The insurance regulator has allowed general insurance companies to launch three-year health policies instead of the yearly plans, a move that is likely to make policies cheaper and reduce the hassles involved in renewal. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, or Irda, has, in its new guidelines, also said that insurers cannot throw away requests for renewal without sufficient cause. Longer-period health insurance will save customers the hassles faced in getting a policy renewed, since renewal is subject to the whims and fancies of the insurer.
General insurers will soon be filing longer-tenure products with the regulator. “Longer-tenure products will be cheaper as there is an element of investment income,” said G Srinivasan, chairman, New India Assurance. “With this, Irda has demarcated the areas where life and non-life companies can operate.”
Health insurance by non-life companies provides indemnity cover, while life insurance companies offer benefits. Health insurance products offered by life insurers are life-long policies, while non-life insurers provide annual ones. The regulator has said life insurance companies cannot offer products with a tenure of less than three years.
“From the customers’ perspective, inflation cost will be built into the product from the first year,” said Ananth Amranath, MD and CEO, Bharti AXA General Insurance.
While standardising the terms and claims form of health insurance, Irda said that health insurance addresses a major area of public concern. “Although it is rapidly growing, access to health insurance still remains limited,” Irda said.
Source :Economics Times.