Insurers’ Covid claims outgo falls

The General and health insurers have seen a fall in their outgo of Covid-related health claims after the second wave.

In the July-September quarter (Q2 of FY22), insurers settled a little over Rs 5,000 crore worth of Covid health claims. This is 35 per cent lower than the Rs 7,700 crore worth of claims they settled in Q1, sources said.

Insurers have settled around 6.2 lakh Covid health claims in Q2 compared to 7.8 lakh in Q1. So, in the first six months of FY22, insurers have settled 1.4 million claims worth Rs 12,702 crore, which is significantly higher than what they settled in the last financial year. In FY21, the insurers settled 849,034 claims amounting to Rs 7,833 crore.

Insurance industry insiders said that while Covid cases came down significantly, post the second wave, the claims trajectory did not follow the same path because there is a lag in submitting claims.

“If we compare Q2 with Q1 of FY22, Covid-19 claims have fallen by almost 35 per cent, but non-Covid claims have increased 73 per cent. So, overall, the health claims have increased by 27 per cent because non-Covid claims are back on track,” said Bhaskar Nerurkar, head of health claims, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.

“Since Covid cases are declining across the country, such claims will come down gradually. However, we are seeing dengue infections rising in some pockets. So, we are expecting more than usual claims. So far in H1 of FY22, we have crossed 68 per cent of last year’s claims and by the end of FY22, we expect 120-130 per cent of last year’s claims,” he added.

The chief executive officer (CEO) of a private insurer said hospitals have increased their rates, and this is evident from the fact that the cost per claim has gone up by 20-30 per cent. However, hardly any insurance company has raised prices on its old products. Hence, this will put pressure on profitability.

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