COVID-19 impact | Life and health insurance becoming a dominant need: SBI Life survey

COVID-19 impact | Life and health insurance becoming a dominant need: SBI Life survey

© M Saraswathy
COVID-19 impact | Life and health insurance becoming a dominant need: SBI Life survey

Buying a life insurance or a health insurance has become a dominant need for Indian customers in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, a survey has found.

The survey by SBI Life Insurance in partnership with Nielsen showed that 80 percent (8 out of 10) Indians believe that buying life insurance is key.

Similarly, 75 percent (7 out of 10) who don’t have a critical illness health plan are planning to buy it within the next three months. This is to help address the rising medical costs and financial burden on the family due to rise in ailments like COVID-19, amongst others.

The survey was conducted among 2,435 people across the country.

Ravi Krishnamurthy, president-zone 1, SBI Life Insurance said health has been a key focus among Indian customers ever since the pandemic broke out.

“There is a clear spike in searches for term plans and health products. The industry will benefit due to the rising awareness for the products,” he added.

While he did not specify the number of coronavirus death claims settled so far by the company, Krishnamurthy said there is a priority given to settle COVID-19 claims.

The survey showed that while life insurance followed by health insurance are the top-most financial products bought with an intention to safeguard the family’s future.

The allied financial costs related to COVID-19 treatment are also a key factor in purchase of health insurance. SBI Life’s survey showed that 53 percent of Indians are not financially prepared to bear the cost of COVID-19 treatment.

IRDAI chairman Subhash Khuntia had earlier said so far a total of 2,38,160 COVID-19 health claims have been filed. Of these, 1,48,298 claims worth Rs 1,430 crore have been settled.

Moneycontrol had reported earlier that despite several thousand COVID-19 deaths, the insurance claims remain low.

A total of 96,318 people have died due to COVID-19 in India. There are 61,45,292 reported positive COVID-19 cases in the country.

Going forward, Krishnamuthy said the proposed standard term plan would help in making the product simpler and helping customers to purchase a plain vanilla protection plan.

Term plan or pure protection plan pays an insurance claim if the policyholder dies during the policy term.

General insurers have also launched specific health insurance products – Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak- to cater to the need arising out of the coronavirus pandemic.

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