Chennai: Health insurance claims for vector-borne diseases fell by nearly 20% in the previous year due to the emphasis on sanitation amid the pandemic. The sharp fall in these claims, which largely refer to mosquito-borne infections, come at a time when the insurance regulator Irdai has called for a standard cover for these cases, which include dengue, malaria, filaria, kala-azar, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis and Zika virus.
Although the average claim size for vector-borne diseases is just Rs 35,000 — half of overall average health claim size of Rs 68,000 — they have a high prevalence in India. Irdai’s prescription is for a standard cover for these specific illnesses, which could be an add-on or a basic health cover
ICICI Lombard’ head of claims, Sanjay Datta says, “We saw a 10-20% YoY drop in health claims made for the treatment of vector borne disease category — especially dengue and typhoid- between April-December, 2020. This is primarily due to the fear of contracting coronavirus which drove everyone to keep their surroundings clean.” Bajaj Allianz General Insurance said the frequency of claims made for vector-borne diseases were at about 6% in 2019 and has come down to 4.6% in 2020. Its head of health claims Bhaskar Nerurkar said, “There is a 20% decline in claims made under vector-borne diseases. Hospital and treatment costs of these diseases are costlier after the Covid outbreak. We get maximum claims for treatment of dengue — over 50% of total claims.” After bringing in a standard health cover, Covid cover, and a term cover, the insurance regulator has released an exposure draft for a standard vector-borne disease health policy. General and health insurers are encouraged to offer this one-year cover, which will have a minimum sum assured of Rs 10,000 and a maximum of Rs 2 lakh.