Shelter in the Time of Storm

Insurers are encouraging policyholders to file claims digitally due to Irdai's appeal for quick payment of claims

Shelter in the Time of Storm
Insurance Claims in Time of Cyclones
Titlee Sen - 03 June 2021

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has issued guidelines to life, general, and standalone health insurance companies for speedy registration and settlement of eligible claims in states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, and West Bengal, to mitigate the hardship caused to the affected insured population by cyclones Tauktae and Yass.

Guidelines Given by IRDAI

In the context of the covid-19 outbreak, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has advised insurers to encourage policyholders to utilise electronic communication for communications, informing claims, and filing essential paperwork wherever feasible.

Insurance firms would be required to appoint a senior executive to serve as a nodal officer for the impacted states. All qualified claims will be received, processed, and settled under the supervision of the officer. The nodal official will make contact with the state government's chief secretary or the appropriate authority for follow-up.

General insurers must guarantee that all claims are promptly surveyed by employing a suitable number of surveyors, and that claim payments are made as soon as possible. Insurers will encourage policyholders to file claims via electronic communication and will employ digital methods to analyse claims.

General Insurance Claim Procedure

  1. Home Insurance

Home insurance policies cover both the structure and the contents of the home, allowing the policyholder to claim the cost of repairing the structure as well as furniture, electronics, clothing, and other items.

Call the insurance company's toll-free number to alert them of the situation. Other needed information, such as the policy number and claim details, should be provided. A surveyor is assigned to the case once the claim request has been registered with the firm. Provide all essential papers (completed claim form, building plan, bills/receipts, KYC papers, cancelled cheque leaf of your bank account for receiving claim) as well as the amount needed to move the case forward, such as pictures and other sources of loss.

The policyholder must include personal information as well as data about the harm in the claims form. The damage will be assessed by an insurance company assessor, and the claim amount will be determined. If the policyholder is dissatisfied with the insurer's loss assessment, he must request that the insurer examine the assessment before signing the discharge voucher for claim settlement.

  1. Vehicle Damage Insurance

If your car or bike has been damaged by natural disasters, you must notify your insurance as soon as possible so that they can assist you in minimising your losses and settling any qualifying claims. Customers benefit from a comprehensive auto insurance policy in the event of such disasters. Policyholders should contact their insurers as soon as possible following a disaster to file a claim. There are also dedicated hotline lines set up to expedite claim settlement requests.

You must electronically provide a copy of your insurance policy, as well as required papers such as your driver's licence, copy of your registration certificate, and so on, to your insurer as evidence.

Take photos and video of the damaged vehicle. Initiate the claim procedure by contacting your insurance. You may be requested to fill out forms or send the needed information, such as insurance details, accident information, and so on, depending on the insurer's method. They may require you to complete claim application forms and submit supporting documents such as a cancelled cheque, among other things. The number of papers required will vary depending on the severity of the damage and the insurance company's claim process. After a surveyor has inspected the damages, insurance will either repair or reimburse the amount.

  1. Life Insurance

The nominee of the late policyholder must contact the insurance provider and submit a claim form, death certificate, and original policy document for life insurance (most insurers will not insist on the original policy document if it is lost during the cyclone). If obtaining a death certificate proves challenging, the nominee can file a claim using a certificate of death from any local government authority or a post-mortem report. Insurers can also use the government's list of missing individuals or dead provided in the event of a hurricane or flood.

Original policy paperwork, attested copy or original death certificate issued by the local municipality, and Death claim application form are necessary for claiming life insurance. Other papers, such as a cancelled cheque and confirmation of identification, are required.

Recently, ICICI Lombard General Insurance had come up with measures to accelerate the process of property-related claims settlement arising from the aftermath of the cyclone. Here, the insurer has formed a panel of 15 survey firms from among their empanelled surveyors who will assist in servicing claims arising out of this cyclone.

Due to such breakdowns related to storms, connectivity issues might crop up. In such situations, the on-ground survey team will assist customers in the quick redressal of the claim.

When customers are short of documentation, surveyors will use their best judgement to assess the losses sustained.


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