Due to Covid-19 pandemic, policyholders are being encouraged to use electronic communication for correspondence while intimating the claim and filing relevant documents
After cyclone Amphan wrecked havoc on life and property in parts of West Bengal and Odisha and cyclone Nisarga in parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat, respectively, the insurance regulator instructed insurers to take immediate steps to mitigate the hardships of the affected insured people by ensuring immediate registration and settlement of eligible claims.
Home and vehicle insurance policyholders must intimate the damage caused by the cyclone to property, durables, vehicles, etc., to the insurance company by either calling the zonal office, or toll-free number or through a mail. The policyholder can also inform the agent or submit the claims documents in writing to the local insurance office. In case the policyholder is not able to locate the insurance policy, he should intimate the company or the agent. The policyholder must be aware of the terms and conditions of the policy, claim procedure, and the claim amount he is entitled to or a deceased relative held on his life or property.
Claims instruction by Irdai
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has instructed insurance companies to nominate a senior officer who would act as a nodal officer for the affected states who would be coordinating the receipt, processing, and settlement of all eligible claims. The details of offices/ special camps set up for the purpose will have to be publicised through the company’s website, media and through state government channels to enable filing of claims. The regulator has directed that all claims are surveyed immediately, adequate number of surveyors are engaged and claim payments are disbursed at the earliest With the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, the regulator has urged insurers to encourage policyholders to use electronic communication wherever possible for correspondence while intimating the claim and filing all the relevant documents.
Home insurance claims
A home insurance policy will cover natural calamities such as earthquake, flood, cyclone, fire, and man-made incidents like robbery. Home insurance policies cover both building and household goods. A policyholder can claim the cost of repairing the damage in the structure of the building and furniture, electronic goods, clothing, etc. In the claims form, the policyholder must give personal details such as name, address, etc., and give details of the damage. An assessor from the insurance company will assess the damage and the claims amount will be fixed.
Ideally, one must keep all the home items as it is after the cyclone or flood for the loss assessor to inspect the affected site or the damaged property. If the policyholder is not satisfied with the assessment of loss made by the insurer, then he must insist that the insurance company review the assessment before signing the discharge voucher for settlement of claims.
A policyholder must always read the fine print of a home insurance policy which mentions all the exclusions from the cover. Always choose the right sum insured after assessing all your contents. An under-insured cover will not be of much help and you have to bear the financial burden yourself in case of any calamity.
Motor insurance claims
If a policyholder has a comprehensive motor insurance policy, then damage caused by cyclone, flood will be covered. If the car was submerged under water, do not start the engine as the insurance company will not pay for any losses if the owner tries to start the engine of the vehicle in a waterlogged condition and damages it. The policyholder should ideally take photograph of the vehicle submerged in water and show that to the surveyor while filing the claim. Under the comprehensive policy, the entire cost for all mechanical work will be covered except the damage to plastic parts, upholstery, etc. To file the motor insurance claim, the policyholder must inform the insurer with name, phone number and the policy details. After the claim is filed, then the surveyor will visit and assess the damage. The insurance company will get the vehicle towed to a network garage for the repair and cashless claims.