Offer standalone health policy for dengue/malaria: IRDA to insurers – Times of India

Kolkata News

KOLKATA: A spike in dengue cases along with the Covid-19 pandemic in cities, including Kolkata, has prompted the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority to ask insurance companies to come out with a standalone health policy for vector-borne diseases.
This will be the second standalone policy after Corona Kavach that was introduced in late-July. Industry experts believe such a standalone cover would benefit those on the wrong side of 40, for whom general health policies come at a steep premium.
The premium for the new policy could be a fourth of that for a comprehensive health cover, experts said.
“All general and health insurers will be encouraged to offer this product,” an IRDA source said. The exposure draft proposes the product be offered for a fixed term of one year with a waiting period of 15 days. The regulator has asked insurance companies to send in their observations by November 27. Since vector-borne diseases are seasonal, the policy could be offered for a shorter term (less than a year). Suggestions have also been sought on the 15-day waiting period.
According to J Kundu of Heritage TPA and C Bera of Raksha TPA, there have been “numerous claims for dengue-Covid twin attacks in recent weeks”. Hospitals across the city also confirmed the trend.
Stakeholders have been requested to suggest a suitable name for the product as well.
Sanjay Dutta of ICICI Lombard said the insurers are yet to finalise the details of the proposed policy. “We will forward some suggestions, including whether it should be a dedicated vector-borne diseases policy or cover other diseases as well,” he said.
Sophia Singh, GM, National Insurance and head of the health vertical told TOI they are working on the IRDA proposal and will “send our observations soon”. She pointed out that though standard health policies cover dengue and malaria, such a standalone policy could be useful during the pandemic. R R Mohanty of Oriental Insurance said his company, too, could introduce such a policy.
Group CEO of AMRI Hospitals and president of Association of Hospitals in Eastern India, Rupak Barua, welcomed the IRDA initiative and said such a policy would help those without a health cover. “A disease-specific policy during the pandemic would be handy at a time when general policies are turning expensive,” he said.