KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 3

Insurance companies have only cleared 20.73 per cent of the total COVID-19 insurance claims so far.

This is despite the fact that only 1,346 COVID-19 patients have claimed insurance amount till today, of whom 279 claims have been settled.

According to Insurance Board (IB), the insurance regulatory authority of Nepal, 919,623 people have bought the COVID-19 insurance scheme to date. Among the total claims, 53 are worth Rs 50,000 while the remaining are worth Rs 100,000.

“Payments of COVID-19 insurance claims have been smooth and are being provided within seven days of claim date. However, due to several reasons, the firms are being unable to issue their claims,” said Raju Raman Poudel, spokesperson for IB. As per him, due to lack of documents, most of the claimants are not getting their claim amount.

Moreover, although the government has arranged an online payment system to address the claims, the online platform has not been convenient to all. Thus, it’s getting late to clear a few payments however Poudel claimed that the payments are under process.

From March 30, companies started issuing COVID-19 insurance while patients started claiming their insurance since June. So far around Rs 20 million has been paid to patients out of more than Rs 60 million in claims, said Poudel.

There are two types of COV- ID-19 insurance — worth Rs 50,000 and Rs 100,000. So far, the insurance companies have collected around Rs 518 million in COVID-19 insurance premium.

As mentioned in the budget, the government has bought COVID-19 insurance of all government workers worth Rs 100,000 while the government has provided a 50 per cent grant on COVID-19 insurance of public.

Earlier, the COVID-19 insurance campaign was implemented with an agreement to cover jointly by Nepal Reinsurance Company Ltd and 20 insurance companies. However, now the modality has been changed. Now the government, Beema Samiti, Nepal Reinsurance Company Ltd and insurance companies cover the insurance claims jointly.

“The major target of this COVID-19 insurance campaign is to provide coverage for middle-class and low-class families. At least they can bear their treatment expense or home isolation,” Poudel said, adding, “Now the insurance facility has even reached the local levels. And the best thing is that people are becoming more aware about insurance.”

Till date, 42,877 people have been infected with the virus in the country.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 4, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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