Wednesday, July 10, 2013

GIC To Make Hazard Maps To Reduce Loss In Natural Calamities

General Insurance Corporation (GIC Re), the Indian Reinsurer, is planning to map hazard prone areas to avoid losses due to natural disasters. GIC Re plans to approach ISRO for satellite maps of the affected areas and use that as the basis of their research. The project will take 6 months to completely map the hazard zones and once done will be a first in India. Thereafter, GIC Re plans to encourage implementation of strict building construction codes in the hazard zones to avoid future calamities. Sri Ashok Roy, CMD, GIC Re said, “Premium for insuring properties in those areas may be higher and there could be a mechanism whereby insurance companies can refuse claims if insured entities don't follow rules."

Due to the recent Uttarakhand Floods, the general insurers are expecting claims in the range of Rs. 3000-4000 crores. The claims are expected in categories like damaged power projects, motor vehicle claims and personal accident cover. There are around 245 power projects in Uttarakhand which have been affected by the recent floods.

Once completed, GIC Re plans to share the research with other government agencies.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the US Government's disaster relief organization, does something similar there. FEMA has mapped the entire United States into hazard zones of various categories like, flood, earthquake, fire, hurricane, etc. with each category having its own building code. Any building constructed in these zones need to ensure the applicable code is met and the building owners have to buy additional insurance like flood insurance or wind insurance etc.

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