Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide and according to the World Health Organization, approximately 17.9 million people die from this complication each year.
More than four in five CVD deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes, and a third of those deaths occur prematurely in people under the age of 70, according to the WHO.
Indians are also a major contributor to these deaths. According to the WHO, in 2016, India reported 63% of total deaths from NCDs, of which 27% were attributed to cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease also accounts for 45% of deaths in the 40 to 69 age group.
So what makes insurance coverage important, especially for serious illnesses like cardiovascular disease? On World Heart Day, Rashi Aditi Ghosh of Elets News Network (ENN) explores what makes insurance important today?
Emphasizing the importance of insurance coverage, Sanjay Tiwari, Director – Strategy, Exide Life Insurance said, “With changing lifestyles and increasing overall medical expenses, it is important to anticipate unforeseen and uncertain financial liabilities that can arise due to serious illnesses. These illnesses not only have a long duration of treatment, but also add to the financial responsibility of the family due to the high treatment costs and loss of income. “
“An insurance plan that covers critical illness in the form of a rider or a fixed benefit health care plan provides a lump sum upon diagnosis of covered critical illness. The amount is independent of treatment costs and provides financial security that covers loss of income in addition to the cost of treatment. These plans are flexible and allow customers to choose the number of CIs for which they wish to be covered, the duration of the coverage, the methods of premium payment, etc. Adding a CI plan to the life insurance portfolio provides 360 degree financial protection to the client’s family covering mortality, longevity and morbidity risks under one umbrella.
With growing concern over heart disease deaths and the pinch in the pocket for treatment, purchasing insurance policies is emerging as the best option to be on the safer side.
As reported in an article published on the Future Generali Insurance website, in an ordinary private hospital the cost of open heart surgery ranges from Rs 1.75 lakh to 4.25 lakh. Coronary angiography is likely to cost around Rs.10,000 to Rs. 15,000. In addition, valve surgeries could easily cost you between Rs 2.5 lakh and 4 lakh.
Most importantly, most cardiovascular disease can be prevented by addressing behavioral risk factors such as smoking, unhealthy eating and obesity, physical inactivity and harmful alcohol consumption, according to the WHO.
Talk about the risk of getting heart disease and bear the cost of treatment, in the absence of insurance coverage,
Indraneel Chatterjee, co-founder of RenewBuy Said, “Due to the sedentary lifestyle and the increase in lifestyle disorders, people are suggested to go for critical illness insurance. A rapidly changing lifestyle has led to an increase in diseases like cancer, heart attacks, kidney problems, permanent organ paralysis, liver disease, and many other life-threatening illnesses. If these illnesses are not treated in time, they can be life threatening, while creating a huge financial burden on the family. “
“Most critical illness insurance policies are benefit products, where one of the characteristics of this insurance is that the policyholder does not need to be hospitalized to obtain the insurance claim. The insurer would pay a lump sum if the illness included in the medical examination policy is confirmed (provided the illness is listed in the critical illness insurance policy taken out), ”he added.
While obtaining insurance coverage is certainly becoming important, the additional challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic make it difficult for buyers to choose a plan by physically visiting the insurance provided and completing the formal.
Commenting on how digital offerings are changing the game amid the pandemic, Chatterjee said: “Digital has seen a big turnaround after the Covid pandemic. From businesses to consumers, there has been a paradigm shift towards the use of digital and contactless. The insurance industry has also channeled digital media and insurance manufacturing companies have partnered with digital insurance distribution companies to bring insurance to the masses. Health and life insurance has seen huge demand since the first wave of the pandemic, and digital insurance has played a key role in providing insurance to consumers beyond the top 50 to 60 cities. “
“A company like ours changed the way insurance was bought, sold and maintained long before the pandemic. However, digital boomed and grew in importance after Covid, where consumers realized the need to go contactless. Our digital insurance distribution model enables our Insurance Advisors (POSP) to reach consumers in the smallest of cities. POSP Insurance Advisors guide consumers with the best insurance products and help them purchase the best policy, which suits their needs and requirements. The entire end-to-end insurance process is managed through RenewBuy’s app, which helps consumers purchase insurance and get service in minutes. Claims settlement is also hassle-free thanks to the digital model. RenewBuy is constantly improving its technology model to increase consumer reach and serve more and more consumers in the years to come, ”he added.
Read also: World Heart Day: Why Staying Healthy Is Important
Sharing his perspective on why insurers are investing in technology, Exide Life Insurance’s Tiwari said, “In light of the pandemic, insurers are investing in creating technology-based processes to make aspects related to on-boarding and serving more agile customers. , seamless and flexible. The insurance industry, which relies heavily on physical branch visits, was disrupted when the pandemic hit and companies had to adopt models that would ensure business continuity. Today, most policy-related services can be performed online with limited or limited assistance from the customer service manager.
“To make digital purchasing and insurance renewals seamless, online payment methods, rapid renewals, direct debit facilities, and verification and validation processes such as digital signatures, video verifications, OTP-based authentication, etc. have been made available, ”he added. .