1.25L Haj pilgrims insured this year

Around 1.25 lakh Haj pilgrims from across the country have been insured by the Haj committee of India under the comprehensive insurance policy that will cover losses due to theft, hospitalization, illness, injury or death due to terrorism etc.

Oriental Insurance Company (OIC) will provide the insurance umbrella to the pilgrims, who start departing for 45-day Haj from September 17. The Haj committee has charged around Rs 130 per person towards the cost of premium for the policy. Last year, the cost of premium was Rs 160 per person.

Amitabh Mitra, chief regional manager, OIC, said, “Even though the premium is low, we have assured there will be no compromise on the quality of cover.”

The comprehensive policy covers five types of emergencies for which the insurance company is liable to pay monetary compensation. The official said, “For example, every pilgrim is allotted 2,100 Saudi riyals at 21 embarkation points across India. If the pilgrim loses 2,100 riyals during the first two days, he is liable to get the total reimbursement. The reimbursement diminishes as the days pass by during the stay. This year’s policy will compensate the loss of money to a maximum of 1,200 pilgrims as against 1,000 last year.”

The policy also covers loss of baggage but not during transit. A person is eligible to get around 5,100 riyals for any loss of baggage for a maximum of 100 person.

The official said, “The insurance company is also liable to bear the cost of ferrying the patient from Saudi Arabia to India by wheel chair, stretcher and if necessary by air ambulance, including the cost of escort.”

Viny Dighe, an official with OIC, refused to provide the amount collected as premium from the Haj committee. She said, “We offered lower premium because the OIC considers this as a social cause policy.”


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