Insurance policies are always purchased with the hope that they will never be needed. Personal accident covers are no exception. Many of us would rather not even think about accidents – but this shouldn’t stop us from thinking about protection for us and our dependents against the financial burden, in the eventuality that an accident does occur.
As per IRDAI (Health Insurance) Regulations 2016, porting means ‘the right accorded to an individual health insurance policyholder (including family cover), to transfer the credit gained for pre-existing conditions and time bound exclusions, from one insurer to another or from one plan to another plan of the same insurer’. In short, should you decide to move from one health insurer to another, or from one plan to another with the same insurer, porting helps you retain some of the benefits you have earned on your old policy.
The LIC Arogya Rakshak falls somewhere in between a hospital daily-cash policy and a critical illness cover. It is an individual health insurance plan from a life insurer that provides a definite benefit unlike indemnity health covers that only reimburse hospital expenses. It can be taken either on an individual or a family floater basis, with one member being the Principal Insured (PI).
You do need insurance to cover this risk. We think that critical illness policies would be a good choice here. The advantage of buying a critical illness insurance plan is that on diagnosis of a specified serious illness, the insurer pays you a promised lumpsum amount with no questions asked on how you’re planning to spend the money. Critical illness covers are usually offered from a very young age with the age of entry capped at 60 or 65. These policies, however, offer life-long renewability. While many insurers waive medical tests for younger folk, taking such a test can ensure a better claims experience at a later date.
The most popular of such endowment policies is a policy called the “LIC New Jeevan Anand”. It makes a simple, attractive proposition to its policyholders – pay a premium for ‘n’ number of years and get a fixed sum assured PLUS bonus at the end of this period. AND, when the policyholder dies post this period, the family will get the sum assured again. You benefit when you live and your family benefits when, eventually, you die!
Have you ever wondered why health insurers in India keep their claims data a closely guarded secret, while life insurers advertise it? Life insurers prominently display their claims settlement ratios of 98% or 99%, but health insurance pitches are full of emotional testimonials on how ‘timely’ payouts saved the life of a near-and-dear one.
Today, many personal finance articles tell you that one of the biggest personal finance take-aways from Covid is that everyone ought to sign up for a generous health insurance cover. But they fail to include the statutory warning that must come with every such plug – “Don’t expect your hospital bills to be settled in full”.
Prompted by real-life experiences of many investors who had filed claims for Covid treatment, PrimeInvestor conducted a Twitter dipstick survey in the last week of May on the claims settlement experience of policyholders.
In our PrimeTime webinar on ‘Choosing the Right Term Insurance’ last Saturday, we received many thought-provoking questions from our subscribers and viewers that we could only partly address, given the paucity of time. Here’s a more detailed FAQ on term insurance based on your feedback during the webinar. Hope you find it useful!
Advisors love to promote market-linked products, but guaranteed return products remain a big draw for Indian investors. Often the word ‘guarantee’ proves such a big lure that we don’t stop to check if the returns being guaranteed are better than the savings bank interest rate! When seen from a return perspective, there are very few guaranteed products from insurers that are worth considering for long-term investing.