On Tuesday, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) asked insurance companies to provide policyholders with the option to renew, migrate or port standard covid-19-specific health insurance schemes: Corona Rakshak and Corona Kavach. The regulator has also asked the insurance providers to not impose a waiting period of 15 days on renewal of these policies.
In July, insurers started offering Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak policies at the order of IRDAI. These are standardised short-term health insurance policies specifically for COVID-19 with uniform features, terms and conditions that consumers can purchase from an insurer of their choice.
The policies cover costs related to the treatment of COVID-19 and were issued for periods of three-and-a-half months, six-and-a-half months or nine-and-a-half-months.
"Corona Kavach' and 'Corona Rakshak' policies of any tenure may be renewed for further terms of three-and-a-half months (3 months), six-and-a-half months (6 months) or nine-and-a-half months (9 months) as per the option exercised by the policyholder," the IRDAI said.
"Where policy is renewed, additional waiting period of 15 days shall not be imposed and the coverage shall be continued seamlessly," it added.
However, the renewals may be done before the expiry of the existing policy contract. Further, the policyholder is allowed to change the sum assured during renewal.
For any increase in the sum insured, the waiting period shall start afresh only for the enhanced portion of the sum insured, the circular said, adding that Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak policies are permitted to be renewed till 31 March 2021.
On portability, IRDAI said general and health insurers are permitted to allow portability of Corona Kavach (individual) policy from one insurer to another.
"The accrued gains of waiting period served in the existing Corona Kavach policy shall be protected in respect of coverage of Covid-19, by the porting-in insurer," it added.