Short term health insurance policies are permitted to be devised offering health insurance cover specific to only COVID-19.
Coronavirus Insurance Policy: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has issued guidelines on the introduction of short-term health insurance policies providing coverage for the COVID-19 disease. Earlier in May, IRDAI had advised the general and health insurers to design need-based products covering costs of treatment of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease.
To make available insurance protection to the various sections of people amid the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, IRDAI thinks that short term health insurance policies providing coverages specific to the COVID-19 disease are the need of the hour. Accordingly, all insurers (Life, General and Health Insurers) are allowed to offer COVID – 19 specific short term health insurance policies based on guidelines.
Here the key guidelines of the COVID-19 short term health insurance policy:
1. Short term health policy for the purpose of these guidelines means any health insurance policy contract which has been issued for a policy term of less than 12 months.
2. Short term health insurance policies are permitted to be devised offering health insurance cover specific to only COVID-19.
3. Short term policies are permitted to be offered both as individual or group products.
4. Short term policies may be issued for a minimum term of 3 months to a maximum term of 11 months. In between three months and eleven months, the policy term shall be in multiples of completed months.
5. A policy term less than three months is not permitted.
6. Where the term of policy is fixed as 12 months, the same is not considered as short term health policy.
7. Optional covers that enhance the health insurance coverage are permitted to be offered for the same policy duration.
8. No separate add-ons are permitted.
9. Insurers are advised to devise inclusive short term health insurance products. Where waiting periods are part of the product, such waiting period shall not exceed fifteen days.
10. The life insurers are permitted to offer only benefit based short term health insurance policies.
11. General and Health Insurers are permitted to offer both indemnity based and benefit based short term health insurance policies.
12. Lifelong renewability, migration and portability will not be applicable to the short term health policies offered by general and health insurers.
Short term health insurance products shall be filed be launched only after prior approval of the Authority. These guidelines will remain valid for issue of short term policies till 31st March, 2021 unless extended further.