Muscat: In the aftermath of Cyclone Mekunu, insurance companies are seeing claims reach up to OMR75 million, according to new data from the Capital Market Authority (CMA).
Ahmed Al Mamari, Vice President of the insurance sector at the CMA, told the Times of Oman that the number of claims and insurance losses is bound to rise as many people are still filing claims.
“Insurance companies in Oman have enough experience dealing with losses caused by cyclones and natural disasters, especially after cyclones Gonu and Phet struck the country in 2007 and 2010 respectively,” he explained.
Claims have primarily been made for property, vehicle, engineering, marine equipment and other damages.
According to Al Mamari, the total number of claims crossed 656 by the end of last week, with property insurance claims being the highest at 361, with a total valuation of OMR48,683,575.
Data also showed that engineering claims were the second most expensive, standing at OMR24,627,566. Vehicles, on the other hand, were a distant third, touching OMR590,646.
He further said that the insurance sector is playing a big role in fulfilling its commitment in supporting those who were affected by the cyclone.
“Sheikh Abdullah bin Al Salmi, Executive President of the CMA, presided over a meeting with high-level executives representing insurers and brokers with a presence in the Governorate of Dhofar,” he continued.
Al Mamari confirmed that the CEO called on insurance companies to speed-up procedures that will compensate those affected by the storm.
“Insurance companies have responded very well to the call of the CEO,” he added.
In the immediate aftermath of the storm, some companies posted online the losses they had been made aware of.
In a statement posted on the Muscat Securities Market (MSM), the company’s Chief Executive Officer, P R Ramakrishnan, said, “We have received some initial notification of claims in respect of damages caused by Cyclone Mekunu to property, in particular to buildings, contents and projects located in areas affected by flooding in Salalah and other locations within the Governorates of Dhofar and Wusta region. Clear details about the extent of loss are awaited from the claimants and hence a quantification of the loss cannot be presently determined.”
“Competent independent loss-adjusting firms have been appointed for surveys and adjustment of the losses and their preliminary reports recommending loss reserves are awaited.”
He added, “The management of Vision Insurance SAOG confirmed that the company is adequately protected against these losses through well-structured reinsurance arrangements supported by a panel of strong reinsurers with an excellent financial rating. The net impact to Vision from the accumulation of all such claims is not expected to exceed OMR100,000.”
Meanwhile, Al Ahlia Insurance informed its shareholders that they had not experienced any damages to their staff or their own property during the cyclone. “We implemented a series of preparatory actions to support and protect personal and commercial customers ahead of the landfall of Cyclone Mekunu. We reacted immediately after the event, and our branch was open the day after the storm to assist customers and also throughout the declared three-day National Holiday period,” a statement by the company said.
“We are in the process of receiving notifications of claims related to property and other lines, in and around Salalah region. We have deployed our surveyors to assess and report the extent of loss from policyholders in all lines of business,” the statement concluded.