Insurance claims surge in quake aftermath

May 9, 2015-Insurance companies have received 6,000 earthquake-related claims as of Friday and the figure is expected to grow, the Insurance Board (IB) said on Friday. Most of the claims for compensation are related to property insurance while a few are related to accident, vehicle and life insurance.

IB Director Raju Raman Paudel said the insurers had reported that they were receiving “a significant number of claims” in the aftermath of the earthquake that rattled the country on April 25. “However, the total insured amount and claim settlement are yet to be confirmed”.

The earthquake has damaged more than 200,000 residential houses. The devastating 7.9 magnitude earthquake has claimed more than 7,900 lives as of Friday. “Since April 25, claims have been flowing in from the insured.”

Dip Prakash Pandey, chief executive director of Shikhar Insurance, a non-life insurer, said they received 750 claims in the last two weeks. “We expect the figure to swell for the next few weeks as rescue operations are still continuing,” he said. According to him, the company’s surveyors are busy assessing the actual damage caused by the tremor.

The insurance companies, however, are said to be not overly concerned as the vast numbers of earthquake affected people have not insured themselves or their properties. The IB does not have the actual figures related to property insurance.

According to the insurers, most of the homes in the housing colonies and apartment buildings are insured. Besides, a few homeowners who have taken loans from banks and financial institution have insured their properties. To fast-track claim settlement, the IB has eased the process and allowed insurers to hire foreign surveyors without its prior approval. Life insurers have been receiving a smaller number of claims compared to non-life insurance companies.

Vivek Jha, chief executive officer of Nepal Life Insurance, said they had received 24-25 claims worth Rs10-12.5 million so far. “Among the claims, we have settled a life insurance claim of a 12-year-old child from Narayanghat,” he said.

Jha said his company had mobilised all its agents in the earthquake-affected areas to identify insured victims. “As most of the potential claimants are still mourning the deaths of their family members, we expect the number of life insurance claims to rise after next week,” he said.

Published: 09-05-2015 09:53

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