NEW DELHI: The pandemic has indeed brought health insurance products to the forefront and with lockdowns in effect, customers have been steadily discovering the ease of digital purchase.
In an interview with Mint, Tarun Mathur, CBO, Policybazaar.com, said rising covid cases have led to increased interest for health insurance plans with high sum insured. Besides, enquiries and sales are up twice compared year-ago levels.
What type of insurance policy is the must-have to stay safeguarded from the pandemic?
Health insurance and term insurance are rightfully the most sought after products in this pandemic. Medical expenses for covid treatment are very high and family members are typically at high risk of contracting the disease. Hence, any sum insured less than ₹10 lakh can be highly inadequate for treating a family.
Therefore, it is advisable to get at least ₹10 lakh sum insured per person. Apart from that, there are now plans in which coverage starts from day 7 instead of the usual 30 days period, which the customers are keen to buy. In addition, domiciliary treatment of covid is covered in a handful plans which are now finding favour with customers.
As directed by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai), insurers have also launched the Saral Jeevan Bima cover. With the new Standard Term life covers Saral Jeevan Bima in the market, we are seeing a new category of customers emerging for this segment where protection cover is meant for all.
Saral Jeevan Bima has made it easier for people who are less educated or have a low-income profile to buy a term insurance plan. The average income of people investing in Saral Jeevan Bima is ₹3.3 lakh. This plan provides a higher issuance rate for the lower-income segment groups compared with the other term plans available.
Last year, covid was at its peak around this time, and so many people bought health insurance in a rush. What are the trends you are witnessing now as it’s the time for renewal?
In the last 12 months, health insurance has successfully transformed from being a good-to-have product to a must-have commodity – all because of rising covid-19 cases across the country. More and more customers have been renewing their health insurance policies compared to last year. Renewal rates are as high as 94%, up from approximately 88%.
Another notable change is that a lot of customers who have low sum insured plans are opting to go for a higher cover i.e. ₹1 crore in case of an emergency. Out of all the family floater policies bought last year, 78% of customers renewed their policy while for individuals the number is 71%.
What is the average claim amount range due to covid?
Reports vary (different from location to location and company to company) and claims are still pouring in but we are already seeing claims as high as ₹15 lakh with an average already sitting at upwards of ₹1 Lakh per individual.
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