Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday asked insurance industry to give more focus to generate the required level of awareness about the benefits of insurance to rural people.
Inaugurating a new building of Insurance Institute of India in Bandra Kurla Complex in here, Mukherjee said: "Insurance industry should make all efforts to take the necessary steps to ensure the reach of insurance to general masses.
"As for meeting their rural and social obligation, the insurance companies are now increasingly tapping the semi-urban and rural areas to spread the message of protection of life and property through insurance cover," he said.The Government of India have also introduced many special products aimed at the rural markets like Jan Shree Bima Yojana, Universal Health Insurance Scheme, Aam Admi Bima Yojana, Crop Insurance, etc. for the benefit of poor and needy populace in the country," he added.
Mukherjee further said that there is immense need of disaster management in controlling catastrophic risk in India, so the insurance industry should prepare to deal with any kind of catastrophic losses.
"The insurance companies should concentrate on exploring the world reinsurance market, so that the impact of heavy losses can be mitigated," he added.
Recognizing the importance of crop insurance as a critical risk management tool, Mukherjee said: "We have taken a serious view of the huge gap between the amount of crop loan disbursed and that covered under the scheme.
"The crop insurance is still not popular among the farmers. At present only 20 per cent farmers are covered under Agriculture Insurance Schemes," he added.
On this occasion, Mukherjee also released a corporate replica.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, Chairman of Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) J. Hari Narayan were also present on the occasion.