Moneylife Foundation publishes report on 'Public Liability Insurance in India'
The report gives a 360 degree perspective on the rules and regulations governing liability insurance, its functioning and operability.
Moneylife Foundation’s ‘Report on Public Liability Insurance in India’ was released by the chairman of General Insurance Corporation (GIC), Devesh Srivastava recently. The Foundation is engaged in spreading financial literacy, consumer awareness and advocacy, and works towards safe and fair market practices through research, workshops, meetings and petitions and counselling.
The report gives a 360 degree perspective on the rules and regulations governing liability insurance, its functioning and operability for massive public tragedies like the Bhopal gas leak on the intervening night of Dec 2 and 3, 1984, and the subsequent evolution of commercial liability products. Incidentally, the Public Liability Insurance Act was enacted post the Bhopal tragedy.
According to Sucheta Dalal of Moneylife Foundation, “In most developed countries, if you are injured in a public space such as a bank, cinema hall, mall or restaurant, the owner of the establishment has an insurance policy that covers it. In India, we are on our own. If you have a good enough personal accident policy and health policy you may be covered. The public establishment has no responsibility to even call an ambulance to get you to a hospital.”
Moneylife Foundation discovered this through the case of DS Ranga Rao, who was involved in an accident while trying to access his bank locker. Even though he was severely injured, none of the grievance redressal authorities got him justice. Only after Moneylife Foundation escalated it to the highest level of the Reserve Bank of India was Rao reimbursed for his surgery and hospitalisation.
Srivatsava said, “In the US, nearly 40-45 % of insurance products are meant for liability insurance compared to just 1-1.5% in India. We need to change this and take public liability insurance products to the mass market. It will bring the required change in the mindset of businesses as well as the public.”
The report has made certain key recommendations to ensure the efficacy of liability insurance and the implementation of rules and regulations to protect the rights of victims.
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