The general insurance industry is unlikely to see much losses arising from the cyclonic storm Phailin that hit the eastern coast last night, as most commercial installations and ports along Odisha and Andhra are relatively less affected coupled with poor retail penetration in the region, say industry officials.
They, however, said not only the domestic general insurance industry is closely watching the event, but global re-insurers are also having a close tab on the developments in the east coast.
Around 9 pm last night, the very severe cyclonic storm 'Phailin' had the landfall in Gopalpur in Odisha. Before the cyclonic storm hit the coast, some people lost their lives even as the authorities evacuated over five lakh (at the last count), from the storm affected areas of the two states.
"Though it's very difficult to predict the amount of losses that will arise from 'Phailin', we don't expect huge losses from this calamity," Bajaj Allianz General Insurance managing director and chief executive Tapan Singhel said.
According to sources, key installations like the Paradip Port, Indian Oil refinery, plants of Essar Steel, among others in Odisha and the Vizag Port in Andhra have not faced much damages due to the super storm.
Industry officials also point out that penetration of general insurance industry is poor among individual customers in these regions.
On this, New India Assurance general manager and whole-time director K Sanath Kumar said the industry is closely watching the event.
"We have a close watch on the event. Not only the domestic general insurance industry is following the event closely, but the global re-insurers are also having a close tab as many of the insurance policies are reinsured with them," Kumar said.
As per reports, Odisha has pegged the initial losses amounting from 'Phailin' at Rs 1,400 crore.
This is the second major natural disaster in this year after the killer Uttarakhand floods in June in which more than 5,000 people had lost their lives.
The general insurance industry has witnessed claims worth Rs 1,500 crore from the Uttarakhand disaster.