Money & Banking

Short-term life policies soon to support Covid-19 warriors

G Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on May 05, 2020 Published on May 05, 2020

Insurance firms working out actuarials, says IRDAI chief

Short-term life-cover policies will be available soon to instil confidence among front line staff fighting Covid-19 as well as individuals.

“We have asked insurers to come up with short-term life insurance products. A few insurance companies have responded and actuarials are being worked for the products,’’ Subhash C Khuntia, Chairman, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai), told BusinessLine on Tuesday.

The term of the policies could be minimum three months to about six months. Such policies, according to Khuntia, will provide moral support and protection to the corona warriors.

While the actual numbers are yet to be out, there has been increasing interest in buying insurance — both health cover and life — in the backdrop of Covid-19. “There is a clear feedback to us in this regard,’’ the Chairman said.

The IRDAI has taken a slew of measures in the last three months to counter the threat from the dreaded virus. Apart from making it clear that all normal health cover policies should also cover corona-related expenses, the authority has directed the industry to come up with specific products for the pandemic. It also extended validity of motor and health policies even if there are delays in renewals and premium payment.

“As of now, about half a dozen insurers have got corona-specific insurance products,’’ Khuntia said, adding that the number might go up in days to come.

Arogya Sanjeevini, a standard health cover product launched by insurers based on a specific directive from the IRDAI, is also “doing well”.

April/May sales, a worry

On the impact of Covid-19 on the insurance industry, Khuntia said despite the impact of the lockdown in the second half of March, the performance during the last financial year was quite “good”.

“However, there is some worry for the current financial year as sales in April and May got impacted. But, I am confident that the overall growth will be good going forward after the lockdown ends,’’ the official said.

The regulator had asked insurers to prepare and execute a business continuity model. “The industry responded very well and digital solutions are being increasingly deployed. I am in touch with CEOs of all insurance companies and monitoring the situation closely,’’ he said.

“We are closely monitoring the situation. Industry solvency is adequate and people should also protect themselves by taking all precautions as well as insurance cover. We will all fight Covid-19 together,’’ Khuntia added.

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Published on May 05, 2020
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