Citizens & Experts Slam Private Insurance Cos For Not Selling Or Renewing COVID-19 Specific Policies

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Sumit Singh

Pune, 27 April 2021: Looking at the rising coronavirus (COVID-19) cases across the country, quality healthcare and prompt medical treatment have become the need of the hour.


Hence, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) had announced the launch of the Corona Kavach Policy and Corona Rakshak Policy last year, making it mandatory for all general and standalone health insurance companies in India to offer this policy to its customers.


As the COVID-19 cases are again rising, people started looking for these two health insurance policies again, however, they are unable to get them online or offline. Many of the existing customers are not able to renew the policies that they had purchased in 2020.


People are trying to get the insurance product through brokers, advisors, and company websites but are unable to get it, citing technical glitches. Many advisors and brokers are insisting their customers opt for other health insurance policies rather than the Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak policies.


Many people have shown their anger over this issue through Twitter and have been tagging the PMO and insurance companies in their tweets.


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“@StarHealthIns not able to purchase corona Kavach policy online and your local branch also denied. You should officially stop on your website. Don’t fool customers,” tweeted Vishal Mehta.


SBI life & most other stopped giving corona rakshak policy online, toll-free no response,email no response, ultimate email came rejecting application. SBI sould privatise first.’ tweeted Ambrish Purani.

We reached out to some experts in the industry to know the reality of the situation.

“The two policies earlier were valid till March 31, 2021, but now have extended till September. Private companies were not in a favour of providing these two policies separately. They have done this under the pressure of the government, Now, as the COVID-19 cases are very high, the insurance companies are facing many claims and the premium of these two policies is very less. Hence, all this is being done by the private companies in the current situation,” said Pravin Kulkarni.


Mohsin Sayyad, an employee at a financial service company, informed, “Companies have stopped the health insurance policies because of the premium gap. They are getting many claims in this horrific pandemic situation. The companies won’t admit this due to pressure from the government. This is the time when people need support from the government as well as from the insurance companies.”


Sandeep Pande from National Insurance Academy said, “Earlier, these policies were valid till March 31, 2021, but now the validity of the health insurance policies has been extended till September. If someone is exclusively looking for Covid Kavach or Corona Rakshak policies, the company has to provide them. The companies may want to sell or promote their other policies as the premium for these two policies is less. Last year, we did not have the data because it was all very new and premiums had not been decided. The high volume of the claims is no reason to stop offering these two policies to customers.”


“Motor and health insurance policies are always part of a loss-making portfolio as the claims are much higher than premiums. So, high volume of claims is not the reason for this,” he added.


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We have shared details with Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope to know the government’s role in this matter. This report will be updated once we receive his version.

IRDAI had issued a press note regarding the extension of these two insurance policy schemes. It also introduced two standard COVID-19-specific health insurance policies:

1. ‘Corona Kavach Policy’ dated September 26, 2020, vide circular reference no: IRDAI/HLT/REG/CIR/163/06/2020

2. ‘Corona Rakshak Policy’ dated June 26, 2020, vide circular reference no: IRDAI/HLT/REG/CIR/164/06/2020.

These two insurance policies were also permitted to be offered till March 31, 2021.

Taking the prevailing COVID-19 situation into consideration, the health policies have been offered to all insurers up to September 30, 2021.

Important Benefits that you must know about the Corona Kavach health and Corona Rakshak Policy insurance:

1. All your hospitalization expenses associated with PPE kits, oxygen, ventilators, and consultation fees will be covered.

2. The policy has a waiting period of 15 days once it is approved or purchased.

3. The minimum age to purchase these policies is 18 years and the maximum is 65 years.

4. The minimum sum assured is Rs 50,000 and the maximum limit is Rs 5 lakh.

5. Healthcare workers are entitled to get a discount of 5 percent on the premium of the Corona Kavach Policy.

6. Medical expenses incurred during homecare treatment will be covered for up to 14 days.

(Note: We have sent our queries to IRDAI Mumbai and Delhi. This report will be updated once we receive a response.)


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