The organisers feel it’s not worth paying the premium on the policies when the income that they generate from voluntary contributions is just enough to run the mandaps

The upcoming Ganesh festival has nothing in store for insurance companies though the risk factor of the mandaps is growing every year with value addition and a steep rise in their numbers.

The Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samiti, the umbrella organisation of mandaps, has estimated that 70,000 pandals would be erected once the festival begins on Monday as against 60,000 last year. The cost of maintaining each pandal ranges between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 5 lakh. In the case of enormous Ganesh at Khairatabad, the expenditure could be well up to Rs. 10 lakh, according to the Samiti vice-president Karodimal Narsing Puria.

When so much money is involved, the insurer will like to have his cake too, but surprisingly he is overlooked. The mandap organisers have shown no interest for insurance coverage though the festival is a big business for the firms in Mumbai, Pune and other cities.

The only risk factor that the mandaps have is fire accident or any other mishap during movement of idols either at the time of installation or immersion. The organisers feel it was not worth paying the premium on the policies when the income that they generated from voluntary contributions was just enough to run the mandaps.

The insurer, however, had his own reason to sell his product.

He feels that there are certain extraneous risk factors which are not taken into account by the mandaps. For instance, Hyderabad was a communally sensitive centre and the festival sometimes clashed with Mohurrum and Ramzan.

The event organiser insurance is considered the best choice to extend coverage for the mandaps as the policy is limited for the event period. At least one company has come forward to include marriages in the policy. The cancellation of the marriage in the last minute was the risk considered.

The policy will cover payment made for the function hall, food caterer and other arrangements, an official said.

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