No-frills corona insurance covers in the making

Many now worried about the pricing structure for Covid-19 treatment

By Author  |  Published: 30th Jun 2020  12:13 am

Hyderabad: The insurance regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI), in view of the rising number of coronavirus positive cases, has asked insurance companies to come up with corona-specific short duration policies. These policies — Corona Kavach Policy and Corona Raksha Policy — will mainly cater to those who do not have a health cover and are looking to take a cover for the coronavirus. The new schemes, which are in the making, assume significance in view of the haze surrounding the fares collected by the private hospitals.

For the individual cover, the authority has decided to mandate all general and health insurers to offer Individual Covid Standard Health Policy addressing the basic health insurance needs related to cover. It asked the players to have standard products with common policy wordings across the industry to avoid ambiguity. It said the base cover of the standard health policy should be offered on an indemnity basis while the optional cover could be made available on a benefit basis. The tenure of the policy will be for 3.5 months, 6.5 months and 9.5 months including the waiting period.

The base cover will cover hospitalisation expenses including the room, boarding, nursing expenses, surgeon, anesthetist, medical practitioner, operation theatre charges, surgical appliances, PPEs and similar expenses. It will also cover the expenses insured on availing treatment at home for 14 days for an incident. This standard health policy will also be offered on a family floater basis and includes spouse, parents, parents-in-law, dependent children up to 18 years in normal cases and up to 25 years in case the children who are financially dependent on parents. The minimum sum insured is Rs 50,000 and the maximum cover will be Rs 5 lakh.

In the Corona Raksha Policy, the benefit-based health policy, lumpsum benefit equal to 100 per cent of the sum insured will be payable on positive diagnosis of cover, requiring hospitalisation for a minimum continuous period of 72 hours. The positive diagnosis of Covid-19 will have to be from a government authorised diagnostic centre. Here too, the minimum sum insured will be Rs 50,000 while the maximum cover will be for Rs 2.5 lakh. The policy will terminate on payment of 100 per cent of the sum insured. “We are working on these products currently and should be prepared to offer them to our customers,” said Rashmi Nandargi, head – retail health underwriting, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance .

“These standard policies specific to Covid-19 are a welcome move considering the current situation where people are worried about the treatment costs. These policies will cater to people who currently do not have a holistic health insurance policy. The policy coverages, terms and conditions are standard across insurers. The USP would be the network of hospitals for cashless facilities. These cover specific policies will be a good start for people to opt for health insurance, and later may encourage them to opt for a comprehensive health cover,” said Nandargi.

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