Floods: HC seeks info about amount paid to insured

Srinagar: The J&K High Court has directed all insurance companies to furnish within two weeks details including the amount paid as per its directions to the insured in the wake of September floods.
The court has already directed the insurance companies to pay 95 percent of a claim up to Rs 25 lakh and 50 percent in respect of claims above Rs 25 lakh where preliminary or final survey reports have not been received.
“In order to implement the court orders and ensure that the people who have suffered because of the recent floods (restart their lives) and that public money does not go waste, we seek information from the insurance companies,” said a Division Bench of Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar and D S Thakur while hearing a Public Interest Litigation.
“Each insurance company shall provide information in respect of the claims received by them of the properties insured. The amount for which property was insured, how much amount was paid to the insured in pursuance to the court directions and how many preliminary or final survey reports have been received and amount paid on the basis of those reports,” the court said.
To be provided in tabulated form, the court said the details should include as to in how many cases preliminary or final reports have been received, the balance amount paid, and the amount, if any, the insurance companies have to get back.
The court also directed the insurance companies to provide copies of survey report whether preliminary or final to the insured during the two weeks as the case would be taken for further consideration on December 1.
Earlier, when hearing in the PIL started, advocate Anil Bhan, representing four insurance companies, filed the status report on their behalf, stating that 9,777 claims have been filed with them.
Till November 17, Bhan said, 9,224 claims were settled. “The amount of Rs 382.82 crores has been paid to the claimants,” he added.
Advocate Javed Iqbal, representing Bajaj Alllianz General Insurance Company Limited submitted that the information sought from other companies has already been provided in status report filed by it.
“This status report will be considered by the court on date along with the status report of the other companies,” the court said.
Meanwhile, the bench posted for next week a number of applications seeking direction to insurance companies to compensate the applicants despite exclusion of the storm, tempest and inundation risks on their insurance policies.
The insurance companies have stated that premium to cover such risks has not been paid, thus these risks stand excluded.
However, advocate G A Lone, appearing for of the applicants, stated the despite the exclusion of the risks on the policies, the insurance companies would still be liable to compensate the applicants.
“These issues would require to be considered separately and independently from the main PIL. The maintainability of these applications being under eclipse, counsel shall have to address on this score also,” the court said and listed it next week.