International insurance and risk management organisation, Gallagher, has announced the release of a Pandemic Group Insurance product, introducing a comprehensive COVID-19 indemnity cover solution to the India market. For essential workers and front-line services including hospital and healthcare providers, food distribution, and pharmaceutical manufacturers, this development presents a way forward amidst the current uncertainty. Given that India does not have the luxury of an NHS system like the UK, the cover will be welcome indeed.
Providing hospitalisation cover including ICU, road ambulance and access to a secondary medical opinion, the product includes access to all hospital types including private, government and military, with sums insured from 50,000 to 3 million Indian Rupees. Coverage is applicable only if the insured member(s) is/are diagnosed with, and hospitalised solely for, COVID-19 following an initial 15 day waiting period. Travel and pre-existing health condition exclusions apply.
Vyvienne Wade, CEO of International Operations at Gallagher, provides more context. “Insurance is an instrument for social and economic good. Given the significant disruption and uncertainty that communities around the world are experiencing, insurance plays an integral role in maintaining business continuity. It is one way in which we can help clients to move forward with a degree of confidence at a time when the market is challenged by lockdown and travel restrictions.”
“We sought to provide a comprehensive insurance solution that enables critical workers at the front line, and their families, to have access to hospital care including ICU. The online and paperless claims process is also easy to manage and supported by a dedicated health claims management team.”
“Insurance products generally exclude pandemics, epidemics and infectious disease management in a commercial environment. As such, a COVID-19 specific solution for the India market presents a practical solution for the business community and our clients, and we are delighted to be able to reach this point,” Wade concludes.
With reported confirmed COVID-19 cases approaching 30,000 and a death toll of more than 900, the number of lives claimed in India has escalated in recent weeks. Following revised guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), a recent circular (15 April 2020) from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has asked insurers to provide group and individual insurance cover, using simple wordings and attached conditions.
The product is exclusive to the Indian market and requires a positive test report for Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) conducted from ICMR Authorized test Centre in India from National Institute of Virology, Pune. Children below 18 years are also covered if either parent purchases the policy, and only covers treatment provided in India.