Money & Banking

IRDAI relaxes payment dates for life and health policies due to COVID-19

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on March 24, 2020 Published on March 24, 2020

Faced with the unprecedented situation of a lockdown due to the rapid spread of coronavirus, the insurance regulator has asked both life and non-life insurance companies to relax premium payments by one month.

In a slew of fresh instructions, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has also instructed life insurance companies to give a grace period of one month for premiums due in March and also expeditiously process any claims regarding COVID-19.

“Insurers have been asked to enhance the grace period by an additional 30 days, if desired by the policyholders,” the IRDAI has said for life insurance companies.

They should also consider developing quicker claim settlement processes, it has said, adding that their websites must be up and running and be updated regularly.

Referring to the guidelines by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, it has also said that insurance companies can hold board meetings till June 30 by video conferencing or audio visual means.

Further, in case of health insurance policies, the IRDAI has said that insurers may condone delay in renewal up to 30 days without deeming such condonation as a break in policy.

“However, insurers are requested to contact the policyholders well in advance so as not to have a discontinuance in coverage,” it has stressed.

In case of submission of monthly returns for the month of March 2020 by insurers and insurance intermediaries, additional time of 15 days will be allowed. Similarly, in case of quarterly returns, an additional period of up to one month will be permitted.

“All insurance companies have been asked to display on their websites, the information on functioning of their offices and the alternate arrangements made for premium payments, renewal, settlement of claims and lodging of other service requests,” the IRDAI has stressed.

Insurers like Life Insurance Corporation of India have already relaxed payment of premium for policies up to April 15, 2020, if customers are unable to pay online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

They are also urging customers to use digital payment options. “The company urges customers to avoid unnecessary travel and use the company’s digital platform from the safety of their homes. The fully-equipped digital platform of the company provides customers with 24x7 access to information on their policies,” ICICI Prudential had said recently.

Published on March 24, 2020

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