Sitharaman meets heads of insurance companies for faster claim settlement

New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met the heads of insurance companies through Video conferencing on Friday to review the progress made under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) Insurance Scheme for Health Workers Fighting COVID-19 and also to accelerate the disbursement of pending claims under the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) during the pandemic.

She also stressed the importance of streamlining the process and documentation requirements under the schemes so that the claims are disbursed speedily.

During the review, the Finance Minister observed that under the PMGKP scheme, a total of 419 claims have been paid as of date, amounting to Rs 209.5 crore disbursed in the account of their nominees.

To address the issue of delays arising out of States sending documents, the Finance Minister said that a new system has been put in place whereby a simple certificate from the District Magistrate (DM) and endorsed by the nodal state health authority will be sufficient to process these claims.

She also appreciated the efforts of New India Assurance Co which has been entrusted to manage the scheme and cited the example of Ladakh where a claim was settled within 4 hours of receiving the DM certificate and urged to maintain a similar approach in the future.

The Finance Minister also directed the States to take up COVID claims of health workers on priority and make maximum use of this simplified mechanism that has been put in place.

The Finance Minister further observed that under PMJJBY, a total of 4.65 lakh claims have been paid of value Rs. 9,307 crore and since the beginning of the pandemic i.e., 1st April 2020 onwards till date, 1.2 lakh claims have been paid amounting to Rs. 2,403 crore, at a disposal rate of 99%.

The Finance Minister emphasised that insurance company officials should continue being sympathetic while providing services to nominees of deceased policyholders, especially during the pandemic period. She also appreciated the recent efforts made by insurance companies and banks in the speedy processing of claims.

During the review, Finance Minister also took stock of the disposal of claims made under the PMSBY scheme and said that a total of 82,660 claims have been paid of value Rs. 1,629 crore as on May 31, 2021.

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