Kerala floods: Insurers asked to expeditiously settle claims

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Mumbai | Published: August 18, 2018 12:30 AM

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has issued guidelines on settlement of insurance claims of victims of floods in Kerala.

An aerial view shows partially submerged houses at a flooded area in Kerala. (Reuters)

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has issued guidelines on settlement of insurance claims of victims of floods in Kerala. The southern state has been devastated by the worst floods in nearly 100 years, with landslides and flash floods killing more than 150 people and displacing thousands.

The regulator has asked all the life insurance companies to extend every possible facilitation in quick and timely settlement of life insurance claims. Irdai in its guidelines said, “Initiate immediate action to ensure that all reported claims are registered and eligible claims are settled expeditiously.” It also said that, simplified process including relaxations in the usual requirements wherever feasible may be considered to expedite claims settlement.

Despite the flood situation in the state for the last few days, insurers are still unsure on how much claims would come in. Sanjay Datta, chief-underwriting and claims at ICICI Lombard General Insurance, said, “There has been no intimation of claims so far from Kerala because even now people are being evacuated from the flood-hit areas. We will get the clarity of number of claims in the next three-four days.” He added that claims might arise from segments such as motor or factories.

Irdai also stated that, with regard to claims involving loss of life, where difficulty is experienced in obtaining a death certificate due to non-recovery of body etc., the process followed in the case of Tamil Nadu floods in 2015 may be considered. However, officials from the insurance industry say that claims will be lower from Kerala compared to Tamil Nadu.

Insurance companies have received around 50,000 claims amounting to over Rs 5,0000 crore on account of the severe floods in Tamil Nadu that led to destruction of properties and claimed many human lives. Insurers suffered losses of over Rs 4,000 crore in two natural disasters — J&K floods and cyclone Hudhud in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha — that wreaked havoc in 2014.

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