After a powerful earthquake rocked Assam and other parts of the northeast last week, general insurance companies started receiving claims, mostly in the property insurance segment.
The 6.4 Richter scale earthquake rocked Assam on April 28. The epicenter of the earthquake was located at Dhekiajuli in the district of Sonitpur. The tremors, which were felt in northeast India, parts of Bihar and West Bengal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, damaged several buildings and roads in Assam.
“From Assam as well as other northeastern states, we have started to receive complaints. The number of claims received to date is 28. All claims received are due to damage to homes, residential / hotel buildings and exhibition halls under fire and related risk insurance policies National Insurance Company chief executive officer Tajinder Mukherjee told FE on Tuesday.
For the public sector insurer National Insurance Company (NIC), the approximate amount of claims ranges from 6 lakh to 10 rupees as it is mainly residential building losses. “Catastrophic claims are usually dealt with by industry as a priority,” Mukherjee said.
“It is too early to comment on the approximate claim size for the industry as a whole as a result of this earthquake. We expect the industry claim size numbers to be visible to us by the end of the first week of May, ”said Sanjay Datta, Manager – Underwriting, Claims & Reinsurance, ICICI Lombard General Insurance.
Speaking to FE, Datta said the claim claims were accepted with around 20 claims reported to ICICI Lombard in the property insurance segment. “Almost all of the claims come from the retail segment with an average value per claim of 10 lakh. We expect more complaints to be reported over the next few days, ”he said.
According to him, for claims reported to the private general insurer, he has already appointed surveyors to conduct investigations and assist him in their recommendations for settling claims for losses suffered by customers.
As to whether the ongoing pandemic in any way would delay the settlement of claims for the quake, the NIC said there could be problems in places where there is a total lockdown as the move surveyors would be limited. “We will closely monitor the situation and take steps for a speedy resolution,” Mukherjee said.
ICICI Lombard said that since inspections of the claims site are carried out primarily through virtual investigations, it does not anticipate that the ongoing pandemic will have a significant effect on claims service. “Virtual surveys help us reduce the time it takes to resolve a claim and allow us to make the claim settlement offer to customers within a short period of time,” added Datta.