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Kolkata, Apr 7 () Seeing business opportunity amidthe spread of the coronavirus pandemic, insurance companies inthe country have started offering policies specific to COVID-19 and some of them partnered with digital payment serviceproviders to push sales of such plans, officials said onTuesday.

Bharti AXA General Insurance has tied up with AirtelPayments Bank to launch two health insurance plans-oneoffering a lump sum amount of Rs 25,000 and another with dailybenefit starting Rs 500 per day-to provide protection fromCOVID-19, a company official said.

In partnership with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance,digital payment service provider PhonePe, operated by FlipkartOnline Services, also launched a coronavirus hospitalisationinsurance policy called “Corona Care”, another official said.

The policy is priced at Rs 156 with an insurance coverof Rs 50,000 for a person aged under 55 years, and the coveris applicable at any hospital offering coronavirus treatment,he said.

Star Health Insurance and Edelweiss General Insuranceare among others which have also come up with exclusiveinsurance policies for COVID-19.

Most of the insurance companies, which are offeringthe specific polices, are not asking their potential customersto go for medical check up, but making sure that they do nothave coronavirus-like symptoms, an industry expert said.

Some of the insurers are also offering products tocover expenses, including treatment during quarantine period,he said, adding that terms of claim settlement by thesecompanies vary and a buyer must read the document carefullybefore purchasing an insurance plan.

However, many industry experts “don’t see much value”in buying separate policies to protect from the disease forpeople who are covered under general health insurance plans.

During the dengue outbreak, several insurancecompanies came up with policies to protect from the vector-borne diseases, they said, adding that there are manyexisting health insurance plans in the market, which provideprotection from the COVID-19 disease.

The Insurance Regulatory Development Authority ofIndia has already asked health insurance companies to offermedical coverage for coronavirus infection in the country, anofficial said.

The Life Insurance Council also said the clause of’force majeure’ will not apply in case of COVID-19 deathclaims, he said.

The regulator has also instructed insurance companiesto design specific health policies covering the treatment costof COVID-19, including medical expenses incurred during thequarantine period, and some have already introduced the same. BSMBDC BDC



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