Insurers have settled 15.3 lakh health and 48,000 life claims amid lethal second wave: Irdai Official

India’s health and life insurance companies have settled 15.39 lakh medical claims exceeding an amount of Rs 15,000 crore and over 48,000 life claims as on June 22, amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, top Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) official said at an ASSOCHAM e-summit today.

“Over 19.11 lakh Covid health claims have been reported as on 22nd June as far as medical insurance or hospitalisation is concerned. While in terms of death claims, which is handled by the life insurers, about 55,276 claims have been intimated and nearly 88 per cent i.e., 48,484 claims amounting to Rs 3,593 crore have already been settled,” said T.L. Alamelu, Member (Non-Life), IRDA while inaugurating 13th Global Insurance E-Summit & Awards organised by ASSOCHAM.

She added that the repudiated claim for health is just about 4 per cent and in life it is just about 0.66 per cent. Alamelu added that these figures highlight the opportunity available for insurers in increasing health insurance penetration in India.

“Now we are grappling with the problem that most of these people have spent a good amount of their savings, it has even taken down many below the poverty line, they have gone into debts, sold up their assets, pledged their jewellery and have been pushed back to the worst times,” she said.

“The industry has tremendous responsibility especially for a nation like India to offer protection and just not assume that people will not take insurance. There has to be aggressive probably, more sort of forcefully selling insurance because it is no longer an option,” Alamelu added.

She noted that both the insurance industry along with the regulator Irdai have worked together to design new policies to cater to the demands of new and unprecedented situations. “We have also eased some processes and procedures to make it easier for servicing the policyholders.”

Separately, at the event, Vipin Anand, the managing director, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) said that one of the critical needs for expansion of the insurance industry is infusion of external capital.

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