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Dip in Covid-specific policy sales as consumers go for comprehensive covers

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Demand for short-term Covid-specific policies has dipped considerably with consumers understanding the need to get comprehensive coverage against all health-related risks and insurers reluctance to aggressively push for such products, given the huge claims they have seen from this segment and the low premiums that these products fetch.


However, despite losing money on short-term Covid specific products, insurers say they will offer them to customers till the time the regulator has specified.





Recently, the insurance regulator issued circular asking insurers to offer and renew short-term Covid specific products, including Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak till March 31, 2022. It had extended the timeline for the sale and renewal of such policies till September this year, given the second wave.


The industry has not particularly been upbeat about selling these products, though they were highly in demand during the first wave of Covid. Till this March, the standard Covid-specific indemnity-based policy Corona Kavach covered 4.2 million lives, while the standard benefit-based product Corona Rakshak covered 540,000 lives. And, all Covid specific policies together have covered more than 13.5 million lives.


In the past, the regulator has pulled up the insurers for being reluctant to offer these products to consumers and mandated them to offer Corona Kavach, an indemnity-based standard Covid-specific product introduced by the regulator last year.


Industry insiders are of the view that when these products were introduced last year, insurers sold them to help people get coverage against Covid. These are short-term products hence people priced them accordingly but now insurers may have to revisit their stance on pricing. The loss ratio has been adverse on these products. Also, some insurers are of the opinion that these products are undercutting their comprehensive products.


Experts said the decision to push these Covid specific products now will be a function of how insurers perceive the risk associated with such products and how the consumers view Covid risk in the coming months.


“We are still offering these products but what we have noticed is the demand for such products have come down.”, said the CEO of a private sector insurer.


An industry veteran, on the condition of anonymity, said insurers have suffered huge losses in the segment as the premium for these products is very low but the claims they have received have been particularly high. So, it will depend on each company if they want to push such products aggressively. Even the companies who decide to push these products may ask for a price correction.


“These products have seen a lot of claims but if there is no third wave, then it should not be a huge problem for insurers. But, these products should not be stretched beyond a point and the focus should be on creating awareness for comprehensive products and incentivise them by perhaps reducing the GST rate on health premiums”, the private sector CEO quoted above said.


The Covid specific products were designed to address the needs of the consumers when Covid hit because at that time there was a lot of confusion if normal health products covered Covid and the consumables. And, these standard Covid specific plans were influential in creating awareness and educating the masses about health insurance.


“..they were quite instrumental in giving a cushion to the uninsured people. However, with the vaccination drive being in full swing, the controlled number of Covid19 cases, and an understanding of the fact that comprehensive health plans offer the complete treatment for the Covid19 and its after-effects, there is a diminishing pattern in the demand for Covid specific plans”, said Naval Goel, Founder & CEO, PolicyX.com


“The current demand for this kind of policies has been muted since many of the users are now aware that Covid 19 is also covered in the base plan, and the demand of the policy might be seen rising when the third wave hits, the reason for low demand of these policies have been mass vaccination and rise in awareness among users”, said John Mayne, Executive Director, Coverfox.

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Apple’s new iPhone to take longer to reach customers, say analysts

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Apple Inc’s customers will have to wait for a few more weeks to lay their hands on the new iPhone 13 as supply chain delays and strong demand lead to one of the longest waiting times for the phone in recent years, analysts said.


The delivery time for Apple’s iPhones after a new launch is watched by analysts as one of the measures to gauge demand for the flagship phone’s newest model. But this year, it is also shining a light on supply chain issues plaguing technology companies ahead of the holiday shopping season.





Analysts at J.P.Morgan and Credit Suisse said customers across the world who had pre-ordered the new models online would have to wait more than four weeks for the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max and about 2 weeks for the base iPhone 13.


In the United States, which accounts for over a third of iPhone shipments, the delivery time for the iPhone 13 series was 19 to 34 days in the second week, compared with 7 to 20 days in the first week, both greater than the lead times for the iPhone 12 Series.


Apple was not immediately available to comment on the delays in delivery times.


“While admittedly part of the expansion in the lead times is on account of the supply chain constraints, we still find the material increase in the lead time in Week 2 relative to Week 1 as an indicator of the robust demand for upgrades, likely exceeding low investor expectations into the launch,” J.P.Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee said.


Apple’s partners Verizon, Vodafone UK and Best Buy cited high demand and product supply issues in replies to customers on Twitter. Many users on social media also flagged the delays.


“With a delay on the delivery for iPhone 13 pro max I might as well cancel! They talking (about until) October 30th,” one user said on Twitter.


On Sunday, several Apple and Tesla Inc suppliers suspended production at some Chinese factories for a number of days to comply with tighter energy consumption policies, putting supply chains at risk in the peak season for electronics goods.


The iPhone 13, priced between $699 and $1,599, comes with a sharper camera, a new bionic chip and improved connectivity. It has been available for pre-booking since Sept. 17.


 

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the PRESS24 NEWS staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

PRESS24 NEWS has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to PRESS24 NEWS.

Digital Editor




Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency/news feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor.

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Name Price Change % Chg
Indiabulls Hsg 233.00 7.15 3.17
Sbi 446.60 5.85 1.33
Ntpc 126.85 2.60 2.09
Rec 151.60 -1.00 -0.66

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