While it continues to disrupt major sectors worldwide, the coronavirus impact on insurance has also been largescale. Not only are people inquiring about policies, but many are also buying more life insurance and health insurance plans for themselves and their loved ones. The IRDAI has mandated that all insurance providers expedite COVID-19 related claims in the case the policyholder is diagnosed with coronavirus or is undergoing the treatment. Since then, not only have insurers allowed COVID-related claims but many insurance providers have begun offering health insurance, specifically for COVID-19. Customers are seeking protection under such policies as the virus has already infected close to 100,000 people globally.
Rise in Demand for Life and Health Insurance
Since the past month, the growth in demand for life insurance and health insurance has been massive. Online distribution portals have witnessed an increase in health insurance sales by anywhere between 30% to 40%. The surge in demand for insurance has also been witnessed by life insurance providers which registered an average growth in online sales of 20% for the last month alone. Although insurance providers usually record stronger sales every March, as people scramble to buy policies towards the end of the fiscal year, this year’s growth is much stronger. The coronavirus impact on insurance sales growth is expected to out-do the average 10% spike in sales every March.
The nationwide shutdown has resulted in most insurance businesses shutting down large parts of their operations and working from home. However, policies are still available digitally. This is why more people tend to be purchasing policies online while visiting branches is off-limits from the lockdown. Throughout the month of March, some digital insurance players witnessed a 50% increase in the average amount of life insurance and health insurance policies sold per day. A mild surge in demand for insurance policies that were sold offline had been witnessed in February, but a decline in sales in March once the country was forced to remain in lockdown.
Policy providers are easing the burden on health care professionals who are typically expected to conduct an in-person checkup on applicants to vet that their physical conditions match their application. With the ongoing spread of COVID-19, these checkups are no longer mandatory for a certain age-group of applicants to buy health insurance or life insurance policies. This has also contributed to more sales in life and health insurance policies, especially from those individuals who are in cities with the highest number of confirmed cases like Mumbai and Delhi.
Past Impact of Viruses on Insurance
The coronavirus impact on insurance is not the first of its kind. Even with the onset of previous epidemics, insurance companies saw a boost in sales. With SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which mainly spread in China and Singapore in 2002, local insurance providers saw sales growth of around 20% to 40%. This was driven by a boost in demand from the general public. The demand grew because insurance helps combat the uncertainty of a pandemic. This uncertainty is not only about one’s health but also one’s finances. Currently, as a result of lockdown, businesses are sinking and the stock market has never seen worse days.
When it comes to stress, the idea of raising treatment funds is a close-second to the possibility of falling ill. Luckily, those with a health insurance policy can breathe a sigh of relief. Having a sound insurance policy that will cover any COVID-19 related medical treatment costs, diagnostic testing, and quarantine-related expenses can help ease your anxiety. Some general insurers and health insurers are putting out targeted health covers against COVID-19. This could further contribute to the surge in demand for insurance as people seek out the best financial protection against COVID-19.
In conclusion, having health insurance can financially secure you during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Bajaj Allianz Health Insurance, available on Finserv MARKETS is one such plan. It comes with benefits like quick claim settlement, option to customize plans and cashless claims in 6500+ network hospitals. You can also avail of a host of add-on covers to suit your needs with Bajaj Allianz Health Insurance, available only on Finserv MARKETS.
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