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Last Updated : Sep 29, 2020 02:55 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

COVID-19 impact | Life and health insurance becoming a dominant need: SBI Life survey

A survey by SBI Life Insurance in partnership with Nielsen showed that 80 percent (8 out of 10) Indians believe that buying life insurance is key.

 
 
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Buying a life insurance or a health insurance has become a dominant need for Indian customers in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, a survey has found.

The survey by SBI Life Insurance in partnership with Nielsen showed that 80 percent (8 out of 10) Indians believe that buying life insurance is key.

Similarly, 75 percent (7 out of 10) who don’t have a critical illness health plan are planning to buy it within the next three months. This is to help address the rising medical costs and financial burden on the family due to rise in ailments like COVID-19, amongst others.

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The survey was conducted among 2,435 people across the country.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Ravi Krishnamurthy, president-zone 1, SBI Life Insurance said health has been a key focus among Indian customers ever since the pandemic broke out.

“There is a clear spike in searches for term plans and health products. The industry will benefit due to the rising awareness for the products,” he added.

While he did not specify the number of coronavirus death claims settled so far by the company, Krishnamurthy said there is a priority given to settle COVID-19 claims.

The survey showed that while life insurance followed by health insurance are the top-most financial products bought with an intention to safeguard the family’s future.

The allied financial costs related to COVID-19 treatment are also a key factor in purchase of health insurance. SBI Life’s survey showed that 53 percent of Indians are not financially prepared to bear the cost of COVID-19 treatment.

IRDAI chairman Subhash Khuntia had earlier said so far a total of 2,38,160 COVID-19 health claims have been filed. Of these, 1,48,298 claims worth Rs 1,430 crore have been settled.

Moneycontrol had reported earlier that despite several thousand COVID-19 deaths, the insurance claims remain low.

A total of 96,318 people have died due to COVID-19 in India. There are 61,45,292 reported positive COVID-19 cases in the country.

Going forward, Krishnamuthy said the proposed standard term plan would help in making the product simpler and helping customers to purchase a plain vanilla protection plan.

Term plan or pure protection plan pays an insurance claim if the policyholder dies during the policy term.

General insurers have also launched specific health insurance products - Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak- to cater to the need arising out of the coronavirus pandemic.
First Published on Sep 29, 2020 02:55 pm
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