Damage worth crores: IC
Srinagar: with the ongoing unrest paralyzing every sector, the various insurance companies in Indian Kashmir have to be on their toes, receiving the insurance claims from the clients seeking compensation.
The four months long separatist agitation in Kashmir has increased the loses manifold, however the insurance companies claim that the road accident claims have shown a tremendous downfall as the public and private transport under separatist protest calendar has been restricted from plying on the roads.
The Insurance companies are busy receiving applications from their clients seeking reimbursement of money as per their policy assurances. Leading the charts of clients seeking compensation from their respective insurance companies are vehicle owners. For the last four months, hundreds of vehicles-private and public- have been smashed by both the forces and protesters causing damages worth crores of rupees.
Altaf Hussain, senior branch manager, United Indian Insurance Company limited (United insurance) – a government undertaking- said cases pertaining to vehicular damages in his office have doubled over the last four months.
“The number of applications from our clients has shown an increase of 100 percent in last four months courtesy the latest turmoil,” Hussain told Agence India Press.
“Most of the clients can’t reach office as situation isn’t conducive for them to reach here. Once it improves we are expecting more claimants,” he said.
While police and CRPF personnel have smashed vehicles for plying out on the roads on curfewed days, protesters did the same if strike days witnessed any vehicular traffic. Pieces of windshields, windowpanes, and wrecks of other parts can be seen scattered on the roads at various places in the valley.
A senior officer in United Insurance Divisional Office, who wishes not to be named, estimated that his company alone has received claims worth Rs. 60 lakhs thus far.
Private Insurance company, ICCI Lombard’s Insurance claim manager, Srinagar Sukhmeet Singh comes up with same trend as Hussain.
“On average we are receiving 200 to 300 claims per month pertaining to damages incurred to vehicles in the valley for last four months which is twice the number we used to have in normal situation,” Sukhmeet said.
He, however, maintained that the number of insurance claims has gone down ever since the valley witnesses a sharp dip in the violence.
“The number of claims is declining day by day because the transport couldn’t ply in bulk on the roads,” Singh said.
He however said that the number of accidents in the valley declined owing the ongoing unrest in the valley.
“There have been virtually zero cases pertaining to accidents,” he said.
The insurance agents across the valley have been undertaking a tough job amid curfews and restrictions.
“Any public property including vehicles which comes under insurance cover have to be dealt accordingly, we are having a tough schedule these days to prepare the required documents of our customers to get their dues released,” insurance agent Shabir Ahmed of Budgam said.
The incessant curfews and restrictions by the authorities have confined people to their homes and most of the People during the ongoing unrest prefer to inside.
“Even I have some important work, I prefer to stay home, because we are facing wrath from the forces as well as from the protestors as well. During early month of ongoing agitation I was stopped in Budgam Chowk by police and thrashed I managed to run way but they caught hold of my vehicle and damaged it partially,” said a local Nazir Khan of Jehama Budgam.
A cursory look through the interiors of old city of Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu Kashmir, one will find almost all the window panes broken, the house owners have stated pasting newspapers on the broken windows to avoid the chill coming in.
“We have been suffering since decades now. We are shifting to Habak Nassem Bagh now to avoid the loses of our property and of our life,” said Zahoor Ahmad of Nowhatta Srinagar.
Kashmir valley has been in deep trouble since more than four months now. More than 110 people have been killed and many more handicapped since June 11 after teenager Tufail Matto of old city area of summer capital Srinagar fell to the teargas canister fired by a police man.
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