In ‘low-loss’ Calcutta, medical insurance set to become cheaper | Kolkata News

CALCULATED: Residents of Kolkata may soon have to pay less health insurance premium than those staying in other metros like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
Several health and general insurance companies are offering a system where different areas and areas will have different premiums following the deregulation of the industry by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority. A city or area with a lower “loss ratio” (actual claims against each Rs 100 paid as premium) will now pay a lower premium if other factors (like policy type and age group of the insured) remain the same.
Kolkata had a much lower loss ratio compared to Mumbai, the National Capital Region and even Gujarat, managing director of the National Insurance Company Ashok Kumar Lahoty Tell yourself. “The wastage rate in Zone 1, which includes Gujarat, is the highest at 92% for some of our products. Zone 3 (where Kolkata is located) has a wastage rate of 80% to 82%,” he added.
An insurance adjuster explained that the loss ratio also depends on factors such as the cost of real estate, as these tend to drive up room rentals, the cost of labor and the number hospitals willing to accept flat rates from insurance companies.
In the case of public sector companies, there is a network of preferred providers made up of hospitals that accept flat rates.
Places in Zones 1 and 2 have consistently shown adverse experience, with a loss ratio that is 1.5 times that of the rest of India, say insurance company seniors. Gujarat is in zone 1 for NIC; Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Indore are in Zone 2 and the rest of India including Kolkata is in Zone 3.
“We have launched the National Young India Mediclaim Policy with new features for young people to further reduce loss ratios. We will have premium rates by zone with Kolkata being among the zones that will have to pay the lowest amount,” Lahoty said.
ICICI Lombard’s head of underwriting and claims, Sanjay Datta, told TOI that the private-sector insurer also plans to introduce more area-based policies. “There will be more products related to loss ratios and zones in the future.”
ManipalCigna’s head of health insurance products, Ashis Yadav, also said his company would embark on “more innovation” in line with new IRDA guidelines; they would include “geographic base pricing”. Mumbai, Thane, NCR and Gujarat were in Zone 1 for his business; Kolkata was in Zone 2. Prasun Sikdar, MD and CEO of ManipalCigna, said some of the innovations included OPD’s fee offering.

Sallie R. Loera