The eighth annual edition of Mint SecureNow Mediclaim Ratings (MSMR) comes at a time when covid-19 woke up many households to the need of having health insurance. As a result, health insurance premium saw a growth of 10% up to the month of July 2020 compared to the previous year even when the non-life industry as a whole grew only by about 2%, according to data from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai).

But given the fact that more than half of India is uninsured, there is a strong need to expand coverage. According to an Axis Capital sector report, nearly 34.2% of the population had health insurance in FY19. Of this, retail and group health schemes covered only 8.4% of the population. Also, out-of-pocket spend is among the highest in India at 62%, globally.

While the fear of the pandemic might goad some into buying health insurance, a proper understanding and appreciation for the product is what will find the industry its stickier customers. The problem, however, is that there is a huge gap between the details that the health insurance industry highlights when selling and what customers should know when buying.

To bridge this gap, we partnered with SecureNow Insurance Broker Pvt. Ltd to devise MSMR eight years ago. MSMR runs a fine comb on essential metrics that make for a good health insurance policy. This means going beyond the price and looking at features that minimize shocks for the customers and maximizes coverage. We also rate insurance companies on their handling of claims.