13 Reasons Why You Should Buy COVID-19 Insurance Plan in India?
- 9 May 2020 | 338 Views | By Mint2Save
Coronavirus, which is also called as COVID-19, is an infectious disease. This disease is caused by a newly discovered virus and was unknown before its outbreak began in Wuhan and has infected many people a couple of times.
It causes respiratory problems that range from being mild to moderate and in some cases, don’t even require special treatment. The older adults who are having diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease are the ones who are more likely to get infected by the COVID-19.
Many a time, the person doesn’t develop any sign of illness even after being infected. Almost 80% of people are those who recover without even any need for any particular kind of treatment.
This disease is something which is not in the air but spreads due to the droplets which are discharged from mouth or nose when an infected person sneezes or coughs.
When a person who is COVID-19 positive coughs or sneezes, then tiny droplets fall on objects which are around us. When we touch these objects, we catch the infection. On rubbing our hands near our face like eyes, nose and mouth, we allow the virus to enter our system and infect us, and this is how coronavirus transmits from one person to another.
Till now, there are more than one million COVID- 19 positive cases all over the world with many death cases. Maximum people are infected in the USA, Italy and Spain. In India, the cases have reached around 15,000, and many have lost their lives. With every day passing by the number of cases are increasing, and more and more people are testing positive due to COVID-19.
One big question that arises in the mind of many is that is COVID-19 covered under life insurance policies and will they be paid if they die due to this disease?
We know that COVID-19 has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. The reason behind saying it is an epidemic is that it has spread all over the world and has reached all the corners. Due to this virus, more than 6-7 Lakh people have been infected, and many died.
So, now the topic of discussion is if the life insurance policy covers the death of a person due to the COVID-19 or is there any COVID-19 insurance?
Yes, if the policyholder holding a life insurance policy passes away due to COVID-19, then his/her nominee or beneficiary nominee will get the sum assured as the death benefit.
In this case, life insurance policy acts as a COVID-19 Insurance. According to the Chief Business Officer of Life Insurance, the nominee or the beneficiary nominee must be aware of the fact that the death caused due to any health-related issue is often covered under Life Insurance policy.
When the person who was insured dies because to COVID-19, then the death benefits are given to the nominee after they fill the valid life insurance claim.
The nominee of the insured can submit the death claim intimation, death certificate and a copy of the policy so taken to their nearest branch whichever is operational. Also, if no office near you is operating, then the nominee can email the necessary documents to the nodal person.
What is the Importance of Coronavirus Health Insurance ?
Under the guideline and directions of IRDA that is the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, the coronavirus health insurance has been introduced by the insurers which provide coverage from this deadly virus. IRDA by issuing a circular announced that Coronavirus treatment would be treated like any other disease. The reason behind this introduction is the panic caused by the people due to the rapid spread of this disease.
With the help of these plans, the person gets compensated for the loss incurred by them on the treatment of this disease and gets a lump sum amount. These COVID-19 insurance plans are available only to the Indian citizens for one year. Also, the policy can’t be renewed and can’t be used in the treatment of any other disease.
Governments in the world are reacting in unconventional ways to limit the spread of the virus until a cure is found, if any. Cross-country and inter-state borders are being sealed, travel restrictions are being imposed, and social distancing is being practiced world-wide. The COVID-19 impact has been felt economically across all industries with no indication of how the crisis will unfold. As the numbers increase rapidly, health and life insurance providers have innovated to provide short- and long-term relief from your medical expenses. So it is important to know how such insurance policies can come in handy when you or your loved ones are tested positive for COVID-19. Although, we are taking precautions to keep the virus at bay, yet it is a smart move to be prepared for any situation.
Below are 13 reasons why you should buy a COVID-19 Insurance Plan in India:
1. Innovation in Covid -19 Insurance Plans
As per the directions by Insurance and Regulatory Authority of India (IRDAI), almost all insurers are extending their regular health insurance plans for COVID-19 related expenses. So if you have already an indemnity health insurance plan, then the insurance company will incur all hospitalization and treatment costs – including but not limited to pre- and post-hospitalization expenses, confirmatory test charges, quarantine charges at a medical facility, ambulance charges, room rent, cashless and reimbursement claim process.
2. High Treatment Cost
The diagnosis test for COVID-19 ranges between Rs.4,500- Rs.5,000 and the per night hospitalization charges are at least Rs.10,000 for a single individual. Owing to its long illness cycle, the treatment costs for COVID-19 are quite high. For an average adult (30-45 years old) the treatment costs at a basic private hospital may go up to Rs.5Lakh to Rs.6 Lakh. For people above 50 years of age, the treatment costs can be as high as Rs.10 Lakh to Rs.20 Lakh as the patient may require ventilator support or ICU in this age group. Also, the spread of the disease is so rampant that your family members can easily get infected. Thus, it is essential to cover yourself and your family against this pandemic to provide for such high expenses.
3. Protection of High-Risk Members
As you might be aware, senior citizens, toddlers, diabetic patients, and others with low immunity levels are at a much higher risk of getting infected by the deadly virus. Buying an insurance plan that shields your family members who need special medical attention is now more important than ever.
4. Financial Security
With the economy taking a hit due to pandemic, a health insurance plan keeps you financially secure. Apart from covering medical expenses, a comprehensive plan may also cover loss of income during treatment of coronavirus infection or quarantine period at a medical facility. IT is always recommended to get covered under a health insurance policy to receive such benefits for coronavirus (and other ailments) for your entire lifetime.
5. Expedited Claim Processing
As per the latest guidelines issued by IRDA, health insurers have been asked to closely monitor and expedite the claims settlement process for coronavirus patients. In response to these guidelines, several renowned insurance companies, as well as web aggregators and e-commerce vendors, have started dedicated helpline numbers to address coronavirus insurance and claim related queries.
6. Coverage of out-of-pocket expenses
On advisory of IRDA, many insurance companies have come up with fixed-benefit plans that provide exclusive coverage for COVID-19. Such plans are disease-specific and offer a lump-sum amount if you are tested positive for coronavirus. In case of quarantine at a medical facility, 50% of the lump-sum is paid to the insured. Thus, such plans are an excellent way to compensate for loss of income due to coronavirus. You can use this money for tests or medicines or even can to support your household.
7. Claim without the need for hospitalization
One of the main conditions for claiming an insured amount under a regular health insurance policy is the need for at least 24 hours of hospitalization. However with COVID-19 specific insurance plans, you can immediately claim a lump-sum amount on being tested positive for the virus without the need for hospitalization.
8. Get an early cover
The waiting period for a regular insurance plan is 30 days while the waiting period for COVID-19 insurance plans is just 14-15 days.
9. Tele-medical Services
Insurers are ensuring seamless support and services for policyholders in view of the coronavirus outbreak. With the lockdown across the country, insurance providers have expanded to tele-medical processes in place of physical tests for offering health insurance plans. As a part of the process, a customer will be asked some basic medical information and then scheduled for a phone call with an appointed doctor. Based on this discussion, the insurer analyses the risk and takes a decision about the well-being of the customer. This helps the insurer decide the amount of sum insured that can be offered to the customer.
10. Home cover
Most COVID-19 insurance plans cover home care expenses if the same has been recommended by a doctor. This benefit is not a standard benefit in coronavirus insurance plans and you should carefully check the same with your insurance provider.
11. Extended protection
With no vaccine or cure available for COVID-19, there will always be a fear of relapse. The Coronavirus insurance plans are valid for a year from the date of purchase thus protecting you from a possible reemergence of the outbreak.
12. Good Starting point
If you do not already have a personal or group insurance plan covering you and are running low on funds, the COVID-19 insurance plans may be a good starting point to avail health cover. You can avail it for one year as a temporary risk coverage option at very nominal costs.
13. You get the promise of reputed insurers
The COVID-19 insurance plans are offered by most reputed insurance companies such as ICICI Lombard, Future Generali, Star Insurance, Bharti AXA, Digit Healthcare, Reliance General Insurance, and Aarogya Sanjeevani (by Manipal Cigna, Bajaj Allianz, & GoDigit). With such trustworthy vendors providing Coronavirus coverage plans, there seems little reason to not avail one.
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While taking the insurance policy, the person must know that plans are given after the insurer checks the details of your health and medical background. Even though COVID-19 insurance can be taken at any time, this global health crisis has a high impact on the acceptance and premium of the policy.
If the policyholder is at the application stage and has been checked positive of COVID-19, then the insurer can reject the application or keep it on hold. Also, the other things kept in mind while acceptance is the age and the sum insured.
Various COVID- 19 insurance policies are-
India First Life Insurance-
Under this, the already existing policies will be covering death due to COVID- 19. The Managing Director said that all the strategies that are valid to date would be considering the unfortunate death of a person due to the disease of Coronavirus.
The health policy offered by ICICI Lombard-
The coronavirus health insurance policy which is offered by ICICI is known as a COVID-19 protection cover. Under this policy, a hundred per cent of the sum insured is paid to the policyholder as a lump sum if the person tests positive of COVID- 19.
It is a fixed benefit plan, and the amount is paid irrespective of the hospitalization expenses. This plan is available to the people lying in the age group between 18 to 75 years. Offered by ICICI Lombard, this plan doesn’t include the people who have the travelling history to any place post 31st December 2019. This plan has a premium of Rs 149 and provides a sum of Rs 25,000.
Covid -19 Policy Offered by future Generali –
The COVID-19 insurance plan offered by Future Generali also pays a hundred per cent sum insured to the policyholder if they test positive for COVID- 19. It is a fixed benefit plan in which the policyholder needs to disclose all the essential information related to their travel history and medical background.
If the policyholder is not diagnosed with coronavirus infection even after 14-day quarantine, then he/she will be paid fifty per cent of the sum insured as a lump sum benefit. Along with this, the policyholder so quarantined is paid an additional 10 percent of the sum insured as a compensation for the incidental expenses.
The policy offered by Star Health Insurance-
Star Health Insurance is providing the policy only to those who require immediate hospitalization and test COVID- 19 positives. This plan is available to anyone lying in the age group between 18 to 65 years. Even the dependent children who are in the age group of 3 months to 18 years can also be covered under this plan with one of their parents.
The plan offered includes the people who even had a travelling history to any overseas place. The program provided by Star Health Insurance is online available with a premium of Rs 459+ GST and provides a sum of Rs 21,000. Also, another plan of premium 918+ GST is open for the sum assured of Rs 42,000. This policy can be brought once in a year and is a fixed benefit plan.
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All in all, buying a COVID-19 specific insurance plan is a good option if you have very little or no health insurance cover, are at a higher risk of getting infected, or have no access to funds for medical expenses at the moment. A COVID-19 insurance plan is an investment worth making for the risk of the rampant pandemic is increasing exponentially.
Various initiatives are taken by the Indian government, along with IRDA for the protection and safety of an individual. The companies introduce different fixed benefit plans to protect and cover individuals.
Still, along with this, the person must also be covered with the indemnity based health insurance as under this the plans can be renewed every year, and it protects the person from any disease for which they are taking treatment of.
Important facts on Insurance Cover for Covid -19
With time and by seeing the situation, the insurance regulators have asked the insurers to cover COVID- 19 to stop the panic so created among the individuals.
Various measures and actions have been taken by the Indian government. Still, now it is our responsibility as the citizens of India to understand our role in this Fight against cOVID-19 and do whatever we can do. Keep on investing in health insurance policies as we never know when an unforeseen circumstance may arise.
This virus has become a considerable concern not just for India but all over the world, and we must take all the steps to protect our loved ones. Indulge yourself into regular and thorough hand washing with good respiratory hygiene. Know about what is happening around you and what policies are generated in your favour to cover you against this deadly disease.
Stay Safe and Stay at home.