Kovid-19-coronavirus, impact on insurers
With arrival of kovid-19 epidemic, & fear of spreading of the same at large scale, some insurance co’s are already coming out with lot of excuses citing various clauses & sub-clauses pretending the disease coronavirus is not covered under the standard Mediclaim policy to discourage the policy holders for filing the health claims.
Whereas In practice the corona virus is certainly covered under the standard health policies. Hospitalization of the insured person is covered by any kind of flu & corona is also a variation of the flu. In some countries,the Insurers are Waiving the Patients’ Share Of Costs For COVID-19 Treatment.
Government is testing & treating the patients free of cost but allowed private labs to test people for the virus, with a cap of Rs 4,500, but in the case of treatment there doesn’t seem to be any cap. After the government allowed the private sector hospitals to treat covid-19 patients last week, insurers have begun getting health insurance claims. & got a total of 34 claims upto March 30, 2020. Out of which 10 claims have already been settled. In coming days insurance companies are likely to see a surge in health insurance claims,
Covid-19 treatment require the use of antivirals, ventilators, and personal protective equipment kits (PPE) cost of which is manageable but requirement of separate/ isolation wards will prove too high in Pvt hospitals. So the insurers as well as the un-insured people are looking toward the govt to step in to subsidize the cost else private treatment can become unaffordable & only option will be to wait for space in govt facilities.
Kovid-19, Insurance & claims for health workers
In the mean time the New India Assurance Co, the largest & strongest insurer in India has confirmed Rs. 50 Lakh risk coverage for health care workers fighting covid-19, as announced by the govt. of India.. The risk cover will be valid from 30-03-2020 for 90 days.
The claim will be paid to the beneficiary/nominee under certification of the authorized Central and/or State Government Authority. A “simple and seamless standard operating procedure” will be finalized by the insurer and the government’s ministry of finance and ministry of health and family welfare.
Number of private non-life insurers like Future Generali, Liberty insurance, ICICI Lombard, Go digit & many others have also come up with a coronavirus related insurance policies which on detection of coronavirus infection will pay a lump sum amount but amount varies from 20000 to 50000 depending upon the scheme of insurer. So its just a “ Toffe” insurance & a marketing & advertising gimmick to offer such kind compensation for a highly infectious disease. so only savior at this time of crisis, seems to be either the govt. or govt supported insurance co’s.
Corona virus-Loss of profit claims
Insurers have also started receiving claims under “ loss of profit” clause in the fire insurance policies and top companies are likely in for a trouble regarding claims arising out of the Covid-19 outbreak.. Some policies typically covers losses due to factory shutdowns due to some unforeseen circumstances and “the question now is whether disruption due to Coronavirus is covered by such policies. This is going to be a tricky issue and it would lead to litigation in several cases,” The small insurance co’s in pvt. Sector will try to wriggle out of the situation by citing the various terms & conditions but large public sector may consider the plea under some govt. pressure.
Kovid-19 Marine claims
In addition, insurers are also likely to receive the marine insurance claims for physical damage to perishable goods & in terms of delay & disruption due to various reason including non-shipping & entry refusal at ports.
Film Industry claims
Film & entertainment industry also may come up with disruption & release deferment claims.
So if the covid-19 crisis is prolonged, this is going to be unbearable for the insurer & insuring public & can impact the balance sheets of insurers in a big way. Only big contribution from all the stake holders is the need of the hour.
Kovid-19, Impact on TP insurance
In line with the above the insurance regulator has decided to keep the motor third party (TP) insurance rates unchanged beyond March 31 amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. While Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) had on March 5 released a draft proposal to increase TP premiums by 2-10 percent from April 1, this has now been deferred until further notice.
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has also asked insurance companies to allow additional 30 days of grace period for payment of renewal premium for life insurance policies. In case of health insurance policies, the insurers may condone delay in renewal up to 30 days without deeming such condonation as a break in policy.
In a major relief to crores of individual vehicle and trucks owners, plying in India carrying essential goods, the Road Transport Ministry has extended the validity of all required documents for vehicles from March 31 to June 30.
As per order, the validity of documents related to Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 — such as driving license, vehicle fitness tests, state/national permits — will be extended to June 30, 2020. The relaxation is also applicable for insurance co’s for motor claim settlement.
Keeping in view the lock-down due to Kovoid-19, automaker Maruti-suzuki has also announced that free service, normal warranty and extended warranty ending during the period from March 15, 2020 to April 30, 2020, have been extended till June 30, 2020.