Kathmandu, May 4 (PTI) With the powerful quake wreaking havoc in Nepal, killing thousands and causing damage to the properties running into crores.
Insurances firms are gearing up to disburse claims to the affected people, including with the help of India's state-run General Insurance Company.
The insurance companies are in the process of assessing the total disbursal of the claim amount as not many people have approached them yet, but they expect the figure will run into several crores.
Although the death toll is high, the situation for the companies won't be alarming. Only five per cent of people in a population of about 28 million in Nepal have life insurance.
The official death toll now stands more than 7,000, but the insurance companies are expecting it to be over 10,000.
"We are prepared to disburse the claims. On an average, over 100 people insured, only 2.5 have died every year. We have earned a lot of profit over the past.
And even if it turns out to be a loss making exercise, we are ready to incur the loss," said Ashwini Kumar Thakur, CEO of the Rashtriya Bima Sanstha, a government undertaking formed in 1962.
The company has around 40 per cent market share in the life insurance sector in Nepal.
"Our scheme does cover damage to the structures in an event of an earthquake. Although the disaster is large, we are prepared for such exigencies.
We have got the insurance reinsured by the General Insurance Company (of India)," said Ramesh Raj Bhattarai, CEO of the Rashtriya Beema Company Ltd, another government undertaking which deals in non-life insurance like property, health and motor.
In case of health insurance, the company only insures up to Rs 4 lakh, so the disbursal amount won't be much, he said.
The companies have relaxed norms owing to the natural disaster, after the orders from the Nepal Insurance Regulatory Authority so that the claim amount can be disbursed at the earliest.
"In case of life insurance, we have waived off the autopsy report and many such documents required for passing a claim.
Also, if the person who is insured and his nominee has also died, then we will take help of the district administration and identify the next kin so that the claim money could be handed over," said Thakur.