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Burma’s Myanmar Insurance to provide coverage for marine workers

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The Burmese state insurance service will offer an insurance plan for marine workers who die or are injured while working on the sea.

“This is a new service, and we are designing the application forms and insurance tickets now,” said a deputy manager of Myanmar Insurance.
Burmese fishermen who were adrift at sea after a storm and rescued by the Sri Lanka Navy in March attend a press conference at the Myanmar Fisheries Federation in Rangoon on June 9, 2011. Only 130 out of an estimated 600 missing fishermen were rescued. Photo: MizzimaHe said workers could soon apply for insurance at branches of Myanmar Insurance in relevant districts and townships. The policy will cover  “tiger-shaped raft owners.”
A marine worker can apply for a maximum of four insurance units per year, at a cost of 3,500 kyat (about US$ 4) per unit. If a marine worker dies or is injured at sea, the compensation for one unit is 500,000 kyat. If a worker buys four units, he will pay 14,000 kyat per year and the compensation will be up to 2 million kyat.

“For instance, if a marine worker on a tiger-shaped raft dies, Myanmar Insurance will pay the money to the family of the diseased. If a marine worker incurs injuries, we will pay compensation. But, if a worker dies or is injured while not at sea, he cannot claim the insurance,” said the deputy manager.

If a worker disappears at sea, compensation would be paid one year after the disappearance. If a worker dies while using illegal drugs, commits a crime or suicide, the coverage will not apply.

In March 2011, thousands of marine workers from Twante, Kawhmu and Kungyangon townships in Rangoon Region and Labutta, Pyapon, Dedaye and Bogalay townships in Irrawaddy Region were swept out to sea on rafts and many died or disappeared because of a sudden storm in the Gulf of Martaban.

Because of the storm, 3,600 rafts were damaged and 16,268 marine workers were adrift at sea. Among them 500 marine workers are still missing, according to the Myanmar Fisheries Federation. The families of the missing marine workers sought compensation, but it was denied.

Myanmar Fisheries Federation General-Secretary Win Kyaing told Mizzima that he put forward the insurance suggestion for the survival of family members of the deceased and missing marine workers.

During the September 7 session of Parliament, ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) Lower House MP Soe Naing of Pyapon constituency in Irrawaddy Region raised a question whether the government had a plan to provide life insurance for marine workers. In reply, a Union minister said that Myanmar Insurance planned to provide insurance coverage in cooperation with the Fisheries Department.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 15 September 2011 22:25 )  

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