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July 20, 2007 (LBO) – HNB Assurance, a unit of Hatton National Bank, has tied up with the micro finance arm of Sarvodaya, a non-governmental organization, to launch micro insurance products for rural families. The micro insurance scheme ‘Sathkara’ has already been launched in Galle, Matara, Vavuniya and Batticaloa Sarvodaya societies as pilot projects to educate and introduce rural folk to insurance.

For a premium of 250 rupees per month, Sathkara insurance policy holders are entitled to hospitalization, disablement benefits and funeral costs, says Emil Anthony, Deputy Managing Director of Sarvodaya Economic Enterprise Development Services (SEEDS).

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The policy does not have a maturity benefit as a result of a very low premium, Anthony says.

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“If there is a maturity benefit the premium would be high and thus, unaffordable,” he said.

Anthony says the Sarvodaya members applying for insurance were focused more on the maturity benefit rather than other benefits, which SEEDS was able to turn round by raising awareness on the concept of insurance.

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Available to only members of Sarvodaya, the life cover underwritten by HNB Assurance will range from 50,000 to 200,000 rupees.

Shalika Wijeward

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