Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is considering a long-term health insurance policy to meet the rising demand for health cover. The proposal, if finalized, will enable policyholders to opt for two or three-year policies instead of the existing one-year policy. It will also allow them to make initial one-time payments for the desired duration instead of annual payments every year.
Mr. T. S. Vijayan, Chairman of IRDAI, said that a committee has been set up to look into the proposal for extension and address aspects such as health savings accounts, claim settlement processes, etc. The long-term health insurance policy will be a welcome move in the insurance industry, similar to the long-term policy that was introduced for two wheelers earlier this year.
Mr. Vijayan was speaking at an event organized by ICICI Lombard to announce the issuance of 1,00,000 long-term two wheeler policies in 2015. ICICI Lombard was the first to launch the long-term two wheeler policy in India. Mr. Bhargav Dasgupta, MD and CEO of ICICI Lombard, said that 40% of the online two wheeler insurance policies bought this year were long-term policies.
These numbers are highly encouraging for a country where the total insurance penetration is less than 4% of the GDP. Insurance digitization has greatly helped to reduce the distribution costs of insurance products and initiate faster claims settlement.