The government has asked insurance companies to immediately report about their exposures in terms of coverage and claim payments towards the victims of the triple train accident in Odisha on June 2.
The Department of Financial Services (DFS) has asked the General Insurance Council, the official representative body of general insurers, and Life Insurance Council, the official representative life insurers, to collect data from their members about their exposures to the accident victims by June 12. The government is planning to shell out the insurance amount through three government schemes.
According to insurance sources, insurers are responsible for three kind of insurance coverage. General insurers, as part of government financial inclusion programme, provide some basic cover under the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) through the banks. The coverage under the scheme is Rs 2 lakh for accidental death and full disability and Rs 1 lakh for partial disability. The premium of Rs 20 per annum is to be deducted from the account holder’s bank account through ‘auto-debit’ facility in one instalment.
Similarly, life insurers also through banks provide cover under the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJY). In this, the policy holder gets life cover of Rs 2 lakh in case of death due to any reason against a premium of Rs 436 per annum. EnrolLments under the scheme are be done by banks or at the post office in case of post office savings bank account.
Besides, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) provides optional personal accident cover to the passengers of Indian Railways at a minimal cost — 35 paise — since FY 2021-22 while buying tickets online.
IRCTC floats a bidding process and selects couple of general insurers every year for providing this cover and, in FY22, had covered over 16 crore passengers who paid Rs 6.56 crore of premium. One of the insurers for IRCTC’s passengers, SBI General Insurance has said it is dealing with any claims expeditiously and all assistance are being provided to their needy policy holders.
Insurers suggest cover provided through IRCTC online ticket platforms should be made compulsory as the premium is very minimal. The policy provides a coverage of Rs 10 lakh in case of death, Rs 10 lakh for permanent disability, Rs 7,50,000 for partial disability, Rs 2 lakh for hospitalisation expenses for injury.
Almost 90 per cent of tickets of Indian Railways are booked through IRCTC online platform. Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) is one of the largest insurers in PMJJY category.
The railways on Sunday said that even ticketless travellers on board involved in the Odisha accident will receive compensation. This is in line with a Supreme Court order, officials said.
“Irrespective of the passengers being ticketless (or not), they will receive compensation,” a Railway spokesperson had said.
“To mitigate the hardships of the claimants of State Bank of India (SBI) Life policies, the company has taken immediate steps to ease the claim settlement and documentation process which includes receiving alternate valid proofs of the claimants and support the family members of the deceased in this crucial time,” SBI Life said. The kin of the victims can connect with the company officials via email firstname.lastname@example.org and toll-free number 1800 267 9090.
Liberty General Insurance, IRCTC’s second insurer has also given phone number and e-mail ID for reporting any claims. Roopam Asthana, CEO and Whole Time Director, said, “We remain fully committed to provide quick claims settlement in the face of this tragic event. Our helpline number <+91-9324968286> is a quick point of contact for our policyholders, where a trained team of executives will sensitively guide them with their claim-related issues.”
Siddhartha Mohanty, chairperson, LIC, announced many concessions to mitigate the hardships of the claimants of
LIC policies and also of Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana. In lieu of registered death certificates, list of casualties published by Railway authorities, police or any state or central government authorities will be accepted as proof of death, he said.
LIC is committed to supporting those affected and will expedite claim settlements to provide financial relief, he added.
The collision involving two passenger trains and a stationary goods train has led to the loss of life of at least 275 people so far and left over 1,100 injured. The accident involving the Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express and Shalimar-Chennai Central Coromandel Express, which were carrying around 2,500 passengers, and a goods train occurred near the Bahanaga Bazar station in Balasore. The site is about 250 km south of Kolkata and 170 km north of Bhubaneswar.
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