Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) informed on Monday that permission was granted to insurers to continue selling short-term COVID specific health insurance policies. The regulator has now allowed the selling and renewing of such policies till March 2022. The short-term policies introduced last year has mainly been popular owing to their lower premiums. IRDAI had earlier asked all insurance companies to develop such short-term policies in the wake of the coronavirus. The regulator had suggested the issue of ‘Corona Kavach’ policies (standard indemnity-based health policy) and Corona Rakshak policies (standard benefit-based health policy) as the cases of COVID-19 continued to rise in the country. Following this, several insurers had come out with short-term products.
Such policies quickly found their market and rose to popularity due to their lower premiums than regular health insurance policies. Now, as the number of cases has decreased marginally, the regulator has informed that all insurers are “permitted to offer and renew” such short-term COVID specific health policies until March 31, 2022. Market observers believe that the move could be in anticipation of the third wave of the COVID-19. The regulator has also extended the exemptions granted to general insurers for issuance of electronic policies as well as dispensing with physical documents and wet signatures till the end-March 2022.
Short-term COVID specific policies
Launched in July 2020, Corona Kavach is an indemnity plan which covers the hospitalisation and treatment expenses of an insured COVID-19 patient. The policy ranges from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh. Meanwhile, Corona Rakshak is a fixed benefit plan which avails the holder of a fixed amount in case of being diagnosed with COVID-19 and hospitalised for three days. The minimum sum insured under this policy is Rs 50,000 and can go up to a limit of Rs 2.5 lakh. Both policies have three-and-a-half months to nine-and-a-half months tenure.
COVID cases in India
India reported a single-day rise of 25,404 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, September 14. The fresh infection tally has come down by 6.7 per cent compared to yesterday’s cases. This brought the total number of infections in the country to 3,32,89,579. According to data released by the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday, the number of recoveries stood at 37,127.
According to figures updated at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, the death toll from the pandemic has risen to 4,43,213, with 339 daily fatalities. The number of active cases has dropped to 3,62,207, accounting for 1.09% of all infections. According to the Health Ministry, the national COVID-19 recovery rate was 97.58%.