Mumbai: Irdai has asked non-life companies to devise a special policy that provides compensation if coronavirus is contracted. The regulator has also asked insurance companies to ensure they do not reject claims by those infected by coronavirus, including treatment during quarantine period under existing mediclaim policies.
The directive comes even as health authorities are yet to come out with a standard treatment. The regulator has said that where hospitalisations are covered, insured shall ensure patients affected by coronavirus are handled expeditiously.
According to Oriental Insurance chairman Girija Kumar, the current mediclaim policies are enough to cover treatment for coronavirus.
“The directions from the regulator are to pay due diligence to claims,” he said. Kumar, who is chairman of the General Insurance Council, was in the city, with other non-life CEOs, to launch the industry’s awareness campaign — Faayde Ki Baat. The CEOs said the current mediclaim policies do not exempt coronavirus hospitlalisation.
At present, those infected are admitted to government-designated hospitals, while suspected patients too are not admitted to regular hospitals. “Patients may have to be admitted to regular hospitals if other organs are affected. There might also be cases where detection happens later,” said Future Generali COO Shreeraj Deshpande.
According to Deshpande, the specialised cover for coronavirus could be in the nature of a benefit cover where the insured gets a fixed amount if infected. “It is the variant of flu virus and in all likelihood the treatment will be administering a cocktail of antibiotics. For majority of people who are kept under isolation, there would be loss of salary that can be covered under the policy,” he said.
According to Aditya Birla Health Insurance CEO Mayank Bathwal, the focus of authorities at present is on isolating those infected by the virus. “A health insurance policy covers all infections, and coronavirus is one such. Coverage will be available in all our products that offer hospitalisation covers. Hence, all covers such as in-patient treatment, pre- and post-hospitalisation, OPD and ambulance cover, that your health policy offers will be available to you,” he said.-Times Of India