Money & Banking

Kerala floods: Insurance claims seen at ₹600-1,000 cr

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on August 21, 2018

An aerial view of the flooding in Aluva. As heavy rain continued to lash Kerala, and water levels in reservoirs rose, all the shutters of the Idukki dam were opened on Friday   -  PTI

Insurance firms set up special camps for the speedy settlement of claims

As flood waters recede in Kerala, insurers have begun work on processing of claims and are sending out personnel to man special counters.

Although claims have just begun to trickle in, the insurance industry expects the total claims to be less than ₹1,000 crore; in fact, at close to ₹600 crore.

State-run general insurers have already set up special camps and are set to meet on Wednesday to finalise uniform guidelines for claim processing in the State. The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has relaxed documentation for filing of claims, including doing away with death certificates, and has delayed premium payment fees.

“LIC will accept a certificate from any authorised government official or a proof that the claimant has received ex-gratia from government as alternate proof of death. In deserving cases, a certificate issued by the agent concerned will also suffice, subject to certain conditions or a confirmed development officer can also certify the death,” it said.

It has also set up a special team for speedy settlement of claims from Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and other policies. Industry sources said it is difficult to get an exact estimate of the total claims at present. They believe that most claims will come for vehicles and property such as residences and shops, and for health insurance in the general insurance sector, apart form life insurance claims.

Incessant rains in Kerala and neighbouring districts of Karnataka, which are being seen as the worst since 1924, has left 223 dead as of today and forced over one million out of their homes

“Intimation of losses and claims have just started to come in, but it seems that the losses may be lower than that during the Chennai floods,” said Easwara Narayanan, Chief Operating Officer, Future Generali India Insurance. Floods in Chennai in 2015 had led to total claims of about ₹4,800-5,000 crore.

“Compared to Chennai, the impact on industrial clusters is lower,” noted an executive with an insurance company, adding that the main insurance claims will come from vehicle and sea ports and from Kochi airport, which has been partially damaged by the incessant rains.

Cashless settlement

Insurers are also working on cashless settlement of claims, as well as processing of claims without the mandatory inspection.

“In keeping with Max Bupa’s 30 minutes cashless claims promise, we will ensure that all claims from Kerala are given immediate attention and all the eligible claims are processed on a cashless basis and on priority,” said Ashish Mehrotra, MD and CEO, Max Bupa Health Insurance.

Private insurers have also simplified documentation requirement for claims, and have said that a municipal death certificate, or death certified by any competent government authority like local government of Kerala, armed forces, government hospitals or police authority, will suffice.

“Death and disability claims for customers from these States will be processed on priority, and the company will make best efforts to settle maximum claims within 72 hours of claim registration,” said Bajaj Allianz Life.

Published on August 21, 2018

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