Even as the massive floods in Kerala, worst in100 years. has been declared a calamity of severe nature by the Home Ministry, the insurance industry is expecting around Rs1200 crore of claims.
While non-life industry is expecting claims of over Rs1000 crore, life insurance industry is likely to see claims worth of around Rs 200 crores.
''We are expecting Rs100-200 crores of claims from Kerala floods,'' said VK Sharma.chairman.LIC. on Monday
The floods have caused an estimated $3 billion in damage but the bill is likely to rise as the scale of devastation becomes clearer.
Majority of claims for te general insurers are pouring from segments like motor, property and crops, said sources at a PSU general insurance company.
AV Girija Kumar, CMD, Oriental Insurnace Company, along with other chiefs of public sector general insurers, had a video conferencing on Monday to discuss the claim settlement issues. Another meeting of general managers(technical) of PSU general insurers will also take place on Wednesday in Chennai to take stock of the emerging situation, said sources
Naional Insurance Company NIC)itself is expecting Rs 100 crore of claims and has already received intimatios for Rs 50 crore of claims.said NIC sources.
"Keeping in view the intensity and magnitude of the floods and landslides in Kerala, this is a calamity of a severe nature for all practical purposes," a home ministry official said.
At least 370 people have lost their lives in the rains, floods and landslides in Kerala where over 9 lakh displaced people have been sheltered in 5,645 relief camps.
The Centre informed the Kerala high court that there was no legal provision to declare a disaster as a national calamity, amid demands for declaring the floods as a national disaster. In an affidavit, the Centre said it has treated the flood situation in Kerala as a ‘Disaster of Serious Nature’ and has categorised the same as ‘L3 Level of Disaster’ under the National Disaster Management Guidelines.
“It is submitted that there is no provision in statutes or manuals to declare a disaster as a 'national calamity', howsoever big it may be. It is only an expression used in general parlance,” the Centre said
However, in a huge relief to Keralites, rain has kept away from major parts of the state hit by floods and landslides that have killed over 200 people since August 8. According to the Indian Meteorological Department, “heavy rainfall” is expected only in Kozhikode, Kannur and Idduki districts over the next four days. While the situation seems to be easing up in Kerala, neighbouring states Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are also reeling under floods.
Nearly 9 lakh people are now lodged in shelter camps in Kerala. As rescue operations wound down to its final stages, the government began to shift focus to ensuring relief to affected persons, and to the rebuilding of civic infrastructure damaged by the floods.
However, even as water recedes from major areas, authorities are preparing to deal with a possible outbreak of water-borne and air-borne diseases. “The focus of the state government will be to bring life back to normalcy even as rescuing the people stranded in remote areas continues. Rehabilitation of the affected will be taken up with the cooperation of the local people,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said after a review meeting on Sunday.
The biggest challenges immediately ahead are cleaning of the flood-hit houses, rehabilitation, and prevention of water-borne diseases.
Officials say many houses are irreparably damaged across the state, and have warned residents against trying to return to them.
Landslides triggered by the torrential downpours have wiped out entire villages. Some 350,000 people have been left homeless and taken shelter in relief camps.
Roads and 134 bridges have been damaged, isolating remote areas in the hilly districts of the state which are worst affected.
With power and communication lines down, thousands remained trapped in towns and villages cut off by the floods amid growing shortages of food and water.
Panic-stricken flood victims have been making appeals on social media for help, saying they cannot get through to rescue services.
In Mala, villagers in desperate wait had to improvise as the floodwaters rose.
Jobin K John, a local rescuer, showed pictures of locals rowing through the murky brown waters using kitchen pots as rafts to reach their stricken neighbours.
"They used these huge cooking pots to rescue around 100 people in the first wave of flash floods, as ..
"They used these huge cooking pots to rescue around 100 people in the first wave of flash floods, as no one was prepared (for a rescue)," he told AFP.
Mobile phone operators have been offering free data and SMS messages across Kerala since Saturday to assist with distress calls.
The World Health Organisation has also sent a 13-member team to the flood-hit state to oversee efforts to counter any epidemic outbreak.
IndiGo today said it would operate flights from the Kochi naval base from Tuesday, as domestic carriers look to provide more air connectivity to flood-ravaged Kerala.
As rescue operations in Kerala on Monday entered its final stages, the biggest challenge before the authorities in the flood aftermath turned into managing the over 5,500 relief camps housing more than 7,00,000 people across the state.
The weather looked promising with no major rainfall expected in the state. Many people though continued to wait for rescue to arrive in several parts of Ernakulam district and interior Chengannur in Alappuzha district.
Rains in the catchment areas of the big dams in Idukki district have also subsided. The outflow of water from both the Mullaperiyar and Idukki dams have been reduced.