General insurers have received over 9,700 claims amounting to Rs 150 crore over Covid-19. The data from General Insurance Council shows that as on June 6, 2020, around 5,600 claims have been registered only in Maharashtra. Participants in the non-life insurance industry believes that given the current scenario claims would further increase from states like Maharashtra and Delhi in the days to come.
Senior officials in the general insurance industry believe that the claims amount looks small compared to reported cases of Covid-19 in the country because of lower penetration of health insurance and several states like Kerala, Karnataka and Telangana treating large number of patients at government hospitals free of cost.
According to the ministry of health and family welfare as on June 9, 2020, there are 1.29 lakh active cases of novel coronavirus in India, another 1.29 lakh have been cured or discharged and there has been 7,466 death due to the ongoing pandemic.
Sanjay Datta, chief for underwriting and claims at ICICI Lombard General Insurance, says in terms of number of insurance claims to total people infected, claims are coming from the people who are getting treated in private hospitals. “If anyone gets treatment in a government hospital it does not come up for insurance as it’s free of cost. However, we are witnessing Mumbai getting high number of claims. It is because the penetration of health insurance is higher in Mumbai and even number of infections are higher,” said Datta. There are around 88,528, Covid-19 patients in Maharashtra.
The data from General Insurance Council also shows that insurance companies have received 1,500 claims from Delhi (includes National Capital Region), 1,022 claims in Tamil Nadu and 522 claims in West Bengal.
S Prakash, managing director at Star Health and Allied Insurance, said they get around 50-100 Covid-19 claims in a day. “We are getting maximum number of claims from Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, followed by Pune,” added S Prakash.
Star Health and Allied Insurance have got around 1,450 confirmed Covid-19 claims and 450 suspected claims, amounting to `20 crore. According to the industry experts, currently only 30% of the population have some form of health insurance protection through individual health policy, government health schemes and group health schemes. “Lower number of claims are largely due to the low penetration of health insurance in India. Having said that, going forward things are set to improve as regulator has allowed standardised health products called Arogya Sanjeevani for the non-life insurance industry. This is good product for the first-time policyholder who wants to buy health insurance and will lead to higher penetration of health insurance in India,” said MD of the top private general insurance company.