Rural Goa outruns urban areas in insurance benefits

Posted on 2008-09-16
PANAJI- Contrary to general trend, more households in rural Goa have taken benefit of the life insurance schemes, than those in urban areas of the state.
The latest India protection survey report of the National Council for Applied Economic Research, released in the state on Monday by the Max New York Life Insurance stated that in rural Goa, 81.7 per cent households are aware of life insurance, but only 41.6 per cent own it, while in urban Goa, 84.8 per cent of the households are aware of life insurance, but only 38 per cent own it.
The zonal vice president (West) of Max New York Life Insurance, Mr Sanjay Sabharwal addressing a press conference, said that as per the report, the average annual household income of Goa is Rs 1,15,552, while its average health expenses is Rs 17,379. “Goa spends around 15 per cent of its annual income on health related expenditure,” he added.
The report further maintained, “The total number of Goan households that have health insurance is 2.37 per cent, with an average sum assured of Rs 468, which would cover one trip to the doctor.” “Around 1.57 per cent people in the state give importance to health insurance, a significantly low number,” it pointed out.
Stating that altogether 76 per cent of the households in Goa are financially at risk as they cannot survive on their current savings for more than a year, the report maintained that fortunately 91 per cent of the households in Goa deposit their money in bank, co-operative societies and post office, while only 7.7 per cent of households keep their savings at home.
Quoting the report, Mr Sabharwal stated that in Goa 75.7 per cent of the people use their own savings to overcome major illnesses, while 24.3 per cent go for loans from friends and relatives.
There are three major lifeline health insurance plans of the Max New York Life Insurance, he informed, namely Medicash and Medicash Plus for hospitalisation cash benefit, Wellness and Wellness Plus for critical illness insurance and Safety Net for comprehensive protection.
The Medicash and Medicash Plus plan provide 250 days of hospital cover during policy term, 50 days of hospital cover during one policy year, and additionally, surgical benefit with unlimited number of surgical procedures covered, while Wellness and Wellness Plus plan cover 10 catastrophic illness, supports claim payable on diagnosis of any of the identified illness or on performance of the surgical procedure, and even assists in expert second opinion to confirm the line of treatment post diagnosis.
In the Safety Net plan, there is level term benefit, accelerated critical illness benefit, additional total disability benefit and accidental death benefit.
Mr Sabharwal stated that presently, Goa has four offices of the Max New York Life Insurance, located at Panaji, Vasco, Margao and Ponda, while two more at Sanvordem and Mapusa are coming up by April, next year.
He also informed that presently the company has 425 agents in Goa, and their number would go up to 2,500 by the year 2010.