The 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival set to begin from Friday has seen a bumper season for insurance in the city. Sector officials said about Rs 450 crore worth of cover has been taken by mandals across Mumbai.
Last year, the Ganpati puja organisers had taken Rs 375 crore worth of insurance coverage, which offers protection against damage to idol and pandal due to fire or other incidents, jewellery, personal accident for devotees, apart from coverage for terrorist acts.
The most popular Ganesh mandal, Lalbaugcha Raja, situated in Lalbaug area of Mumbai, has been insured for Rs 51 crore by New India Assurance, similar to last year. This includes Rs 3.5 crore coverage for the set, pandal, settings and electricals, and Rs 10 crore for third-party risks (prasad or edible offerings for incidents of poisoning). Further, the organisers have also taken an accident insurance of Rs 30 crore covering security officials, local residents of that area, volunteers, and devotees. To protect the idol’s jewellery and other valuables, an insurance coverage of Rs 7.5 crore has been taken.
From last year onwards, Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal has taken insurance for immersion activities of all Ganesh mandals in Mumbai. The size of the coverage is Rs 10 crore, taken from United India Insurance.
Under this, if there is death or disability due to any accident during immersion processions, a compensation of Rs 2 lakh would be provided.
Officials from the mandal said this would cover immersion-related incidents on all days of immersion including second day, fifth day, seventh day, 10th day and 11th day and would also give protection against drowning-related accidents/death. Different mandals have different dates for immersion of the Ganesh idol.
GSB Seva Mandal in the King’s Circle area, with one of the richest Ganpati deities in Mumbai, has taken a coverage of Rs 258.9 crore from a nationalised general insurer. It is called the Gold Ganpati Mandal, thanks to the fact that the deity is bedecked with at least 50 kg of gold.
Satish Nayak from the GSB Seva Mandal King’s Circle Ganeshotsav explained its insurance coverage will include risks such as fire and allied perils, burglary, theft accidental external damage and terrorism. Further, public liability and accident insurance would be covered. Last year, the mandal had taken Rs 223-crore insurance.
A senior official from a public general insurance company said the number of Ganesh mandals taking insurance had seen a 30-40 per cent rise. “While the sum assured might not be very high, mandals usually have an average cover of Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore. We are now seeing smaller mandals also taken basic covers for fire, theft and personal accident, since the footfalls have increased across mandalsf,” said the official. Other mandals are also beefing up insurance. G S B Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav at Shri Ram Mandir at Wadala has taken a coverage of Rs 25 crore compared to Rs 15 crore last year. This would include the idol, jewellery and coverage against man-made accidents.
For these insurance policies, the premium can range between a few thousand and several lakhs depending on the size of the coverage. For a coverage of Rs 10 crore, the premium could be Rs 12-15 lakh, even though it is on for a period of 10 days. “The risks associated with the festival are very high. Hence, premiums are also rising by 10-15 per cent. However, sudden rainfall or other natural catastrophe-related causes are usually not covered,” said a general manager at a public general insurance firm.
The Ganeshotsav, which will begin from Ganesh Chaturthi on Friday, will continue for the next 10 days till Anantha Chaturdashi on September 9.