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IRDAI may launch vector-borne disease cover; here's what it means for policyholders?

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Vector-borne diseases result from an infection transmitted to humans and other animals by blood-feeding anthropods, such as mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas.

IRDAI may launch vector-borne disease cover; here's what it means for policyholders?

In order to make health insurance more standardised and affordable for the customers, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) in an exposure draft has proposed that insurers can offer health policies protecting against vector-borne disease for a fixed term of one year.

These policies can have a waiting period of 15 days and the premium under these products will be on a pan India basis and no geographic location or zone-based pricing is allowed, IRDAI said.

Vector-borne diseases result from an infection transmitted to humans and other animals by blood-feeding anthropods, such as mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas. These are a major public health concern, and they affect a large number of people all around the world.

According to a last-year report by the World Health Organization (WHO), these diseases account for more than 17 percent of all infectious diseases. Vector-borne diseases cause more than 7 lakh deaths annually, the report states.

Additionally, in over 128 countries more than 3.9 billion people are at risk of contracting dengue, with an estimation of 96 million cases per year. The cost of treatment for dengue can range anywhere from Rs 25,000 to Rs 70,000.

Therefore, having a vector-borne disease plan in place, as Amit Chhabra, head - Health insurance, Policybazaar says, will help the customers to protect themselves from the vector-borne disease.

"Vector-borne diseases such as dengue, malaria have always been common in India, however, people take it lightly in the initial phase. As the proper treatment is not given on time, there have been various cases when people have ended up in death or other serious conditions. The lack of treatment is mostly due to insufficient money or carelessness. Therefore, to take control of such unforeseen situations, it is better to opt for an insurance cover for vector-borne diseases. Having an insurance policy for the vector-borne disease is emphasized so that one doesn’t end up losing their financial stability, and health, in case of an emergency," Chhabra opines.

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