The devastating Kerala flooding has left a million homeless and caused massive destructions to property, home, motor vehicles, etc. The flood water has ebbed and now another real struggle has begun for the people suffering – the struggle to restore their lives. This won’t be as easy as just stating it through straight words taking into account the enormous damage that the giant flood has caused. Presently, people are putting all their efforts on getting back their lives together, by joining every single piece all over again with hopes of overcoming the current obstacles.
After the flood, people of Kerala are slowly going back to their homes and evaluating various damages or losses to their vehicle, property and other belongings. With the passing of days, the amount of damage is expected to go up. In an endeavor to alleviate the adversity of the affected insured population of the Kerala state, the insurance regulator has asked the insurance companies to make the claims process more efficient. On the other hand, it’s very much essential to intimate your insurer as soon as possible in order to get your Life, Motor, Home or Property insurance claims settled.
Inform the Insurer at Your Earliest
You must not neglect the necessity to intimate your insurance provider as soon as possible in terms initiating the process of filing the claims. You can let your insurer know about your loss or damages in writing, through mail or by calling on their toll free number. It’s advisable to evade any sort of delay due to the lack of original papers and so on. You must reach out to the insurance company directly or through your agent and file the claims application. You can also submit your claims documents in writing along with an acknowledgement copy.
You can also register your claim and obtain the claims registration number by simply calling the insurer on their helpline. Please note that in case you insurance papers or documents go missing, the very first thing you are required to do is intimate your insurance company or aggregator via call and tell them about the loss of policy documents. In general, a claim must be ideally filed within 7 days, but in such circumstances where your policy document is lost, the insurance companies can extend the deadlines for registering claims.
The insurance companies have already been asked by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) to offer quick registration and disposal of claims for anyone affected by the floods in Kerala. The procedure of filing claims is more or less similar for most insurance companies. Find out below how motor, life and home insurance claims can be filed with the insurance companies.
Life Insurance Claim
Various Life Insurance Companies in India are working towards providing easy and effective solutions for claims registrations and claims settlement. Hence, the time it takes to settle life insurance claims is being brought down. As per Indian Evidence Act, if a person goes missing, the claim can be settled only after a waiting period of 7 years as of the date of filing the FIR. But in the event of natural disasters like floods, this process is waived off. The obligatory condition of the death certificate submission is not taken into account. LIC will accept a certificate from any authorized government official or a proof that the claimant has received ex-gratia from government as alternate proof of death.
A certificate issued by the concerned agent will also be sufficient, in certain cases, subject to certain conditions. A confirmed development officer can also certify the death. In accordance to these, LIC has got rid of the claim investigations, irrespective of the duration of the policy. In addition, in ongoing policies, LIC has also waived off the late fee on premium due for 30 days from the date of the declaration of calamity. However, the actual formalities and requirement may be different across insurers.
Various life insurance companies have issued a list of the documents required to process the claim:
- Municipal Death Certificate or Death Certified by any competent Government authority like Local Government of Kerala / Police Authority / Armed Forces / Government Hospitals / Municipal Record showing death due to Flood
- Completely filled Death Claim Form
- Claimant ID, bank account details and residence proof to make sure claims are paid to the correct beneficiary
- Photo ID Proof of Nominee / Beneficiary
Motor Insurance Claim
First of all, do not start the engine of your car, specifically if it is already standing in a waterlogged area or condition. In the event of flooding, the comprehensive car insurance policy which covers both own damage and third party liability, may not be sufficient, unless one is careful enough. The damage to the engine is covered under the basic car insurance policy. However, the car insurance policy will not offer any coverage for the engine, if the driver tries to start the engine of the vehicle in a waterlogged condition and damages it. This is due to the fact that the basic car insurance policy does not cover any consequential damage or loss.
To file claim on your motor insurance policy, you will be required to provide your insurance company with the basic details such as name, phone number and they will give you the policy details. To fetch further policy details, the basic details like vehicle number, vehicle registration number, mobile no. etc can be shared with the insurance company. After the registration of your vehicle insurance claim is done, you must wait for further instructions from the insurance company since the vehicle may be towed to the nearest garage and this process might take some time.
Home Insurance Claim
Unlike in case of thefts, filing an FIR is not necessary when property is damaged due to floods. Any damage to the structure of the house and the contents inside due to any specified natural and manmade calamities comprising flood and inundation is covered under home insurance policy.
You will be required to register the home insurance claim with name of the policyholder, PAN, date of birth, etc and provide the insurer with the degree of damage, detailed particulars of the amount of the damage or loss together with such explanations and proof to validate the claim since it could be required by insurer. Retrieve the policy details from the insurance company in case of home insurance claims. The assessor, thereafter, is sent by the insurance company to assess the damage and the value will be derived accordingly.
Directive from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India
Previous week IRDAI had issued guidelines regarding the settlement of insurance claims by Kerala flood victims. Insurance companies have been asked to set off immediate steps for the quick claims registration and claims disposal. IRDAI has also instructed the insurance companies that if the death certificate is difficult to obtain due to the non-recovery of the boy etc in case of death claims, the process which was followed in the case of Jammu and Kashmir floods (Notification of Ministry of Home Affairs, GoI,No. 1/12/2014-VS (CRS) dated 12.09.2014), which was also followed in the case of Tamil Nadu flood as well, may be considered.
IRDAI is further keeping a close eye on the claim settlements. Insurance companies are also being asked to share the progress report on the settled claims for the state of Kerala at the following Email Ids: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com