According to the ministry of health and family welfare as on April 9, 2020, there are 5,218 active cases of novel coronavirus in India and there has been 169 deaths due to this pandemic.
General insurance companies have started receiving the claims from patients who have contracted Covid-19 and are expecting the numbers to move northwards in the days to come. Officials say that non-life insurance industry have received around 130 claims, with a total claim size of approximately Rs 3 crore.
General insurers believe that even as the claims amount look small compared to the overall non-life industry, but they expect more claims to come for Covid-19 as number of active cases has gone up in the past few days. According to the ministry of health and family welfare as on April 9, 2020, there are 5,218 active cases of novel coronavirus in India and there has been 169 deaths due to this pandemic.
Non-life insurance industry believes that this crisis has brought to the light importance of having the health insurance cover as penetration of insurance remains low in India.
AV Girija Kumar, chairman-cum managing director at Oriental Insurance and Chairman of General Insurance Council (GIC), says, “The aim of the general insurance industry is to improve the penetration of the health insurance in India. Currently, only 30% of the population have some form of health insurance protection through individual health policy, government health schemes and group health schemes. It is the endeavour of the general insurance industry to work towards covering 50% of the population in about year or so.”
Health insurance officials say that claims amount is in the range of Rs 50,000 to Rs 7 lakh as this includes both positive cases as well as suspected cases. In the past month, several insurance companies like Future Generali India Insurance Company, Star Health and Allied Insurance and ICICI Lombard, among others, had launched cover for novel coronavirus.
Recently, general insurers had also approached the GIC asking it to bring in standard rates for treating the novel coronavirus as costs differ from one hospital to the other. General insurers are of the view that in such a challenging time, the issue of differential cost needs to be addressed and standardisation of treatment at this critical juncture will be of immense value to the policy holders and the general public. With number of claims likely to go up in the day to come, general insurance companies hope that some decisions would be finalised on the standard rates.