IRDAI’s committee suggests host of steps for speedy settlement of insurance claims

The committee, set up by insurance regulator IRDAI, has suggested modifications in the norms for surveyors and loss assessors in order to attract youngsters and promote expeditious settlement of claims. ‘Surveyors and loss assessors’ in insurance is a specialized field of work which is instrumental in the judicious settlement of claims. They are expected to survey and assess the damage/loss and submit report about it.

IRDAI had set up a Working Group to examine and deliberate upon the existing framework for surveyors and loss assessors as well as make its recommendations in the context of evolving challenges and opportunities in the area. IRDAI said the Working Group has worked towards rationalising the processes and procedures involved in licensing by the regulator even while making sure that the surveyors and loss assessors are primarily monitored by those who use them, i.e., the insurers, with overarching supervision by IRDAI.

The Working Group has suggested that the requirement of practical training may be done away with as it does not seem to serve the purpose that was envisaged. The Working Group’s report said ‘it is recommended that instead of training requirements, examination of high quality based on relevant syllabus with proper testing that has a quantitative and practical orientation that will ensure that surveyors have the required wherewithal to carry out survey and loss assessment.’  It has proposed a two-level examination system. The Working Group has also suggested that in respect of crop insurance, the recognised qualifications of surveyors and loss assessors may be expanded to include graduation with at least one subject being agricultural science from a recognised university.

However, government schemes may be exempted from this. On timelines for submission of survey report, the committee said that within seven working days of the claim intimation, inform insurer/claimant of the essential documents and other requirements that the claimant should submit in support of the claim. It added that where documents are available in public domain or with a public authority, the surveyor should obtain them. It further recommended that survey work should start immediately and in interim report of the physical details of the loss should be submitted to the insurer within 15 days from the date of first visit.  Submit final survey report to the insurer within 30 working days from date of submission of last relevant and necessary document by the insured.