Money & Banking

Mumbai's Ganesh mandals insured for crores

Deepa Nair Nivedita Ganguly Mumbai | Updated on September 04, 2013 Published on September 04, 2013

Sprucing up: An artist gives finishing touches to a Ganesh idol in his workshop, in Mumbai — Shashi Ashiwal

With the Ganesh Chaturthi festival just a few days away, mandals across Mumbai have sought multi-crore insurance covers for the 10-day festival period.

Mumbai’s wealthiest mandal, GSB Seva Ganesh Mandal, has taken insurance for a whopping Rs 223.35 crore from a public sector general insurer. This includes cover for all devotees and the deity’s ornaments against terror attacks, accidents or external damage.

The premium for such a deal normally runs into several lakhs. For insurers, such transactions are profitable as no significant claims have been made so far.

“Last year, we took a cover of Rs 224 crore, which has gone down marginally. This is because when the valuation of gold jewellery that adorns the deity was done, the price of gold was down,” said Satish Nayak, treasurer of GSB Seva Mandal.

The biggest component of the insurance package is the Rs 182-crore cover for personal accident that includes visitors, volunteers, electricians and other workers, at Rs 10 lakh per person.

GSB Seva Mandal has taken insurance for 15 days until the ornaments are safely deposited in the bank, Nayak added. The mandal has 78 kg of gold and 450 kg of silver.

This year the insurance cover for Mumbai’s most popular deity, Lalbaugcha Raja, has gone up to Rs 51 crore from Rs 45 crore last year. New India Assurance has secured the mandate for the insurance package.

“We have raised personal accident cover from Rs 25 crore to Rs 30 crore. The package also includes Rs 10 crore for public liability, Rs 7.5 crore for jewellery of the deity, and Rs 3.5 crore for property insurance,” said Ashok Pawar, president of Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal.

The mandal is also taking an additional cover of Rs 15 crore for over 20,000 Ganesh mandals across the city. The personal accident insurance cover is at Rs 2 lakh per head. “As an umbrella association, we have taken this cover to ensure safety of all the visitors across mandals in the city,” said Pawar.

Ganesh Chaturthi falls on September 9 and the visarjan (immersion of the idols) happens 10 days later.



Published on September 04, 2013
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