General insurance companies, including standalone health insurers are reporting a 240 per cent jump in claims, for coronavirus disease treatment during the last month, a report by the Indian Express states.
Figures compiled by General Insurance Council show that 71,423 people had claimed Rs 1,145.87 crore from insurance companies as of July last week, for Covid-19 treatment. However, only 20,965 people had made claims for Rs 323 crore on June 22.
Coronavirus cases in the country have been rising, as the country's Covid-19 to 17.50 lakh with 54,735 cases being reported in a day, while the death toll rose to 37,364 with 853 people succumbing to the disease in a span of 24 hours, data updated at 8 am on Sunday showed.
However, despite the hike in claims, the insurance penetration in the country still seems to be low, since the health insurance claims made till now are only 4.08 per cent from the total number of people who have caught the virus till now, IE reports. The average claim per person comes out to be Rs 1.60 lakh.
Despite 37,000 coronavirus deaths, only 561 Covid-19 death claims have been made in Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), which total up to Rs 26.74 crore, the report states.
In a statement on last Friday, LIC said it had always been proactive in settling death claims. The firm said that it treated death claims arising due to Covid-19 on par with other causes of death, adding that payments were being made on an urgent basis.
Across the industry, the average amount of health cover is Rs 2 lakh. But since in the case of Covid-19, the entire family is at risk, the health insurance cover is in many cases, inadequate the cover treatment costs.
Gopal V Kumar, consulting actuary, Radgo & Company told Indian Express that insurers were tracking the frequency and severity of Covid-19, and that it had been observed that over time, while the severity had come down, the frequency was on the rise. He said that fatality was another parameter to watch out for, as if there came out to be no vaccine, or it took time to develop, then there would be a requirement to increase the premium.
Sources told IE that the 71,423 claims related to health insurance policies sold by general insurance or health insurance companies also include claims relating to Ayushman Bharat. This is especially true in states which have roped in general insurance companies for Ayushman Bharat, the report said.