Liberty General to pay 70% amount post survey to ease Kerala auto-garages' woes

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Chennai : In order to ease the pain of the flood-affected motor insurance policyholders and also the garage owners in Kerala, private non-life insurer Liberty General Insurance Ltd has decided to release about 70 per cent of the claims payable to garage owners upfront, said a top company official.

"It is not only the motor policyholders who are affected, even the vehicle repair garages are affected and they may not have the necessary working capital to buy the vehicle spares when large number of automobiles come for repair in Kerala as the flood waters are receding," Roopam Asthana, CEO and Whole Time Director, told IANS on Thursday.

He said the company's exposure under the motor insurance portfolio in Kerala is largely limited to two-wheelers and not highly priced four-wheelers.

"We have drawn a customer-centric claims processing plans for our policyholders in Kerala. There is rush of two wheelers for repairs at garages in Kerala. We are looking at three-hour time frame to assess the loss and allow the garages to start their repair work," Asthana said.

According to him, the company has decided not to insist on submission of driving licence for motor claims for vehicles affected by floods as the damage was not due to a road accident.

He said the company has hired yards to park the vehicles taken over after settling the claims on total loss basis.

"We auction off such vehicles. We do reverse auctions," Asthana said.

Asthana said it is early days to estimate the total amount of insurance claims that general insurers may have to face in Kerala.

As regards Liberty General Insurance, he said the company has got about 170 motor claims -- two and four-wheelers.

He said 85 per cent of the motor claims lodged with the company are surveyed by in-house surveyors which in turn cuts down the claims turnaround time and also policyholder's complaints.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has asked the insurers to simplify the claims procedures while dealing with claims from Kerala.

The insurance regulator has asked the insurers to appoint a nodal officer for Kerala. The officer should ensure claims are surveyed fast and the claim amount is paid quickly.