Cyclone Vardah hits general insurers hard

Cyclone Vardah damaged factories, godowns, ships and vehicles, neon sign boards, mobile towers and power infrastructure.

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Chennai, Dec 16 General insurers have received claims worth around Rs 200 crore following cyclone Vardah that crossed the Chennai coast on December 12, officials said. The cyclone damaged factories, godowns, ships and vehicles, neon sign boards, mobile towers and power infrastructure. A public sector insurance official said the minimum hit for the company's bottomline would be Rs 50 crore.

cyclone vardah

Officials in government and private insurance companies here told IANS that they have started getting loss intimation from their policy holders. Claim intimation worth around Rs 200 crore is estimated to have been received by the general insurers. An official of United India Insurance Co told IANS that it had got claims intimation of around Rs 150 crore.

"It is a rough estimate. The actual loss may be less after survey," he said. Similarly, private sector Royal Sundaram General Insurance Co has received around 120 claims. "But the quantum of damage is not yet known," Nikhil Apte, Chief Product Officer at Royal Sundaram, told IANS. According to Apte, the number of claims from holders of home insurance was very small. Apte urged policy holders to inform the insurer first and wait for loss assessor's arrival before carrying out any repair work.

According to an industry official, after last year's floods in Chennai that resulted in a loss of around Rs 4,800 crore, reinsurers not only increased the premium for the catastrophic loss insurance but also doubled the deductible to Rs 50 crore.

Deductible is the sum reinsurers would not pay and the primary insurers have to bear themselves. "So claims up to Rs 50 crore have to be borne by us," he said. According to him, any loss caused by a major natural disaster was classified as catastrophic loss.

IANS

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