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Insurance cos ready to clear claims

November 29, 2008 12:55 IST

Insurance industry is gearing up to clear claims from the attack on Mumbai even as many of the injured are finding it tough to produce the required documents.

Sources at Life Insurance Corporation said most of the top cops who died fighting terrorists over the last two days were insured by it and it was ready with cheques, including those for the next of kin of Hemant Karkare, the former anti-terror squad chief, additional commissioner Ashok Kamte and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar.

"We will hand over the cheques within 24 hours of filing of a claim with a confirmation of death by the police. Death certificate is also not required in such cases and other conditions such as a copy of the post-mortem report are also being dispensed with," said an LIC executive.

"The claimant's name on the deceased list prepared by the municipal body or any public authority is enough for anyone to seek a claim," said Max New York Life's Sanjeev Moga, adding that the claims would be cleared within two to three days.

Though it is still early for insurers to gauge the extent of damage and the claims arising out of the terror strikes, companies are not expecting the claims to be significant.

To process the claims, the companies have set up help desks in Mumbai. ICICI Lombard, for instance, has sent its call centre number through SMS to all its customers. "This has less implication compared to the July 26 deluge. We will look at each case with utmost sensitivity and urgency. Out of the 500 injured, some will be covered under corporate claims, some under group insurance and others under personal accident," said ICICI Lombard managing director and chief executive officer Sanjeev Bakshi.

Some of the injured, who have health insurance covers, however, said that they may find it tough to get their claims. Many of the injured were discharged by the hospitals in less than 24 hours as the medical staff found it tough to handle the flow of people.

Also, those who were not seriously injured were often shifted from one hospital to another and do not have proper records. The friend of a man injured in the Leopold attack on Wednesday said that the police had not filed a first information report and was not sure if the insurer will clear the bills.

An executive at state-owned United India Insurance General, however, said that the company would not insist on the 24-hour hospitalisation clause as prescribed in most medical insurance covers. "Fine print is something we are not going to use," said an executive with a private company.

As for the lack of documents, Bakshi said, "Those who could not register their name at the company's call centre can later collect claim under reimbursement and cash list facility (instead of the cashless claim settlement process though third-party administrators)."

Shilpy Sinha in Mumbai
Source: source