State expected to be one of the worst hit by climate-related disasters

The State government is mulling the formulation of a Comprehensive Insurance Policy for disaster-affected people, a first of its kind initiative in the country. A detailed proposal for this has been submitted by the Institute of Land and Disaster Management (ILDM).

At a meeting of stakeholders, including representatives of the departments concerned and insurance companies, here on Saturday, a few more key recommendations to streamline the policy were put forward.

“The policy is being proposed with a view to taking disaster mitigation efforts beyond the award of compensation to the victims. There is no existing policy that considers all aspects and all types of disasters. For example, sea erosion and lightning are not considered disasters in the Centre’s list whereas in Kerala a large number of deaths occur due to these. Such a policy is important as our State is expected to be one of the worst affected by future climate-related disasters,” said K.G. Thara, Head of ILDM.

According to the proposal, the policy will be index-based for crop loss and health impacts such as sunstroke in climate-related disasters. It will also be indemnity-based (based on actual loss) for climate-related as well as disasters such as tsunami, air, water and land accidents and building collapse. Insurance cover will also be given to utensils, household goods and educational equipment washed away or damaged in disasters. Utensils of self-help groups will also be covered.

The premium payment for BPL families should be fully borne by the government whereas for APL families, ratio of ownership will have to be decided through consultative discussions. Funeral expenses of BPL families also shall be covered. High-risk professionals such as Fire and Rescue Services personnel should be given double insurance benefit. Four premium schemes have been proposed with premium amounts of Rs.10, Rs.22, Rs. 25 and Rs.37 for the entire family. As per scheme 1, an amount of Rs.2 lakh will be given for accident death or permanent total disablement of the breadwinner of a household, Rs. 1 lakh in case of the spouse and Rs. 50,000 each for dependent children. In scheme 2, the amounts are Rs. 5 lakh, Rs. 2.5 lakh and Rs. 1 lakh respectively. Scheme 3 and 4 has the extra provision of Rs.75,000 in case of damage to buildings and Rs.25,000 for damage to contents.

More In: Kerala | National