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IRDAI allows insurers to offer short-term health policies against COVID-19

Accordingly, all insurers (life, general and health) are allowed to offer COVID-19 specific short-term health insurance policies subject to the guidelines, said the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: June 23, 2020 8:21:04 pm
health insurance coronavirus, irdai covid insurance, covid 19 india updates, irdai, irdai health insurance The objective is to make available insurance protection to various sections of people in the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic(Photo: Gajendra Yadav)

Amid mounting COVID-19 cases in the country, regulator IRDAI on Tuesday allowed the health and general insurers to offer short-term health insurance policies that will give coverage against the coronavirus infection.

With an objective of making available insurance protection to various sections of people in the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, it is considered that short-term health insurance policies providing coverages specific to COVID-19 disease is the need of the hour, it said in a circular.

Accordingly, all insurers (life, general and health) are allowed to offer COVID-19 specific short-term health insurance policies subject to the guidelines, said the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).

“Short-term policies may be issued for a minimum term of three months to a maximum term of eleven months. “In between three months and eleven months, the policy term shall be in multiples of completed months,” it said while issuing the guidelines.

However, a policy term less than three months is not permitted. IRDAI asked the insurers to devise inclusive short-term health insurance products “where waiting periods are part of the product, such waiting period shall not exceed 15 days”.

Life insurers are permitted to offer only benefit based short-term health insurance policies while general and health insurers can offer both indemnity based and benefit-based policies. The guidelines will remain valid for issue of short-term policies till March 31, 2021 unless extended further.

As per the guidelines, short-term health policy means any health insurance policy contract which has been issued for a policy term of less than 12 months. Short-term policies can be offered both as individual or group products, the circular said.

Earlier in March, IRDAI had asked the general and health insurers to design need-based products covering costs of treatment of coronavirus disease.

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