IRDAI Permits 29 Insurers To Market Corona Kavach Policy
A pedestrian wearing a protective mask walks past shuttered stores in a near-empty Connaught Place during a partial lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

IRDAI Permits 29 Insurers To Market Corona Kavach Policy


Amid a rapid increase in coronavirus cases in the country, the insurance regulator IRDAI has permitted 29 general and health insurers to launch short-term ‘Corona Kavach’ health insurance policies to cover medical expenses of coronavirus patients.

Several insurers have announced the launch of the ‘Corona Kavach’ policies for three -and-a-half months; six-and-a-half months; and nine-and-a-half months -- with sum insured ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh (in multiples of Rs 50,000).

The 29 general and health insurance companies allowed to market a Corona Kavach Policy include state-owned and private insurers like Oriental Insurance, National Insurance, SBI General Insurance, ICICI Lombard, HDFC ERGO, Max Bupa, Bajaz Allianz, Bharti AXA and Tata AIG.

Launching the product, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance said premium for the base cover ranges between Rs 447 to Rs 5,630, excluding GST, which varies depending on the age of the person, sum insured and policy period opted.

Amit Chhabra, Head-Health Insurance, said most of the prominent health insurance companies have launched Covid-specific health covers as asked by the regulator.

"Early pricing trends indicate that there is variation in pricing in different companies," he said.

However, the plans available are very affordable and these can be bought by customers who cannot afford comprehensive health insurance plans, he added.

The Corona Kavach policy, which can be availed by a person between 18 and 65 years of age, comes with an optional cover of daily cash benefit of 0.5% of the sum assured during the period of hospitalisation, subject to a maximum of 15 days.

"The general public may avail this product by approaching companies," the IRDAI said, and added it can be availed by persons between the age of 18 to 65 years.

Corona Kavach can be availed for self, spouse, parents, parents-in-law and dependent children up to 25 years of age.

Launching its Corona Kavach policy, HDFC ERGO said the new indemnity health policy will offer cover against medical expenses incurred due to hospitalisation of individuals seeking treatment for Covid-19, on positive diagnosis for the virus in a government authorised diagnostic centre.

In addition, the policy will also cover expenses incurred on treatment of co-morbidity along with the treatment for Covid-19, the company said, adding it will also cover road ambulance expenses, in case of hospitalisation due to the virus.

"Home Care Expenses benefit (up to a period of 14 days) will also be covered in the policy for those seeking treatment within the comfort of their own homes, on the advice of a medical practitioner.

"Additionally, expenses incurred for inpatient care treatment taken under Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) systems of medicines will also be covered under the policy. Policyholders will also be liable for hospital daily cash, which will be 0.5% of sum insured per day for a maximum up to 15 days, during the policy period,” HDFC ERGO said.

Premium for hospital daily cash optional cover is between Rs 3 to Rs 620 excluding GST, depending on the age of the person, sum insured and policy period opted, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance said.

"So for instance, if a person between 0-35 years wants to opt for a base cover with sum insured of Rs 50,000 for three and a half months, the customer needs to pay Rs 447, excluding GST," the insurer added.

Krishnan Ramachandran, managing director and chief executive officer of Max Bupa Health Insurance said the Corona Kavach plan from Max Bupa is competitively priced. The premium for a Rs 2.5 lakh cover for an adult (31-55 year age group) is around Rs 2,200.

"The growing incidences of Covid-19 cases in the country have made people prioritise their health. Health insurance awareness is at an all-time high and possibly the highest we have seen in the last decade," he said.

ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. also announced plans of filing its 'Corona Kavach' product on Friday.

Rakesh Jain, executive director and CEO at Reliance General Insurance said the hospitalisation cover includes expenses such as room rent, boarding, nursing, ICU, ambulance service, medical practitioner and consultant fees, operation theatres, PPE kit, and gloves.

IRDIA said for the purpose of this policy any set-up designated by the government as hospital for the treatment of Covid should also be considered as hospital.

Also, any co-morbid condition triggered due to Covid-19 shall be covered during the period of hospitalisation.

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