With risks rising due to the increasing number of coronavirus infected people across the country, the Insurance Board (IB), the insurance sector regulator, has set criteria for Covid-19 insurance policy. The policy launched by IB on April 16 originally did Not included any criteria. However, IB has now directed general insurance companies to issue the Covid-19 policy only after fulfilling the conditions.
Particularly, the criteria have been aimed at Nepalis coming from neighbouring and other countries, and their family members. As per the new arrangement, Covid-19 infected patients, who have come from abroad, need to mandatorily stay in quarantine for 15 days to be eligible to purchase the insurance policy. Furthermore, the returnees and their family members are also required to be tested negative in Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) before they buy the policy. Similarly, the IB has made it mandatory to include Covid-19 reports while selling the policy online.
With the directive, IB has stepped up to address the concerns of insurers who were worried about negative financial impacts of the Covid-19 insurance policy in case of outbreak of coronavirus across the country. “People are returning from India in large numbers. Nepali migrant workers are also likely to return from other countries. This is why we have issued a special underwriting directive to insurers,” said Nirmal Adhikari, information officer at IB. The regulatory authority issued the policy on April 16 collaborating with Nepal Insurers’ Association. Insurance companies have been doing the transactions of this policy through the micro-insurance pool. Nepal Insurers’ Association is the coordinator of the programme while Sikhar Insurance is the insurance policy issue manager. According to the data provided by the association, 185,628 people have purchased the Covid-19 insurance policy as of May 23 and insurers have collected Rs 100 million in insurance premium.