Insurers in Zhengzhou estimate cost of damage to vehicles is about 6.4b yuan
Authorities in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province, have simplified procedures for dealing with damage to cars that was caused by unprecedented rainfall and flooding about two weeks ago.
By Wednesday, the insurance industry in Henan had received about 412,300 claims, with a preliminary estimate of losses of about 9.8 billion yuan ($1.5 billion). About 226,400 of the cases involved auto insurance, with losses estimated at about 6.4 billion yuan, the provincial government said.
Zhengzhou's public security bureau said there were more than 4.9 million motor vehicles in the city by July 6, and the number of licensed drivers had reached 4.88 million.
Statistics from the Henan Automobile Industry Chamber of Commerce showed that rain and flooding in Zhengzhou had damaged about 400,000 vehicles.
By Wednesday, insurance companies in Henan had arranged 6,240 personnel for site surveys and claims settlements, deployed 3,067 rescue vehicles and tasked 826 damage determination experts with assisting in the handling of claims related to cars following the flooding in Zhengzhou. Tow trucks dispatched by insurance companies had retrieved over 66,400 cars.
To settle claims in a timely manner for the convenience of the general public, the auto and insurance industry associations in Henan issued a joint commitment on auto insurance claims and have published answers to questions frequently asked by car owners wishing to make claims.
Local authorities have also arranged storage space and maintenance for damaged vehicles, the Henan office of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission said.
Insurance companies will not require on-site surveys for flood-damaged cars and will pay the maximum compensation within the liability limit agreed in the contract based on the determination of the vehicle's damage, the commission said.
A car owner will be able to receive the compensation within about 10 minutes if they have the required documents and the vehicle damage is less than 10,000 yuan, it said,
To further improve the efficiency of claims settlements, insurance companies have also set up temporary claims-processing points in residential areas where there have been many claims.
Wu Kebiao, 35, an insurance agent in Zhengzhou, said underground garages in about 100 communities in the city had been flooded, and insurance companies were deploying personnel from branches outside Henan to support their operations in the province.
"About 5,000 damaged cars are being rescued in the city by insurance companies every day, " he said.
An insurance company could not usually estimate the cost of repairing a flood-damaged vehicle immediately because maintenance personnel had to carefully identify whether repair or replacement was required, Wu said.
He reminded the owners of flooded cars to report the case to their insurance companies and not to start their cars again, because doing so would affect the settlement of claims.
At a designated storage area in the city's Guancheng Hui district, a staff member said cars had been towed there since July 24, and the number was now close to 4,000.
An insurance agent at the storage area from the Henan branch of People's Insurance Company of China said it was dealing with nearly 200 claims a day.