The IRDAI, or the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, has put forth new guidelines for processing and settlement of claims applied by insured victims of the Kerala floods.
The regulator has mandated different insurance companies to restructure and simplify the claims process so as to alleviate the adversities experienced by the insured population of Kerala caused by the floods. The insurance companies have been directed to immediately commence the steps for fast registration and disbursement of claims.
What are the guidelines?
Every insurer has been instructed to assign a senior employee who would serve as a Nodal Officer for Kerala and carry out the work of coordination of the settlement of all claims that are eligible and reported in the state.
Many insurance companies have put forth new and easy process for claims settlement. For example, in order to rapid settlement of eligible claims, one insurance company has streamlined the requirements with regards to claim documents and has also assigned nodal officers to supervise the process of quick claim settlements. The company has established a Flood Claims Helpdesk for assistance to bereaved families. They have also selected nodal officers to deliver pro-active services and help to the beneficiaries of all policy holders that are adversely affected by the floods. There has been simplification of the claim documentation process for expediting fast claim settlements.
Different insurers have put forth a list of all the documents that are needed for faster claims process. A few such common documents include:
- Death Certificate by the local Municipal body or Death Certified by any authorized Government agency such as the Armed Forces/ Local Government of Kerala/ Police Authority/ and Government Hospitals, etc.
- The identity proof of the claimant; proof of residence; and bank account information in order to make sure that insurance payment is made to the right beneficiary.
- A fully and properly filled ‘Death Claim Form’
In instances where it is difficult to get a death certificate
In case of any claims of death, wherein it is difficult to get a death certificate due to causes such as non-recovery of the dead body, etc., then the insurers may follow the process laid down in the instance of the Jammu & Kashmir floods (Notification of Ministry of Home Affairs, GoI,No. 1/12/2014-VS (CRS) dated 12.09.2014). This process was also followed during the floods in Tamil Nadu.
In another circular, the IRDAI has instructed the insurance companies that in case of claims that involves death or loss of life, wherein the beneficiary has experienced problems in getting a death certificate because of washing away of the body in the floods, etc., then the claims process used during the 2015 Chennai floods may be taken into account as a guideline. Essentially, the regulator has mandated that a correctly simplified procedure/process which has varied relaxations and flexibility to the normal claims requirements, may be taken into consideration, wherever feasible, to speed up the settlement of claims.
Additional IRDAI measures
IRDAI has also asked the insurance companies to take the below listed measures:
- The details of special camps and offices that have been erected for the specific purpose may be broadcast over varied media and press and via the state government to facilitate the filing of insurance claims.
- Sufficient number of surveyors can be immediately assigned in the flood affected districts.
- It is important to make sure that there is immediate survey of all claims and that on account payments/claims payments are distributed as early as possible.
- Insurance companies have additionally been required to start widespread awareness campaign in Kerala that properly highlight all the measures taken by the insurers.
In order to understand the extent of the loss, all non-life insurance companies, which include Standalone Health insurance companies, are suggested to submit data associated with insurance claims made in the state on an everyday basis, in the attached format (via Google doc shared by the regulator).
Moreover, a close watch is being maintained by the regulator on the settlements of claims and it has mandated the insurance companies to provide the progress report on the varied claims that the insurers settled in the state, through the email addresses: