The COVID-19 pandemic has helped to lower health insurance claims for vector-borne diseases by nearly 20% last year. This was because of the emphasis on hygiene and cleanliness amid the pandemic.
Although the average claim size for vector-borne diseases is around INR35,000 ($480) — half of the overall average health claim size of INR68,000 — they have a high prevalence in India, according to a report in The Times of India.
ICICI Lombard’s head of claims, Sanjay Datta said, “We saw a 10-20% YoY drop in health claims for the treatment of vector-borne disease category — especially dengue and typhoid — between April-December, 2020. This is primarily due to the fear of contracting coronavirus which drove everyone to keep their surroundings clean.”
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance’s head of health claims Bhaskar Nerurkar said, “There is a 20% decline in claims made under vector-borne diseases.”
Meanwhile, the IRDAI last week released an exposure draft of a standard health insurance policy for vector-borne diseases including dengue, malaria, filaria, kalaazar, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis and Zika.
The standard plan could be an add-on or a basic health policy, providing cover for diagnosis and hospitalisation costs. General and health insurers are encouraged to offer the one-year single-premium cover whcih will have a minimum sum assured of INR10,000 and a maximum of INR200,000, with increases in multiples of INR10,000. This health policy is to be available by 1 April 2021.
The IRDAI guidelines read, “The standard health policy shall have coverage as specified in these Guidelines which shall be uniform across all general and health insurers. The policy shall be offered both on individual and floater sum insured basis.”
The minimum entry age to be eligible to buy the standard plan shall be 18 years for the principal insured and the maximum age at entry shall not be less than 65 years for all the insured members including the principal insured.