Home / Money / Personal Finance /  Health insurers see slow growth in Aug as collections drop

MUMBAI : Standalone health insurance companies recorded 25.85% growth in premium between March and August, showed Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India data, as the pandemic led more people to take health cover. Premium collection, however, dropped 7.05% from 1,573.96 crore in July to 1,462.92 crore in August.

Experts said the pandemic has forced consumers to realise the importance of health insurance. Irdai data showed that Aditya Birla Health Insurance Co. Ltd, Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd, Max Bupa Health Insurance Co. Ltd and ManipalCigna Health Insurance Co. Ltd posted significant growth in premium.

“Health insurance is a living benefit product and there is a shift happening in the mindset of consumers. In the hierarchy of needs, health claimed primary position. People have started proactively looking to increase their coverage, and renewal has improved with increasing upsell trend. Covid-19 specific products are also picking up momentum, and overall outlook seems very positive," Prasun Sikdar, managing director and CEO, ManipalCigna Health Insurance, said.

Amit Chhabra, head, health insurance, Policybazaar, said covid-specific health covers like Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak contributed significantly as most insurers sold fair volumes of these products.

“We started getting early indicators of health insurance-related queries at the start of the covid-19. Consumers have started considering health insurance more than before and that has given a jump to the health business," said Animesh Das, head, product strategy, Acko General Insurance.

Experts said the claim size for covid-19 covers is declining and the choice of home treatment in less severe cases may have slowed down demand in August. Insurers sold over 1.5 million Kavach policies, but growth is expected to gradually fall, as a section of the population who could afford health insurance, may have already purchased a covid-specific or comprehensive health policy.

General insurers, however, reported just 0.02% growth between March and August. “Share of motor cover in most general insurers’ portfolio is quite high. In August-September 2019, motor insurers saw sharp growth following the roll out of the new Motor Vehicles Act, which made purchase and renewal of auto insurance mandatory. They saw huge boost to their motor portfolio last year and, therefore, the growth this year will not exceed that of last year," said Chhabra.

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