Insurers to speed up claims

MUMBAI, Oct 12:
Heads of four state-owned non-life insurers plan to meet in New Delhi on Monday to discuss how to speed up processing claims of flood victims in Jammu and Kashmir after a Supreme Court order on the same.
“CMDs of all four state-owned general insurance companies will hold an informal meeting in New Delhi on Monday to look into the Supreme Court order and discuss how to go about it,” a senior official of a non-life insurance company told requesting anonymity.
Heads of some private sector players may also attend the meeting, he added, without disclosing anything further.
The Supreme Court last Friday directed insurance companies to pay 50 per cent of insured amount for policies above Rs 25 lakh and 95 per cent for policies below Rs 25 lakh as interim relief to people of Jammu and Kashmir who lost their properties in the recent floods.
A bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu refused to interfere with J&K High Court order to companies to pay claims of flood-affected people and rejected their plea seeking one month to carry out the survey before settling the claims.
The companies are gearing up not only to expedite the claim settlement process, but also to liberalise the process of ensuring benefits of insurance policies to customers.
“I am yet to see the findings of the court findings. Still, I can only say that we are on the job as my company has already received 2,500 claims so far, the value of claims for which may run in Rs 300 crore. A few more claims are expected to come, still they will not be more than Rs 25 crore in value,” United India Insurance Chairman and Managing Director Milind Kharat told.
“We have already settled 200 out of 300 claims as received by us until now. We have got 35 surveyors in the flood-hit areas of the State and a deputy general manager has been deputed to Srinagar to expedite the process of claim settlement,” Kharat said.
“We have increased some limits for the ground surveyors in case of claims relating to J&K floods. In the normal process, claim worth up to Rs 20,000 is settled only after the surveyor’s report.
“However, in case of J&K floods related claims, we have increased this limit to Rs 50,000,” United India Insurance Chairman and Managing Director Milind Kharat said.
The four PSU general insurers namely United India, National, Oriental India and New India Insurance have together received a total of 10,000 claims from the region whose value amounts to Rs 1,000 crore, an insurance company official said.
“At National Insurance, we have received 3,000 claims and already made cheques valued at Rs 20 crore ready for disbursement to settle 500 claims.
“Also, we have deputed 108 surveyors to the flood-hit area, in addition to 30 surveyors already there,” National Insurance General Manager A K Singhal said.
“At our company, total estimated loss in J&K is around Rs 350 crore and total premium underwritten by us in that region last year was at Rs 100 crore,” he added. (PTI)

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