Witnessing the second wave of thepandemic, the regulator has now extended the validity for sale and renewal of short term covid specific health insurance policies. The policies issued under these guidelines will now remain valid till 30 September 2021.
The policies are commonly known asand Corona Rakshak policies. Amongst these short-term covid specific policies, the Corona Kavach policy is an indemnity-based product while Corona Rakshak is a benefit-based product. Besides, the policy wordings of these covid specific policies are uniform across all insurers.
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai), issued a circular on 24 March said, “Corona Kavach Policies offered as per guidelines on Covid Standard Indemnity based Health Policy and Corona Rakshak Policies offered as per Guidelines on Covid Standard benefit-based Health Policy dated 26 June 2020 are permitted to be offered and renewed by all insurers up to 30 September 2021.”
The regulator further said that there is no change in the policy guidelines. “All other terms and conditions remain valid as specified under the respective guidelines,” said Irdai.
Currently, these short term covid specific policies are offered for the tenure of three and half months, six and half months and nine and half months, that is, 105 days, 195 days and 285 days respectively.
Sanjiv Bajaj, Joint Chairman & MD, Bajaj Capital said that back in June 2020 IRDAI had asked insurers to design need-based products covering costs of treatment of corona virus (COVID-19) disease. All insurers (Life, General and Health Insurers) were allowed to offer COVID – 19 specific short term health insurance policies subject to these guidelines. Such short-term health insurance policies were to be issued for a policy term of less than 12 months and the guidelines were valid till end of March 2021. Now, Irdai has extended the timeline and all insurers are permitted to offer and renew short term Covid specific health policies up to 30.9.2021. “With coronavirus cases increasing lately, it is better to get a Covid-19 health insurance plan for self and family without fail as early as possible,” he said.
The Corona Kavach policy covers hospitalisation expenses incurred by the insured person for the treatment of covid on a positive diagnosis of covid in a government authorized diagnostic centre. It also covers the costs associated with PPE kits, ventilators, and consultation fees, etc. Whereas the Corona Rakshak policy offers a lump sum benefit equal to 100% of the sum insured shall be payable on a positive diagnosis of covid, requiring hospitalization for a minimum continuous period of 72 hours. In this case also, the positive diagnosis of covid has to be from a government authorized diagnostic centre.