650,000 individuals insured against COVID-19

August 13, 2020

My Republica, August 12, 2020

KATHMANDU: With an increasing threat of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), people have rushed to get insured against the pandemic. 

According to the Insurance Board (IB), non-life insurance companies have sold out more than 66,000 policies insuring around 650,000 individuals as of Wednesday. The companies have collected Rs 364.66 million in premium from their clients. As per the board’s records, 10,700 people got them insured only on the first two week days of this week.

There are 20 non-life insurance companies selling the policies against the coronavirus to their clients. They are allowed to sell policies in two categories — an insurance coverage amount of Rs 50,000 or Rs 100,000. A family can purchase a policy of Rs 100,000 by paying a one-time premium of Rs 600, while the coverage of Rs 50,000 costs Rs 300.

Anjan Dhakal, chief of Corporate and International Business at NLG Insurance, said the rush for purchasing insurance policies is observed due to growing risk of the coronavirus throughout the country. “Also, the government’s decision to provide 50 percent on premium amount in a group insurance has helped attract mainly the corporate team and households to get insured against the pandemic,” Dhakal said.

Last week, the government came up with the scheme by enforcing Corona Insurance Standards, 2020. 

According to the records with the IB, Shikhar Insurance has insured 126,306 individuals against coronavirus--the largest of all other companies have made so far. This is followed by Siddhartha Insurance and Sagarmatha Insurance, which have insured 54,522 people and 48,587 people, respectively, against the COVID-19. 

With the massive outspread of the COVID-19 in recent days, the insurers have also been receiving an increasing number of claims. So far, 155 coronavirus patients have filed claims at the concerned insurance companies. Of them, 44 are paid with their insured amount. The insurers are yet to clear the outstanding claims worth Rs 10.75 million.    

The Insurance Board allowed the companies to sell policies in the segment since April 16. After suspending it for a day on June 5, the insurance regulatory authority bounced back in its decision allowing the non-life insurance companies to resume selling corona insurance policies. 

According to the board, the first 10,000 claims for the compensation are borne by insurance companies themselves. If the number of claims exceeds 10,000, Nepal Reinsurance Company is liable for reimbursement of the next 10,000 claims. 

Similarly, the insurance companies are allowed to use their catastrophic reserve funds for additional 5,000 claims. The board is supposed to take burden of the next 10,000 claims and if there are more than 35,000 claims, the government will takes the charge.