On Jan 4th, 2016 exactly a month after the Yeti was submerged in the Chennai Flood waters we received the insurance settlement … So here’s the full story and when am done you will know why Krishnan and I have started mis-spelling the word “generally”. 🙂
Our Skoda Yeti was parked at home in Chennai on Dec 1st and that night, all of Chennai got flooded courtesy the Chembarabakkam lake’s gates being opened … The rest ofcourse is history (pun intended). Nearly 2,300,000 (yes, 23 lakh) vehicles have been affected, nearly 50,000 people have lost jobs because several SME’s have been flooded and may not start operations for a long time, the revolutionary leader paid revolutionary lip service to the whole tragedy after 15 days ok 12 days, and the latest is till 5 days back there was 2 to 3 feet of water in some parts of Tiruvanmiyur – the scale of damage is massive. Rehabilitation is underway .. The central govt’s aid is coming directly to people’s bank account and adding to the woes of the state Govt …. People have been relocated forcibly away from the water channels, some houses are getting rebuilt and the “spirit of Chennai” is almost back to normal.
Now, coming to the Yeti, it’s one of the 23 lakh vehicles impacted by the floods. Till the 7th of Dec we couldn’t even lodge the claim as we didn’t have any connectivity !! Then we didn’t do anything the next day thinking they will assign the surveyor. On 9th, we decided to go to Gurudev Motors and just find out if they will send some technician to take the vehicle to the workshop. We still had hopes at that time that it will be repaired. When we entered the workshop at Guindy, it was like a war scene – vehicles piled up and all of them had been submerged in nearly 11 feet of water so had windows open, and fine red coloured mud on them. We were told that it will take a month before someone could come and tow the Yeti to the workshop. While waiting for a friend’s car outside, we met with some of the top officials of Skoda who had arrived from Mumbai just that day. They told us clearly that the Yeti was a total loss since water had gone above the dashboard and the cost to repair the ECU itself would be ₹10 Lakhs (₹1,000,000). They advised us to reach out to our insurer to get the surveyor to inspect the vehicle and file for total loss.
I called up Future Generali’s customer care number and spoke about our claim. It took a little effort initially to explain our predicament since the customer service rep tried to do what the rule book said but the minute she understood the gravity of the situation she immediately told me that the surveyor would be assigned soon. Even before we reached back home Ashraf called and assured us that he will come to inspect the vehicle the very same day or the next day. True to his words he turned up on Dec 10th and yes he was subjected to Krishnan’s follow up. :):). He told us that it will take him four odd days to go and file the report since there are so many affected vehicles and he is constantly out doing surveys.
The next week almost went by. We kept reading the insurance horror stories on various forums as to how no one was responding to phone calls and how the insurance companies are trying to reduce the payout. Ashraf told us on day one, that once Skoda gives a repair value that is higher than 75% of the IDV, Future Generali will payout the entire IDV as we had taken the “zero depreciation” rider, thanks to another Future Generali employee Ravi in Delhi. On 25th Dec, Christmas Day, we went to the Future Generali office at T. Nagar, to hand over the car keys and sign the papers to help them sell it to the highest bidder. The deal was that the bidder will pay us the value for which he buys the car and the balance of the IDV will be settled by Future Generali. We were a little skeptical about how much time it will take and wanted to meet Yogesh who was Ashraf’s boss and had come from Mumbai to be in Chennai till all their customers affected by the Chennai floods were served.
A few things at this stage to appreciate about Future Generali – Ashraf picked up the phone every time we called. He was calm and collected and answered every question truthfully. Yogesh was easily accessible and met us without any hesitation. Both these actions gave us a lot of assurance that the company wasn’t playing any game with us. Third, the Future Generali office in Chennai had been working non-stop on all days since the tragedy !! Just wow. Ashraf worked even on his marriage anniversary.
So we met Yogesh, who again assured us that the transaction would be completed ASAP and if any bidder was not found in 3 days, Future Generali will pay the IDV and take possession of the vehicle to be disposed off later. In fact he told us we will have the money in our account by the following Wednesday and guess what, a portion of it was in our account by Wednesday and the rest of it was transferred by Monday Jan 4, 2016.
In all the pain caused by the Chennai Floods, Future Generali, Ashraf and Yogesh just brought sunshine and lots of positivity. Because of Ashraf and Yogesh we are permanent, loyal customers of Future Generali and any car that we buy going forward will be insured by them.
Kudos Ashraf and thanks a lot for all your efforts, you were awesome. Yogesh, don’t let go of Ashraf – preferably promote him. Employees with an innate attitude to serve the customer are rare and should be held onto.
Now, wouldn’t you agree Future Generali is safe ? It’s generally safe too :).