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July 11, 2000
Yash Chopra claims insurance for Ash accident
Bollywood has a new mantra, "Insurance is the best policy." The trend started when Subhash Ghai decided to insure his big budget Anil Kapoor- Akshaye Khanna-Aishwarya Rai starrer, Taal, for
The next production company to follow suit was Yash Raj Films. Producer Yash Chopra insured son Aditya's latest multistarrer, Mohabbatein, for over Rs 10 crore. And claimed damages when leading lady Aishwarya Rai suffered from an injury whilst shooting a dance sequence. Consequently, the shooting was delayed and the sets had to be brought down.
"I don't know why this news is being so hyped by the press. Mohabattein is fully insured for all kinds of mishaps. Since I've lost money due to Aishwarya's unfortunate injury, I am making a claim and the insurance company has agreed to settle it. I am not the only producer to get his film insured. Taal was insured too. The facility for insuring a film has been available for over a year. I have no idea how many other producers have taken advantage of it," said an irritated Yash Chopra.
Did other producers' shooting schedules get affected as a result of Rai's injury? Rahul Gupta, the spokesperson for Monalisa films, which is producing Rai's Hum Panchi Ek Daal Ke, denies any liability. "She is extremely hardworking and is willing to report on the sets at any time. She works for any length of time without complaining," he says, and points out that this is why her injury did not affect his company.
He is, however, critical of the laid-back approach adopted by insurance agents. "The insurance people should enlighten the industry about their new schemes. At present, insurance is made against calamities within all risk-covering policies. The industry at large is not aware of special policies that have been created, keeping the special needs of the film industry in mind. The insurance company should make an effort to publicise it policies."
Both Taal and Mohabbatein have been insured by Ajit Gupta, development officer, United Insurance of India, who introduced the concept of film insurance to the insurance industry. "The scheme offers insurance coverage for cast, negatives, extra expenses, property, sets and wardrobe against the various insurable risks," he told rediff.com. "The premium rates are based on the duration of schedule and the past experience of the producer or director." The limit of the insurance policy depends entirely on the producer.
Gupta is tight lipped when asked to reveal the amount Yash Chopra is claiming. "The matter is under consideration," is all he is willing to say.
The other movies insured by United Insurance of India include Aamir Khan's Lagaan and Sunhil Sippy's Snip. Gupta claims there are other projects, but is not willing to talk about them since they are still in the pipeline.
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