As floodwaters have started to recede in parts of Kerala, insurance companies expect claims from the affected people to cross Rs 1,000 crore. On Monday, the Centre declared the deluge as a ‘calamity of severe nature’.
So far, the general insurance companies have received claims of around Rs 200-250 crore.
Kerala has been devastated by worst floods in nearly 100 years, with landslides and flash floods killing more than 200 as of Tuesday and forced over one million out of their homes.
Officials in the industry say that four public sector insurers – The New India Assurance, National Insurance, Oriental Insurance and United India Insurance – have collectively received claims of around Rs 150 crore till Tuesday.
AV Girija Kumar, chairman and managing director of Oriental Insurance, said: “It is a little early to predict the quantum of claims that might come as claims are still coming in large numbers. We have received claims for fire insurance, but large number of claims are coming from the motor insurance.” He also added that the insurer has received around 230 claims amounting to over Rs 25 crore.
Officials from New India Assurance said they have received around 160 claims amounting to over `15-20 crore. “Even for us, large claims are coming only from the motor segment and a small portion of home policy. We expect claims to increase once the water level reduces,” said a senior officer from New India Assurance. United India Insurance and National Insurance collectively have got claims of around Rs 100-120 crore, said an official.
Life insurers would see claims of around Rs 200 crore in the wake of the Kerala floods, according to an official.
Apart from motor insurance, claims can also come for home insurance. “Around 50,000 home insurance policies have been sold by general insurance companies in Kerala. So, we expect claims arising from this segment also. While other segments where claims could arise are agriculture and small and medium enterprises (SMEs),”said a senior officer of a private insurance company, which has a strong presence in south India.
To ensure a quick claim process, technical heads of the four public sector insurers will meet on Wednesday to align the existing guidelines and make suitable adjustments to fit into the requirements and context of the floods.