Muscat: Losses arising from Cyclone Mekunu that ravaged the country in May have led to insurance companies seeing claims reach up to OMR108 million, according to new data from the Capital Market Authority (CMA).
According to the data obtained by the Times of Oman, 20 insurance firms received 762 claims until the beginning of July.
The total losses stood at OMR108,069,968, comprising losses for reported claims (OMR101,455,109) and expected losses for unreported claims (OMR5,676,944).
A single company reported a loss of OMR55,420,000, while the lowest amount of loss stood at OMR34,500. Ahmed Al Mamari, Vice President of the insurance sector at the CMA, told the Times of Oman. “Insurance companies in Oman have enough experience in dealing with losses caused by cyclones and natural disasters, especially after cyclones Gonu and Phet struck the country in 2007 and 2010 respectively.”
Claims have primarily been made for property, vehicles, engineering, marine equipment and other damages.
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.
Al Mamari confirmed that the CEO had called on insurance companies to speed-up procedures to compensate those affected by the storm.
“Insurance companies have responded very well to the call of the CEO,” he added.
“Since the cyclone, more people have begun realising the importance of having insurance coverage.”
Eng. Hussein bin Hathieth Al Bat’hari, head of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Dhofar, said: “After the cyclone, awareness about insurance increased significantly and we received a lot of calls from citizens asking about insurance and how to benefit from it.”
As a result of the devastation caused by Mekunu, the chamber of commerce office in Dhofar opened its doors to accommodate insurance companies.
“The Chamber allowed the affected insurance companies to open offices for free in the Chamber building so that they could work and limit the damages and compensate the affected people,” Al Bat’hari added.
Having insurance can provide many benefits to property owners, as it reduces losses due to disasters, hurricanes, thefts, fire and other damages that people’s properties may be exposed to.
“Insurance can reassure them, in case of damage to their property,” said Al Bat’hari. Philip K Philip, Chief Executive Officer of Muscat Insurance Company, confirmed there had been an increase in the number of claims since Cyclone
“Between the dates of the incident and today, from our books, I can say that the number of insurance claims has gone up, and although the figures are changing, the amount is beginning to crystallise now,” explained Philip.
“In order to change the public’s mind-set with regard to insurance, insurance companies should provide offers to the public to motivate them to apply for insurance, as the idea of insurance is new to the community,” Al Bat’hari added.