Though timely preparations nullified much of the fury of cyclone Phailin, it is likely to put a big hole in the books of insurance companies in the coming days, when affected parties start filing their claims.
Insurance companies said they would be sending teams to assess losses first-hand in a few days. At present access to the affected areas is proving difficult due to heavy rains and floods.
“Claims are likely to be less than the flash-floods in Uttarakhand because the penetration of insurance cover in cyclone-affected areas is less,” said Amarnath Ananthanarayanan, managing director and chief executive director, Bharti AXA General Insurance. “According to the news, major destruction has happened in the coastal areas having farms and temporary structures, where insurance penetration is low.”
Insurers expect that a majority of the claims would relate to loss of property and vehicles, as residents were evacuated from the cyclone-affected areas in advance, and loss of life was minimised.
“It is too early to quantify the loss but we expect a majority of the claims to come from property and motor insurance,” said a senior official of a general insurance company. “Currently coastal areas are facing heavy rains,” he said.“We will send the team for survey after the situation gets better there.”