Money & Banking

PhonePe launches insurance policy for Covid-19 treatment

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on April 01, 2020 Published on April 01, 2020

The digital payment service PhonePe, operated by Flipkart Online Services   -  Bloomberg

For a price of ₹156, the policy provides a cover of ₹50,000 for those aged under 55 years

Digital payments platform PhonePe on Wednesday announced the launch of “India’s first” coronavirus hospitalisation insurance policy in collaboration with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.

The policy, named Corona Care, is priced at ₹156 with an insurance cover of ₹50,000 for a person aged under 55 years with the cover applicable at any hospital offering coronavirus treatment. It also covers 30 days of expenses related to pre-hospitalisation costs and post-care medical treatment. Customers don’t need to undertake any medical tests before purchasing the policy and can purchase it instantly from their homes.

“Many Indians don’t have health insurance cover, so they will be faced with an added financial burden in case someone in their family needs to get hospitalisation treatment for Covid-19. Keeping the societal well-being in mind in these tough times, PhonePe has decided to forego its commission, thus enabling an affordable product with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance,” said Sameer Nigam, founder and CEO, PhonePe, in a statement.

PhonePe said its users can purchase the policy under the ‘My Money’ section on the PhonePe app and customers will be instantly issued their policy documents inside the PhonePe app.

Asked why the policy does not cover senior citizens who are most vulnerable to Covid-19, Gunjan Ghai, VP - Insurance, PhonePe, said: “We are working with insurance firms to come up with a policy that will cover senior citizens, which will be launched soon.”

‘A marketing gimmick’

Meanwhile, CS Sudheer, founder of IndianMoney.com, which launched its insurance subsidiary IndianMoneyInsurance.com early last year, is of the opinion that since there are many health insurance plans in the market which already cover the Covid-19 pandemic, there is no point in purchasing a separate Covid-19 health insurance plan.

“Also, as we have seen in the past when there was dengue outbreak, insurance companies came up with dengue cover separately. Should we ask our customers to buy one new health insurance policy every time we discover a new virus or a disease? It’s not practical, its just a marketing gimmick,” he said.

IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India) has already asked health insurance companies to offer medical coverage for coronavirus infection in India. The regulator has also instructed insurance companies to design specific health policies covering the treatment cost of Covid-19, including medical expenses incurred during the quarantine period.

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Published on April 01, 2020
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