As the coronavirus outbreak is intensifying with each passing day, many insurance companies have come up with products that specifically cover an individual against the pandemic. PhonePe, Paytm, GoDigit, Star Health, among others have launched COVID-19 exclusive health policies.
Now, the question arises whether one should buy these disease-specific health insurance plans or instead go for a comprehensive one?
A comprehensive health insurance plan, as the name suggests, covers all major illnesses including seasonal illness and accidents up to the sum insured which the customer has opted. These policies also cover all kinds of respiratory diseases, which means they cover coronavirus, provided the affected person does not have COVID-19 at the time of purchasing the policy.
Also read: Does my health policy cover COVID-19; how to register a claim and other questions answered
According to Ankit Agarwal, CEO and Co-Founder, InsuranceDekho, it's better to first have a comprehensive health cover and then buy any disease-specific one, if required.
“Comprehensive health plans will provide coverage against the vast majority of diseases including coronavirus. Whereas, any disease-specific policy will only provide cover for a specific illness," he explains.
"Also, the sum insured for disease-specific plans such as coronavirus is low, which is also one of the reasons for first having a comprehensive cover rather than specific disease cover," adds Pankaj Chauhan, MD & CEO, EPOCH Insurance Broker.
"The sum insured under a comprehensive plan can always be enhanced by taking a top-up policy. Also, they are cheaper in contrast. The reason a top-up is more suitable is that it protects policyholders from far more ailments than a specialised plan at nearly the same cost," Chauhan further adds.
Any disease-specific coverage, experts say, makes sense mostly for a client who has a family history of any particular disease. A comprehensive health insurance policy is essential, especially nowadays with an increasing tendency of hypertension and critical illnesses (cancer, heart, liver problems) at every age.