The global outbreak of COVID-19 has spread across 100 countries, infecting over a million people in different parts of the world. The total death toll has crossed 18,900 mark with the majority of deaths happening in China, Italy, Spain and the USA. Several new cases have been reported in India taking the total count to nearly a thousand. Some have even succumbed to the injuries. While the possibility of a vaccine still looks a like a far cry, governments gear-up to maximise usage of existing infrastructure to contain the virus. Considering the severity of the Coronavirus outbreak, the World Health Organization declared the virus as ‘Pandemic’ with several countries closing their international borders for foreign nationals and eventually going for lockdowns.
While pandemics like COVID-19 are not new to the world—as it has already witnessed epidemics of H1N1 Swine Flu, Zika, and Ebola—it is important to stay protected in every manner possible. In terms of self-protection and containing the virus, experts agree that is important to wash your hands thoroughly with soap frequently. Apart from that, it is important to cover your face with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing. While all these are measures to protect yourself physically it is also very important to stay financial protected against the epidemic. And the only way to do so is to stay buy an adequate health insurance policy. Unlike all other medical expenses for hospitalisation, if one gets hospitalised for treating coronavirus infection, health insurance plan will come in rescue to safeguard medical expenses.
Buying a health insurance plan not just for yourself but for your entire family is important to make sure your hospital admission and treatment expenses are covered seamlessly. Moreover, viral infections like Ebola, H1N1 and now Coronavirus are not a part of pre-existing ailments and they do not have any waiting periods implied. Your health insurance policy will cover you for testing and the cost of treatment for the novel coronavirus. However, while buying a health insurance policy, it is important to have an adequate sum insured as treatment of such pandemics is expensive and one must have sufficient coverage to bear the cost.
It is important to secure your life by not only buying an adequate health insurance policy, but even a term insurance that protects your loved ones in case of your untimely death due to any such virus. Term insurance is undoubtedly one of the most basic life insurance plans available in the market these days. Moreover, the number of patients infected with coronavirus infection are increasing every day and you never know when you too may become a victim. A term insurance cover is basically a no-frill plan that offers highest life coverage at most affordable prices. Essentially, term insurance is there to give your dependants financial protection if you die within the policy term, usually as a lump sum or staggered payout depending upon your specific needs and requirements. Little known fact to people outside the insurance world: term insurance plans even address death due to communicable diseases and epidemics.
Moreover, amidst the corona outbreak, most insurance companies including both, life and health industry and web aggregators selling insurance have started to follow suit of offering insurance plans through telemedical. The insurers have started to ramp up their telemedical tools with an increased volume of physicians and other health professionals lined up to consult with patients who are concerned about visiting physical centres during the COVID-19 outbreak. It will not be wrong to say that allowing people to buy health and life insurance through virtual care options such as telemedical can be an effective way while minimising their exposure to other potentially contagious viruses. By offering insurance policies through tele-medical, insurers want to convince more patients to use telemedical for buying insurance during such pandemic situations as to avoid exposure to coronavirus.
The author is the Head of Health Insurance, Policybazaar