The 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival that is set to begin from August 29 has seen a bumper season for insurance in the city. Industry officials said that about Rs. 450 crore worth insurance has been taken by mandals across Mumbai.
Last year, the Ganpati puja organisers had taken around Rs. 375 crore worth insurance covers. These covers offer protection against damage to idol and pandal due to fire or other incidents, jewellery, personal accident for devotees apart from cover for terror acts.
The most popular Ganesh mandal, Lalbaugcha Raja, situated in Lalbaug area of Mumbai, has been insured with a cover of Rs. 51 crore by New India Assurance, similar to last year. This includes Rs. 3.5 crore cover for the set, pandal, settings and electricals, Rs. 10 crore for third party risks (prasad or edible offerings for incidents of poisoning).
Further, they have also taken an accident insurance cover of Rs. 30 crore covering security officials, local residents of that area, volunteers and devotees. To protect the idol’s jewellery and other valuables, a cover 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 cover is Rs. 10 crore, taken from United India Insurance.
Under this cover, if there death or disability due to any accident during immersion processions, a compensation of Rs. 2 lakh would be provided.
Officials from the mandal said that this would cover immersion related incidents on all days of immersion including second day, fifth day, seventh day, tenth day and eleventh day and would also protection against drowning related accidents/death. Different mandals have different dates for immersion of the Ganesh idol.
GSB Seva Mandal in King’s Circle area, one of the richest Ganpati deities in Mumbai, has taken a whopping Rs. 258.9 crore cover from a nationalised general insurer. It is called the Gold Ganpati Mandal thanks to the fact that the deity is bedecked with more than 50 kilograms of gold.
Satish Nayak from the GSB Seva Mandal King’s Circle Ganeshotsav explained that their insurance cover will cover all risks including fire and allied perils, burglary, theft accidental external damage and terrorism cover. Further, public liability and accident insurance would be covered under the policy. 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 has seen a 30-40 per cent rise.
“While the sum assured may not be very high, mandals usually have an average cover of Rs. 50 lakh to Rs. 1 crore. We are now seen smaller mandals also taken basic covers for fire, theft and personal accident, since the footfalls have increased across mandals,” the official said.
Other mandals are also beefing up insurance. G.S.B. Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav at Shri Ram Mandir at Wadala has taken a cover of Rs. 25 crore compared to Rs. 15 crore taken last year. This would include the idol, jewellery and cover against man-made accidents.
For these insurance policies, the premium can range from few thousand to several lakhs depending on the size of the cover. For a cover of Rs. 10 crore, the premium could be Rs. 12-15 lakhs even though it is on for a period of ten 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 the 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.