Kathmandu, Sept 14

Fifteen non-life insurance companies of the country have received 607 claims worth Rs 2.13 billion from people affected by the floods and landslides of last month.

According to the Insurance Board (IB) — the insurance sector regulator — non-life firms have received 291 fire insurance claims.

Likewise, 112 claims have been registered for motor insurance, 98 claims on engineering insurance of ongoing projects, 37 claims on engineering insurance of completed projects and three others have been filed for marine insurance.

Insurance companies have received 26 claims under crop insurance and 40 cases under livestock insurance.

It has to be noted, however, that the Ministry of Agricultural Development has estimated floods and landslides swept away crops worth over Rs eight billion during this monsoon.

Likewise, 69,617 livestock — including goats, buffaloes, chickens and pigs — that amounted to around Rs 25 million, have been killed across the country, as per preliminary estimates.

The claim amount is only one-fourth of the total estimated loss incurred in the Tarai belt due to the floods and landslides.

“The low claim amount shows that the insurance uptake in the country is still very low,” said Raju Raman Paudel, director of IB, adding the board will introduce awareness programmes in Tarai areas soon.

Out of the total 17 firms, besides Rastriya Beema Company and Prabhu Insurance Company, all the 15 firms have received claims.

According to the Insurance Board, the total claim amount received by each non-life firm ranges between Rs 2.26 million and Rs 568.4 million.

Himalayan General Insurance Company has received claims of only Rs 2.26 million whereas Nepal Insurance Company will have to shell out Rs 568.4 million to their clients.

According to Vijaya Bahadur Shah, chief executive officer of NLG Insurance Company, non-life firms have started to settle the claims, which were registered after latest floods and landslides.

“Companies have started to pay their clients as per the report of surveyors,” he informed.

Shah also said that in cases of big claims, companies have started to make the settlements in advance.

“Big agricultural areas are still not covered by insurance, the government should focus its programmes to bring them inside the insurance bracket,” he opined.

The Insurance Board has also directed the insurance firms to give top priority to settle the claims related to natural calamities.

“We have told them to focus on the claims registered by the marginalised people,” said Paudel.