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21 Sep, 2021 | Weekly

Weekly Insurance Round-up Tuesday, September 21, 2021

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Bringing you this latest edition of Beshak's Weekly News Round-up from our in-house research team. 

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What's Inside? 📦

Corona-specific health policies to be available until March 2022 ☂️

  • IRDAI released two circulars last week, extending deadlines for selling corona-specific and paperless policies.
  • Previously, Corona Rakshak and Corona Kavach policies were only available until September 30th, 2021. In view of the continuing circumstances of the Covid19 pandemic, and an expected third wave, both these policies have been extended until 31st March 2022. 
  • As a result, customers can now extend their policies or buy new ones to have a cover from Covid19 until March 2022. Another important aspect covered is the permission to issue e-policies, without the need for physical documentation with wet signatures. 
  • Beshak Take: 
    • Although IRDAI is extending the dates for covid-specific policies, many insurers have not been willing to sell or renew these policies. This is in view of the huge losses they faced, as the claim amount paid by them has been way more than the premium received. Insurers had requested IRDAI to allow them to increase the premiums of these policies but they are yet to receive a response from the IRDA. 
    • Many insurers have taken a digital turn for sending and receiving the policy and other documents, owing to the pandemic. This practice must be made permanent since everything today has become digital and most of the documents that need to be submitted are available digitally.

Sources: Business Standard | Financial Express

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Madras High Court asks the Centre to allot more funds to Mental Healthcare 🧠

  • In a country with a population of nearly 136 Cr, there are only 47 government-run mental health hospitals. The Madras High Court has observed this and has asked the center to allot more funds to mental health care and establish more central Mental Health Institutions in every zone.
  • The Court stated that it is the duty of the center and all state governments to ensure that they have a comprehensive action plan to identify patients with mental illness and provide them with necessary treatments. 
  • Since there’s an acute shortage of psychiatrists and child psychiatrists in India, the Court has suggested that all medical colleges should have a separate department for psychiatry with a postgraduate course.
  • Further, the Court believes that only having a mental health care hospital is not enough. We should also organize mental illness awareness camps and encourage people to share their mental illness issues and experiences.
  • This decision was taken by the court after Mr. K.R. Raja of Madurai filed public interest litigation requesting for the establishment of an exclusive medical wing in the central prison to provide mental healthcare to the prisoners.
  • Beshak Take: There has been a lot of buzz around mental health and the need for better care in recent months, but as a country, we still have a long way to go. 

While it is important to build the infrastructure and hospitals to specifically address mental health issues, it is equally necessary to prepare an ecosystem to help patients with the right kind of care, medical expertise, and treatment. In addition to that - it is important that they are financially supported through good insurance plans that adequately cover mental health treatments, as they go through long-term treatments. 

It is high time we start treating mental health the same as physical health. Just because it’s not visible, doesn’t mean it’s not there, or doesn’t need the same level of concern and treatment. 

Source: The Times of India

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Insurance Information Bureau (IIB) to help underwrite non-life insurance products, to improve business 📈

  • To ensure that the life and non-life industry underwrites a healthy business, IRDAI has authorized the IIB to collect data from the industry and come up with standard pricing for products. This will be similar to credit card information bureaus like CIBIL and help in identifying and repricing the loss-making businesses.
  • Based on data gathered on behalf of IRDA, IIB will provide standard rates for life, motor, health, fire, and marine insurance. These rates will be used to promote reasonable rates and sustain the business in all lines of insurance.
  • The IRDAI exposure draft also stated that the IIB will share all information about the losses due to fraud with all the insurers to help them reduce the same. While the IIB will have specific permissions to use it, IRDAI will be the sole owner of this data.
  • The IIB will also be acting as a digital hub for all the electronic insurance accounts and will allow the insurers to upload and download the KYC data.
  • IRDAI has asked the stakeholders to respond to the proposals within 30th September 2021. The proposed regulations will be forwarded to the government for notification in the official gazette, once IRDAI receives the feedback.
  • Beshak Take:  Due to an unprecedented number of claims in the pandemic, insurers have faced huge losses which resulted in sudden premium hikes and stricter underwriting rules - which in turn, impacted customers adversely. This standardized and reasonable pricing, which will be based on data and research will benefit both - the insurers and the customers.

Source: The Times of India

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Investment News:

Patient Care Startup HexaHealth Raises $4.5 Mn 💰

  • Hexa health care, led by Omidyar Network India and Chiratae ventures, raised $4.5 Mn in a seed funding round.
  • Hexahealth is a start-up founded in 2021 which aims to transform the surgery experience for patients and provide better-digitized in-patient care by helping them with consultations, educating them about the right hospital, affordable surgeon, insurance paperwork, etc. 

Sources: The Hindi Businessline | Inc42

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Ayu Health, a health technology startup, raises $6.3 Mn💰

  • Ayu Health, a start-up in health technology, has raised $6.3 Mn in series A funding from Vertex Ventures and Stellaris Venture Partners,
  • Ayu Health has over 20 hospitals in Chandigarh and Bangalore and aims to create hospital chains that patients can trust for high quality of outcomes, transparency on pricing, and world-class experience. 
  • The startup will use these funds to expand its hospital network as well as build new technology solutions to enable insurance processing, procurement, and clinical quality management

Source: Business Standard

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Team Beshak
Team Beshak, We breathe insurance :)

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