In five months since launch, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Suraksha Yojana has 117 million policy holders. Launched on May 9, it has a term insurance scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), and an accident insurance one, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY).
The scheme website shows public sector banks (PSBs) sold the largest number. State Bank of India had the highest share with 21 million, followed by Punjab National Bank with 8.5 million. Other PSBs with more than 5.5 million enrolments are Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, Bank of India and Central Bank of India.
This scheme involves one life, one non-life and one pension scheme. The government had said it would build on these to get a universal social security scheme.
Kshitij Jain, managing director, Exide Life Insurance, says a big plus from these schemes is their help in spreading awareness of insurance and its benefits in rural areas. On the other hand, insurers say fraudulent claims have already been detected. The data shows almost all companies taking part in the scheme have found these.
PMSBY is an accident insurance scheme of a Rs 2 lakh sum assured, with a premium of only Rs 12 a year. PMJJBY is a life insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh, with an annual premium of Rs 330. Added to this is the Atal Pension Yojana, for the unorganised sector.
Since banks are an integral part of the scheme, where both the policy and claim would be dealt through them, insurers say enrolments have been faster.
"Tying up with banks which already have a presence in rural areas is an advantage, since our costs of distribution come down. This was essential, since the cost of the policy is very low," said a senior in a government-owned insurer.
The country's insurance penetration is 3.9 per cent of gross domestic product and these schemes are expected to give a needed push to this. According to a Swiss Re study, life insurance penetration was 3.1 per cent and non-life insurance was 0.8 per cent, as of end-March 2014.