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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Uttarakhand floods: Life insurance firms looking at Rs. 1,000-cr tab

Mahua Venkatesh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 24, 2013
First Published: 00:38 IST(24/6/2013) | Last Updated: 01:06 IST(24/6/2013)

The rising death toll in Uttarakhand could lead to life insurance claims of about R1,000 crore, though claims are yet to be made, say insurance companies, which are putting in place fast-track mechanisms to speed up claim settlements.

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While analysts and companies said that it is difficult to put a figure at this point, they said life insurance claims could be anywhere between R800 crore and R1,000 crore.

Life Insurance Corporation  (LIC) and other private life insurers are gearing up to expedite the claims process.  A life insurance claim can be made in case of death or even if the government announces a person is presumed dead, though no claims can be made if a person is missing.

“We have held meetings on this (Uttarakhand disaster) and we would fast-track claims as we start receiving them,” a senior executive at LIC, who did not wish to be identified, told HT.

Although the largest chunk of claims could come to the state-owned LIC, the private insurers have also alerted their teams to deal with the situation.

“We have alerted our pan-India teams and our systems are updated to fast-track claims of the victims… we are getting in touch with our customers and the agents and branches across the country have been instructed to extend all possible help,” said Reliance Life Insurance CEO Anup Rau.

According to the government, the number of dead is over 1.000 and more than 20,000 are still stranded in the hill states. “Our branch network in the area and across north India has been put on alert,” Rajesh Relan, managing director and country manager MetLife India Insurance, said.

Besides life insurance, claims from general insurance companies are also likely to be “big”. “We are keeping a close watch on the developments,” a finance ministry official said.


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