Irdai on Friday asked life insurance companies to take immediate action to ensure expeditious settlement of claims in wake of cyclone 'Amphan' causing loss of lives in several parts of West Bengal and Odisha. Cyclone Amphan has left dozens of people dead and thousands homeless in West Bengal, battering several parts of the state and washing away bridges and swamping low-lying areas.
It also wreaked havoc in Odisha, damaging power and telecom infrastructure in several coastal districts.
In a circular, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) said there are reports of loss of human lives and loss of belongings in the cyclone affected districts, primarily in the states of West Bengal and Odisha.
In order to extend every possible facilitation in quick and timely settlement of life insurance claims, it asked insurers to nominate a senior officer to act as a nodal officer in the state concerned to liaise with the state administration to facilitate identification of policyholders among the deceased due to cyclone.
"Initiate immediate action to ensure that all reported claims are registered and eligible claims are settled expeditiously," Irdai said.
With regard to claims involving loss of life, where difficulty is experienced in obtaining a death certificate due to non-recovery of body, it asked the insurers to follow the process as in the case of Chennai floods in 2015.
"A suitably simplified process/procedure including relaxations in the usual requirements wherever feasible may be considered to expedite claims settlement," the circular said.
With a view to limit the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and limiting direct/indirect social contact, insurers have been advised to encourage and motivate their policyholders/claimants to adopt e-modes, wherever possible for correspondence.
In case policyholders/claimants reach office, life insurers should follow the government directions regarding maintaining social distancing and proper sanitisation, Irdai said.
The staff must be duly sensitized to deal with policyholders/claimants with empathy and concern, it added.
The insurance companies have also been asked to file state-wise progress report on claims settled on weekly basis.