Covid-specific policies: In April, when the virus started spreading in India, several insurers such as Star Health & Allied Insurance, Royal Sundaram General Insurance and Chola MS General Insurance launched policies to cover it. Chola’ policy offers lumpsum benefit equal to 100 per cent of the sum insured as base cover, with the sum insured options in multiples of Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000. Additional benefits are available for an extra premium such as daily cash benefit in multiples of Rs 250 till Rs 1,000. These benefits are over and above the base sum Insured. In case of a job loss, it is 50 per cent of the base sum Insured for an additional cost. Star Health & Allied Insurance’s policy provides a lumpsum benefit of Rs 21,000, and Rs 42,000 if the insured is diagnosed with Coronavirus
that requires hospitalisation.
It comes with a 16-day waiting period and does not require pre-acceptance medical screening. Similarly, Royal Sundaram’s customers have the option to choose from two types of the sum insured Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000. However, the benefits under this policy shall be excluded for the first 30 days from the policy inception date. Rathi doesn’t recommend these for individuals: “For individuals who already are covered under health plans, any treatment expenditure arising due to Covid-19 hospitalisation will be covered under their existing health insurance
plans (as per directive by the IRDAI) and hence, buying a comprehensive plan would be more beneficial for an individual or their families.”
Currently, Covid- specific plans are available online for a few hundred rupees. And if you are someone who does not have a policy – personal or group cover – it might be a good idea to pick up one of these policies for the time being.
Arogya Sanjeevani: It’s a fairly straightforward policy that comes with good coverage at a reasonable price. All insurance companies mandatorily offer a policy called Arogya Sanjeevani, with similar features and the differences are only in pricing or claims ratio. Arogya Sanjeevani Health insurance
policy covers Covid-19 and provides a decent health cover of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for health treatment of various illnesses. Your sum insured (excluding the bonus) will be increased by 5 per cent for each claim-free policy year as a cumulative bonus. If the customer cannot afford the comprehensive cover then the Covid-specific cover is a good option.
Comprehensive health policy: If you already have a basic health plan, know that all health plans cover the treatment and hospitalisation of all diseases, including Covid-19. But the figure of Rs 5-7 lakh sum insured may be insufficient for an average middle-class family in India in such challenging times. Then it makes sense to top up. Says Sanjay Datta, Chief Underwriting and Claims at ICICI Lombard General Insurance: “Corona Kavach can be used to cover those who do not have any insurance and can’t afford to buy Aarogya Sanjeevani or in situations in which your office or personal cover is insufficient. This can also work as an addition to a high-risk family member. If you are looking to buy new insurance and want something affordable, Arogya Sanjeevani makes sense.” If you can’t afford the above two, you may want to wait for Corona Kavach or Corona Rakshakas far as the Covid-specific policies go.