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Asian News - Nepal's regulator pushes for speedy settlement of quake claims

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Jul 2015

It has been over two months since a powerful earthquake wrecked central and eastern Nepal but the entire country is still struggling to recover from the devastation. The earthquake and its aftershocks have resulted in the death of over 9,000 people and left over 22,000 seriously injured.  
   Insurance companies have so far been slow with the claims settlement process, which has prompted the Beema Samiti (Insurance Board) to intervene and instruct companies to speed up the compensation process.  
   According to records with the Beema Samiti, insurers have settled only a handful of the over 12,000 earthquake related claims received since 25 April. Most claims are for damaged or destroyed homes, commercial goods and motor vehicles and a few are life insurance claims. 
   Insurers, on the other hand, are saying the delay is mainly due to policyholders who have yet to file their claim documents with the companies. At the same time, insurers are also finding it difficult to process claims due to a lack of preliminary estimates, inadequate number of surveyors and difficulties in contacting policyholders due to poor communications. 
   The small number of surveyors in Nepal is also a problem as the country only has around 250 licensed surveyors, among whom only 100 are actively involved in the business. Sensing the huge need for qualified surveyors, the Beema Samiti has now allowed insurance companies to hire Indian surveyors without its prior approval.
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