Before the pandemic struck the world, only a small portion of Indians were interested in or considered it necessary to buy a term insurance plan that provides health care facilities and aid during medical emergencies. With the dire situation that has been brought forward because of COVID-19, more people have reconsidered their choices and are now buying health insurance.
How is COVID-19 Affecting Life Insurance Premium?
Because of the rise in the mortality rate of insured, increased medical risks faced by people who had contracted COVID-19, and other such factors, various life insurance institutions have increased the prices and premiums of their life insurance and term insurance plans.
There is no specified model followed to monitor this rise in premiums. This is because there is a lack of data that supports that people who were affected by COVID-19 will be at risk of other health conditions as well. The direct deaths have caused an increase in the pricing of insurances.
Thus, new policyholders should ensure that they read everything related to their claims. It will ensure that they know what to expect from the term insurance in case they or their family member contract COVID-19.
Also, one should keep in mind that most life insurance and term insurance are long-term. However, because of the short-term nature of the COVID-19 disease, there may be some confusion while ensuring that the policyholder contracted the virus after the policy was initiated.
The number of people interested in these plans is rising along with the rate of the premiums set for the plans. So, it cannot be deciphered that does being COVID-19 positive affect life insurance premiums. But a thorough check with all the new terms is highly advised.
What are the Changes Made by Insurers and Companies in Insurance Policies?
No sector has been left unaffected by COVID-19. All companies had to change the way they work to accommodate the pandemic. The same principle applies to insurance companies. The onset of increased cases and deteriorating health of the insured have forced the companies to make the following changes in their policies.
Mortality has now been divided into two causes. The first is referred to as direct deaths that happen before the person has fully recovered from COVID-19. The other category is indirect death that occurs after the person has recovered from the infection of coronavirus. These deaths may occur due to the weakened immune system of the person that is common after contracting the infection.
- Cover specialized for pandemic
The insurers have offered the policyholders plans and protection against diseases that are caused because of viruses. These special plans have very detailed terms and conditions and are applicable for specific cases only.
- Tailor-made policies
Before the pandemic, insurers offered a common set of life insurance policy to people. However, now that people have become more aware of insurance, they require policies that are customized for their needs and fulfil their future and present requirements.
- Digital access
Policyholders can now access their life insurance or term insurance policy directly from the website of the application on their phone. With these features, they can make claims on the policy, pay their premiums, check the status of their policy, etc., without having to visit the insurer branch.
- Easier process of claim setting
Because of the serious conditions that policyholders may face, life insurance companies have eased the process through which they can make claims of their plans. The time required to raise a claim has been reduced as well to ensure that claims are settled with more efficiency.
Impact of COVID-19 on Life Insurance Policies
COVID-19 had created issues such as loss of jobs, failure of new businesses, wage cuts, etc. This has resulted in people being unwilling to continue or renewing their policies. Insurers are not only handling the problem of high mortality rates; they also need to deal with a low-interest rate that can impact the guaranteed returns that are assured in various term insurances.
Here is how different segments of the insurance sector have been affected by COVID-19.
- Term insurance
People are getting more aware of protecting them and their family against unprecedented situations such as the pandemic. This is the reason why not just life covers but also term insurance is expected to experience a boost in its demand.
However, people are avoiding buying insurance plans with higher cover amounts and premiums because of financial instability. Furthermore, higher valve covers need the insured to be medically tested. This condition also plays a role in the aversion of people from an insurance plan that has high coverage.
- Long term savings insurance
Because of the uncertainty that COVID-19 has caused, people are reluctant to invest capital in a long-term savings plan. They prefer liquidity and plans that can provide immediate returns or protection shortly. Long-term products and insurance plans may experience a decline in their demand because of the pandemic. People are planning to buy saving plans that offers guaranteed returns such as Guaranteed Income4Life offered by Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance.
- Insurance-linked with investment
COVID-19 had a plummeting stock market. The sheer decline in the market has created a sense of doubt among people, averting them from the idea of buying an insurance that is based on the investment. Unless the condition of the stock market stabilizes again, investment-linked insurance will face lesser popularity among the insured.
The declining economy because of COVID-19 has resulted in uncertainties for the insurance companies. The pandemic is not only responsible for countless claims to cover hospital bills and other medical requirements, but it has also increased the mortality rate steeply.
The pricing models that were offered till now had been mostly revised to include new terms and conditions that are inclusive of the new situations and statistics that are caused because of coronavirus. Contact your insurer provider and ask about your premium details so that you stay on the safer side.