Chennai, June 4 (VOICE) While government-owned Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has announced relaxation in the documents to be filed by the nominee/legal heirs of train accident victims, no such public announcements have been made by the two private general insurers who have covered the passengers of the two express trains that met with an accident in Odisha.
Similarly, no announcements like that of LIC seem to have come from private life insurers and the sectoral regulator.
In the tragic train accident, two passenger trains and a goods train collided, resulting in loss of at least 275 lives and leaving approximately 1,000 injured.
Those who reserve the train tickets through the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd’s (IRCTC) ticket booking portal can opt for accident insurance for Rs 10 lakh by paying a paltry premium of 0.35 paise.
The policy covers death/disabilities/medical expenses due to a train accident during the travel.
The IRCTC has selected SBI General Insurance and Liberty General Insurance to offer the travel insurance cover.
While Liberty General Insurance on its website has given a phone number and an email id for reporting a claim, no such information is available on the home page of SBI General Insurance or the IRCTC website.
LIC Chairperson Siddhartha Mohanty announced that claimants of LIC Policies and also of Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana can submit list of casualties published by railway authorities, police or any state or Central government authorities will be accepted as proof of death in lieu of registered death certificates.
According to Mohanty, a Special Help Desk has been set up at Divisional and Branch level to respond to claim related queries and for providing assistance to claimants.
All efforts will be taken to ensure that the claimants are reached out and claims are settled expeditiously to the affected families. The claimants may also call LIC at 02268276827, Mohanty added.
People are now asking as to why not IRCTC or the Indian government offers the insurance cover to train passengers free of cost.
“The IRCTC or the Indian government can offer the insurance cover to all the train passengers holding a valid ticket instead of charging 35 paise,” former Member of Parliament K.C. Palanisamy told VOICE.
“Anything that is less than fifty paise is rounded off to a lower sum. Likewise, IRCTC can offer the insurance cover free of cost or bundle it with all the tickets booked through it,” a senior insurance industry official told VOICE preferring anonymity.
He said the IRCTC began offering accident insurance cover to passengers booking tickets on its portal some years back.
“Initially the premium was Re 0.98 paise and now it has come down to Re 0.35 paise,a he said.
“While the risk coverage and the ease of buying the insurance cover are good, the nomination facility is a bit cumbersome. Perhaps IRCTC can have a column when a person opts for the insurance cover,” the insurance official added.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)