Muscat – The Capital Market Authority (CMA), which regulates the sultanate’s insurance sector, has instructed insurance companies in Oman to adopt specific procedures and speed up settlement of claims for damages caused by Cyclone Shaheen earlier this month.
Tropical Cyclone Shaheen, which affected Oman during October 3-4, was one of the largest weather events to hit the sultanate since Cyclone Gonu in 2007. The intensity of Shaheen resulted in damages initially from the cyclone and subsequent floods caused by the heavy rains brought by it.
‘Within the national efforts to deal with the impact of the
Cyclone Shaheen, the CMA instructed the insurance companies to take specific procedures to ease and speed up the settlement of claims of policyholders who incurred damage due to the cyclone,’ the CMA said in a statement. The Capital Market Authority issued the instructions in coordination with the Ministerial Committee for assessment of the damages caused by the cyclone.
Cyclone Shaheen inflicted horrendous damage in North and South Batinah and Muscat governorates, ravaging roads, public facilities, homes, vehicles and businesses. Insurance companies will likely take a major hit on account of damage to the properties, businesses and vehicles during the cyclone.
The CMA has instructed the insurance companies to promptly settle the claims in the affected wilayats within not more than 14 days for cash compensation from the date of assessment of the damage. The regulator has also asked insurers to increase the staff attending to the assessment of damage and claims settlement as soon as possible, and to send repair orders in not more than seven days from the date of the survey.
The CMA instructed the insurance companies to open multiple channels through their offices and branches and employ modern technology to receive and decide in the claims to ensure swift compensation and flexibility. It also advised insurers not to ask for ROP report to open claim files and not to charge any claim charges upfront but deduct them at the time of compensation.
‘The insurance companies are obliged to provide cover for the perils and losses incurred by policyholders as means for tackling the impact of the expected perils to protect their properties as per each insurance policy,’ the Capital Market Authority said.
The CMA also emphasised that the standard motor vehicles insurance policy covers natural calamities in the comprehensive insurance as basic benefit and as optional benefit in third party insurance policies.