People in growing numbers getting insured against COVID-19, but claim settlement by insurance companies very slow

Published On: October 14, 2020 12:39 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Oct 14: Though people are rushing to purchase insurance policies owing to a sharp rise in cases of COVID-19 in recent times, the insurance companies have been very slow in settling the claims. So far, they have settled only 12.6 percent of the total claims. 

According to the Insurance Board, insurance companies have sold more than 1.4 million policies until Monday, collecting Rs 830 million in premium from the insurance business.

However, the insured have been facing problems to get the compensation amount on time with the insurers delaying settling the claims. As per the board, out of 8,700 claims that the insurance companies received by Monday, only 1,100 have been settled. 

The insurance companies said the delay is due to the new guidelines enforced by the regulator. As per the new rule enforced by the Insurance Board on September 14, the insurance companies can validate only the reports of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests carried out at government hospitals. But regarding the claims made on the basis of the PCR test reports issued by private hospitals, the insurers have to receive approval from the board to settle the insured amount of their clients.

Currently, there are 20 non-life insurers selling policies against COVID-19. These companies have been settling the claim amounts through the insurance pool. The officials of insurance companies said the provision of insurance pools is also making problems in timely settlement of the claimed amount. 

“The company that leads the insurance pool mostly gives priority to its own clients first and sidelines the claims forwarded by the other companies. This is also delaying claim settlement,” a source at a non-life insurance company told Republica on condition of anonymity.  

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