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Coronavirus Term Insurance

A majority of life insurance companies in India treat death due to Covid-19 same as a general death. Hence, claim for such coronavirus term insurance policy options would be admissible in case the insured individual was diagnosed with COVID 19 after the issuance of the policy.

In case the medical practitioner certifies that the insured’s death has occurred because of COVID-19, death benefits for the term insurance scheme plan covering him/her will be payable after investigation. In some instances, a medical team selected by the insurer also may evaluate the authenticity of the claim in such scenarios.   As of now, there are no special terms and conditions for term insurance policy schemes when it comes to death due to COVID-19, and it is treated as any other type of death.

What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is defined as an illness that is caused by a novel coronavirus. On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic. Covid-19 has impacted millions across the world, including several thousand in India and still counting. This virus is extremely contagious and displays symptoms like fever, sore throat, respiratory problems, and impaired kidney, and even failure of multiple organs in severe scenarios.

The Indian government has imposed several mobility restrictions across the nation to limit the spread of this infectious disease.

Term Insurance and COVID 19 

A majority of life insurance companies in India treat death due to Covid-19 same as a general death. Hence, claim for such coronavirus term insurance policy options would be admissible in case the insured individual was diagnosed with COVID 19 after the issuance of the policy.

In case the medical practitioner certifies that the insured’s death has occurred because of COVID-19, death benefits for the term insurance scheme plan covering him/her will be payable after investigation. In some instances, a medical team selected by the insurer also may evaluate the authenticity of the claim in such scenarios.   As of now, there are no special terms and conditions for term insurance policy schemes when it comes to death due to COVID-19, and it is treated as any other type of death.

Grace period for life insurance policy extended by IRDAI due to COVID 19

The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown enforced in India to prevent its spread has adversely impacted the financial situations of several people across the country. Paying their life insurance policy scheme premium amount additionally had become a burden for a few people. Hence, to provide relief to these policyholders, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India [IRDAI] initially announced an additional grace period of 30 days for life insurance policy schemes whose premium fell due in March and April. This grace period has been further extended to up to May 31 for all life insurance policies whose premium was due in March. 

What are Life insurance companies offering amidst the COVID 19 outbreak?

Life insurance providers are offering the following amidst the Covid-19 outbreak:

  1. Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance

    The death claims occurring due to COVID-19 are settled based on hospital records for all policy schemes where hospitalization is covered. This company shall also provide a settlement for medical expenses incurred for treating the coronavirus. These benefits can be availed of for the Health Plan, Hospital Cash Plan, Universal Health Plan, Saral Health plan, Hospital Plus Plan, and the Hospital care rider. Claim settlement can be made along with the documents regarding discharge, diagnosis, physicians' reports, identity proof, policy documents, and claim forms. In case of death claims, one would also require a death certificate and medical certificate from the attending physician.  The claims can be processed online through their official website or via email, along with the scanned copies of the necessary documents.  

  2. Aegon Life Insurance 

    Aegon Life iTerm Plan provides cover for COVID-19 death claims along with other critical illnesses. The claims for death benefits or hospitalization benefits can be raised by sending an email to the company's email id with all necessary documents. According to different states, the corresponding claim forms and required documents are available on the official website. In addition to this policy, they also provide 'Life Insurance with COVID-19 cover', which also covers hospitalization expenses and death claims.  It is comprehensive and does not require a medical test. The policy can be instantly availed by anyone of the age range 18 to 65, digitally without preliminary medical tests.

  3. Aviva Life Insurance

    The Company's Aviva LifeShield Advantage Term plan and all other life insurance plans cover death due to coronavirus. This is considered on par with death due to any other reason. The insurance can be claimed in the same manner as with any regular claim. However, they do not cover hospitalization charges or other treatment or quarantine benefits for life insurance and term insurance plans. The claims can be raised online via email to the customer care or claims section of the company. The necessary forms can also be downloaded from the official website of Aviva India.

  4. Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance

    All three of the term insurance plans under Bajaj Allianz Life insurance provide death benefits for death due to COVID-19. The three plans are- Bajaj Allianz Life eTouch Online Term, Bajaj Allianz Life Smart Protect Goal, and Bajaj Allianz iSecure. They also assure cover for hospitalization expenses under additional health policies by the company. The claims for death benefits can be filed online after filing an insurance claim form. The necessary documents for filing a claim are a death certificate, ID proof for the policyholder, ID proof of nominee, original policy documents, and bank account proof of nominee. If the documents' physical copies are to be mailed to the insurer, it has to be done promptly.

  5. Bharti AXA Life Insurance

    They offer various life insurance policies and term insurance plans such as Bharti AXA Life Flexi Term plan, Bharti AXA Life eProtect plan, Bharti AXA Life Elite Secure plan, and Bharti AXA Life premium waiver rider plan. All of the company's life insurance policies insure untimely death of all types, including death due to COVID-19. The claim can be made using the medical records and doctor's certificate, and other necessary documents. All claims can be registered online through their official website or via email. For additional life benefits and hospitalization covers, one would require an additional Hospi Cash benefit rider. These can also be availed of online through their official website.

  6. Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance Company

    Death claims for all existing life insurance and term insurance policies by the company cover for death due to the coronavirus. Initiating a claim would require a death certificate, ID proof with a photo of the claimant, and a medical certificate confirming the insured's cause of death as coronavirus. The claim intimation forms are available on the official website of the company. Claims can be initiated via email, and the communications regarding claim status would be sent through SMS to the customers. For future policy purchasers, term plans like the iSelect+ Term plan offered by the company would assure additional benefits in case of a diagnosis of COVID-19.

  7. Edelweiss Tokio Life

    The term insurance plan by the company, such as Edelweiss Tokio Life-Simply Protect, provides cover for death due to coronavirus. They also offer a term insurance plan that exclusively covers death claims due to COVID-19. It is a single premium term plan that gives critical illness benefits, tax benefits, and death benefits. The policy does not require a medical test, and it provides an enhanced assured sum+ Base assured sum in case of death post COVID diagnosis (due to any reason). Anyone between the ages of 18 and 65 can avail this policy. Additionally, the company also offers COVID Shield+ plan, which insures the individual for hospitalization expenses related to diagnosis and treatment exclusively for COVID-19. The claim intimation and the purchase of new policies can be made digitally through their official website considering the current situation where all branches may not be fully operational yet. 

  8. Exide Life Insurance

    In relation to rising safety concerns, the company has introduced exclusive COVID-19 Assistance facilities. These services involve completely digital management of policy and a dedicated easy claim process for coronavirus deaths. The company offers cover for fatalities due to COVID-19 under all in-force policies irrespective of the products. The claims can be initiated digitally since all the branch offices are not functional as of yet. The claim intimation form is available on their official website, and it can be emailed to them with supporting documents for the claim processing. The necessary documents for raising a death claim are the claim intimation form, medical records, death certificate, KYC details of the policyholder, and KYC details with the nominee's bank account details.

  9. Future Generali India Life Insurance

    All the company's life insurance policies, which assure death benefit, will cover for deaths due to COVID-19. The life insurance plans that generally include death benefits are Pramukh Nivesh ULIP, Future Generali Wealth Protect Plan, Assured Income plan, and Bima Advantage plan. Claim acceptance is subject to policy terms and conditions. The claims can be raised through digital service avenues, which are available 24/7. The necessary documents for submitting a claim are a Claim form, certified copy of death certificate, letter from authorities ascertaining the cause of death as COVID-19, policy document, KYC document, and original cancelled cheque or coloured scan copy of passbook of the nominee. However, hospitalization expenses may not be covered if the coronavirus cover is not specified in the terms and conditions.

  10. HDFC ERGO Life Insurance

    Term plans like HDFC Life Click 2 Protect Plus would cover death due to the coronavirus, as in the case with any untimely death. The claims can be raised through digital modes and necessary documents such as the death certificate and medical certificate of the claimant. However, for insurance specifically covering hospitalization and other expenses related to COVID-19, the company provides COVID Assistance and other health insurance policies. These policies include pre/post-hospitalization expenses, hospital expenses, home care expenses, AYUSH treatments (non-Allopathic), and ambulance cover. These policies can also be availed online through their official website.

  11. ICICI Prudential Life Insurance

    Along with the standard life insurance policies, ICICI Pru iProtect plans also cover COVID-19 claims. They also provide death benefits for death resulting from the coronavirus, considering it as a situation of untimely death. However, diagnosis of COVID-19 cannot be considered for Critical illness benefit under the term plans since it is not listed as a critical illness. The claims for death benefits can be raised online through their official website. The documents necessary for the same are Claimant statement form, death certificate, medical/hospitalization documents ascertaining diagnosis as COVID-19, and claimant's current address proof with photo and bank passbook/cancelled cheque.

  12. IDBI Federal Life Insurance

    As far as the life insurance and term insurance plans are considered, death claims due to COVID-19 will receive cover just as any other death claim would. The documents required for raising a claim are- death certificate of the policyholder, policy document, claim form, bank account proof, and claimant's KYC documents. Since coronavirus is not considered a critical illness, one may not receive Critical Illness rider benefits as a part of these term plans for diagnosis or treatment. The claims can be raised digitally through the customer portal or the company’s official website since very few branches are operational in the current situation.

  13. IndiaFirst

    The existing life insurance scheme plan options offered by IndiaFirst Life Insurance shall cover death occurring due to COVID-19. All life insurance plans, including term insurance policy schemes that have been issued by the company and are valid until the event of unfortunate death due to Covid-19 illness, shall apply for a death benefits claim.

    The existing life insurance scheme plan options offered by IndiaFirst Life Insurance shall cover death due to COVID-19. All life insurance plans, including term insurance policy schemes that have been issued by the company and are valid until the event of unfortunate death due to COVID-19 illness, shall apply for a death benefits claim. This includes life insurance term policies such as IndiaFirst Life Plan and IndiaFirst Life Guaranteed Protection Plan. Additional riders can also be availed for these policies that add to the benefits of death claim. All claims can be raised through their official website, email id, or Whatsapp contact along with the necessary documents. The documents needed for submitting a death claim are a death certificate, investigation report certifying COVID-19 as the cause of death, a copy of nominee KYC details, and a copy of the nominee's bank passbook and cancelled cheque.

  14. Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance

    The life insurance and term insurance policies of the company do accept COVID-19 related claims as far as the terms and conditions of the policies are met and the policy is in force. The death claim can be raised with a death certificate and doctor's certificate ascertaining the cause of death as COVID-19, along with other necessary policy documents. This means that in the face of untimely death due to the coronavirus, the death claim would be covered just like any other case of untimely demise. The claims can be raised online through their official website or via email. However, claims for pre-hospitalization, hospitalization, or related quarantine expenses may not get covered even under critical illness rider if COVID-19 is not specified in the policy terms.

  15. Life Insurance Corporation of India: 

    Death claims coming up due to coronavirus COVID 19 infection are treated on par with other causes of death by LIC. The unfortunate demise of any LIC term plan scheme policyholder would be processed according to the terms and conditions of the relevant plan. The nominee/dependent of the policyholder would be required to submit essential documents like the death claim intimation, death certificate, and a copy of the policy schedule at their nearest LIC branch (if it is operational) to make a claim. In case the branch is non-operational due to COVID-19 advisory, policyholders may email the death claim intimation, death certificate, and copy of policy schedule to the relevant nodal person. 

  16. Max Life Insurance

    As there have been no exclusions for death benefits arising out of epidemics mentioned in policy documents, all death claims arising out of the coronavirus shall be honoured by this company. They also provide additional COVID-19 insurance and COVID-19 rider along with existing Life insurances. This covers exclusively for quarantine and hospitalization expenses in case of a diagnosis of COVID-19. The rider and the insurance plan vary mainly in terms of sum assured and premium. Both plans have a short waiting period, low entry age, and a one-time premium payment option. They can also be initiated digitally through the company’s official website.

  17. PNB Metlife India Insurance

    All claims for an in-force policy related to COVID-19 can be submitted with the signed Claim Intimation letter and related documents to the nominee's Claims help-desk/ dependent of the policyholder. In addition to life insurances, the company also provides term plans such as Metlife Mera Term Plan and Metlife Family Income Protector Plus also offer additional riders that cover for unforeseen deaths. These policies may also cover for COVID-19 related deaths if the terms of the policy are met. Quarantine and treatment benefits may not be available since it is outside the terms and conditions of these policies. In health-based products and riders, if the policy terms do not specify COVID-19, health claims can also not be entertained.

  18. Pramerica Life Insurance

    The company's life insurance policies are Pramerica Life Tru-shield and Pramerica Life U-Protect. These schemes' death benefits would apply the same way for deaths due to coronavirus as well. The claim can be raised by the policy nominee and necessary documents such as claim form, medical certificate, and the policyholder's death certificate. The claims can be submitted digitally via email, WhatsApp, or through its official website since all branches are not fully operational yet. If necessary, the official website has a list of branches that are open and functioning currently. To avail additional benefits, they also provide term plans such as Pramerica Family First Plan and the Pramerica Family Income plan. As a special response to the current COVID-19 situation, the company provides other health policies such as the Corona Rakshak for other hospitalization and treatment covers.

  19. Reliance Nippon Life insurance

    All cases of untimely death claims included in the terms and conditions of the in-force policy will be covered by Reliance Nippon Life Insurances. The same applies due to death due to COVID-19. The term plans such as Reliance Nippon Life Protection Plus and Reliance Nippon Life Digi-term Insurance plan also provide added benefits on death claims. All claims can be submitted via email with all necessary documents scanned and attached. Other treatment and hospitalization benefits related to COVID-19 do not come under these policies and may not be available.

  20. Sahara India Life Insurance

    All active life insurance policies and term insurances such as the Sahara Kavach that offer death cover for an insurer's untimely death would cover an insurer's death due to COVID-19. However, the additional riders or benefits may not be available in the diagnosis and treatment requirements for COVID-19 do not satisfy the insurance policy's terms and conditions. One can contact the customer support number or the toll-free number during working hours for claim-related inquiries. 

  21. SBI Life Insurance

    The life insurance policies such as SBI Life eShield, SBI Life Poorna Suraksha, and so on provide cover for an untimely death. Therefore, death claims for unfortunate demise resulting due to coronavirus will be covered. The claims can be filed online through their official website along with necessary documents. However, receiving additional rider benefits for terminal illnesses would depend on policy terms and how it classifies COVID-19 diagnosis. If the terms and conditions are not specified to cover coronavirus, one may not receive the terminal illness cover. 

  22. Shriram Life insurance

    Cover for all COVID-19 related death claims is subject to policy terms and conditions. Therefore life insurance policies and term insurances that provide death benefits can be claimed in case of death due to COVID-19. The necessary documents for reporting a claim are a claimant statement form, death certificate, a medical certificate ascertaining the cause of death, and address proof with a photo of the claimant. All claims can be raised digitally through email or via their WhatsApp contact. They do not cover any treatment or hospital expenses since that is not mentioned in the policy terms and conditions. 

  23. Star Union Dai-ichi Life Insurance

    The life insurance policies offered by this company covers COVID-19 related death claims. The claim can be initiated online along with policy documents, address proof, death certificate, and medical certificate from the doctor. In addition to covering death claims, the company offers SUD Life COVID-19 Benefit Rider- Traditional. This is a rider specifically for individuals seeking treatment cover for COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2. The rider covers the financial expenses of hospitalization, quarantine, and death claims certified under Government Authorized centres. It is a 3-year policy with a single premium, and anyone aged 18 to 55 can avail of this rider.

  24. TATA AIA Life insurance

    All life insurance policies that offer death benefits do give cover for deaths related to COVID-19 as well. These claims can be raised online after filing the claim forms. Additional documents necessary for raising claims are original policy documents, medical records, a death certificate, and the claimant's ID proof with a photo. Extra cover for hospitalization benefits that are available under policies like Health First, Hospi cash, Invest Assure Health, and Invest Assure Health plus cannot be availed for COVID-19 related quarantine or hospitalization. This is because the policy terms and conditions do not cover coronavirus.

    While as of now, there are now there is no specified Coronavirus term insurance plans available; insurance providers may opt to offer such policy schemes in the future. However, when it comes to coronavirus insurance for health, multiple insurance providers are offering a host of specialized medical coverage for people infected with COVID-19.

Why would it be a good idea to invest in life insurance amidst the coronavirus outbreak?

It has become especially vital for people to invest in life insurance policy schemes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic due to the high risk of infection of this ailment, and non-availability of a vaccine. Moreover,  while on a regular day, people would be required to submit multiple documents and medical test result to invest in a comprehensive term insurance policy option, many insurance companies are now waiving off the need of medical tests and issuing life and term insurance scheme policies after just short video interactions. 

Investing in life insurance cover is vital for any person having dependants at home, and buying such policy schemes can even turn out to be cheaper for them as they shall be investing in it directly from the company website, and hence would not be required to pay any type of commission costs. Amidst the pandemic, people can easily compare policies for life insurance online and ultimately invest in a plan that suits their requirements easily within a few clicks.

Typically most people buy a life insurance plan through an agent or by directly visiting the local branch of an insurance provider. In such cases, people are usually asked to submit several documents and relevant medical reports to be considered eligible for a life insurance policy scheme. These hassles can, however, be avoided if people opt to invest in a life insurance policy option during the lockdown enforced across the country due to Covid-19. A great number of insurers are nowadays directly selling products through their sales staff using video and telephonic interactions. At the same time, the physical fitness and health of the policy buyers are being ascertained simply with the help of a few salespersons. Apart from avoiding submitting various medical documents, now the policy buyers also do not have to waste much time in filling policy forms with an intermediary. 

Moreover, due to the uncertainty prevailing in the business environment currently and the lack of clarity about when the lockdown would end, many insurance companies are selling products with minimum friction. Hence, it is unlikely that they would refuse to sell life insurance products to any client due to the fear of potential patrons dropping out. In comparison to the pre-COVID-19 era, insurance companies these days are likely to ask lesser questions to the policy buyers as their only motive would be to meet their requirements. Moreover, the overall life insurance scheme policy purchase process has become much faster due to digitalization, and people's coverage may start from the very day they have had a video chat with an insurance company salesperson and buy a plan.

Factors to remember when purchasing a new life insurance policy during the Coronavirus Pandemic

If people are not already covered by any life insurance policy scheme till date and want to protect their loved ones from any financial risk due to the risk of death of this deadly disease, they must keep a few things in mind when planning to invest in a new term life insurance scheme options.  The policy premiums of life insurance policy options, including that of term plans, are determined carefully after examining the current health condition of the policy buyer and their past medical history. If a person is not infected with Covid-19 at the time of policy purchase, their family will have a chance to benefit from death if they are infected with the disease later on and meet an unfortunate demise.

However, in case people have any underlying medical conditions or have been infected by Covid-19, the insurance company would have the right to either deny or hold their application. Moreover, due to the global scale of Covid-19 with no cure available at the moment, the policy premiums might be a bit on an expensive side.  It is recommended that the policy buyers read documents of their insurance policy scheme diligently to get an adequate understanding of the diverse situations that are excluded from lover coverage as every insurance provider may have distinguished terms and conditions.

How to Buy Life Insurance during the Coronavirus Pandemic? 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, people are advised to maintain a distance from one another. The best way to invest in an insurance policy scheme would be online. Here are some of the steps that people can follow when planning to invest in a life insurance policy option amidst the coronavirus pandemic: 

  • People should firstly browse diverse insurance policy scheme options offered by varied insurance providers online
  • Then they must compare policies offered by various insurers and shortlist the ones that perfectly fit their insurance requirements

  • Using an online policy calculator, the people must calculate the premium sums for the various policies shortlisted by them

  • After making the required premium and policy comparison, they would be able to identify the insurance scheme option that both fits their requirements and comes under their budget

  • After identifying the perfect life insurance policy scheme to invest in, people must visit the insurance company's website offering the relevant plan

  • Once they reach the website, they would be required to select the plan they desire to buy

  • After selecting the desired plan, they have to enter a few details so that the website policy calculator can calculate their premium amount

  • They must proceed to buy the policy once they see the premium amount for the desired life cover on the screen

  • After that, they have to select the premium paying option and the payment method

  • Finally, they have to enter the details and make the payment

The steps mentioned above are some of the most common steps involved in insurance policy purchases. However, the specific steps involved in buying various life insurance policy schemes online would depend on the insurer's website. Hence, after people opt to compare online policies and identify the perfect insurance option to invest in, they should take some time to browse the insurer's website to understand its navigation system perfectly.  In addition to maintaining the social distancing guidelines that are vital amidst the pandemic outbreak, there are several other advantages that people can avail by opting to buy their life insurance policy options online, such as: 

  • They get multiple options to make their choice from

  • They can easily compare plan features online and select the best plan as per their need

  • No agent or advisor influence

Impact of COVID 19 on the life insurance industry 

Organizations across sectors are nowadays struggling to find ways and methods to cut costs and counter the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19). Life insurance companies are specifically planning to cut down on the cost by reducing branch presence.  In fact, by mid FY22, around 6-8% of the 11,600 life insurance company branches can be cut down to save money, especially the branches that are in large cities.  

Due to the lockdown enforced to prevent the spread of the pandemic, life insurance policy schemes are anyway sold online. Hence, the idea is to leverage this fact and turn it into strength than investing in branch real estate in the future.

At the moment, bank branches and agents are the two of the largest distribution channels for discerning life insurance companies. However, ever since a nationwide lockdown was announced in India on March 25th to curb the spread of Covid-19, all life insurers have been forced to move their operations online. These insurance companies are now selling their products through their websites, third-party online portals, and even through video calls with customers.

Life insurance companies of the country witnessed a 32.2% year-on-year (YoY) decrease in the new premium collection in March 2020 between the Covid-19 pandemic that has to lead to a lockdown across the country. Similarly, the premium collections for the first-year reduced 32.6 YoY for April 2020.

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Written By: Paisawiki - Updated: 21 December 2020
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