In the wake of coronavirus crisis, the insurance regulator had asked the insurers to offer standardised COVID-19 health insurance policies. Inaugurated in July, Corona Kavach is an indemnity plan that will cover all the hospitalisation expenses. The cost of treatment for any co-morbid condition, including pre-existing co-morbid conditions along with the treatment for COVID-19, will be covered under this policy. The sum insured in Corona Kavach policy ranges from ₹50,000 to ₹5 lakh. The tenure of the policy varies from three-and-a-half months, six-and-a-half months and nine-and-a-half months.
Corona Rakshak is a fixed benefit plan in which if a policyholder is diagnosed with COVID-19 and hospitalised for three days, a fixed amount (which is sum insured) will be paid by the insurance companies. For Corona Rakshak Policy, the minimum sum insured would be ₹50,000 and the maximum limit is set at ₹2.5 lakh. Its tenure will range from three-and-a-half months to nine-and-a-half months.
The insurer allowed the companies to renew the ‘Corona Kavach’ and ‘Corona Rakshak’ policies for a term of three and half months (3 ½ months), six and half months (6 ½ months) or nine and half months (9 ½ months). "The renewal shall be subject to the underwriting policy of the insurer," Irdai said.
For any increase in the sum insured, the waiting period shall start afresh only for the enhanced portion of the sum insured, the insurer mentioned.
The customer must renew the policy before the expiry of the existing policy contract. If the policyholders want to renew the policies, an additional waiting period of 15 days shall not be imposed. To benefit the customers, the regulator allowed the policyholder to change the sum insured.
Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak policies are permitted to be renewed till 31st March,2021, the insurer added.
For Corona Kavach individual policies, the insurers have the choice to offer migration to any other indemnity based health insurance product offered by them.
For Corona Kavach Group policies, insurers will have an optio to provide migration to the members insured to any other individual indemnity based health policy at the point of exit of the member insured from the group policy or the cessation of coverage of the underlying group policy.
General and health insurers are permitted to allow portability of Corona Kavach (individual) policy from one insurer to another. "The accrued gains of waiting period served in the existing Corona Kavach policy shall be protected in respect of coverage of COVID-19, by the porting-in insurer," Irdai said.
"Where migration/portability from the Corona Kavach policy (group/individual, as applicable) is allowed by the insurers, such migration/portability to any other comprehensive health insurance policy shall be allowed, till the end of policy period," it further stated.
What it means for the policyholders
"The guideline announced will benefit consumers in numerous ways, offering them a comprehensive overall protection plan when they need it the most," said Amit Chhabra, head-health Insurance, Policybazaar.com.
"Those who were not able to buy a plan with a higher sum insured in the initial months can now even enhance the sum insured in case they will feel that the treatment cost can go up and they need comprehensive protection," he further added.
"By allowing customers the option to migrate or port from a Corona Kavach policy to any other comprehensive health insurance cover, till the end of the policy period of the existing COVID policy, it further helps policy holders to seamlessly move into a cover that provides overall protection along with Covid, thereby increasing the insurance penetration levels in India," Chhabra explained.