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Insurer skips claim for 11yrs

  • Published at 06:34 pm December 7th, 2013

A client could not recover its insurance claim for last 11 years from an insurance company which didn’t show any care to the existing rules and the regulator’s directives.

The intervention of the country’s insurance regulator has so far failed to settle the issue.

Dhaka Tribune availed of the information from Insurance Development Regulatory Authority (IDRA) in this regard.

Uttara Cold Storage Ltd, a company that stores perishable food items in a refrigerated condition, alleged that its claim of Tk800,000 has been constantly denied by Purabi Life Insurance since 2002.

After having failed to get the money in last one decade, Uttara Cold Storage, on 15th September 2013, filed a complaint in this regard with IDRA.

While dropping the complaint, Uttara sought intervention of the regulator to make Purabi responding to the claim.

On the basis of the complaint, IDRA, through a letter on 24 October, asked the insurer to present their arguments in this respect within seven days of receiving the letter.

Purabi Insurance, however, has not replied the regulator’s letter yet.

When contacted, Purabi General Insurance’s managing director MA Kashem said he was not aware of it.

According to the IDRA papers, Uttara Cold Storage took three fire insurance policies in 2002 from Purabi.

In the same year, Uttara met an accident in which the key machineries broke down and got out of operation.

The policy term period was till February 27, 2003.

Uttara said it filed the claim to the insurer within the valid period of the policy.

The insurer appointed a surveyor namely Dolphin Survey and Inspection to conduct a survey on the claim in 2002.

The surveyor submitted an inspection report citing damages worth Tk829,234.

Uttara appealed to then regulator to take necessary steps to get their money as per the survey report.

The regulator sat with the officials of Purabi Insurance and its client Uttara Cold Storage in December in the year.

After reviewing all documents, the regulator directed the company to meet the claim within 30 days.

There are allegations from different firms that Purabi Insurance adamantly deny to meet claims of its clients.

When contacted MD of Purabi Insurance recently, he refused to talk on the issue with this correspondent. But few minutes later, a man introducing himself as a journalist called this correspondent on behalf of MD.

That “journalist” asked: “Why did you call MD, and what is your interest.”

He was talking on many irrelevant issues like “I have contact all journalist leaders,” etc., but was never responding to any questions from this side.

Though that man said he was a journalist, he never revealed at which media house he worked or he was a freelancer.

However, denying claims is not the case of only Purabi Insurance. The country’s most of the insurance companies commonly refused to meet the clients’ claims as per policies.

Even IDRA often fail to recover money of claims from the insurers.

“Many companies have a tendency of not honouring the claims,” said IDRA Chairman M Shefaq Ahmed.

The companies also allegedly do not inform IDRA about claim settlements, defying a recent directive of the regulator.

On March 24, 2013, IDRA issued a letter directing all insurance companies to inform the regulator about claims within two days of submission by the policyholders, shareholders or stakeholders.

Besides, companies are also bound to inform the authority about monthly reviews on initiatives taken against the claims.

But no company has complied with the directive so far, except the foreign insurance giant, Metlife Alico.