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Insurance cos start offering exclusive COVID-19 policies, partnering with online payment firms


Kolkata: Seeing business opportunity amid the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, insurance companies in the country have started offering policies specific to COVID- 19 and some of them partnered with digital payment service providers to push sales of such plans, officials said on Tuesday.

Bharti AXA General Insurance has tied up with Airtel Payments Bank to launch two health insurance plans-one offering a lump sum amount of Rs 25,000 and another with daily benefit starting Rs 500 per day-to provide protection from COVID-19, a company official said.

In partnership with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, digital payment service provider PhonePe, operated by Flipkart Online Services, also launched a coronavirus hospitalisation insurance policy called “Corona Care”, another official said.

The policy is priced at Rs 156 with an insurance cover of Rs 50,000 for a person aged under 55 years, and the cover is applicable at any hospital offering coronavirus treatment, he said.

Star Health Insurance and Edelweiss General Insurance are among others which have also come up with exclusive insurance policies for COVID-19.

Most of the insurance companies, which are offering the specific polices, are not asking their potential customers to go for medical check up, but making sure that they do not have coronavirus-like symptoms, an industry expert said.

Some of the insurers are also offering products to cover expenses, including treatment during quarantine period, he said, adding that terms of claim settlement by these companies vary and a buyer must read the document carefully before purchasing an insurance plan.

However, many industry experts “don’t see much value” in buying separate policies to protect from the disease for people who are covered under general health insurance plans.

During the dengue outbreak, several insurance companies came up with policies to protect from the vector- borne diseases, they said, adding that there are many existing health insurance plans in the market, which provide protection from the COVID-19 disease.

The Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India has already asked health insurance companies to offer medical coverage for coronavirus infection in the country, an official said.

The Life Insurance Council also said the clause of ‘force majeure’ will not apply in case of COVID-19 death claims, he said.

The regulator has also instructed insurance companies to design specific health policies covering the treatment cost of COVID-19, including medical expenses incurred during the quarantine period, and some have already introduced the same. BSM BDC BDC


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