Vector-borne disease health cover: Do you need it? Find out

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Published: January 17, 2019 12:47:29 PM

Vector-borne diseases are mostly bloodsucking insects, such as flies, triatomine bugs, sandflies, fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, transmitting diseases such as malaria, chikungunya, dengue, and schistosomiasis.

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Affecting a large number of people all around the world, Vector-borne diseases are a major public health concern. According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), Vector-borne diseases account for more than 17 per cent of all infectious diseases, causing more than 700 000 deaths annually. The report further states, more than 3.9 billion people in over 128 countries are at risk of contracting dengue, with 96 million cases estimated per year.

Vector-borne diseases are mostly caused by bloodsucking insects, such as flies, triatomine bugs, sandflies, fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes being the most popular in this category. These living organisms transmit infectious diseases between humans as well as from animals to humans. A last year report by the Delhi Municipal Corporation said that in Delhi alone, almost 9,300 people suffered from dengue. Diseases transmitted by these insects include malaria, chikungunya, dengue, and schistosomiasis, etc. To aid with that many insurance companies have brought disease-specific health covers.

Recently, Bajaj Allianz general insurance launched ‘M-Care’ which is a health insurance policy against vector-borne diseases. This policy will provide cover for 7 vector-borne diseases common in India, spread by vectors such as mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and sand flies. Tapan Singhel, managing director and chief executive officer, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, says, “Especially in India, where a significant number of people get diagnosed and hospitalized due to vector-borne diseases, a health insurance policy makes a lot of difference in people’s lives by helping them gain access to quality health care.” The 7 major vector-borne diseases included in this policy are dengue, malaria, chikungunya, kala-azar, Japanese encephalitis, filariasis, and zika-virus.

You can opt for an individual or a family floater policy, both of which are available under this plan. If you opt for the family floater cover you can include up to 6 family members in one policy. It can include your parents, spouse, and children. An additional feature of this policy, you can also avail the benefits of this policy during an international trip. From diagnosis of disease along with treatment is payable in over 35 countries including USA, Europe, New Zealand, Canada, Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Japan.

A significant number of people are falling ill due to vector-borne diseases in India. This year in India, more than 3 lakh cases of malaria and 80,000 cases of dengue were reported. Experts suggest, buying a low-cost cover can protect you against such annual epidemic. The sum insured of this policy ranges between Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 1 lakh, and the premium of this policy ranges between Rs. 160 to Rs. 3,000.

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