Insurance News

Insurers seek sops to cover specially abled

General insurance companies will seek tax exemptions or direct subsidy to provide full coverage to specially abled people through new product offerings, said industry executives.

It comes after the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) asked the insurers to come out with a new insurance product along these lines, they said. Insurers will make a representation to the IRDAI in this regard, said a senior executive with one of the general insurance companies.

“There is a view within the players that the government should ideally take responsibility for the welfare of specially abled persons, as in foreign countries, and if insurers in India are being asked to bring out such special covers, then the industry should be given a tax exemption or subsidy,” said the executive.

The issue was discussed in a meeting of general insurers last month, where most insurers voiced concern about making such products mandatory.

“The IRDAI request came after some of the recent decisions passed by the court. We as an industry will explore all aspects and come out with suitable recommendations,” said the executive.

In February, IRDAI issued a circular to the effect that every general and standalone health insurer should mandatorily launch and offer their respective products for specially abled people immediately. It said the health insurance policy should cover mental illness, HIV, AIDS and disabilities.

The regulator also asked the insurance companies to develop a model policy that outlines the minimal requirements and specifications for product design.

“One view is that such a cover could be a restrictive one and not a full-fledged one,” another executive said, stressing on the need to look at how to manage the risk pool without burdening the insurers.

In December 2022, a Delhi High Court judgement said the right to life includes right to health and directed the IRDAI to call a meeting of all insurers to design schemes for people with disabilities and introduce them preferably within two months.

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