Insurance companies have long been offering simple and very inexpensive personal accident policies. There are varying compensations for permanent and temporary partial disablements

Insurance companies have long been offering simple and very inexpensive personal accident policies. There are varying compensations for permanent and temporary partial disablements

When a car crashes, families and futures crash and burn. All because treatment expenses and loss of earnings ruin even robust middle-class families.

Insurance companies have long been offering simple and very inexpensive personal accident policies. If I had a hospitalisation policy, that would cover most of my treatment bills. If I had a personal accident policy for ₹15 lakh over and above this, my family would receive ₹15 lakh for death in an accident or if it results in a permanent disablement. Varying compensations for permanent partial disablement and temporary partial disablement. All this at an annual premium of less than ₹400 a year for a 30-year-old.

A common man’s version of this is the personal insurance policy under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) umbrella called Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY).

For a premium of ₹20 per year, PMSBY offers a ₹2 lakh accidental death cover and up to ₹1 lakh for disablement for any 18- to 70-year-old who signs up through a bank account with Aadhaar as identity proof.

The third personal insurance scheme under JDY, PMSBY, like the life insurance scheme Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Atal Pension Yojana (APY), is administered through banks and offered by all public sector general insurance companies and any other general insurance company opting to offer it. With your bank account you can sign up for the policy and allow auto debit of premium each year. The bank holds the master policy and you are a member. The signing up formalities are a one-page form and the bank takes care of the rest. Claims are also dealt with by the bank.

This policy can be in addition to any other policy you have, whether indemnity or benefit policies, and is simplicity itself.

The central government had its own initiatives called the Universal Health Insurance Scheme which followed the Jan Arogya Bima Yojana and others.

Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission combined the central schemes Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS).

Ayushman Bharat offers hospitalisation expenses of up to ₹5 lakh per beneficiary family across the country. Targeting over 10 crore below the poverty line families, the scheme offers not only cashless treatment, but is also portable countrywide, serving the needs of migrant workers and their families. The scheme covers secondary and tertiary treatment at government or private hospitals with which there is a pre-negotiated package rate.

(The writer K. Nitya Kalyani is a business journalist specialising in insurance & corporate history)



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