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Sri Lanka insurance premiums rise after spate of natural disasters

ECONOMYNEXT – Disaster insurance premiums are rising in Sri Lanka after a spate of floods and lanslides, Minister of Disaster Management Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said.

The government paid Rs 300 million as insurance premium in 2016, for cover purchased by the state and expects it to rise to Rs 500 million this year and even more next year, he told a news conference.

Heavy monsoon rains had triggered floods and landslides in 15 districts in the island in May, Yapa said.

The government has so far paid Rs3.1 billion in insurance claims for natural disasters in 2016 and expects the bill to rise to Rs3.9 billion when the final claims are settled, he said.

In 2016 the island was ravaged by floods and landslides in the first half of the year and a severe drought later, followed by another bout of flooding and earthslips in May this year.

Yapa said the government had insured all homes and small business for up Rs2.5 million as protection against natural disasters and raised the insurance payment for deaths to Rs 100,00 from Rs 25,000.

The treasury had released Rs150 million from which the government will give Rs10,000 in grants to small businesses affected by the natural disaster, Yapa said.
(COLOMBO, June 06, 2017)

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