Exponential rise in public awareness about health insurance; Corona Kavach Policy clocking 15% week-on-week growth: IRDAI

pandemic specific ‘Corona Kavach Policy’ launched on 10th July is clocking a good 15 per cent week-on-week growth even now, highlighted a top Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) official in an ASSOCHAM e-Summit.

“Health insurance business in India has grown from 27 per cent to 30 per cent during a very short period which is March 20 to July 20,” said Ms T.L. Alamelu, Member (Non-Life), IRDAI addressing an ASSOCHAM National e-Summit on Challenges, Opportunities & Way Forward for Health Insurance Under Covid Attack.

She added, “Public awareness on the need of health insurance has grown exponentially in the past three months.”

The IRDAI official also said, “We are thinking of ways and means, sooner than later we will issue instructions on how it can be mainstreamed, renewed, features of porting migration so that Corona Rakshak and Corona Kavach policyholders continue to get a good cover not only for Covid but entire health sector.”

Talking about another initiative being undertaken by the IRDAI which is in the development stage, Ms Alamelu informed, “We have also planned (about) help for claim settlements where it will include all stakeholders - policyholders, insurers, TPAs, hospitals and everybody involved in the ecosystem, it could be stitched up with National Digital Health Mission so that we have a broad platform of everything going digital."

She noted that insurers must take complete advantage of National Digital Health Mission, encourage policyholders to go in for and share their health records on this platform.

“It will not only help them but also the insurance industry in terms of better pricing and little bit conjecture will get righted. It will finally help the policyholders, because pricing will become more realistic probably a little lower pricing too,” she said adding, “There is still that much more to be done, we are continually tracking what needs to be done to help not only policyholders but all the stakeholders in the industry.”

Talking about other initiatives of the regulator that could be relevant to health insurance industry, she said, “Now we are allowing insurers to issue e-policies based on e-proposal forms as it is the need of the day. Slowly there will be distancing between the intermediaries, agents, policyholders and quickly we will have to move into a system this is going to become a norm of the day.”

 Alamelu added, “We have also said that intermediaries and agents to start using digital sales material and probably start using more of imagery in your digital series.”

She said that IRDAI has also encouraged wellness to be part of packaged insurance policies because if wellness is promoted by insurance industry it will go a long way in doing good for policyholders and the industry.

With health segment becoming the leading business for insurance companies, she said that insurers will have to restructure their entire strategy of how to do business. “I think this is the good time to go to the next level. Probably what the policyholder needs is a one-stop shop, it could be an electronic platform or insurance companies themselves or it could be a kiosk, where he can get every detail of health and wellness and not only health insurance and is able to access entire gamut of all services related to health sitting at home."

She further said, “Definitely wellness and prevention should be a feature of this so that policyholders are more attracted to buy a health insurance to avail all benefits."