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Interview | SBI General Insurance anticipates majority of claims from motor segment after Chennai rains

Policyholders need to ensure prompt intimations to the insurers/intermediaries, says Atul Deshpande, Head of Claims.

General insurance companies have been informing their customers about claim services for damage arising out of recent heavy rains in Chennai.

In an interview, Atul Deshpande, Head of Claims, SBI General Insurance, said the company anticipated the majority of the claims to come from the motor segment. He also shared some of the key things customers should keep in mind while filing their claims.

What are the main categories in which SBI General Insurance expects claims to be raised?

SBI General has a significant exposure in dwellings/house properties, shops, office establishments, godowns, small and medium units, factories and on material in transit. We anticipate the majority of the claims in the motor segment specially from the private for four and two wheelers.

What are the key things policyholders should keep in mind when filing the claims?

Policyholders need to ensure prompt intimations to the insurers/intermediaries. This helps them to get the correct guidance on preventing further losses and mitigating damage. Materials which are perishable in nature need prompt surveys and disposal as per the guidelines of the local authorities which is why a survey becomes a priority.

For policyholders, wherever possible it is advisable to videograph or take photos of damaged property/assets before they are removed/altered or destroyed. This helps in presenting a strong case for their claim request in terms of evidence and quantification of loss.

In case of motor insurance, they need to ensure that vehicles are not started post the natural calamity has hit or any damage has occurred otherwise while claiming the settlement. This is because the water could have damaged engines, filters, fuel, and such items and any attempt to start the vehicle might lead to long-term damage. The best option to safeguard the vehicles would be to reach out to the nearby experts/repairers and get the vehicles towed to the workshop to assess the condition by skilled mechanics.

Can you highlight some of the common mistakes which a policyholder makes during submission of claims?

We have noted that insured mostly end up disposing of the material before surveys and documentation of loss. In such circumstances, it becomes difficult to establish losses and also quantify them. A lot of secondary documentation is then required. Policyholders should avoid any delay in intimation.

Additionally, all related documents like purchase/sale invoices in case of stocks, restoration estimates in property/motor vehicles are needed to be collected for arriving at claims proceeds. We sometimes see delays in these aspects.

How many claims did SBI General Insurance receive during events like Chennai flood, cyclone Vardah and how much was settled?

2015 Chennai Floods – Under property insurance we incurred about 1,000 claims with a paid liability of about ₹80 crore. In motor, we had about 530 claims amounting to ₹7.40 crore.

Vardah Cyclone resulted in about 300 claims in property with incurred loss of about ₹33 crore and under motor around 50 losses resulted in ₹33 lakh of indemnity.

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