Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday advocated public-private partnership in the insurance sector to bring more people under its cover.
"In our country, the total number of people under insurance coverage is very low. In life insurance segment, however, the number of people under insurance coverage is now increasing. But in general insurance segment the coverage is only 8-10 percent, which is very low.
"In other countries of the world, about 80 percent of the people are insured," Mukherjee told a gathering on the occasion of opening an agent training institute and a new branch office of Universal Sompo General Insurance Company Limited here in Murshidabad district.
"We should go for private-public partnership in insurance sector to bring more people under its cover and make insurance products more acceptable to the masses," he said.
Universal Sompo General Insurance company is a joint venture between Allahabad Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Karnataka Bank, Dabur Investment Corp and Sompo Japan Inc. The company started its operation in November 2008.
"In the 1970s, the central government nationalised general insurance and life insurance companies, but we saw that only the government was not being able to reach out to the masses in insurance sector. Then in the 1990s, we allowed the private sector companies to enter the sector," the finance minister said.
"Now private and public sector companies are doing business together," he said.
Calling for more awareness among the people for getting insured, Mukherjee said that insurance agents should be trained to make the people aware about the benefits.