A commemorative postage stamp on the 125 years of Postal Life Insurance (PLI) – Insuring Lives Ensuring Prosperity :
Issued by India
Issued on Feb 11, 2009
Issued for : Insuring lives and ensuring smiles is what Postal Life Insurance has been striving to do since the past 125 years. Its greatest forte has been charging low premium and giving high bonus to customers which is possible due to the fact that it banks on the vast postal network for its operations. The Department of Posts commemorated the yeomen service rendered by Postal Life Insurance since the last 125 years by bringing out a commemorative postage stamp on this occasion.
Stamp & FDC : Kamleshwar Singh
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi Colour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 0.8 Million
Printing Process : Wet–offset
Printer : Security Printing Press, Hyderabad
- In the early seventies of the nineteenth century, a postmaster died in Bengal under tragic circumstances leaving his family destitute. The pitiable plight of his dependents moved the postal authorities to render assistance to his family. However, this could be done only in isolated cases as financial conditions precluded it. The plight of small officials’ families was pitiable. The Government felt it incumbent on it to look after these families and the only way it could be done was by undertaking to insure the postal officials. Mr. F.R. Hogg, Director General of Post Office in India, had taken preliminary steps to introduce the scheme of State Life Insurance in the Postal Department through his circular No. 120 dated 17th Dec. 1883. He also emphasized through the same circular that every endeavour should be made to make these schemes known to all members of the Department. This is the story of the birth of Postal Life Insurance.
- Postal Life Insurance (PLI) was formally introduced on 1st February, 1884 with the express approval of the Secretary of State (for India) to Majesty the Queen Empress of India was essentially a welfare scheme for the benefit of postal employees in 1884 and later extended to the employees of Telegraph department in 1888. In 1894, PLI extended insurance cover to female employees of P&T Department at a time when no other insurance company covered female lives. It is the oldest life insurer in this country.
- Over the years, PLI has grown substantially from a few hundred policies in 1884 to more than 35 policies as on date. It now covers employees of Central and State Government, Central and State Public Sector Undertakings, Universities, Government aided educational institutions, Nationalized Banks, Local Bodies etc. PLI also extends to the officers and staff of the Defence services and Para-military forces. Apart from single insurance policies, Postal Life Insurance Scheme for the Extra Departmental Employees (Gramin Dak Sevaks) of the Department of Posts.
- Today there are over 35 lakh PLI policies with 31,469 crores and over 61 Lakh RPLI policies with Rs 41,846 crores sum assured. The total PLI corpus as on 31.03.2008 is Rs. 12,081.71 crores while the RPLI corpus as on 31.03.2008 is 3003.78. This is no mean achievement.
- PLI offers five types of plans. Whole Life Assurance (SURAKSHA) Convertible Whole Life Assurance (SUVIDHA), Endowment Assurance (SANTOSH), (Grama Suraksha), Convertible Whole Life Assurance (Grama suvidha), Endowment Assurance (Grama Santosh). Anticipated Endowment Assurance (Grama Sumangal), Grama Priyas. PLI is an exempted insurer under Section 118 of the Insurance Act of 1938. It is also exempted under Section 44(d) of LIC Act, 1956.
- D.G. (Posts) is the Administrator of both PLI and RPLI funds. PLI and RPLI are self-financing schemes, i.e. actual costs of operations are debited to the respective funds. PLI & RPLI also pay a Flat Rate of Remuneration to the Department of Posts for using its infrastructure and staff. Both the schemes PLI as well as RPLI are entirely managed by the employees of the Department of Posts.
- From its inception the fund took no undue risks. It insured only first class lives which could not be insured at normal rates. But once a policy was issued, it covered all risks to life including that of war, accident, suicide, etc. without any extra charge. The practice continues till today.
- Text : Based on material provided by the proponent.