KATHMANDU, Oct 31: Non-life insurance companies have been too slow to settle insurance claims made for damages incurred in recent floods in several Tarai districts.
Data compiled by Beema Samiti, the insurance regulatory authority of the country, shows that non-life insurance companies have settled only 43 claims and provided compensation worth Rs 24.2 million. They have received 615 claims worth Rs 2.11 billion.
Similarly, settlement of claims related to agriculture and cattle insurance is not also satisfactory even though it has already been two and half months since floods created havoc in several Tarai districts. Non-life companies have paid compensation worth only Rs 2.3 million against claims made for Rs 35 million, according to the Beema Samiti.
Officials of the Beema Samiti say that they have received complaints from the flood victims regarding delay in settlement of insurance claims. “We are following up with insurance companies about the delay in settlement of claims made by the victims,” Shreeman Karki, acting executive director of the Beema Samiti, told Republica. “They have told us that a number of claims in many cases have been very unusual and they will provide compensation after making the assessment of the real loss by surveyors,” he added.
In some instances, the claim toward agriculture and livestock insurance has been for the full damage, Karki said. “Insurance companies claim that such damage should be only partial, meaning the loss is lower,” he added.
Karki also pointed out claim from some victims whose policy doesn't include losses from floods.
According to the Beema Samiti, there are 134 motor insurance claims for the damages in flood and landslides. Insurance companies have settled only 12 such claims so far.
“It seems that there is some delay. But insurance companies say that it is also due to lack of documents from victims like invoice of repairs of vehicles damaged in the flood,” said Karki.
Beema Samiti officials say that they are still compiling life insurance claims and their settlements by life insurance companies.
According to an estimate of the Ministry of Agricultural Development, 64,000 hectares of standing crops were destroyed, while 69,617 livestock were killed by severe floods in mid-August which affected over 1.7 million people and one-third of the country. The damage to agriculture sector alone is estimated at Rs 8 billion.