Insurance: Insurance companies are currently processing the insurance claims by victims of the December 29 fire in Chamkhar town Bumthang last year.

Insurance officials said they are still waiting for documents from the victims.

Only five of the 22 shops that were destroyed by the fire were insured with the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan Ltd (RICBL).

RICBL’s branch manager in Chamkhar, Karma, said some documents are still awaited from the affected clients. “We will not delay to pay them even by a day once the clients submit all the documents,” he said.

He said five shop owners have stock insurance and three have householders insurance. The total sum insured is Nu 8.55 million. Karma said it is yet to be determined how much will be paid out.

Karma said RICBL actually planned to pay 50 percent of the insurance money in advance to the victims the day after the disaster. “I was at the site with the cheques but no one wanted any advance,” he said.

Likewise, two victims had insured their stocks with Bhutan Insurance Ltd (BIL) but validity had expired by the time of the disaster. “We are working towards processing building insurance for one victim,” BIL’s manager, Singay Dorji, said, adding that he had already assessed and submitted details to the engineering department of his office in Thimphu for further assessment.

He said they usually remind their clients by SMS, emails, phone calls and personal visits 15 days before renewal time. “But clients fail to keep their insurance schemes on time,” he said.

The fire razed four double-storeyed houses. Two double-storeyed houses were dismantled to prevent the fire from spreading. The six structures were owned by 10 people and housed 22 shops.

Nima Wangdi | Chamkhar