After a powerful earthquake that rocked Assam and other parts of the northeast last week, general insurance companies began to receive claims, mostly in the property insurance segment.
The 6.4 magnitude earthquake rocked Assam on April 28. The epicenter of the earthquake was located in 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 dwellings, residential / hotel buildings and exhibition halls under fire and insurance policies against related risks, ”National Insurance Company chief executive officer Tajinder Mukherjee told FE. Tuesday.
For the public sector insurer National Insurance Company (NIC), the approximate amount of the claim varies from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 10 lakh 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 amount of claims for the entire industry due to this earthquake. We expect the industry claims count to be apparent to us by the end of the first week of May, ”said Sanjay Datta, Head of Underwriting, Claims and Reinsurance, ICICI Lombard General Insurance.
Speaking to FE, Datta said insurance claims started with around 20 claims reported to ICICI Lombard in the property insurance segment. “Almost all of the claims are 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, the latter has already commissioned experts to conduct investigations and assist in its 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 restricted. “We will closely monitor the situation and take steps for a speedy settlement,” Mukherjee said.
ICICI Lombard said that, as it will obtain inspections of the loss site primarily through virtual surveys, it does not anticipate that the ongoing pandemic will have a significant effect on its claims department. “Virtual surveys help us meet the deadlines required to resolve a claim and allow us to make the offer to resolve claims to customers within a short period of time,” added Datta.