general insurers have launched apps for making motor insurance claims, where the policyholder can take photographs of the damage to the vehicle and send these directly to the insurance company.

“This is especially required in smaller cities where often surveyors are busy. These apps help in faster processing of claims so that the customer can get the repaired vehicle quickly,” said an executive with a private sector general insurer.

Surveyors

The IRDAI had set up a working group on surveyors and loss assessors. “The profession of survey and loss assessment in insurance is a specialised field of work which is instrumental in the judicious settlement of claims,” the group had noted.

The proposed regulations have also dealt with pre-licensing training and examination of students studying to become surveyors and modifying the duties and responsibilities of surveyors, amongst other things.

“Claim payment is the moment of truth and the insurance surveyor and loss assessor plays a pivotal role in assessing the losses in case of general insurance claims,” the IRDAI has noted.

Published on November 07, 2019
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