The ongoing pandemic has led more individuals buying health insurance policies. The Covid-19 specific policies, which were launched by insurance companies on July 10, have seen high demand. Under ‘Corona Kavach’ insurers have sold around 7.5 lakh policies collecting premium of about Rs 215 crore, while ‘Corona Rakshak’ have received premiums worth Rs 29 crore by selling 1.83 lakh policies.
While speaking at the Ficci-Virtual Health Insurance Conference 2020 on Wednesday, TL Alamelu, member (Non-Life) of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) said that there has been lot of interest from policyholders for health insurance. “Today health insurance has become biggest line of business in general insurance and probably by the year end it is likely to be far ahead of motor insurance,” said Alamelu.
The data from Irdai shows that in the current financial year till July, health insurance have seen premiums of Rs 18,415.52 crore compared to Rs 16,674.72 crore in same period last year, a growth of 10.44%. Health is now the biggest segment in non-life insurance industry in terms of premium followed by motor insurance. In the last 20 years, there were around 500 health products, but since March this year the insurance regulator has approved 131 new health products.
The regulator had allowed insurance companies to come out with Corona Kavach, which is an indemnity plan and will cover all the hospitalisation expenses. It will ensure that hospitalisation expenses will be covered up to the sum insured. The sum insured in Corona Kavach policy ranges from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh.
Corona Rakshak, however, is a fixed benefit plan in which if policyholder is diagnosed with Covid-19 and hospitalised for three days then a fixed amount (which is sum insured) will be paid by the insurance companies. The sum insured in this policy is Rs 50,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh. The policy tenure can be 3.5 months, 6.5 months and 9.5 months, the waiting period is 15 days.
“It shows that there is fear factor and panic among the public, so they are finding lot of value in ‘Corona Kavach’ policy. People buying the policies know they are buying short-term cover and is cheaper, so they are going for it,” added Alamelu. She also added that large numbers of people are taking cover of 9.5 months. Under Corona Kavach policy 12.86 lives have been covered, while in Corona Rakshak 2.17 lakh lives have been covered by the insurers.
Officials from Irdai also said that non-life insurance industry have received 1.25 lakh claims for Covid-19 while number of infected are reaching at around 27.7 lakh, which shows that only 4.5% of these individuals are covered and there is huge gap in health insurance coverage. In the days to come, the insurance regulator will announce a set of insurance products under sandbox regime.