Over half of FY21’s Covid claims were filed in just 6 weeks in the current FY

Health insurance claims due to Covid reported since April 1, 2021 are 57% of the claims filed in the year ended March 2021, according to The Economic Times. Non-life insurance companies are seeing a sharp spike in claims, which could impact their balance sheets if the trend continues. 
As of 31 March 2021, non-life companies, including health insurers, received 9.8 lakh claims for Rs 14,560 crore for Covid treatment. This went up to 14.8 lakh as of May 14, 2021, for Rs 22,955 crore. This means that in the first 44 days, Covid claims amounted to Rs 8,385 crore, which is 57% of the pandemic-related claims for FY21. 
According to New India Assurance chairman Atul Sahai, claims paid by his company are around Rs 2,200 crore. Sahai added that although the rising cases were resulting in losses on the Corona Kavach policies, public sector insurers are not looking at a price revision. 
Last year, health insurers had the advantage of a revision in premium rates. They also saw lower claims in the first half due to lockdown, when claims were low and most treatments were done in government facilities. 
The claims are higher now despite there being several factors that are keeping costs under check. 
“What is different this time is that the average length of stay has come down from over nine days in the earlier part of the pandemic to around six days. One reason for this is that the treatment protocols have standardised. Hospitals are discharging earlier due to paucity of beds and recommending home isolation for remaining part of treatment,” said Bajaj Allianz General Insurance head (health claims) Bhaskar Nerurkar. 
Another trend is that an increasing number of claims are coming from tier-2 and -3 cities in the second wave. Given the shortage in healthcare capacity and the need to avail private treatment, health insurance is turning out to be the only fallback for many. While regulator Irdai has asked companies to offer ‘Corona Kavach’ policies until September, prospective buyers say that they have not been able to purchase these covers from insurers’ websites.



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Changes in Our Business Model
25th Sept 2020
Greetings from Moneylife Advisory Services
Between financial years 2019-21, SEBI has come up with extensive changes to investor advisor regulations. On Sep 23, 2020, SEBI had issued new additional guidelines. This comes just two months after extensive changes announced in July 2020. Earlier, in December 2019 there was an ad hoc circular
As a result of these changes, IAs, cannot accept fees through credit cards, will have to sign a 26-clause investor agreement, have to maintain physical record written & signed by client, telephone recording, emails, SMS messages and any other legally verifiable record for five years. IAs were already asked to record the suitability and rationale for every piece of advice given, sign them and store them for five years.
While these extensive and frequent changes, designed to strengthen the conduct of IAs are well-meaning, these have sharply increased compliance efforts and cost. We, being online advisors, find many of changes harder to implement, compared to advisors working in the physical space. We will have to have an army of advisors, administrative and tech staff to be compliant. If we do this, we will have to divert money to these areas and the cost of our service will double. We want to remain the least-cost service in the market to benefit more and more people. In the circumstances, we are forced to change our business model from “advisory” to “research”. This will mean the following:
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Debashis Basu