Chennai Rains
A scene from Sathyabama College Chennai.praburaj/Twitter

The damage caused to property, automobiles and other goods in Chennai due to incessant rains is expected to cost insurers dearly and they may have to end up settling claims worth more than Rs 1,000 crore.

With insurance claims already reaching around Rs 500-600 crore in the first spell of heavy downpour witnessed in the capital city of Tamil Nadu last month, the recent excessive rains are expected to cause more damage, according to general insurance companies.

While the first phase of rains in Chennai have already resulted in estimated claims of Rs 500 crore, the second one may see claims exceeding Rs 1,000 crore, said M Ravichandran, president (insurance), Tata AIG.

"While it is hard to say, the second deluge could be far worse because of the water being discharged from the reservoirs," The Financial Express quoted Ravichandran, as saying.

So far, Tata AIG has seen around 100 claims amounting to roughly Rs 30 crore in motor and property insurance categories.

SBI General Insurance witnessed claims worth Rs 50-55 crore coming up for settlement due to floods, according to its MD & CEO Bhaskar Sarma.

"These claims relate to damages that have taken place till Tuesday. Given the rains are expected to continue, we're expecting a spike in claims," Sarma said.

Similarly, while ICICI Lombard have received claims worth Rs 40 crore, HDFC Ergo has seen around 350 claims amounting Rs 30 crore, according to their respective CEOs.

"The number is likely to be significantly higher than the current estimate of Rs 500 crore," Ritesh Kumar, CEO and MD, HDFC Ergo.

The state-owned insurer United India Insurance has the highest exposure to Tamil Nadu.

Insurers had cleared an estimated Rs 2,400 crore worth claims for the damage caused by the floods in Jammu and Kashmir witnessed in September last year.

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