A message is being shared widely on social media with a claim that the benefits under the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) can be claimed for COVID-19 related deaths. Let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: The benefits under the PMJJBY and PMSBY schemes can be claimed for COVID-19 related deaths.
Fact: While it is true that the PMJJBY scheme is applicable to COVID-19 deaths, there are some conditions with respect to the eligibility and claim process. The PMSBY scheme caters only to accidents and as of today, there is no update regarding the inclusion of COVID-19 related cases in PMSBY. The maximum benefit under each scheme is 2 lakh rupees, not 4 lakh rupees as mentioned in the post. Hence the claim made in the post is PARTLY TRUE.
Two schemes are mentioned in the post. Let us look at each of them separately and try to find whether those schemes apply to COVID-19 related deaths.
Are COVID-19 related deaths covered under PMJJBY?
Yes, COVID-19 related deaths are also covered under PMJJBY. On the ‘Jan-Dhan Se Jan Suraksha’ website, it can be read in the PMJJBY rules that the PMJJBY scheme offers life insurance cover for ‘death due to any reason’. Also, in a press release, the Life Insurance Corporation of India (the administrator of the policy) has said, ‘the Death claims arising due to COVID-19 shall be treated at par with other causes of death and payments shall be made on an urgent basis. Already death claims due to COVID-19 under 16 policies have been settled without losing any time.’ Also, the Life Insurance Council said, ‘the clause of ‘Force Majeure’ will not apply in case of COVID-19 death claims. All life insurance companies will process COVID-19 death claims’. [Force majeure – a clause that is included in contracts to remove liability for natural and unavoidable catastrophes that interrupt the expected course of events and prevent participants from fulfilling obligations.]
But the scheme is not applicable to people of all ages. A bank account holder between 18-50 years only can enroll in the scheme by paying an annual premium every year. Also, the insurance will terminate on attaining the age of 55 years (provided he/she joined on or before 50 years and paid the premium annually). The claims by nominees in the event of an unfortunate event of the death of the insured may be filed ‘preferably within 30 days of the death’ at the Bank Branch having the underlying Bank Account in the prescribed Claim Forms along with the death certificate.
So, while it is true that PMJJBY is applicable to COVID-19 deaths, there are some conditions with respect to the eligibility and claim process. Also, the maximum benefit under the scheme is 2 lakh rupees, not 4 lakh rupees as mentioned in the post.
Are COVID-19 related deaths covered under PMSBY?
No, PMSBY does not cover COVID-19 related deaths. It is an accident insurance scheme ‘offering accidental death and disability cover for death or disability on account of an accident’. The PMSBY rules mention only about the accident. The ‘Future Generali’ – ‘PMSBY Policy Wordings’ document mentions – ‘ If the Insured person(s) shall sustain any bodily injury resulting solely and directly from Accident caused by external, violent and visible means then the company shall pay to the insured person’. Also, IRDAI, in one of its documents regarding the ‘Personal Accident Insurance Policy’, defined ‘Accident’ as – ‘Accident or Accidental means a sudden, unintended and fortuitous external and visible event’. So, it can be assumed that diseases like COVID-19 are not covered in accident cover under the PMSBY scheme.
Also, when FACTLY has contacted the officials through the National Toll-Free number given for the scheme, they have said that PMSBY caters only to accidents and as of today, there is no update regarding the inclusion of COVID-19 related cases in PMSBY.
To sum it up, COVID-19 related deaths are covered under PMJJBY but not under PMSBY.