SRINAGAR: In nearly a year since the September-2014 floods, J&K State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has received about 1,000 cases of complaints against insurance companies operating in the state.
The last year’s worst-in-century floods devastated the properties, particularly residential or business houses and vehicles, in central and south Kashmir areas.
As per the initial estimates made by industry body Assocham, the floods caused an immediate loss of Rs 5,400-5,700 crore to the state’s economy, with heavy damages to trade, hotels, restaurants, horticulture and handicraft.
The government however argued that the state suffered losses to the tune of Rs 1 trillion. As per the government’s preliminary estimates, the housing sector suffered losses over Rs 30,000 crore while business sector incurred losses worth over Rs 70,000 crore.
The affected populace turned to the insurance companies to demand compensation against the damages caused to their insured properties.
While the companies claim to have settled most of the cases, the Redressal Commission has received 1,000—a relatively high number—complaints mostly from the flood-affected people.
“More than 1,000 such cases reached the commission, and they are mostly against the insurance companies or banks. The number is much more than that of the other complaints we have received during the period,” Justice (retd) B A Kirmani, President of the Commission, told Kashmir Reader.
“The most common type of complaint is either about the insurance companies declining the claims or offering less money to the complainants,” he said. The Commission has already settled about 50 per cent of the cases amounting to a benefit of Rs 1 crore provided to the complainants, he said.
The total number of complaints may actually be higher, for the Commission only entertains complaints involving an amount of Rs 10 lakh or more. For the cases involving less money, the complainants have to go to Divisional Commissioner Protection Forum, Kirmani said.