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Insurance companies may face high claims

By BS Banking Bureau in Mumbai
July 13, 2006 12:02 IST
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Life and general insurance companies fear they could face substantial claims following the death of over 180 people and injury of nearly 800 commuters in the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai on Tuesday.

The terror attacks targeted the first class compartment travellers, who are considered to be insured 4-10 times the country's average sum of about Rs 50,000. Considering the fact that over 180 people were killed in the attacks, the claim could be around Rs 9 crore (Rs 90 million).

Apart from covers taken from insurance companies, the first class travellers in Mumbai local trains also hold multiple credit cards, which provide accident death and disability covers.

Considering the fact that the death cover offered by credit cards varies from Rs 100,000 to Rs 500,000, the claim amount could be anywhere between Rs 15 crore (Rs 150 million) and Rs 25 crore (Rs 250 million), according to one insurance official.

Most of the travellers who were injured and are being treated in various hospitals are likely to have mediclaim covers, either on their own or as part of group mediclaim covers provided by their employers.

While medical expenses can be claimed only from one insurance company, there could be multiple claims for accidental death and disability under life and accident policies.

Some corporates offer personal accident covers to their employees. There won't be any claims on damage to railway property as it does not have any insurance cover.

Historically, the government has been the last resort insurer for every government property. Insurance firms are likely to receive a lot of claims from credit card issuers, which provide group accidental death and disability covers to their card holders.

The total insurance claims are, however, likely to be much lower than the claims received by general insurers last year due to flooding after heavy rains on July 27, 2005.

The insurance sector had received claims of over Rs 2,500 crore (Rs 25 billion) following the damage caused by the floods.

Mumbai Blasts: Complete Coverage 

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