Unseasonal rains and hailstorms are likely to result in insurance claims worth Rs. 100 crore for crop losses, according to Agriculture Insurance Company (AIC), a specialised crop insurer.
“We are currently busy assessing claims out of the damaged crops due to unseasonal rains. We estimate the claims may exceed Rs. 100 crore,” said Rajeev Chaudhary, General Manager of the company.
States such as Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana have been hit by unseasonal rains and are expecting losses in wheat, jowar, rapeseed and mustard, pulses and gram.
Uttar Pradesh may top the list of states when it comes to crop insurance claims, Chaudhary said, adding that AIC has exposure to only 13 districts in the Bundelkhand region and is staring at claims of Rs. 25 crore from the state.
For 2014-15, the company has already settled Rs. 5,167.58 crore in claims and underwritten Rs. 2,750 crore in premium, he said.
Madhya Pradesh topped the chart in claim settlement during 2014-15 and the company had to pay Rs. 2,000 crore in this state alone. It was followed by Tamil Nadu (Rs. 800 crore), Andhra Pradesh (Rs. 400 crore) and Uttar Pradesh (Rs. 270 crore).
ICICI Lombard, the largest private sector general insurer, had an underwritten premium of around Rs. 500 crore during 2014-15, according to a senior company official.
“We had around Rs. 500 crore underwritten premium during 2014-15. Our loss ratio under the crop insurance segment in 2013-14 was at 100 per cent,” ICICI Lombard’s chief for underwriting and claims, Sanjay Datta, said.
On claims due to unseasonal rains, Datta said first the state governments would assess the losses and then the claim settlement would start.
“The exercise is yet to be completed,” Datta said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently asked insurers to settle claims arising out of crop losses pro-actively.
Datta said at present, losses to the crops during rabi 2014-15 can be estimated only on the basis of preliminary reports received by the insurer’s regional offices from state governments.
“This is the time when CCE are conducted, so only after CCE reports, the estimation of claims can be made,” he said, referring to crop-cutting experiments.