No Stopping on Renewing Short-Term COVID Health Plans- IRDAI

Short-term COVID-specific products such as Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak health plans were introduced by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) in 2020 to ensure that people have adequate health cover during the pandemic. While the cases continue to soar, the Regulator has directed the General and Health Insurance Companies in India to provide renewal of these short-term COVID plans to the policyholders. The extension of renewal is now till September 30, 2021.

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      Both Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak health plans provide three policy tenure options i.e. 3.5 months, 6.5 months, and 9.5 months.

      However, with some insurance providers denying the policyholders for renewing their Coronavirus short-term health insurance policies, the IRDAI issued a press release to all the insurance companies to continue providing renewal benefits to their customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, as this is the need of the hour.

      In the wake of the second wave of COVID-19, the increasing number of cases force people to buy an adequate health insurance cover for coronavirus treatment. During such crucial times, it is not right to deny or reject policy renewals, said the IRDAI in a press release issued on May 10, 2021.

      The Insurance Regulator has also advised all insurance providers to make available all the COVID specific standard products that have been filed and approved by the IRDAI. All the products should be made available to customers as per the insurance provider’s underwriting policy. In the same way, provide the coverage if the underlying COVID-specific health scheme permits the policyholder to renew the policy. In such cases, the insurer should renew the coverage subject to their respective underwriting policies.

      Following the IRDAI directions, last year in 2020 all the health insurance companies in India came up with coronavirus-specific health plans. Where two main products i.e. Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak as mentioned earlier were provided and continue to be sold to date.

      One is indemnity-based Corona Kavach health plan that covers COVID hospitalization expenses if the insured tests positive. The coverage provides is up to Rs 5 lakh. The cost of consumable items including PPE kits, oxygen cylinders, and ventilators is covered as well. You can also file a claim for home and Ayush treatment if suggested by the treating doctor.

      On the other hand, Corona Rakshak policy is a benefit-based product that pays out the sum insured in Lumpsum on a positive COVID report. The only difference is that the sum insured is up to Rs 2.5 lakh, and hospitalization is required for a minimum of 72-hours.

      Looking at the increasing rate of SARS CoV-2 infection, the renewal continues to be extended for any policy duration- be it 3.5 months, 6.6 months, and 9.5 months.

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