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Health insurance sales grow 20 per cent on Covid-19 fears

G Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on April 09, 2020 Published on April 09, 2020

The spurt in health insurance business in March could also have come from the tax-savings season   -  istock.com/designer491

Spurt in health insurance business in the last one month, besides huge upswing in inquiries

The growing concern over the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has been driving people increasingly towards taking health insurance.

According to initial data available with some insurers, there has been a spurt in health insurance business in the last one month, besides huge upswing in inquiries about cover.

“We have seen an increase of 15-20 per cent in our health numbers in the last one month. We also see good growth in the health segment going forward,” Pankaj Arora, MD & CEO, Raheja QBE General Insurance, told BusinessLine.

According to Amit Chhabra, Head - Health Insurance, Policybazaar.com, growth in the health insurance business in the last 25 days has been much higher at about 30 per cent.

Apart from the fear of Covid-19, the spurt in health insurance business in March could also have come from the tax-savings season (last month of every financial year), Gurdeep Singh Batra, Head, Retail Underwriting, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, said.

Drivers

The digital and online offerings by insurers are coming in handy for those who wish to buy insurance during the lockdown period.

As more and more private hospitals and labs are being roped in for the fight against coronavirus, many in the age group of 25 to 55 are now looking for health cover, say insurers.

Going forward, Arogya Sanjeevini, thanks to its simplicity and affordability, is also expected to drive growth. While “it is very early to say (anything) about the response, as insurers have just launched their products, or are in the process of doing so,” as observed by Chhabra, insurers do see a great potential in this standard health cover policy.

According to Batra, Arogya Sanjeevini will play a crucial role in encouraging people to opt for health insurance. The company launched the product early this week.

The health business grew by 26 per cent for private insurers and 9 per cent for public sector players. The overall health insurance business grew by 17 per cent during April-February 2019-20 (first 11 months of the last financial year) compared to the same period last year, as per Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) data.

The growth could have been more for the full year except for the lockdown which prevented on-field sales of insurance during most part of the last month.

During FY2018-19, general and health insurance companies collected ₹44,873 crore as health insurance premium, registering a growth of 21.2 per cent over the previous year.

For the last four years, it has been growing at more than 20 per cent per annum.

Published on April 09, 2020

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