IRDAI allows extra time to pay life insurance renewal premium due to COVID 19

IRDAI has asked insurance firms to allow additional 30 days for paying life insurance policies' premium.

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Extra time for insurance renewal due to COVID 19
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has asked insurance companies to allow additional 30 days of grace period for payment of renewal premium for life insurance policies if desired by the policyholders. This was stated in a press release issued by the regulator dated MArch 23, 2020.

In case of health insurance policies, the insurers may condone delay in renewal up to 30 days without deeming such condonation as a break in policy, says the release. However, insurers are requested to contact the policyholders well in advance so as not to have a discontinuance in coverage, it adds.

To prevent the spread of Covid-19, the government has initiated various measures & several states have enforced lock-down in some areas. This may result in some disruption in the operations of insurance companies and other entities connected with insurance industry. To ensure proper service to policyholders and customers, all the insurers have been asked to maintain continuity of business operations through possible alternate modes including telephonic and digital contact. All insurance companies have been asked to display on their websites, the information on functioning of their offices and the alternate arrangements made for premium payments, renewal, settlement of claims and lodging of other service requests, as per the release

In the interest of smooth operation of affairs of insurance industry, IRDAI has permitted following in addition to the relaxation in grace period, says the release.

In case of Board meetings of insurers, the meetings due till 30th June, 2020 may be held through video – conferencing or other audio-visual means in accordance with Rule 3 of the Companies (Meetings of Boards and its Powers) Rules, 2014 as amended on 19th March, 2020.

In case of submission of monthly returns for the month of March, 2020 by insurers and insurance intermediaries, additional time of 15 days will be allowed. Similarly, in case of quarterly returns, an additional period upto one month will be permitted.

Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has also extended the deadline up to April 15, 2020. "In view of prevailing extraordinary circumstances in the country on account of Covid-19, LIC will give relaxation to its policyholders in payment of premiums due on inforce policies up to April 15, 2020, wherever customers are unable to deposit online or otherwise," the life insurer said in a statement.
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