Public sector insurers received COVID-19 related health insurance claims worth Rs 17,537 crore till December 2021 and more than 93 per cent of the cases were settled, Parliament was informed on Monday.
"Till December 31, 2021, 14.92 lakh COVID-19 health claims, of a total amount of Rs 17,537 crore, were lodged with public sector insurance companies, of which 93.3 per cent claims had been disposed of," Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Karad said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
In another reply, the minister said public sector insurance companies sustained a total loss of Rs 3,450.68 crore during the one and a half financial year period from April 2020 to September 2021, as against a total loss of Rs 7,552.02 crore during the preceding one and a half financial year period (from October 2018 to March 2020).
"Thus, their overall profitability registered an improvement of Rs 4,101.34 crore during the initial one and a half financial year period of the pandemic, despite absorbing the impact of the pandemic in terms of Covid-related claims," Karad said. Citing norms of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Health Insurance) Regulations, 2016, he said the pricing of health insurance products offered by insurers is based on the age of the insured and other relevant risk factors.
"Insurance companies are allowed to revise premium once in three years after a product has been cleared," he said when asked if insurers can hike premiums to cover the loss. Further, the minister said the policyholders are not required to make good any losses incurred by insurers. "During the period from March 2020 to March 2022, the government has infused Rs 17,450 crore capital into the public sector insurance companies to improve their solvency ratio," Karad further said.