Thursday, October 1, 2009

Chhatradhar insurance: Experts doubt claim

KOLKATA: Does PCPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato, now in police custody, really have a Rs 1-crore insurance policy? State police may have alleged so, but there are not many in the insurance sector willing to buy such a claim.
For, the insurance experts feel it is highly unlikely that Mahato could produce the income proof that is mandatory for such a big-ticket policy. Senior LIC officials pointed out that for a conventional endowment policy of Rs 1 crore, the annual premium ranges from Rs 4 lakh to Rs 6 lakh depending on the person's age and the policy term. The premium in case of add-on policies like money-back and other benefits would be more. They want to know how could Mahato, whose annual income according to police is about Rs 2 lakh, afford to pay such a hefty premium.
"The thumb rule for an endowment policy is that the sum assured should be divided by the term to ascertain the premium. It varies to the tune of 15%-20% depending on the age. For an average age of 25-30 years, a Rs 1-crore policy of 25-year duration would mean paying premium of Rs 4 lakh. But if the age is over 40 years and the term is 20 years, then the premium will be over Rs 5 lakh," he said.
According to insurance experts, the minimum annual income required to propose a Rs 1-crore policy is over Rs 8 lakh. "The insurance premium cannot be more than 50% of the annual income of the proposer," they added. Under the insurance rules, the proposer (who is paying the premium) and the person whose life is insured may not be same. But the proposer should preferably be someone having a blood relation with the insured.
Mahato may propose a policy for any of his relatives. But there is doubt in the insurance circles whether his relatives can afford to give official income proof like tax return or salary certificate of that magnitude. "We generally do not allow anybody other than a relative to propose life insurance for a person. The only exception is the employer. This is done simply because there are chances that the third party may have mala fide intention," an insurance official added.
Sujato Bhadra of the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) said it was not feasible for Mahato to have such a life insurance policy. "As far as my knowledge goes, it is absurd to have such a policy in his financial condition. It is unlikely for any insurance company to allow him to go for such a policy because it would want to know whether he has a stable income and how much he earns," Bhadra said.
He added that police's claim that Mahato had such a policy was a deliberate step to malign him and the movement he was leading.

No comments: