MUMBAI: Ganpati mandals say they trust nationalized insurance companies over private players for purchasing festival policies. In fact business is so competitive that the insurers have a no-poaching agreement with one another.
Mumbai’s prize account is that of GSB Seva Mandal, Kings Circle, which has insured itself for Rs 223 crore this year. Spokesperson Satish Nayak says, “I will not reveal the winning bidder or the premium we pay because we call for tenders and then select the proper bid. But we always choose a nationalized firm. Private companies may or may not honour a claim. Settling claims with a private firm depends on the liaison officer you get, but nationalized insurers follow time-honoured regulations.”
GSB’s policy includes all risk cover of Rs 20 crore, a similar amount goes towards public liability and Rs 182 crore constitutes personal accident cover at Rs 10 lakh per head including workers, volunteers and priests.
Andhericha Raja has secured total insurance cover of Rs 3.70 crore from National Insurance. Mandal spokesperson Uday Salian says, “We always prefer government firms since they have a reputation that comes with being in business for so many decades. Private companies use skilful marketing strategies. Public firms are short on glamour but they have a better record of settling claims arising from calamities, like the Gujarat earthquake, for instance.”
Andhericha Raja’s largest chunk of Rs 1.75 crore covers threat by terrorism while Rs 75 lakh protects the deity’s ornaments. Another Rs 1 crore insures mandal volunteers while the remaining covers public liability. The Raja’s visarjan procession on the following Sankashti is also covered.
Lalbaugcha Raja has settled on two public insurance companies for separate policies. The first covers immersion processions citywide. “We have taken a Rs 20 crore policy from United India Assurance to insure all devotees in the Mumbai metropolitan region. This covers people who suffer permanent disability during visarjan or die by drowning at any immersion site. The policy covers important visarjan days, that is the second, fifth, seventh and tenth day of Ganeshotsav,” says mandal president Ashok Pawar.
For itself the mandal has sought a Rs 51 crore policy from New India Assurance, Rs 6 crore more than the previous year. This spans public liability of Rs 30 crore, third party insurance of Rs 10 crore and ornaments for Rs 7.5 crore. Lalbaugcha Raja’s property and set is insured for Rs 3.5 crore.