News Life and Health12 Sep 2018

India:Supreme court stays IRDAI circular on genetic disorder claims

| 12 Sep 2018

IRDAI has put on hold its circular on genetic disorder claims following a stay order by the Supreme Court of India.

On 27 August 2018, the Supreme Court, while hearing a special leave petition (civil), granted a stay on the operation of a Delhi High Court judgement that held that the exclusionary clause related to 'genetic disorders' in insurance policies is too broad, ambiguous and discriminatory and in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution dealing with right to equality.

The IRDAI, following the Delhi High Court judgement in February this year, had issued a circular on 19 March to all insurers with regards to rejection of claims related to 'genetic disorder'.

A fresh circular issued by IRDAI on 5 September 2018 states that, "In view of...stay granted by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, Circular (of March 19, 2018) stands abated until further orders."

The Delhi High Court had directed IRDAI to have a re-look at the exclusion clauses in the insurance contracts to ensure that claims are not rejected on the basis of exclusions relating to genetic disorders like cardiac conditions, high blood pressure and diabetes. Following the order of the Delhi High Court, the regulator directed insurers ‘not to include’ genetic disorders as one of the exclusions in new health insurance policies issued in respect of all their existing health insurance products and also in the new products.

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