At the directive of Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has decided to open a special camp office in Uttarakhand and relax norms for expeditious settlement of life insurance claims.
In an interaction with journalists here after his meeting with the Finance Minister, LIC’s acting Chairman Thomas Mathew said, “LIC will be opening a special office in that area to attend to all the claimants and relax the usual requirements for claim settlement.”
According to a Finance Ministry statement here, Mr. Chidambaram askedLIC to constitute a special team to settle claims of those affected by the recent natural calamity in Uttarakhand. He also directed the state-owned insurance company to open a major camp office in Dehradun for settlement of claims on a centralised basis. LIC, he said, should follow the same norms for settlement of claims as was followed by it during the tsunami in Tamil Nadu or the earthquake in Gujaratin the past.
Mr. Chidambaram said that LIC should not insist on the “normal condition” that requires a seven-year wait-period before issuing death certificates for missing people. “In this precarious situation, an indemnity bond can be taken from the claimants in such cases and the claims may be settled on priority,” he said.
What may help the LIC in settling claims is that the state government has decided to photograph and maintain the DNA profile of unidentified victims.
In adherence to the Finance Minister’s directive, Mr. Mathew, said that all LIC offices in Uttarakhand have been instructed to attend to policy holders and settle valid insurance claims as quickly as possible. Stating that the number of claims would be “huge,” Mr. Mathew added that LIC would do away with the requirement of presenting death certificates by the next of kin and also do away the with the “seven-year waiting period” in case of missing persons.