Forestry Department partners with United India Insurance Company
Tourists to the 60 ecotourism centers maintained by the Forestry Department will be covered by an insurance policy for the first time in the state.
The department recently reached an agreement with United India Insurance Company Ltd., a public sector company, to finalize a policy that would provide 5 lakh insurance coverage for one person in the event of death and permanent total disability and â‚¹ 2.5 lakh for permanent partial disabilities.
While the annual premium has been set at 1.75 lakh, the maximum liability under the insurance policy is 2.5 crore. The insurance contract does not cover losses caused by communicable diseases or a pandemic. Among other exclusions, the policy also does not cover liability for property damage.
While the managements of some wildlife reserves and other ecotourism centers have extended insurance coverage separately for its visitors, the state has not had a comprehensive policy for tourists.
Tourist friendly state
â€œThe initiative should greatly contribute to strengthening the tourist image of the state. Such an undertaking could be the first of its kind in the country, â€said Pramod G. Krishnan, Senior Chief Forestry Officer.
Idukki has the largest number of ecotourism centers (11) including Periyar Tiger Reserve, Eravikulam National Park, Chinnar Sanctuary, and Thattekad Bird Sanctuary. Other popular tourist destinations include Neyyar, Ponmudi, Palaruvi, Thommankuthu, Athirappally, Silent Valley, Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, Aralam Wildlife Reserve, Kakkayam and Soochipara.
Mr Krishnan pointed out that the Forestry Department has undertaken regular safety audits and carried out capacity assessments in each center to ensure the safety of its visitors.