IRDAI allows all insurers to offer short-term health insurance policies against COVID-19

With an objective of making available insurance protection to various sections of people in the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, the regulator -- Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has allowed all insurers (life, general and health) to offer short-term health insurance policies that will give coverage against the coronavirus infection.

Short-term policies may be issued for a minimum term of three months to a maximum term of eleven months. In between three months and eleven months, the policy term shall be in multiples of completed months. However, a policy term less than three months is not permitted.

IRDAI asked the insurers to devise inclusive short-term health insurance products where waiting periods are part of the product, such waiting period shall not exceed 15 days. Life insurers are permitted to offer only benefit based short-term health insurance policies while general and health insurers can offer both indemnity based and benefit-based policies.

The guidelines will remain valid for issue of short-term policies till March 31, 2021 unless extended further. As per the guidelines, short-term health policy means any health insurance policy contract which has been issued for a policy term of less than 12 months. Short-term policies can be offered both as individual or group products.