The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has set an example that other organisations could do well to emulate. The company has announced it will have the third gender option in its proposal forms. This decision is in line with the Supreme Court’s 2014 verdict recognising transgenders as the third gender.
Now, transgender applicants can opt for the ‘third gender’ category while getting a policy with LIC, which controls close to 70% of the country’s life insurance market.
“The honourable Supreme Court, in a landmark judgement lauded by human rights groups, called on the government to ensure their (third gender) equal treatment. We have taken up the advice for implementation,” said S.K. Roy, chairman, LIC, toThe Economic Times.
The third gender option was included in Indian passports in 2005.
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The National Pension System too recognises the third gender.
“All third gender cases are referred to the central office and the risk factor is assessed on a case to case basis. The cases are underwritten with medical reports only,” said an LIC spokesperson.
It might be more of a challenge for other insurance companies to introduce this option, as they usually have lower premiums for females. These companies will have to figure out the premium for transgenders before providing the option. This move doesn’t affect LIC as it does not have differential premiums based on gender.
“The move is also a reflection of the changes in society and income profile of the transgender community. Over the years, their sources of livelihood have broadened, boosting their income, which is one of the key considerations for buying life insurance,” said financial planner and LIC agent Poonam Rungta.