The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irdai) on Tuesday asked insurers to offer policyholders the option to renew, migrate or port covid-19-specific health insurance schemes, Corona Rakshak and Corona Kavach.
In June, Irdai had allowed insurance companies to offer standard fixed benefit-based and standard indemnity covid-19 health policies. The fixed-benefit policy, Corona Rakshak, entails a lump sum benefit equal to 100% of the sum insured if the policyholder tests positive for covid-19 and requires hospitalization for a minimum of 72 hours. On payment of 100% of sum insured the policy is terminated.
The indemnity policy, Corona Kavach, comes with a base cover and a cap on the sum insured at ₹5 lakh. The minimum sum insured is ₹50,000 and policyholders could opt for a cover in multiples of ₹50,000. Both policies have tenures of 3.5, 6.5 or 9.5 months.
Welcoming the Irdai’s move, Gurdeep Singh Batra, head-retail underwriting, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, said: “The covid-19 vaccine is yet to come out and the purpose of these policies is to mainly cover the treatment costs against immediate health risks that people face due to the pandemic. Since its launch, the covid-19 specific health policies have gained really good traction mainly because its short-term coverage kicks in immediately."
While releasing the guidelines, Irdai had specified that lifelong renewability, migration and portability were not applicable to the products. It has now modified the rules.
The policies can now be extended for further terms of 3.5 months, 6.5 months or 9.5 months, up to 31 March 2021. According to the regulator, the renewal can only be done before the expiry of the existing policy contract, and if the policy is renewed, the additional waiting period of 15 days will not be imposed.
Insurers have also been allowed to change the sum insured by the policyholder. For any increase, the waiting period will start afresh only for the enhanced portion of the sum insured. For individual Corona Kavach policies, insurers can also offer migration to any other indemnity-based health insurance product.