Dated Nov 17, 2022
Sharp spike in individual health covers post Covid
Chennai: Insurance compa nies are witnessing a rise in
the number of retail health insurance policies as the outbreak of
Covid-19 has pushed the demand for indi vidual health cover: The spike
comes despite retail he alth premiums growing by 16.5% in the last
financial year (FY22). Expansion of dis tribution across the country
and penetration of health insurance policies, particularly in tier
III towns, are also attributed for the jump in the past two years.
Leading health insurer, Star Health and Allied Insurance, has recorded a
substantial increase in the number of individual health policies from
37 lakh in 2019 and to 69 lakh policies this year (2022). While its
market share in group policies remained 3% in the past four years,
the company's market share in retail policies rose from 26% in
FY2019-20 to 33% in FY2021-22.
Anand Roy, managing director, Star Health and Allied Insurance said,
Covid -19 has definitely led to a higher awareness on the need for
health insurance among the general public. "During the pandemic,
we saw demand for health insurance increase rapidly and many customers
opted for basic health covers or Covid specific health cover to tide
over the crisis," he said.
The health insurance business of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance rose by
4%, from 51% in 2019 to 55% four years down the line in 2022. Bhaskar
Nerurkar, head health administration team, Bajaj Allianz General
Insurance said, expenses towards the treatment of the infection
especially in-patient hospitalisation have been very expensive and
hence more and more people are realising that having a health
insurance coverage is essential. "Along with specific Covid-19
specific covers, a large number of inquiries came in for individual
health insurance policies as well," he added.
Star Health and Allied Insurance recorded an increase in the number of
individual health policies
Health insurance Biz of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance rose from 51% in
2019 to 55% in 2022
Cholamandalam MS General Insurance's individual health portfolio rose by
5% in four years
Interestingly,The incurred claim ratio of individual policies is lower
than the group health policies since pre-existing ailments and
maternity treatment mostly covered in group policles depending on the
coverage chosen by the corporate. But, individual health insurance has
certain waiting period restrictions, which is subject to individual
Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Ltd, whose health portfolio
from individual and nonemployer employee group business is about 80%,
a growth by 5% in four years in the portfolio, has stepped up focus
both on individual retail health and non-employer employee group
attachment business in both health benefit and indemnity products.
The company covers over 2.4 million lives as on July 31, 2022 under
the individual and non-employer employee groups. V Suryanarayanan,
managing director, Chola MS General Insurance said, "With the
waning of Covid-19 infection, the tendency of policyholders not
renewing the health indemnity policies is also seen."
On the other hand, Amit Ganorkar, president & chief operating officer,
Tata AIG General Insurance said, it is very difficult to quantify and
state Covid-19 reasoning for increase in the number of individual
policies. "However, Covid-19 has advanced the purchase decision in
case of individuals" he added.