New Delhi: With floods affecting large swathes of the country, including states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Bihar and Assam, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), through a recent missive, has instructed the insurance companies to lessen the hardships of their affected customers by expediting their flood claims settlement.

What are IRDAI’s instructions?

Through the missive, the insurers have been asked to expedite the claims settlement process by appointing nodal officers in the affected regions. Further, they have also been asked to set up and provide toll-free numbers and survey claims filed by the victims for quick disbursal of their payments.

Additionally, the missive asks the insurers to provide adequate strength for the surveys and launch awareness drives in the flood-hit areas.

In case of difficulty to obtain death certificates, IRDAI has advised the insurers to follow the process followed during the 2014 Jammu and Kashmir floods and 2015 Tamil Nadu floods.

What are the insurance companies doing?

The insurance companies have started sending SMS to their customers in the flood-affected areas. They have also given some concession in the claim process. Also, they will not levy any charge except for late information.

What to remember while filing claims?

The policyholders should inform the insurers about damages, either by writing or calling on the toll-free number as early as possible. In case of a natural calamity, this should be done at the earliest as any delay may lead to further consequential damage, allowing the insurer to deny payment.

Also, in case of natural calamities like floods, the insurance companies send advisories which should be taken note of to avoid further damage to assets which might result in denial of payment.

If you can’t find your policy documents, inform your insurer about the same. They can help find your policy by submitting some basic details.

However, if after all this a delay still takes place, inform the insurer about its reason. Most insurers accommodate the claim if the reason is genuine.

What do the insurers say?

According to insurers, it might take some time to fully assess the damage caused by the floods. However, they say that since Odisha’s Fani storm resulted in claims between Rs 250 crores-300 crores, every flood-hit state can have an insured claim of up to Rs 200 crores.