December 18, 2015
It is the time when most need insurance money to get their lives back to shape. The unprecedented floods have brought unprecedented damage to house and private vehicle owners in Chennai. But most private insurance companies have turned their backs on the flood affected people, either by not providing them with the insured amount or taking time to respond.
Experiences of people are coming to light where they have been told that they did not read the fine print, that what they are claiming for does not fall within the ambit of the insurance, or the companies do not respond at all.
Many have lost their valuable property such as household belongings, cash and jewellery. Furthermore, many vehicles got half or fully submerged in the floods. In such cases when vehicles are given for servicing, the vehicle owners are usually asked to approach their insurance companies for an estimate.
When one victim did approach the insurance company, they said they would get back to him within 24 hours, 10 days ago. It has not responded yet.
S N. Ravichandran, co-anchor, Data Security Council of India, says that it is mostly the private insurance companies that cheat people with false promises and that it is a big racket.
Majority approach the private insurance companies rather than the nationalized ones. “They discourage people from applying for insurance during and after floods and when people are in real need of it. They find loop-holes to cheat customers and when asked about, they say that they did not read the fine print properly,” he says.
To repair a car submerged in water means insuring it and then giving it for service to repair because the cost is way too huge. But private insurance companies during such cases do not give the full value of what they actually promise. More than half of the estimated amount is paid by the owners.
He is vehement in telling that public should stop patronizing private insurance companies and start patronizing nationalized companies.