Covid-19 outbreak: Insurers facilitate telemedical check-ups for policy buyers

Mumbai: Country’s top insurers have initiated telemedical facilities for prospective customers, where medical and term policies can be availed through check-ups over the phone in place of physical consultations with doctors.

With the country under lockdown to slow the spread of Covid-19 outbreak, insurers such as HDFC Ergo, Religare, Max Bupa, Tata AIA along with intermediaries such as Policybazaar have ramped up these remote services that would involve vetting of customer applications and subsequent consultations by doctors over the telephone.

“The process earlier required a customer to visit a doctor and get a standard check-up done. This will be now replaced by a doctor consulting a patient over a telephone call asking about, for example. prescription history and past ailments for both health and term insurance,” said Santosh Aggarwal, chief business officer, life insurance – Policybazaar. “We are already seeing the conversion rate at our site increase nearly 35% over the last month or so.”

The move will ensure continuity of business for insurers while also reducing exposure of doctors and customers during a period when citizens have been advised to stay at home as much as possible, explained Aggarwal. The government has classified insurance as an essential service. However, insurers hold the right to decline claims if customer disclosures are found incorrect.

While telemedical consultation for insurance was being tested on a limited scale by select insurers over the last one year in a pilot stage, the need to implement full scale service was necessitated due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, industry experts said. “For our new customers, our team of doctors is working 24X7 to underwrite new policies,” said Ashish Mehrotra, CEO, Max Bupa.

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