Sell Short-Term COVID-19 Plans Till March 2022: IRDAI to Health Insurers

The Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has extended the sale of short-term COVID-19 insurance plans by health insurance companies until March 2022. The insurance regulator also permitted general insurers to continue issuing policies electronically until March-end next year.

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    Short-Term COVID-19 Insurance Plans Available Till March 2022

    The IRDAI on Monday has permitted the sale of short-term COVID-19 insurance plans - Corona Kavach policy and Corona Rakshak policy - until 31st March 2022. It also allowed health insurance companies in India to renew existing COVID-19 policies till March next year. These plans come with an existing policy term of 3.5 months, 6.5 months and 9.5 months.

    The Corona Kavach policy and the Corona Rakshak policy are standard coronavirus insurance plans introduced by health insurance companies in July 2020 as per the direction of IRDAI. Since the coronavirus can lead to major health complications, its treatment became increasingly expensive for critical patients. The coronavirus insurance plans were designed to help people combat the high medical expenses incurred on the treatment of COVID-19.

    While the Corona Kavach policy is an indemnity-based health insurance policy, the Corona Rakshak policy is a benefit-based policy offering coverage for the treatment cost of COVID-19. However, the premium of these policies is lower than the premiums of regular health insurance plans because of the shorter policy tenure. As a result, these plans have become extremely popular amongst the people.

    Extension of Electronic Policy Issuance

    In another circular, the IRDAI has also extended its relaxation on issuing electronic policies by general insurance companies instead of a physical policy document with a wet signature until 31st March 2022. The need for physical policy documents with wet signatures was replaced with electronically issued policies in 2020 amidst the growing concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19 last year.

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