IB directs insurance firms to start providing coverage against coronavirus

Kathmandu, April 20

The Insurance Board has directed insurance companies to provide insurance coverage for coronavirus by charging cheap premiums.

The board has also directed them to classify this type of coverage under the deadly disease category. The board has fixed the premium for such insurance coverage at Rs 500 for each individual and Rs 300 for an additional family member for those who take out policies worth Rs 50,000. The board has directed insurance firms to charge Rs 1,000 per person and Rs 600 for an additional family member if the policy is worth Rs 100,000.

Meanwhile, as per the policy, the insurance company will not have to pay any claim if the insured person contracts the coronavirus within 15 days of taking out a policy. The company will have to pay the claim if the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is positive 15 days after the policy has been bought by the insured person.

The coronavirus insurance will be covered through the micro-insurance scheme.

However, all insurance companies can issue this policy and it will not be limited to only those firms that have been providing insurance coverage for agricultural products and livestock.

So far, 31 Nepalis have been infected with the coronavirus and many more are at risk of being infected, so the Insurance Board has issued this directive to provide such insurance to ensure financial security for people who have low income, especially in rural areas.

Chiranjivi Chapagain, chairperson of Insurance Board, said they have separated the insurance companies into various groups so that all the districts can be covered. “We have assigned 20 insurance companies in various districts to provide coronavirus insurance as per their access,” he said.

“We want to make sure that no Nepali has to suffer financially if they are infected with the virus, hence we have introduced this policy,” Chapagain mentioned. “I would thus like to request all to avail this insurance policy.”

He further said that the board is very much aware that the situation could worsen if the coronavirus pandemic further spreads in the country. “We have brought this coronavirus insurance scheme so that people are covered if the disease does spread rapidly in the coming days,” he stated.

The coronavirus insurance scheme was started on Sunday.

A version of this article appears in print on April 21, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.