Prime Minister Narendra Modi may provide free accident insurance to all account holders under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and double the cover for those already eligible for life and accident insurance under the scheme.
“We are looking at various options to strengthen and consolidate the financial inclusion initiatives that this government has undertaken so far. One of them is to increase the insurance coverage,” said a government official aware of the deliberations. The government is looking at the modalities and may make an announcement on August 15, the official said.
There are about 320 million Jan Dhan account holders who have life insurance cover of Rs 30,000. Account holders with a RuPay card — numbering about 240 million — are also eligible for Rs 1 lakh accident insurance cover. The deliberations are a part of revamping Jan Dhan Yojana, which is to end in August. The scheme was launched by Modi in 2014.
“One option is that all PMJDY account holders will be eligible for Suraksha Bima Yojana without paying any premium,” said another government official. At present, the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana offers accidental deathcum-disability cover of Rs 2 lakh for an annual premium of Rs 12. The scheme has about 130 million subscribers. “This can be extended to all PMJDY account holders who do not have RuPay cards,” the official said.
“We are also looking to ease certain eligibility restrictions.” Under PMJDY, account holders can claim accident insurance only if they have used their RuPay card at least once in the prior 90-day period. While the focus of the first phase of PMJDY was on opening bank accounts, the second phase was aimed at complete financial inclusion by providing micro-insurance and pension schemes.
Under its social security drive billed Jan-Dhan se Jan Suraksha, the government launched two schemes — accident cover of Rs 2 lakh and life insurance of Rs 2 lakh for an annual premium of Rs 330, for which there are 53 million subscribers.