The COVID-19 pandemic has put an unprecedented number of people in need of medical attention across the world. Insurers in India have taken a cue and launched insurance products to respond to this need. Here are COVID-19-specific insurance policies currently available in India.
With the death toll and number of people affected by COVID-19 climbing every day, the pandemic has put an unprecedented number of people in need of medical care and attention. The IRDAI in light of these developments permitted 29 firms to design and market COVID-specific insurance products. Although comprehensive health policies offered by health and general insurers will cover hospitalisation costs for COVID-19 as well, following the IRDAI’s directive, a few insurers have come up with insurance policies that cover this specifically. Let’s take a look at them here:
1. ICICI Lombard and BharatPe
ICICI Lombard and BharatPe have joined hands to launch ‘COVID-19 Protection Insurance Cover’ for shopkeepers across the age group of 18-65 years.
On positive diagnosis at any of the government-authorised centres, this policy will pay the insured 100% of the sum insured, irrespective of hospitalisation expenses, subject to an initial waiting period of 14 days. With the premium starting at an amount of Rs. 199, this policy offers a sum insured of Rs 25,000 as well as value-added benefits such as health assistance, CHAT/virtual assistance, teleconsultation, and ambulance assistance. However, the policy excludes people with travel history to any location overseas post December 31, 2019 and if the insured has been quarantined for suspected COVID-19 or diagnosed with COVID-19 prior to the risk inception date or within the initial 14-day waiting period.
Separately, ICICI Lombard has also tied up with ET Money to offer COVID-19 protection cover for ET Money mobile app users. The policy offers a sum insured of Rs. 25,000 at a premium of Rs. 159 per year for people aged between 18 and 75 years. As per the insurer’s terms, only one policy is allowed per registered app user. The policy, which will be effective after 14 days from the date of purchase via the app, will give you the entire sum insured in a lump-sum payment on testing positive, even without hospitalisation.
Note that ICICI Lombard also offers COVID-19 Protection Insurance Cover on its own, outside of its tie-ups with popular mobile platforms.
2. Star Health and Allied Insurance
Star Health and Allied Insurance have launched a policy called Star Novel Coronavirus’ to cover all those who test positive for COVID-19 and require hospitalisation. The insurer will make a lump-sum payout to any insured between age 18 to 65 years, who is declared positive by a government-accredited test and is hospitalised for the same.
Importantly, the policy does not have any international travel history-related exclusions.
The policy is available under two sum insured options of Rs. 21,000 and Rs. 42,000 at premiums of Rs. 459 plus GST and Rs. 918 plus GST, respectively.
Anyone up to the age of 65 years can purchase the policy online or through the company’s network of agents without having to undergo any pre-medical screening.
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3. Future Generali
Future Generali is offering a group insurance cover that does not require a medical test or travel history irrespective of the sum insured. Open to individuals between one-day to 50 years, this insurance product also doesn’t require any past medical history. When an individual tests positive for COVID-19 infection at any government or WHO-approved lab, the insurer will pay 100% of the sum insured to the beneficiary.
Moreover, the insurer will also pay a lump-sum benefit of 50 percent of the sum insured if the policyholder is required to be quarantined at a government-approved hospital for at least 14 days for a suspected Coronavirus infection. An additional benefit of 10 percent of the sum insured will be paid to the quarantined persons for incidental expenses.
4. Digit Insurance
The online insurance service provider was the first insurer to roll out a Coronavirus-specific insurance plan-‘Health Care Plus Policy’. You can purchase this fixed benefit individual insurance product directly from Digit’s Insurance website online or through its partner program. For instance, you can purchase a policy via their partners such as Bookmyforex, etc., for the same premium amount.
This is a ‘Need-Based Insurance’ cover filed with IRDAI under its Sandbox Regulation. Under the Sandbox Regulation, insurers can sell innovative products on a pilot basis for a limited period. As it is under the Sandbox Regulation, the policy offered by Digit Insurance is available from February 1, 2020, to July 31, 2020, for one year only.
The sum insured ranges from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 2 lakh. The premiums start at an amount of Rs. 299 plus GST, for which you can get a policy cover of Rs. 25,000. However, for a policy with a sum insured of Rs. 2 lakh, you need to pay a premium of Rs. 2,392 plus GST. The sum insured is available in multiples of Rs 25,000 and the premium will increase accordingly.
The insurer will pay 100% of the sum insured if the insured tests positive for COVID-2019, and will pay 50 percent of the sum insured as lump sum if the insured is quarantined for at least 14 days in a government or military hospital, even if the test for Coronavirus later turns out to be negative.
Multiple individuals can be covered under the umbrella of this policy (Digit Health Care Plus Policy) but the sum insured, and the corresponding premium will be on a per-member basis. This means you can buy one policy and simply add member/s in the policy. Accordingly, the sum insured will increase in multiples of Rs 25,000 and consequently the premium will also increase.
Note that Digit has currently stopped taking requests for fresh policies because under Sand Box regulations, issuances are capped at 10,000, and the online insurer hit that limit when it sold Rs. 50 lakh worth of premiums amid high demand in March 2020.
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The policy does not cover pre-existing diseases. It also has an initial waiting period of 15 days. You can avail this policy only if you are not suffering from any respiratory-related symptoms like severe cough, respiratory diseases, breathlessness from the last four weeks.
This policy does not cover people who have travelled to countries like China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Italy, Iran, Kuwait and Bahrain since December 1, 2019. Also, if you are planning to travel to any of these countries during the policy period, you will not be covered under the policy. However, if you travel to a country not listed above and get infected, you will be covered. Further, quarantine at home is not covered under the policy and specific documents also need to be submitted to get the quarantine reimbursement.
Digital payments company PhonePe has launched an insurance policy called ‘Corona Care’ in collaboration with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance for people who have been infected and hospitalised for COVID-19 treatment.
Priced at Rs. 156, the policy will provide an insurance cover of Rs. 50,000 for people who are under 55 years of age and will be valid at any hospital that is offering treatment for COVID-19.
In addition to covering the cost of treatment, the policy will also take care of one month’s expenses on pre- hospitalisation and post-care medical treatment.
In fact, you can sign up for the policy from the comfort of your home- buy it online on PhonePe app’s ‘My Money’ section. You also won’t need to undergo any medical screening before the issuance of the policy. Policy documents will be instantly issued within the PhonePe app.