HC asks IRDAI to explain basis for approving policies

The Delhi High Court has asked IRDAI to explain on what basis it was approving insurance policies that excluded mental conditions from full coverage, noting that “a large number of insured persons would be affected by such an insurance policy”.

Justice Prathiba M. Singh said that a perusal of the Mental Healthcare Act of 2017, makes its clear that “there can be no discrimination between mental illnesses and physical illnesses and the insurance provided in respect thereof”.

The judge ordered, “This matter requires consideration, in as much as the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India ought to place on record the basis on which approval has been granted for such insurance policies.”

The court’s direction came on a petition by one Subhash Khandelwal, who has an insurance policy from Max Bupa Health Insurance Company Limited. Mr. Khandelwal’s case is that he has regularly been paying the insurance premium for the sum assured of Rs. 35 lakh. Recently, when he raised a claim with the insurance company in respect of his mental illness, he realised that there is a clause in the policy restricting the sum assured to Rs. 50,000, with a few conditions, in case of mental illnesses.

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