Should you get yourself a COVID-19 insurance cover?

Naval Goel

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, it not just created havoc, but ruined the lives of millions by taking away their jobs, families, and hopes. While we all are prepared for any eventuality, unforeseen occurrences such as the current crisis show how underprepared we are to face it. While we cannot correct the mistakes of our past, we can increase the chances of coming out of the crisis unscathed by taking an insurance cover. But the burning question is – should you get yourself a COVID-19 insurance cover? Our article discusses the answer to this question in detail.

Naval Goel

Few reasons why a COVID-19 insurance cover is recommended:

Danger of being in a high-risk zone:

Researchers at The University of Texas stated that the time taken for the chain of transmission of the COVID-19 virus is less than a week, and more than 10% of patients have been infected by people who have not yet displayed the symptoms of the virus that they are carrying. With the current pandemic and the ongoing research that is being conducted regarding its speed of transmission, we can safely say that it may take no time for our locality to be designated as a ‘red zone’.

Even if the danger has been contained, there is always a risk of a resurgence, and hence it is recommended that a person buy or update his current insurance policy to include the COVID-19 cover. It is better to buy the policy when you are healthy, as many policies have a waiting period of 15 days, which may be an impediment in case someone in our family is diagnosed and the entire family is quarantined.

Insurance cover is affordable:

COVID insurance cover is quite affordable compared to other health and indemnity plans. In the current framework, most companies are providing a cover between Rs. 21,000 to Rs. 2 Lakhs. At present, the treatment costs are low, and hence any family can afford a basic COVID cover with annual premiums as low as Rs. 149 for Rs. 25,000 cover (ICICI Lombard – COVID-19 Cover). Many insurance providers provide additional benefits such as daily cash benefits, no pre-medical checkup, and no-bill required to make the insurance claim. Another associated benefit is that due to the nature of the pandemic, all insurance providers will expedite the COVID-19 related claims compared to other illness, to avoid any inconvenience to the claimant.

Leverage against job loss:

According to the CMIE (Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy), in April 2020, 122 million Indians lost their jobs. The COVID cover is effective leverage against job loss, as the benefits provided by the cover will not dent your already strained financial budget. Many middle-class and lower-income families are bearing the brunt of the financial miseries due to joblessness.

With businesses folding up, we are staring at a period of recession that is likely to have an impact on major economies of the world. Many insurance providers are giving benefits that cover the expenses while being quarantined in government facilities for additional precaution or as a suspect of carrying the virus. This means that the COVID-19 cover will start providing benefits even before an individual has been actually diagnosed with the virus. In fact, companies are also supporting domiciliary hospitalization for remote patients.

Ease of getting the cover:

Pandemic calls for social distancing and physical isolation. The isolation and lockdown have created its own set of miseries that people are battling on a daily basis. To save people from the hassles of going through a lot of procedures for purchasing an insurance policy, many companies have come up with digital simplification that reduced the time needed to purchase insurance policies. For e.g. Paytm has come up with its COVID-19 Benefit Insurance Policy which provides an insurance cover of 2 Lakhs that covers quarantine, treatment costs, and loss of pay, which can be purchased in a few minutes from the Paytm App.

Summary:

All the above reasons show that purchasing a COVID-19 insurance cover is a recommended action that needs to take in the time of a pandemic. We are not sure when the situation of our country or locality would change, and hence it is beneficial to review and compare the COVID products offered by various companies today. Many individuals (at present) don’t have a health insurance policy and may not be in a position to purchase one due to the high costs associated with it.

Considering this, it is advised that the COVID-19 cover (with its low premiums) can be the best foot forward for any family. This is the right time to consider our health needs and purchase a cover that will keep us financially secure.

Views expressed in this article are the personal opinion of Naval Goel, CEO & Founder of PolicyX.com.

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