The devastation in Kerala due to the floods, worst in 100 years, have already generated over Rs 100 crore of claims for the nonlife insurers though economic losses are estimated to be over Rs 19,500 crore.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi after undertaking aerial a survey of flood-hit areas has announced an interim relief aid of Rs 500 crore. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has also announced an aid of Rs 10 crores for the flood ravaged region.
Modi also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh per person to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF), a Prime Minister's Office (PMO) statement said.
"The prime minister announced a financial assistance of Rs 500 crore to the state. This is in addition to Rs 100 crore announced by Home Minister Rajnath Singh on August 12," it said.
"As per the initial estimate, the state has suffered a loss of Rs19,512 crore. The actual loss can be ascertained after the water recedes in the affected areas. The state has sought an immediate assistance of Rs 2,000 crore," said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan,
Claims amounting to Rs 100 cr have already been reported to the general insurers.A lot of claims are pouring in from the retail side particularly from the motor segment. Crop claims are yet to be reported, said sources.
These are initial figures and likely to go up significantly in the days ahead,’’ said sources in the public sector companies.
Under the Mission for the Integrated Development of Horticulture, farmers would be provided assistance for replantation of damaged horticulture crops.
The non-life insurers at the instance of General Insurance Council are meeting on Monday through video conferencing to take stock of the situation. Regional managers or the zonal chiefs of the general insurance companies will be attending this meeting, said AV Girija Kumar, CMD, Oriental Insurance.
“We are monitoring the Situation in Kerala on a regular basis to ensure that there should be now inconveniemce for the people in the matter of claim settlementThe number of claims may be huge,but amountwise, it may not nbe that big as most of the claims pouring in are from retail segment,'' explained Girija Kumar.
Among the public sector general insurance companies, Chennai based United India Insurance(UII) has the largest exposure in Kerala and Oriental Insurance Company has already a claims worth of over Rs 5 crore, with majority of claims from motor segment, including one aviation claim.
General insurers are also expecting substantial claims out of PMSBY(Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana) as the death toll in the flood-hit state has jumped to 324.
Meanwhile,all non-life insurers, including standalone health insurers, have been asked by the insurance regulator IRDAI to submit information relating to insurance claims in Kerala on a daily basis.
The IRDAI has asked the insurers to initiate immediate steps for quick registration and disposal of claims in Kerala.
“The recent floods have caused immense loss to life and property in Kerala. There is an urgent need for us to take immediate steps to mitigate the hardships of the affected insured population by ensuring immediate registration and settlement of eligible claims,” a directive issued by member (non-life) P.J. Joseph said.
Detailing the measures needed, the IRDAI asked general and health insurers to nominate a senior officer to act as the nodal officer for the State for coordinating and expediting the settlement of all eligible claims reported. It also directed the companies to ensure that all claims are surveyed immediately and claim payments/on account payments are disbursed early.
The IRDAI directed that adequate number of surveyors be engaged in the affected districts and extensive awareness campaigns launched about the measures.
The Finance ministry has asked public sector general insurance companies and LIC to take immediate action and nominate and nominate a senior nodal officer in Kerala for expediting settlement of all the claims reported in flood-ravaged Kerala.
“Nodal officers may be appointed in each affected district to liaise with the district administration,” the Ministry said in a statement.
In another communication, on guidelines on settlement of life insurance claims, the IRDAI said 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 Chennai floods in 2015 may be considered.”
The regulator wanted the insurance companies to consider a “suitably simplified process/procedure, including relaxations in the usual requirements wherever feasible… to expedite claims settlement.”
The life insurers need to furnish details related to the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) claims data separately, said IRDAI.
North and central Kerala has been worst hit by the floods. Pathanamthitta district in Central Kerala has been the worst affected in the last 24 hours as thousands of people — students among others were trapped in their homes in Ranni, Aranmula and Kozhencherry.
The NDRF has evacuated over 10,000 people from the heavy rains and flood waters affected areas of Kerala till now as it said it has launched its biggest-ever relief and rescue operation in the country to date.
Till now, 42 Navy, 16 Army, 28 Coast Guard and 39 National Disaster Relief Force teams were engaged in rescue operations. Over 3 lakh people are living in relief camps across the state and a red alert was sounded in all 14 Kerala districts. All three wings of the armed forces have been pressed into action for a massive rescue operation.