The fear of contracting the novel coronavirus is pushing more and more people to buy the regulator-mandated indemnity policy for covid-19, despite regular health insurance policies covering the cost of hospitalization for the infection. Corporates too are looking to cover their employees, specifically for covid-19 under a group Kavach plan.
Between 10 July and 30 July, state-run general insurer New India Assurance Co. Ltd sold about 60,000 policies, including individual and family floater plans. According to the company, the western zone dominated in terms of demand. ManipalCigna Health Insurance Co Ltd sold about 150 policies and the company found the most preferred tenure to be in the range of ₹4-5 lakh. According to the company, they are seeing a greater uptake from tier-II and-III cities.
During the same time, Max Bupa Health Insurance sold close to 8,000 policies and about 80% of the policies sold were for the tenure of 9.5 months and 90% of the buyers went for the ₹5 lakh sum insured, which is the maximum allowed under the policy construct. The insurer experienced the highest demand from Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
“So far, the highest purchase for Max Bupa Corona Kavach plan is by millennials as 43% buyers are in the age group of 18-30 years. The trend shows that there is a demand for short-term covid-19-specific covers, especially among the first-time buyers of health insurance. The uncertainty around covid-19 is leading people to buy health cover for themselves and their families,” said Krishnan Ramachandran, MD and CEO, Max Bupa Health Insurance.
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co Ltd has also seen a spurt in demand for the Kavach policy from the younger generation.
“Corona Kavach has seen a positive uptake from customers, especially among individuals up to 45 years. We have witnessed higher inquiries for sum insured falling between ₹2-5 lakh, considering treatment expenses for covid-19. Policy period of six and a half months and nine and a half months have witnessed a higher demand in the market. We have seen major uptake from the western part of the country with contribution from Maharashtra and Gujarat, followed by the south and east,” said Gurdeep Singh Batra, head-retail underwriting, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.
Online insurance aggregator Policybazaar said the company is selling around 1,000 policies a day and 85% of the buyers picked Corona Kavach policy whereas the remaining 15% opted for the Corona Rakshak policy (benefit-based) policy.
Some corporates too are looking at covering their employees for covid-19, specifically.
“We had seen substantial demand at the onset of the pandemic from companies to buy additional coverage for employees. A large number of such companies have already bought supplementary coverage for covid-19. Demand for Kavach is now relatively less with 15 to 20 group inquiries every week,” said Abhishek Bondia, managing director and principal officer, SecureNow.in.
Bondia further said the product has the potential to see higher sales. “There is still very limited awareness about the product. It will require the industry to invest substantially more in distribution and marketing to achieve its potential,” he said. Insurers expect a portion of these buyers to opt for a comprehensive health insurance cover in the long run.