Come October 1 and your health insurance policies are all set to acquire a new look. This is because all health insurance contracts renewed after this date will have to comply with the new Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) guidelines on standardisation. New products launched after October 1, 2019 are already compliant with these norms, which are expected to reduce disputes between insurers and policyholders considerably.
The insurance regulator issued the guidelines last year, asking insurers to standardise exclusions – that is, expenses that will not be paid for – and definitions of certain terms such as pre-existing diseases.
Also, policies cannot be called into question after eight continuous years of renewal, except in cases of proven fraud. Moreover, the IRDAI has also allowed insurers to cover modern forms of treatment such as stem cell therapy or cyberknife.
While these are customer-friendly measures, the premiums could also go up when your policy comes up for renewal.
To understand the impact of these norms for policyholders as also trends in COVID-19 claims and grievances, Moneycontrol's Preeti Kulkarni talks to Mahavir Chopra, an insurance industry veteran who has now launched Beshak.org, an independent research platform for individual policyholders.