Health Scheme to Safeguard Traders

Protecting the traders of the state, Punjab government launched the insurance policy that gives traders health benefits up to 50,000 INR per annum. The ‘New Traders policy-2013’ brought relief for the traders of the state. Along with Lump sum tax proposals the SAD-BJP government even took out the insurance scheme which came to be the first of its kind in the nation.

Health Scheme to Safeguard Traders

The scheme gives insurance cover for traders having turnover up to Rs. 1 crore. The scheme objective is provide three Insurance covers that are

  • Accidental Death &Disability Insurance Cover
  • Health Insurance Cover
  • Fire & special Perils Insurance Cover

It would benefit 1.86 Lakh traders. It is known as Social Security Scheme and this scheme would not cover those traders who are under any other State Insurance scheme.

Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar having the most traders with turnover up to 1 crore are divided amongst themselves. Ludhiana -1 has the most businessmen with numbers at 15433. SBS Nagar has the least with 2059 traders. With a total of 1, 86,543 traders availing the facilities, public and private both kind of hospitals will be made capable of handling the situation.

The Health Care cover of Rs. 50,000 will cover one person only. The beneficiaries of the scheme will get a plastic card for health insurance cover. This will enable cashless transactions for meeting expenses of hospitalization for surgical and medical procedures. Hospitalization costs for up to 5 days post discharge will be inclusive in the insurance cover.

Under the Accidental death & disability Cover the recipients of the Plastic card will be giver cover of Rs. 2 Lakhs. In case of accidental death of the beneficiary he nominee has to go to the website of the insurance provider and submit the claim. The rest will be taken care of by the insurance provider, who has to take the required documents and settle the claim within 30 days. If the legatee faces accidental disability then by providing his/her Unique Identification number to the Insurance providers’ website they can submit the claim which will be required to collect information. The UID is printed on the back side of the plastic card. The settlement is to be done in 30 days.

In case a beneficiary faces hospitalisation after an accident and even after the treatment is disabled then he will be eligible for health and accidental cover both.

If a traders stock catches fire and it suffers loss/damage provided that it is kept at a registered location then the trader will be authorised for Rs. 5 lakhs cover under Fire Insurance. The claim however will be as per the Average clause defined under IRDA. The same will be settled within 30 days of the traders’ submission of the claim on the website of the insurance provider.

Average clause is calculated as follows in case of loss by fire:

Average clause = Loss of stock/Value of total stock on date of fire x Sum insured

There are State Level Committees under the traders’ insurance policy scheme which keep a check on the insurer and the insurance provider. The chairman of the Committee is nominated by Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Punjab and is to be an officer not below the rank of Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner. The task of the committee is to coordinate between the government and Insurance providers. With this the government gets to keep a check on if any irregularities that surface.

For grievance redressal a separate committee has been formed which is headed by Assistant Excise & Taxation Commissioner of the district. The committee helps the beneficiaries in case of any issue that causes them a problem.

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