IRDAI has asked insurers to make special arrangements to facilitate eligible category among their policyholders to get vaccinated as a group or individually.
Nudging insurance companies to join the COVID-19 vaccination drive and create awareness among policyholders, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) on Friday directed them to make special arrangements to facilitate inoculation of the eligible people at government or private hospitals.
IRDAI had sent instructions to the insurers on March 3. However, it communicated to them again on Friday (March 19 ) through a press release on its website.
The government’s national programme for vaccination against COVID-19 for 60 years old and above and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities started on March 1, 2021.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued guidelines for vaccination of eligible citizens.
All the insurers are requested to join this national effort, IRDAI said in a communication to all the insurance companies.
IRDAI had issued instructions to insurers to facilitate vaccination programme for their policyholders through a communication on March 3, 2021.
In the letter, IRDAI asked them to make special arrangements to facilitate eligible category among their policyholders to get vaccinated as a group or individually either at a government facility of private facilities as per the option of the policyholders.
“First, insurers may create awareness about vaccination among the policyholders through effective communication via SMS or email. Secondly, they may assist the policyholder as a group to get vaccinated in an orderly manner by assisting them and making advance arrangement through pre booking slots,” the letter said.
Thirdly, the policyholders may be reminded for the second shot of vaccine in time, it added.
IRDAI has also asked the insurers to give adequate publicity on the process of registration for vaccination programme and special arrangements made if any for policyholders so that maximum number of people can be immunised.
Further, similar arrangements may be made for all the employees of the insurer and also all the agents so that they can be made immune to COVID-19 infection, IRDAI said.
The regulator has asked the insurance companies to inform it at the earliest about the action taken in this matter.
Those visiting government hospitals for the immunisation are provided the vaccine free of cost. While the designated private hospitals charge it at a rate specified by the government.
The instructions do not apply on AIC and ECGC — the two specialised government owned insurance firms that cater to crop insurance and export credit insurance, respectively.