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Business News

Insurance penetration in India likely to cross 4% this year: ASSOCHAM

Mangaluru: Government's policy of insuring the uninsured has gradually pushed insurance penetration in the country and proliferation of insurance schemes are expected to catapult this key ratio beyond 4% mark by the end of this year, reveals the ASSOCHAM latest paper.

Despite the gentle rise in insurance penetration which is percentage of insurance premium with reference to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), it is still far below the global average, according to paper titled 'Insurance penetration in India,' by the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

The insurance penetration has started its northward journey is evident from the fact that it has increased from 3.3% in 2014 to 3.44% in 2015 on the back of various insurance schemes launched by the government, adds the paper.

As part of social security initiative, the government has launched low premium insurance schemes both life and non-life in 2015. Last year, it introduced crop insurance.

With objective to provide insurance cover to all, the Government launched Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojna (PMSBY) and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJBY) in 2015, noted the study.

PMSBY offers a renewable one-year accidental death or disability cover of Rs 2 lakh for partial/permanent disability to all savings bank account holders in the age group of 18-70 years for a premium of Rs 12 per annum per subscriber. The scheme is managed by general insurance firms, adds the chamber.

PMJJBY, on the other hand, offers a renewable one year life cover of Rs 2 lakh to all savings bank account holders in the age group of 18-50 years, covering death due to any reason, for a premium of Rs 330 per annum per subscriber.

Besides, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) launched last year to provide financial support to farmers suffering crop loss or damage arising out of unforeseen events will also add to insurance penetration.

PMFBY has been approved for implementation in all States and Union Territories from Kharif 2016 season in place of National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS).

"PMFBY is a significant improvement over the earlier schemes on several counts and comprehensive risk coverage from pre-sowing to post-harvest losses are some of the salient points. A budget provision of Rs 5501.15 crore has been made for the scheme for the current crop season," ASSOCHAM President Sandeep Jajodia said.

ashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) is a government-run health insurance scheme that provides for cashless insurance for hospitalisation in public as well as private hospitals. The scheme is force since April 1, 2008 and has been implemented in 25 states.

The number of lives covered under Health Insurance policies during 2015-16 was 36 crore which is approximately 30 per cent of India's total population. The number has seen an increase every subsequent year as 28.80 crore people had the policy in the previous fiscal.

The measure of insurance penetration and insurance density calculated as the ratio of premium to population or per capita premium reflects the level of development of insurance sector in a country, said Sandeep said.

Source: The Times of India

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