NEW DELHI: With the number of coronavirus cases rapidly rising again after a several month-long declining trend, the insurance industry is seeing a marked rise in the number of health insurance premiums being paid especially in the case of health insurance policy for specific diseases, under which COVID insurance falls.
According to payments platform PhonePe, the month of March has witnessed a sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 policies sold on its insurance platform. A survey released by the company last week showed that there has been a five-fold jump in sales for its Corona insurance policy in March vis-à-vis February.
The states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, and Gujarat, all of which have experienced a sharp rise in coronavirus infections over the past few weeks, contributed to the majority of sales made.
The company said in a release that those who bought the policy from PhonePe, 75 per cent were from "smaller towns, outside the tier-1 cities".
PhonePe sells a group health insurance policy from Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, which is a disease-specific cover and the policy for COVID-19 is sold at an annual premium of Rs 396 for a cover of Rs 50,000, and a Rs 541 premium for a Rs 1 lakh policy cover, the company pointed out.
It also noted that the policy, which is available for those in the 18-55 age group, covers hospitalisation expenses, including personal protective equipment or PPE, gloves, mask, ICU, oxygen and ventilator. The cover starts 15 days after the purchase of the policy.
PhonePe also claimed that it has settled the most claims in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Delhi and Karnataka since it started selling the policy last year, with the company paying over Rs 3.5 crore to settle such claims. the company said in a press release.
Disease specific policies highly targetted
While a disease-specific cover is not a replacement for a health insurance policy, experts note that one can buy such covers as extra protection from a specific condition (usually contagious diseases).