The coronavirus outbreak has spread over 70 countries and sickened over 90,900 people worldwide with total death toll crossing 4000. While China has been supposedly ‘recovering’, the virus has wreaked havoc in Italy and Spain with several new cases (both positive and deaths) being reported on daily basis.
New cases are being reported in India across states almost every day. Considering the severity of the coronavirus outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern or PHEIC. The invocation of a PHEIC is a sign that the new coronavirus should be taken seriously.
However, it is not the first occasion where the WHO has used the designation ‘PHEIC’ for an epidemic. It has been used for epidemics of H1N1 Swine Flu, Zika, and Ebola as well where H1N1 Swine Flu and Zika claimed 18,500 and 100 lives respectively, while the Ebola virus killed 11,300 in West Africa. According to scientists, Coronavirus has spread much more quickly than SARS or MERS and within few weeks, the virus has infected many more people than SARS did in several months. With all these epidemics happening within a decade is a reminder for all of us that we live in an age of epidemics. It is just like as if the content is the same but the amplitude is different each time.
It would be true to say that a new disease has always been rearing its head to test the world’s mettle, and more almost certainly will in the future. Epidemics like Coronavirus show that all of it can be relatively quickly put at risk and it is important to stay protected in every manner. While you may take all required precautionary measures to stay protected and healthy, what is more important here is to understand how you can secure your life against such serious epidemics. God forbid, in case you get infected due to any such deadly virus, while your health insurance cover will only provide you coverage for the hospitalisation expenses, ever wondered what would be the scenario if you would lose your life due to the severity of the epidemic. 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. And with term plan prices set to rise in next few weeks, it is the best to secure your life with a term insurance policy.
No doubt, epidemics like coronavirus are a good reminder to check have we secured our lives with a term plan with adequate sum assured. 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.
With Coronavirus spreading rapidly, buying a term plan at the earliest is extremely important as rates of term plans are set to witness a significant rise from April 1, 2020. The premium for term insurance products is expected to go up by 15–20 per cent as reinsurance rates for term plans have been revised. Reinsurance premiums are paid by insurance companies for buying a cover against.
With an increase in prices by reinsurers, the premium of term plans is also hiked for the customers. It is believed that the price rise is significant as term premium have stayed more or less constant for the past five to six years. Moreover, following the intense competition among the private life insurance companies, there has been a substantial drop of all most 30 per cent in the annual premium in protection plans over the last two to three years.
The author is the Chief Business Officer, Life Insurance at Policybazaar