Big silence from insurance industry after cyclone Michaung flooded Chennai

Chennai, Dec 7 (IANS): The Indian insurance industry, including the sectoral regulator, is strangely silent on helping the policyholders affected by cyclone Michaung on the steps to be taken to prefer a claim – loss of property and life.

Owing to the cyclone Michaung, Chennai got huge rainfall resulting in the city getting flooded and the water inundated residential, commercial and manufacturing premises.

This has resulted in heavy losses like damage to vehicles, household properties, factory machines and others.

"It is strange that the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and the insurers remain silent this time around even days after the cyclone had passed," a senior industry official told IANS preferring anonymity.

Earlier during any natural disasters, accidents, IRDAI had issued directions to the insurers on the modalities for processing claims, accepting the claim documents and also the mode of claims intimation. The insurers would be directed to set up a special cell with dedicated phone numbers for claims intimation. “None that has happened this time around," the official added.

Earlier, the four public sector insurers would be the lead coordinating agency in the four regions when a natural disaster strikes.

At that time they were the major players. But now the private insurers have overtaken some public sector insurers in terms of market share and they are conspicuously silent now.

Going by the past experience, the insurers will be laden with motor insurance claims. It would be followed by claims from manufacturers (machinery, stock damage), commercial establishments and others.

"The penetration of home insurance covering household articles, consumer durables, valuables and others is very low. Even employees of insurers do not take that policy. So individuals will have to bear the brunt of their personal losses," the insurance official added.

On the other hand, vehicle manufacturers have started issuing statements as to their support for servicing the flood damaged vehicles.



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Title: Big silence from insurance industry after cyclone Michaung flooded Chennai

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