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IRDAI makes it easier to settle motor insurance claims

BENGALURU: In a move that would greatly ease settlement of insurance claims for customers, sector regulator IRDAI proposed to increase the limits for self-assessment of damage on Friday. The current limit for self-declaration by customers for motor accident claims is Rs 50,000, and for fire, home, marine, engineering and other insurance claims it is Rs 1 lakh. Anything above that limit would have to be assessed by an insurance surveyor.

With the new proposal, customers can self-declare in case of motor accidents up to Rs 75,000, and for nonmotor claims up to Rs 1.5 lakh. IRDAI on Friday released its draft exposure for amending the Insurance Surveyors and Loss Assessors Regulations.

“The enhancement of limits for small claims will help to utilise the manpower available within the insurance company for survey work up to the loss limits so that such small claims are settled expeditiously,” said IRDAI.

The relaxation comes at a time when insurance companies are using app-based artificial intelligence to assess claims.

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Many of the companies are now setting claims based on videos shot by the policyholder on their mobile phones. Companies are also tying up with service centres to settle claims Currently, a few private insurers like ICICI Lombard and Bajaj Allianz allow for instantaneous disbursal of claim amount after a self-assessment by policyholders, on uploading proofs such as garage receipts or mobile videos of damage to vehicles.

Among other changes, the proposal looks to make it possible for online licensing and renewals for surveyors with digitisation. IRDAI is also looking at revising the fee structure and duties and responsibilities of surveyors, and at making insurers more responsible for the instruction, education and financial well-being of surveyors. Another change is more flexibility in the appointment of surveyors. Usually, the authority reviews this once in three years, but the proposal hopes review time-to-time on a need basis.
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