Money & Banking

Health insurers may not go in for premium hike

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on June 09, 2021

‘IRDAI not in favour of such a move; the focus now is to clear claims’

A hike in health insurance premium may not be on the cards, at least for now, with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) not in favour of such a move at present.

“With claims and losses mounting, some insurers were looking at the possibility of revising premium on health insurance this year. However, the IRDAI is not keen on a rate hike in the middle of a pandemic,” said the CEO of an insurance company, adding that the focus now is to clear claims.

The IRDAI has been closely the monitoring the settlement of health insurance claims in the wake of the pandemic to ensure that it is done speedily by insurers. “As of now, there has not been any increase in premium rates for health insurance this fiscal. A number of insurers had hiked rates last year and some were considering doing so this year,” said another industry expert.

Revision in premium

Many insurers had revised premium by about 10 per cent to 15 per cent last year after meeting IRDAI norms for standardisation of exclusions. However, with the rising Covid claims and faced with underwriting losses, some of them were looking at a fresh round of increase in premium.

Non-life insurers have been facing a surge in Covid-related health insurance claims since the last one year. While it had abated in between, claims rose to a much higher level during the second wave of the pandemic. Insurers have received over ₹23,000 crore of Covid-related claims till date.

A recent report by ICRA also noted that underwriting losses for general insurers are set to rise.

Sahil Udani, Assistant Vice-President and Sector head – Financial Sector Ratings, ICRA, said: “We expect a seven per cent to nine per cent growth in GDPI in 2021-22, supported by growth in health segment and uptick in motor segment.

“Despite underwriting losses, the sector is expected to report marginal return on equity (3 per cent to 4.5 per cent), largely supported by investment income.”

Published on June 09, 2021

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