Coronavirus insurance policy gets continuity

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KATHMANDU, JUNE 5

A day after the Insurance Board instructed all non-life insurance companies to halt the Corona Insurance scheme, it has directed them to give continuity to the scheme.

Though the Corona Insurance scheme was included in the budget for fiscal 2020-21, non-life insurance firms had decided to put it off yesterday as per the direction of Insurance Board as they feared huge financial burden amidst growing number of COV- ID-19 cases across the country.

Non-life insurance companies had decided not to sell the policy, assuming that the amount to be paid in claims will be very high.

However, Insurance Board — the insurance sector regulator — today directed non-life insurance firms to give continuity to the coronavirus insurance scheme after the government assured to share the risk with the insurance firms given the increasing cases of COVID-19 across the country.

It is learnt that Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada had asked the Insurance Board to ensure continuity of the coronavirus insurance scheme assuring that the government will share the risk with insurance firms, following which the board directed insurance firms to give continuity to the programme.

Raju Raman Poudel, executive director of Insurance Board, confirmed that non-life insurance companies have been asked to resume the coronavirus insurance scheme. “Amid rise in demand of the coronavirus insurance policy, which had worried insurance firms, the government has assured to share the risks involved.

Thus, insurance firms have been asked not to halt the scheme,” said Poudel.

Following a direction to this effect, insurance firms have given continuity to the scheme, informed Chunky Chhetri, general secretary of Nepal Insurance Association.

Earlier, the board had directed non-life insurance companies to provide the insurance scheme in view of the growing threat of coronavirus pandemic, especially to cover the low-income people affected by the pandemic. The Insurance Board had fixed premium at Rs 500 for each individual and Rs 300 for an additional family member, for those who take out policies worth Rs 50,000. The board has directed insurance firms to charge Rs 1,000 per person and Rs 600 for an additional family member if the policy is worth Rs 100,000. As per the Insurance Board, more than 227,000 people have taken out corona insurance, so far.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 6, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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