Atul Sahai, Chairman and Managing Director of New India Assurance, told Moneycontrol that 13 claims have been settled so far
The Rs 50 lakh accident insurance cover for 2.2 million frontline health workers battling the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has seen both eligible and non-eligible claims being filed. To ensure that eligible claims are settled faster, state-owned insurer New India Assurance is now working with state nodal agencies for getting the documents certified .
Atul Sahai, Chairman and Managing Director of New India Assurance, told Moneycontrol that 13 claims have been settled so far.
State nodal agencies are responsible for implementing this initiative of the central government across the country.
This cover announced as a part of the Prime Minister's Garib Kalyan Package in March offers a sum assured of Rs 50 lakh per insured person and is valid for 90 days from March 30.
The policy covers accidental death due to complications arising out of contracting coronavirus while treating/attending to jobs handling those suffering from the virus.
While the government has stated that only frontline health workers are eligible for the insurance product, state nodal agencies have been receiving claims across worker segments. The cover included doctors, nurses, paramedics and ASHA (accredited social health activists).
Sahai explained that the insurer is working closely with the state nodal agencies so that claims can be processed within 24 hours of documents being submitted. He added that the health ministry has been conducting regular video conferencing with the state nodal agencies to ensure that claim documents are submitted on time.
Due to a lack of awareness and understanding on the matter, sources told Moneycontrol that about 80-90 claims lodged so far are outside the purview of this insurance cover and pertain to workers from other sectors.
A state health official told Moneycontrol that a few government workers presumed that the cover was applicable to any state employed individual’s death on duty if they contracted COVID-19. He added that now there is better clarity among the workers. About 30 claims are in the eligible category right now.
Sahai said certification of documents is being done by the highest medical authority of the state for quick decision making on the insurers' side. Needless to mention, clarity in nomination for non-government employees, with dispute free succession certification, is important given the quantum involved and to transmit funds to the appropriate legal heirs without disputes.
For claims of government employees, of course, the availability of gratuity nomination in employment records has helped New India settle some of the claims within 24 hours, he added.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.