Does the fast approaching annual insurance premium payment date ends up making you uncomfortable? There’s a big relief coming your way, thanks to insurance regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, IRDAI.
According to a recent circular put out by IRDAI, health insurance premium can now be paid through monthly and quarterly instalments instead of the existing annual payment..
The circular added that option of payments in instalments should not lead to any change in basic premium and charging structure.
"The premium mode (frequency) proposed to be added may be monthly, quarterly or half yearly and the resulting premium amounts under each mode (frequency) are consistent with premium amounts under other premium modes (frequencies) of the underlying product," the circular read.
Dr. Rashmi Nandargi, head, retail health, personal accident and travel underwriting, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance said, "The recent guidelines shared by IRDAI on minor modifications in the approved Individual Insurance Products offered by General and Standalone health insurers on certification basis will definitely help in increasing the penetration and distribution of insurance products".
Overall the guidelines are a welcome change since it helps making the distribution of insurance products better and also increase transparency in the product offering. The regulator has allowed the insurers with their previous experience to make changes in the product to help benefit the consumers. These guideline framework have also made the implementing process faster for the insurer compared to the earlier longer filing process.
Other than changes in structure of premium payment, IRDAI has also allowed insurers to make minor changes in policy document in order to bring in more clarity or more transparency in order to help the insured understand the product offering better without making any changes in the policy coverage terms and conditions.
Also, the regulator has allowed additional distribution channels to be introduced for specific products on certification basis without waiting for the regulator approval without changes to the terms and conditions. And there is a provision to change the premium by increasing or decreasing by 15% depending on the loss-ratio range.
Lastly, typically the maximum age limit of the health insurance policies filed is up to 65 years, but if the insurer feels that the age limit can be extended then it can be increase beyond 65 years or as per maximum age filed. However, the insurer needs to inform the regulator on certification basis and also all the marketing channels with reference to these changes and then make the product available.
“The regulator has allowed the insurers with their previous experience to make changes in the product to help benefit the consumers. These guideline framework have also made the implementing process faster for the insurer compared to the earlier longer filing process,” Nandargi added.
All the changes offered by IRDAI is expected to make the services more customer friendly along with making it more profitable. And could prove to be the much-needed boost the industry required.