The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) has now allowed renewal, migration, and porting of two COVID-19 health insurance policies — Corona Rakshak and Corona Kavach, which were launched a few months ago. Corona Rakshak is a fixed benefit plan, where the sum insured could range between Rs 50,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh, will be paid to the insured, if diagnosed with coronavirus and hospitalised for three days.
Corona Kavach is an indemnity plan, where the whole hospitalisation expense is taken care of. The sum insured is pegged from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh.
Corona Rakshak can be taken for a period of three-and-a-half months to nine-and-a-half months, while Corona Kavach comes with a tenure of three-and-a-half months, six-and-a-half months, and nine-and-a-half months.
IRDAI circular on renewal
According to the new circular, insurers can renew both the plans for a term of three-and-half months, six-and-half months, or nine-and-half months. However, the renewal has to done before the expiry of the existing policy contract. They can now be renewed till March 31, 2021.
The additional waiting period of 15 days will not be imposed if the policyholder wants to renew the cover. Also, they are allowed to increase the sum insured.
In case a policyholder opts for increasing the sum insured, the waiting would start again but for only the enhance part of the sum insured.
"The new guideline will benefit policyholders in numerous ways, offering them a comprehensive overall protection plan, when they need it the most. Those who were not able to buy a plan with a higher sum insured in the initial months can now even enhance the sum insured in case they will feel that the treatment cost can go up and they need comprehensive protection," said Amit Chhabra, Head-Health Insurance, Policybazaar.com.
IRDAI circular on migration
In the case of Corona Kavach individual policies, insurers can offer migration to any other indemnity-based health insurance product offered.
In the case of group policies, they can provide migration to the members insured to any other individual indemnity-based health policy. This is done at the point of exit of the insured member from group policy or at the ending of coverage of the underlying group policy.
IRDAI circular on portability
The insurance body has allowed health insurance providers to offer portability of Corona Kavach (individual) policy from one insurer to another.
The option to renew, migrate and port with facilities to enhance the sum insured would work in the interest of policyholders. This would ensure that policyholders remain protected against the virus, at least till March 31, 2021.
Some experts, however, are of the view that a comprehensive health insurance plan should be taken to ensure cover for any future exigency.
"With this development, as insurers, we will work towards safeguarding policyholders against the COVID-19 health risks. However, at the same time we would prefer that such an insuring population eventually opts for comprehensive health insurance policies, after realising the importance of health insurance in times of such exigencies and future complications,” said Gurdeep Singh Batra, Head - Retail Underwriting, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.