When monsoons arrive, there is a host of illnesses that lurk around. This is a time of year when runny noses, colds, coughs and flu reign. Several other illnesses also occur at this time, including vector-borne diseases. Medical expenses often run high. Insurance cover for monsoon-specific illnesses can help. Let’s understand these illnesses and these insurance covers better.
What are vector-borne illnesses?
Vector-borne illnesses include malaria, dengue, filariasis, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis, and kala-azar. They occur in humans and are caused by parasites and pathogens such as bacteria or viruses. These parasites or pathogens are typically spread among us by their carriers or vectors such as flies, fleas, mosquitoes or ticks. Any person who is bitten or is in close contact with these vectors is likely to contract a vector-borne disease. These vectors breed and proliferate in large numbers during monsoons.
What does vector-borne illness insurance cover?
The typical hospitalisation cost for a vector borne illness can range from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 75,000 or more. This may cause a serious setback to your finances.
These insurance policies cover in-patient medical treatment in a hospital for a specific vector borne illness eg. for malaria. or for a group of them. It makes sense to get coverage under these specialised health insurance plans just before the monsoon rains arrive.
When is this insurance most required?
While you could potentially fall ill right throughout the year, these specific illnesses tend to occur more during monsoon. Thus, it is helpful to avail of these specialised insurance plans during this time of the year to safeguard yourself from any unwarranted expenses.
Given the policy waiting period of typically 15 to 60 days, it is best to take the plan by the fag end of summer. By opting for it just before the onset of monsoon you ensure that the waiting periods have elapsed and you can enjoy coverage during the most vulnerable months.
Who should avail these plans?
Most cities in India see frequent water logging during monsoons. This is prevalent due poor infrastructure or choking of sewers. Vectors like flies and mosquitoes breed and multiply in stagnant water. Hence vector-borne diseases then occur with more frequency, and these plans are a must-have in your insurance portfolio.
Health workers, sanitation workers and non-government organisation (NGO) staff who visit places prone to vector-borne diseases are also vulnerable. They require such insurance to ensure that they don’t face a setback to their finances.
In which Indian regions are vector-borne diseases prevalent?
Vector-borne diseases occur across tropical and subtropical regions. The states more prone to vector-borne diseases are:
- Uttar Pradesh (UP),
- Andhra Pradesh,
- Madhya Pradesh,
- Tamil Nadu,
- West Bengal,
- Union territories of Goa and Pondicherry,
In fact, India witnesses vector-borne disease epidemics almost every year, especially in the northern and central parts. During monsoons another factor is the increased humidity in the environment which is conducive for pathogens to thrive. Further where awareness about stagnant water and its ill effects is low, or the infrastructure poor, there is waterlogging during the rains.
Why is vector-borne insurance important?
There are many benefits from vector-borne disease coverage. Here are some advantages:
- These specialised plans are cheaper as compared to a complete comprehensive health insurance plan
- The policies offer coverage typically between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 75,000
- Family floater plans are available that offer combined coverage for oneself and dependent family members
- Hospitalisation cost, doctor consultation fee, OPD consultation, diagnostic tests, ICU charges, blood transfusion can be covered by these plans
- You may need care before and after the actual hospitalisation, especially for malaria, dengue and chikungunya. So, a 15-day to 60-days of pre and post-hospitalisation expenses are covered under this plan.
- Medicine costs during the treatment could be significantly high both during and before / after hospitalisation. These could also be covered for specified periods.
These plans are often independent of your regular health insurance plans. Thus, if you claim against vector-borne diseases, you would not lose your no-claim bonus on your regular health insurance plan.
In a nutshell:
In a country like India, we are vulnerable to vector-borne diseases even within the best of households and workplaces. Do avail of a specialised plan that protects you against any potential financial setback. Even if you have a health insurance plan (corporate or personal) consider taking a low-cost vector-borne disease cover. It can provide useful additional protection and also save your no-claim bonus on your health plan.
Remember to conduct an unbiased, independent assessment of your insurance requirement. Compare across plans to avail of the one that aligns best with your requirement. Securenow provides you with a comprehensive comparison across all plans available in the market and helps you make an informed decision.