Insurance for migrant workers raised

Kathmandu, January 24

The government has decided to raise the insured amount for life insurance of migrant workers to Rs 2 million from the existing Rs 1.5 million with the new insurance policy providing coverage against 15 types of critical illnesses.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal today announced that the new insurance policy will take effect on February 12.

The insured person will get Rs 500,000 if he or she suffers from an illness defined in the policy.

The existing life insurance policy for migrant workers provides Rs 1 million as life insurance, Rs 200,000 for loss of income, Rs 100,000 for funeral rites, Rs 100,000 for treatment and Rs 100,000 for cost of bringing  back the corpse.

The Insurance Board and Foreign Employment Promotion Board have started doing ground work to implement the new insurance policy for foreign job seekers. According to Raghuraj Kaphle, executive director of FEPB, the Insurance Board and FEPB have already held a few meetings to fix the premium amount to implement the new insurance policy. During preliminary discussions, authorities agreed to add Rs 500 on top of existing premium amount to cover the aforesaid critical illnesses, according to Kaphle.

“We will probably be able to finalise the premium amount in the next meeting. The Insurance Board will then issue the circular to the insurance companies to sell the new policy to migrant workers.”

Insurance companies have been selling policy based on premium charges fixed by the Insurance Board — the insurance sector regulator. The premium for three-year term life insurance for migrant workers falling in the age group of 18 to 35 is Rs 3,524; Rs 4,930 for the age group 36 to 50; and Rs 9,570 for those between 51 and 64 years of age.

The government also announced that life insurance will provide coverage for one year after the contract period of the migrant worker ends, against the current provision that provides coverage for six months after the contract ends. This provision will also be implemented from February 12.

More importantly, the government has provided grace period of three months (from the date of expiry) to renew the insurance policy and has urged eligible beneficiaries to renew the policy before April 24. However, they would be able to claim compensation for covered loss during the grace period.

Prime Minister Dahal added that the government is amending the Foreign Employment Rules to raise compensation amount to families of deceased migrant workers from Rs 300,000 to Rs 700,000. “Family of a deceased migrant worker will get Rs 2.7 million, including compensation from the state, besides the insurance,” said PM Dahal.

The government will soon set up a committee comprising officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Labour and Employment to commission a study on how Nepali migrant workers in India or those willing to work in India can be covered under such insurance scheme offered for Nepali migrant labourers in third countries.

Critical illnesses covered in the new policy

  • Cancer
  • Kidney failure
  • Primary pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Major organ transplant
  • Coronary artery bypass grafts
  • Aorta graft surgery
  • Heart valve surgery
  • Stroke
  • Myocardial infarction (first heart attack)
  • Coma
  • Total blindness
  • Paralysis
  • Benign brain tumor
  • Mental illness caused due to accident (traumatic)