Covid-19 Insurance Plans: What Insurers Are Offering Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Will current life and health insurance policies cover the cost or death due to Covid-19? What’s the coverage and settlement?

(Image: BloombergQuint)
(Image: BloombergQuint)

The insurance regulator has asked insurers to cover Covid-19 cases in their existing policies as well as ensure that they expeditiously attend to such claims.

The Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India, in a circular issued earlier this month, said coronavirus treatment would be covered like any other illness “under products where hospitalisation is covered”. For all policies covering the disease, the regulator also directed the companies to cover the cost of admissible expenses, including treatment during quarantine period.

Insurance companies have also come up with exclusive policies for Covid-19, which has so far killed 19 people in India and infected nearly 900.

Besides, the government will provide medical insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per person to those at front-lines of fighting the virus. This will cover around 20 lakh doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, sanitation and ancillary workers.

BloombergQuint spoke with some of India’s life and health insurers to know whether the current life and health insurance policies cover the cost or death caused due to coronavirus and the coverage and settlement.

Here’s what the insurers have to say:

Existing Policies To Cover Covid-19

Aditya Birla Health Insurance

A health insurance policy covers all infections, and coronavirus is one such infection, according to Chief Executive Officer Mayank Bathwal.

“At the moment, all our indemnity products that offer hospitalisation covers, in-patient treatment, pre-hospitalisation, post-hospitalisation and ambulance cover are available for all our customers to fight against this pandemic,” he told BloombergQuint. “Simultaneously, we’re planning to work on an exclusive product for coronavirus.”

Edelweiss General Insurance

“We have an innovative and modular product structure with our ‘Group Total Protect’, under which we can customise solutions to provide cover against a wide range of illnesses, including pandemics and vector-borne diseases, at affordable costs,” Shanai Ghosh, executive director and chief executive at the insurer, said. “Any employer or other existing groups can customise this for their employees, customers or members.”

Also, all Covid-19 cases—suspected and confirmed—are covered up to the sum assured, Ghosh said. “Even for quarantined patients, our policy covers the entire quarantined period.”

IndiaFirst Life Insurance

The existing life insurance policies will even cover death due to coronavirus, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Vishakha RM said in a media statement. “All life insurance policies issued and valid as on date of event covers the event of unfortunate death due to Covid-19 illness.”

Need For Exclusive Policies

Future Generali India Insurance

The newer products are mainly disease-specific products, which pay the benefits on diagnosis of the specific disease, Chief Operating Officer Shreeraj Deshpande told BloombergQuint. Such products mainly take care of loss of income as a result of such illnesses, while the hospitalisation products reimburse the expenses incurred for hospitalisation.

Coverage & Claim Settlement

Future Generali India Insurance

The insurer announced the launch of an exclusive coronavirus group insurance product. “If the policyholder is diagnosed with Covid-19 infection and is confirmed, then a lump sum benefit of 100 percent of sum insured would be paid,” Deshpande said. “To provide maximum benefit to our customers, no past medical history or travel record is required while purchasing our product.”

But a lump sum benefit of only 50 percent of sum insured will be paid, if the policyholder is required to be quarantined for a suspected Covid-19 infection, he said. An additional benefit of 10 percent of the sum insured will be paid to quarantined persons towards incidental expenses.

Edelweiss General Insurance

All expenses—reimbursement of costs (up to the sum insured) incurred in India or worldwide (depending on the cover selected) towards diagnostic testing, pharmacy and consultation for the illnesses, including expenses incurred towards coronavirus treatments—will be reimbursed in case of immediate treatment in nearby hospitals, Ghosh said.

And for cashless benefits, patients will have to visit the hospitals which have a tie-up with the insurer with a third-party administrator card and the rest will be taken care of, Ghosh said.

Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance

Death claims due to coronavirus will be settled based on hospital records for all the policies where hospitalisation is covered, the insurer said in a statement. Along with this reimbursement for cost of medical expense for treating coronavirus will also be settled.

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Max Life Insurance Company

All death claims arising out of coronavirus will be honored, subject to other policy terms and conditions as there are no exclusions for death benefits arising out of epidemics, Manu Lavanya, director and chief operations officer at the company, told BloombergQuint. “Hospitalisation benefits under Medicash and Medicash Plus claims, arising out of coronavirus, will also be very well honored. However, coronavirus and similar infectious diseases are not covered under critical illness riders. Our claims team has been advised to treat such events sensitively with our core value of customer obsession.”