General insurance companies have received 900 claims for over Rs 18 crore towards COVID-19 treatment till Monday, according the General Insurance Council, the official representative body of the domestic general insurers.
After over 40 days of lockdown, the number of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in the country might have exceeded 42,000 by Monday, but it has not impacted general insurers much till now. General insurance companies have received 900 claims for over Rs 18 crore towards COVID-19 treatment till Monday, according the General Insurance Council, the official representative body of the domestic general insurers.
While the number of Covid claims so far are low when compared to the rising number of infections, the average claim amount of around Rs 2 lakh per person has raised doubts about the high treatment cost considering the fact that ICU and ventilators are used only in some select cases.
Maharashtra has remained at the top of the claim chart with around 450 claims for about Rs 8 crore. The city of Mumbai itself has generated around 350 claims for around Rs 4 crore.
After Maharashtra, Delhi has seen the maximum number of COVID-19 insurance claims — 150 claims for about Rs 3.5 crore have been filed by the Delhites. “Effectively, around two per cent of people who are undergoing treatments in different hospitals across the country have filed for insurance claims. On an average, each of the claims is estimated to be around Rs 2 lakh. It is not immediately knows how many COVID-19 claims have been settled so far,’’ said GI Council sources.
One reason for the low number of insurance claim is that Covid treatment is free in many states as the state governments are taking care of the patients in state-run hospitals. Also, it is not known how many COVID-19 cases have received treatment for free under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PM JAY). “Testing and treatment of COVID-19 is already available for free in public facilities. Now, more than 50 crore citizens, eligible under the health assurance scheme will be able to avail free testing through private labs and treatment for COVID-19 in empanelled hospitals,” the National Health Authority said earlier.
Earlier, IRDAI directed insurers to take decision on all COVID-19 insurance claims within two hours. “Decision on authorisation for cashless treatment shall be communicated to the network provider (hospital) within two hours from the time of receipt of authorisation request and last necessary requirement from the hospital either to the insurer or to the TPA whichever is earlier,” IRDAI had said.
Decision on final discharge should be communicated to the network provider within two hours from the time of receipt of final bill and last necessary requirement from the hospital either to the insurer or to the Third Party Administrator (TPA), whichever is earlier, IRDAI said.
A section of the insurance industry has proposed a pandemic insurance pool on the lines of terror insurance pool to tackle the possible massive claims from coronavirus-type of virus attacks that claimed the lives of people, hit India Inc’s day-to-day business and livelihoods. As per the latest government data, the highest number of confirmed cases are from Maharashtra (14,541), followed by Gujarat (5,804), Delhi (4,898), Tamil Nadu (3,550), Rajasthan (3,061), Madhya Pradesh (2,942) and Uttar Pradesh (2,766).