The IRDAI vide IRDAI/HLT/REG/CIR/096/04/2020 dated April 21, 2020, has allowed the insurer to add premium payment options (frequency/payment of premiums in instalment) in individual health insurance products on certification basis. The guidelines on Filing of Minor Modifications in the approved Individual Insurance Products offered by General and Stand Alone Health Insurers on Certification Basis” (Ref No: IRDA/HLT/CIR/MISC/151/09/2019 dated 20th September 2019).
2. In view of prevailing conditions owing to COVID-19 outbreak, considering the need for easing the payment of health insurance premiums, all the insurers are allowed to collect health insurance premiums in instalments as specified in clause C (1.1) of above-referred guidelines, as they may deem appropriate for any specific product(s).
3. However, insurers shall comply with all the applicable conditions in general of the above-referred guidelines and in particular with clause 4.1 of the above-referred guidelines. The same is reiterated here for ready reference:
- “Addition of premium payment modes (frequencies) under Clause 1.1 above 4.1.1 There shall be no change in the basic premium table and charging structure under the approved individual product to which new premium payment mode (frequency) is being added. Factors applicable, if any, to allow the change of premium payment mode (frequencies) shall be fair and reasonable.
- The premium model (frequency) proposed to be added may be monthly, quarterly or half-yearly and the resulting premium amounts under each mode (frequency) are consistent with premium amounts under other premium modes (frequencies) of the underlying product.
- The basis for arriving at the factors, if any, to be applied on the premium payment modes/frequencies proposed to be added or removed is disclosed in the prescribed Form (FORM-IRDAI-FNUHIP).”
4. The premium instalment facility may be offered either as a permanent feature by duly complying with the norms specified in the above-referred guidelines or may be offered as a temporary relief for a period of twelve months (one policy year) in respect of all the health insurance policies that are due for renewal up to 31st March, 2021. Towards this, the provision of clause 3.9 of the above-referred guidelines that mandate a gap of at least 12 months for effecting minor modifications stands relaxed.
5. The matter of availability of facility of payment of premiums in instalments and the conditions thereon shall be suitably published on the website of every insurance company.
6. Where the facility of payment of premiums in instalments is offered in respect of any product/products the same shall be offered to all policyholders without any discrimination and policyholders shall be also notified of the applicable conditions.
7. Specific consent of having agreed to the conditions shall be obtained from the policyholders.
8. The names of the products that are offered the facility of payment of premiums in instalments shall be published in the websites of insurers for the information of policyholders.
9. The details of products in respect of which the Instalments facility is made available shall be filed with the Authority as per Annexure – 1 specified in the within referred guidelines and within seven days from the date of offering the facility. There will no change to the UIN allotted to the product.
10. These Guidelines are issued under the powers vested in Section 34 (1) of Insurance Act, 1938 read with Regulation 2(i)(g) read with Regulation 2 (i)(o) of IRDAI (Health Insurance) Regulations, 2016.
The Complete Circular can be accessed at: http://www.a2ztaxcorp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/fileopennew.pdf