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Insurers insist on three-month ‘waiting period’ for Covid-infected


Life insurance companies are insisting on a mandatory three month wait period for people infected with the Covid virus and wanting to buy a term plan.

Depending on the severity of infection and whether hospitalisation was required, companies are also demanding extra medical tests including chest X-rays to offer a term plan for people who have no existing policies.

“Depending on the severity of infection and whether hospitalisation was required, insurance companies are demanding a one to three month postponement of proposal for people infected with Covid wanting to buy a term plan,” said Sajja Praveen Chowdary, business head-term insurance at Policybazaar.com. “Companies may also insist on medical reports like chest X-rays to make their decision.”

The trend, which started after the devastation caused by the second wave of the Covid 19 pandemic last year, is now a full fledged policy for all insurance companies. People wanting to buy a term plan have to compulsorily fill a so-called Covid declaration form which, among other things, asks whether the insurance buyer was affected by the virus in the last 90 days. Further, test results are also called for depending on the severity of the infection.

“Not only is buying an insurance policy for a Covid affected person difficult, we are also seeing its impact on the amount of cover offered. Before Covid, 40-year-olds could easily get a ₹25 crore cover but now a ₹10 crore cover is the most available. For 50-year- olds, the cover would be even lower. The impact has also been seen in group medical insurance as companies are now avoiding mediclaim policies for senior citizens and parents of employees because of their high risk of comorbidities,” said a senior insurance advisor. He refused to be quoted because he is in line for a regulatory role.

Different insurers have set different parameters to qualify Covid affected people for buying a term plan. IndiaFirst Life Insurance for example has a 30 day to upto a six month wait period for people affected by Covid.

“If a person is home quarantined, we have a 30-day period but if he or she is home quarantined and has comorbidities, the waiting period could be of 60 days. For more severely affected people needing hospitalisation, it could be upto a six month wait period,” said Rushabh Gandhi Deputy CEO at IndiaFirst Life.



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