Property Insurance

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In the event of a fire accident, it is important to intimate the damage to a surveyor immediately who will help you minimize the loss and to start the procedure of filing a claim. The entire process is mentioned below:

  • Provide a detailed account of all the properties damaged and the estimated amount
  • Provide any additional information asked for by the surveyor
  • Cooperate with the insurer in every way possible. Take a tour of the premises along with the insurer
  • It could be difficult to entertain a barrage of questions, but it will only help with the claim and quick processing of the same

Image Credit: Ken Research

Documents required filing a claim:

  1. Common Documents for all claims under a Fire Policy:
    1. A certified copy of the policy along with schedule and endorsements/clauses
    2. Duly filled out claim form
    3. Newspaper reports on the incident, if any
    4. Photographs
    5. Past claims records, if any
  2. Additional Documents Required in Fire Claims
    1. Report of any internal committee investigating the cause of fire
    2. Fire brigade report
    3. First Information Report (FIR) or Letter Of Intimation (LOI) to the Police Station endorsed by the Police Deptmt.
    4. Forensic laboratory report on samples collected at the site of incident
    5. Drug Inspector’s Report on destruction of Drugs/ Pharmaceutical items (for claim on pharma products only)
    6. Final Investigation Report
    7. The action taken on the suggestion of TAC/ LPA on loss minimization of prevention.
  3. Explosion Claims (additional documents):

Factory Inspector’s Report or Report from Director of Industrial Safety and Welfare.

See: How Important is Fire Insurance for your business?

Case on Fire Insurance Claim Process

Mr. Gupta is an owner of a warehouse. Last year, there was a nasty thunderstorm, followed by a lightening that resulted in a very serious fire accident. The entire premise was engulfed, and the fire control authorities were duly informed to douse and control the fire. Next morning, Mr. Gupta promptly informed the insurance company

The insurer sent a surveyor to the site of the accident within a few hours.

Mr. Gupta had estimated a total loss of Rs. 5 Lakhs that included items like furniture, machinery, electrical equipment, cables, and piping materials. He co-operated with the surveyor and produced all the documents related to the claim like photographs, fire-brigade report, past claim record along with a duly signed copy of the claim form.

However, certain items mentioned in the list of lost or destroyed goods, did not have documentary proof either with Mr. Gupta or with the insurer. Value of these goods as mentioned by Mr. Gupta totaled up to Rs. 45,000

Upon investigation, it was revealed by the surveyor that of the total claim amount, loss of assets worth Rs. 80,000 was due to normal wear and tear and not the fire accident. Some material was already discarded as obsolete but kept in the house.

The insurer approved and released the total claim amount of Rs. 375,000. Claim for Rs. 45,000 was rejected.

Sambhal Fertilizers Ltd. is an artificial fertilizer firm situated on the outskirts of Gurgaon. Being a chemical factory, it has to take lot of precautions in maintaining and transferring the chemicals at various stages.

One of the years faced very small amount of rain and the area around the factory went quite dry. The surrounding area has lots of bush and foliage which is usually green and without a threat of fire, but this year, it all changed.

The dry bush and small plants caught fire due to heavy wind and it spread towards the factory. Some of the burning bush etc. fell into the compound and started fire at a cooling plant which was shut, looking at the danger.

The fire at the plant caused a damage worth Rs. 20 cr. before it could be controlled. Since the workers had been moved to avoid loss of life.

Read More: What is covered under a Fire Insurance Policy?

The insurer was provided with the following documents along with the claim form:

  • The report from the internal committee of 3 lead engineers constituted to assess the damage and repair required.
  • The fire brigade report as submitted separately by the fire department
  • Letter of Intimation to the police (it is a requirement as being a chemical plant Sambhal may pose danger to the nearby residents)
  • Final Investigation report from the insurer’s own investigators
  • Video footage of the CCTV cameras installed at the premises, which captured the initiation and spread of fire.

The factory also submitted a report on the efforts taken to reduce the damage, which included, cutting the power supply to cluster instruments including the cooler, and shutting off the tankers supplying the chemicals to the mixers and boilers.

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