A majority of the claims pertain to crop loss due to destruction of agriculture land as well as motor insurance losses.
The insured losses from cyclone Amphan (pronounced UM-PUN) that hit West Bengal and parts of Odisha on May 20 are likely to touch Rs 350 crore, as per initial estimates. A majority of the claims pertain to crop loss due to the destruction of agricultural land, and motor insurance losses.
Crops on more than 30,000 hectares of land are expected to have been wiped out due to the cyclone that ravaged the state with wind speeds of 115-120 kilometres per hour.
"We are still assessing the damage. But a majority of the claims will be from crop insurance claims. Specialist teams are also being set up in the state to help the policyholders in claims settlement," said a senior insurance executive.
As per the initial estimates, over 72 people in West Bengal are likely to have lost their lives. However, no death claim has been filed yet, according to insurance executives.
While about 80,000 houses are said to have been destroyed, none are believed to have had any insurance coverage.
Cyclones in the recent past including Fani and Aila had insured losses of Rs 3,000 crore.
In 2018, insurance companies received claims of about Rs 3,200 crore from the Kerala floods. Here, a majority of claims were from the motor insurance segment since several cars/bikes were submerged in water for days on end after incessant rains lashed the state in July and August 2018.
Insurance claims from natural catastrophes have seen a big jump. In the past five years, cyclones including Hudhud and Phailin as well as flash floods in Uttarakhand have led to almost Rs 17,000 crore in insurance claims.
Claims from global natural catastrophes in 2018 were pegged at $76 billion, according to the Swiss Re sigma report. The combined insurance losses from natural disasters in 2017 and 2018 were $219 billion, the highest-ever for a two-year period.