The impact of COVID-19 crisis on individuals, communities, businesses and the economic sectors across the geographies has been huge. Hardly there is any sector not left bruised by the virus. Though these bruises have caused extensive damage to the economy, it has simultaneously thrown opportunities to vast economic sectors to plug loopholes which had so far remained either unattended or out of sight. Amid this situation, new norms are being scripted and rolled out to mitigate such risks in future which this unprecedented Covid crisis brought at the doorsteps of the world eographies. Now, the roll out of Covid protection vaccine would also be serving as a booster dose to accelerate ecovery of the broader economy. When we look at the opportunities in Covid crisis, the insurance industry appears to be among the major beneficiaries. The crisis has opened doors for the industry to penetrate deep into the eographies to bring those populations within the ambit of insurance who had never an idea of getting themselves insured. Pertinently, in pre-Covid crisis insurance companies were spending too of money and efforts on wooing new customers into their net. It was always very hard for them to convince a common individual to get his life and health insured. But the outbreak of coronavirus did what they failed to do all these decades. This unprecedented health emergency has educated the general public about the importance of insurance, especially the health insurance. One of the worst things that happened due to this crisis is that millions of people were left jobless and those who were successful to remain in job witnessed drastic cut in their salaries and incomes. This hit their domestic budgets. The situation proved complicated for those who during this crisis were hit by a health emergency and were left inancially stressed to meet the treatment expenses. It’s in this kind of situation, insurance bridges this financial gap. In other words, the covidinduced financial crisis has delivered practical lessons to people at large about the need of having health insurance backup to mitigate the risks. At the same time, the crisis has thrown a huge opportunity to the insurance industry to reform its operations in line with the needs of the people in the given crisis and its long term impact. Precisely, the industry has to stick now to the needbased insurance products for vast section of people belonging to different segments of society. Let me quote Max Life India Protection Quotient (IPQ)- Express survey which among other things noted that job security, medical security, and financial security of the family in the absence of a breadwinner are more important to people now than before the Covid-19 era. The survey has found term insurance as the most preferred life insurance category during Covid-19.
What is health insurance?
Health Insurance is an insurance against loss due to ill health or hospitalizations. It safe guards your savings getting washed out in case of any unplanned illness, surgery or hospitalization and getting prepared for unexpected expenses. Today, unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic has left many in a state of financial insecurity and concerned for their financial futures. Unpreparedness for sudden unemployment or the loss of a family’s primary wage earner has people scrambling to protect themselves and their families should they be directly affected by this pandemic. The crisis has underscored the importance of protecting one’s family with health and life insurance plans. Now people in general need to proactive in protecting their family’s financial security by taking route
of appropriate insurance plans.
What are the things to consider while going for health insurance?
Even as there are varied health insurance plans, the response of general public in pre-Covid crisis was not healthy. It was seen as an unnecessary expense. But with the changing times driven by pandemicinduced crisis, health insurance assumed significance and is fast becoming as a vital part of domestic financial planning. First and foremost thing is affordability of a health insurance policy in terms of your financial position. Pick a policy for yourself which covers your whole family. Considering coverage for a specific disease is also important. Depending on specifics, you can choose your plan. Before you board on a particular health insurance plan, it’s imperative to explore multiple plans and compare their features and offerings. Comparing is essential to understand and know your plans in detail, to make an informed decision and avoid surprises while utilizing your policy. Here it’s notable that health insurance policies that include COVID-19 plans are important. So, opt for those policies which also cover COVID-19. Precisely, your health insurance plan should provide best value for your money in terms of risks covered. Whatever type of policy you may choose, it is important that you research well and take one which suits your needs. Most importantly, it is now essential more than ever before, to have a comprehensive health cover, and fortunately, there are many good options available to choose.
How pandemic-induced lockdown picked faults loopholes in travel insurance plans?
Pandemic-induced lockdown surprised travellers as most of them were stranded in different places across the geographies. Although, majority of the travellers had travel insurance coverage, the sudden lockdown exposed that their policies were not in line with such situations and contained no relief for them. There was no such coverage in the policy where they could have been eligible for any additional expenses incurred as a result of being stranded abroad. Here the fault lies with the travelers as they didn’t bother to read the terms and conditions of the policy in case their holiday is cancelled or disrupted in a situation like Covid crisis. So, one should not assume that one’s travel policy covers those additional costs which one incurs when one gets stranded. Even as there are also travel insurance plans that cover the cost of alternative or additional accommodation when stuck abroad during a crisis or cancellation of holiday, the amount of coverage is very limited. So check all coverage you are getting under the travel insurance plan and most importantly, it should match your financial position.
How one can get fi nancial security through an insurance plan for the family in case of a loan?
There is a loan protection insurance product in place, which is a term insurance plan. I have come across many instances where a borrower’s liability turned a lifetime nightmare for his family. Midway of liquidating the liability, the borrower expired leaving his family in lurch because he had obtained loan during his lifetime and a good amount was still unpaid at the time of his death. Such families have been going from pillar to post to seek relief and relaxation in the settlement of the loan account. There are cases where the family of the deceased has no asset to fall back upon for adjustment of the loan account. It’s here this loan protection plan proves beneficial. As per the loan protection insurance policy terms, in the event of the death of a borrower the outstanding loan amount is adjustable from the proceeds of the claim and the whole outstanding amount is paid by the insurance company. There are insurance plans which even take care of the EMIs (equated monthly installments) if the borrower becomes unemployed or suffer an accident or sickness. You can buy the plan by paying the premium. Different banks charge different amount of premium. Age, health condition, loan amount and length of repayment period of the loan constitute some important parameters of premium amount to be paid for getting this protection cover. The premium is usually higher for older people, borrowers with serious ailments and higher loan amount.