Health insurance online sale spurts up to 30%, offline sales fall due to coronavirus impact

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During coronavirus pandemic, the demand for health insurance policies has seen a huge spurt last month. With the growing number of Covid 19 positive cases in India, it seems that people have become more aware of the importance of having health insurance. Apart from this, health insurers are doing their best to ensure seamless services and support their existing policyholders.

Here’s how Covid 19 has impacted health insurance growth.

Online sale of health insurance

Generally, every year in March the health insurance industry witnesses a higher growth in sale of health insurance policies. This is because people normally rush to buy policies before the end of the financial year to save tax. Premium paid for health insurance policies is deductible from income, subject to certain conditions and limits, before levy of tax.

Spurt in sale of online health insurance policies in March

Amit Chabbra, Head – Health Insurance said that in terms of sale of health insurance policies, they witnessed a growth of 20-30 percent in a span of 25 days in March (from March 6 to March 31) as compared to February month (the non-corona time). “More precisely the number of health policies issued in March were approximately around 45000 as compared to approximately 36000 policies issued in January and February 2020 respectively,” he added.

On the other hand, Naval Goel, CEO, said “Due to coronavirus pandemic in the last month- March, according to our online policy distribution portal PolicyX, “Business (in terms of policy issued) of health insurance policies has shown up to 30 percent growth as compared to February and January month.”

Year on year (Y-o-Y) sale of online health insurance policies

Compared to health insurance sale in March 2019, the sale of health insurance policies in March 2020 has also increased.

Goel said that this year due to pandemic, the growth in sale of policies in March was more than 10 percent as compared to March last year. Whereas Chabbra said, “The percentage increase in the sale of health insurance policies we have noticed is about 30 percent Y-o-Y growth for the month of March. In terms of the number of health policies issued in March 2020, these were approximately around 45000 as compared to approximately 33000 policies issued in March 2019.”

According to financial experts, many insurers have started offering health insurance plans even without medical checkup during this pandemic with the help of tele-underwriting. This may also be a possible reason for increase in sales of health insurance policies last month.

Offline sale of health insurance

However, the sales trend was opposite for traditional health insurers, who sell their health policies either through insurance agents or to customers directly visiting the insurer’s branch.

Anand Roy, Managing Director, Star Health and Allied Insurance said, “In light of the COVID-19 lockdown situation, we faced a visible drop in sales in March, but we recorded industry leading growth until February.” He further said, “Almost all business channels have been severely impacted due to the lockdown, not only agents. The conventional consumer touchpoints were not entertained.” He further said, “As social distancing became the tool to stop the virus spread, the practice of agents visiting potential clients was stopped. In such situation, the embracement of digital best practices became the need of the hour.”

Sale of coronavirus insurance policy vs comprehensive health insurance policy

With the launch of coronavirus policy by several insurers, people are actively searching for these need-based health policies that cover coronavirus-pandemic to be ready against the uncertainty. However, are people actually buying it?

Vivek Chaturvedi, Head – Marketing and Direct Sales Online, Digit Insurance said, “We have seen a great response with both our standalone COVID-19 policy within a month of the launch as well as a spike in sales of our retail/comprehensive health insurance policy. However, the demand for comprehensive health insurance policies, especially which are covering pandemics like COVID-19 has increased.”

Although the queries for COVID -19 insurance policies have increased but from the sales perspective, the sale of comprehensive health insurance plans is much more as compared to COVID-19 plans.

Goel said, “Reason why COVID-19 policies are not selling more than general health insurance plans is that the COVID-19 specific insurance plans have come out with a host of terms and conditions and many customers are not finding it worth buying. Whereas a general health insurance policy is providing a bunch of features and benefits to deal with this pandemic. We can’t rely on COVID-19 specific plans for complete coverage.”

As per the online policy distribution portal of, Chabbra said, “On our website mostly customers are buying comprehensive health insurance policies that is retail health insurance policies. Also, the enquiries around COVID coverage in general health insurance policy has gone up by 10,000 per day.”


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