Representative image (AFP)
MUMBAI: The insurance regulator has designed two standardised Covid-19 health insurance policies which all non-life and health insurance companies have been told to mandatorily offer from July 10. One is a regular indemnity policy covering the disease with the tenure ranging from 3.5 months to 9.5 months, and the other is an optional standard benefit cover, which pays out a fixed amount.
The indemnity policy has been named Corona Kavach by the regulator and every insurance company has to follow the same nomenclature. The standard benefit policy is called Corona Rakshak. All non-life companies have been asked to start selling both these policies by July 10, 2020.
The sum insured under the policy ranges from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh. The regulator has asked insurance companies to ensure that the premium is kept affordable. There is also a 5% discount for healthcare workers.
While the cover is restricted to Covid-19 infection, the policy will include the cost of treatment of any comorbid condition, including pre-existing ones. The policy also covers homecare treatment expenses for up to 14 days per incident.
The move by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) comes after it turned out that the Covid-19 claims, at around 8,500, paid out by insurance companies were disproportionately lower than the number of Covid cases in the country. While one reason for this has been a high number of asymptomatic cases, insurers also said that this was a reflection of the low level of health insurance penetration in the country. Also, with the number of cases on the rise, the usage of private facilities is expected to increase.
According to Rashmi Nandargi, head, Retail Health Underwriting, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, the policy will benefit those worried about treatment costs. “These policies will cater to people who currently don’t have a holistic health insurance policy and are looking to cover themselves against Covid-19. The policy coverages, terms & conditions are standard across insurers; the USP would be a wide network of hospitals for cashless facility. These Covid-19 specific policies will certainly be a good start and an attractive proposition for people to opt for health insurance, and later, may encourage them to opt for a comprehensive health insurance cover,” she said.