Super top up your way out of low health cover

If you have a health policy, the prospect of paying a huge sum out of pocket will sound totally ludicrous to you. And yet, this is what is happening. Even those that have health insurance do not have enough cover. The whole situation is exacerbated by the rising cost of health care at 20% a year. Not enough health coverage is an issue most policyholders need to address. How do they do it?

One obvious way to increase the cover is by getting a separate health policy of a higher cover amount. Very well. But you will have to keep in mind that this is not the most affordable way to do it. A cover of 15 lacs will cost you upwards of Rs. 10,000 in premium. Is there any cheaper way? Absolutely, there is!

 Heard of super top-up plans?

Super top up plans are policies that kick in once you’ve made claims up to a threshold limit. One can also call them ‘plans with a high deductible’. Get it with an example. You take a super top up plan of cover amount Rs 10 lacs with Rs 3 lacs deductible. That means once you’ve paid Rs 3 lacs, you can use your super top up policy to claim the rest 7 lacs.

Read more about super top-up plans

 Understand the deductible

To understand how deductible is calculated, consider the following example: You’ve two policies- A mediclaim policy of Rs 3 lacs and a super topup plan of Rs 10 lacs with deductible Rs 3 lacs. Let’s suppose you make 5 claims in a year the following way-

 Claim 1 (1 lakh): Mediclaim policy will cover it.

Claim 2 (2 lakh): Mediclaim policy will cover it. You also exhausted your mediclaim policy cover.

Claim 3 (3 lakh): Super top up plan will cover it as you’ve already paid the aggregate deductible (1+2 = 3 lacs) through mediclaim policy.

Claim 4 (4 lakh): Super top up plan will cover it.

Claim 5 (1 lakh): None of the policies will cover it. You exhausted your total cover of 10 lacs (1+2+3+4).

 Don’t worry, it’s affordable

Super top up policies are affordable for all. This is clear from the fact that premium charged for a 10 lacs policy is Rs 2-3k.

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Understanding tax rebates for health insurance and medical treatments

Everyone and their family face a few situations when their medical costs are pretty high.  In order to help the family ease the burden of these health care costs syphoning money, there are tax benefits which you can claim for your health insurance and medical treatments at the end of a financial year.

Tax deductions can be complex and nerve-racking. To streamline the process, the government has recently issued a notice. The tax benefit process for expenses related to severe ailments have now been simplified. Let us see in detail, what these processes are to claim tax benefits on such ailments.  

What are the tax deductions on treatments and medical insurance premiums?

Sections 80D, 80DD, 80U, and 80DDB of the Income Tax Act, provides rebates for money spent on treatment of disabilities and serious ailments. It also offers rebates on health insurance premiums.

Section 80D: Any Indian citizen, below 60 years of age, can get a maximum tax benefit up to Rs 25,000 on the amount of premium he/she pays for health insurance.

For citizens above 60 years of age, one is eligible for tax returns up to Rs, 30,000. For all those paying for their parent’s insurance premiums, you can get an additional tax rebate of Rs. 30,000 if parents are above 60 years of age and if parents are below 60 years of age, Rs 25,000.

Section 80U: A person suffering anywhere between 40-80% of disability can get tax rebates of up to an amount of Rs 75,000 on the health care expenses they incur for the treatment of the same. Similarly, for a person with disabilities of over 80%, the tax rebate is up to 1.25 lacks. These rebates can also be availed by anyone financing the treatment of a disabled person.  

Section 80DDB: This section offers deductions on medical expenses incurred for the treatment of certain specified ailments. People under the age of 60 years, can get rebates up to Rs 40,000 and Rs 60,000 for those older than 60 years.

Here is the list of ailments covered under section 80DDB of income tax act:-

  • Neurological diseases with severity more than 40% like Ataxia, Dementia, motor neuron disease, chorea, aphasia, Dystonia Musculorum Deformans, hemiballismus and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Full-blown AIDS
  • Chronic renal failure
  • Malignant cancers
  • Hematological disorders which include hemophilia and thalassemia

Claims have become easier with new change in the tax system

1. Until recently, one needed a certificate from a doctor working in a government hospital to avail the deductions under these. The Central Board of Direct Taxes recently issued a notification, wherein you no longer need the certificate issued by a doctor working in a government hospital to claim deductions. A certificate from any certified specialist doctor will work to get claims for expenses incurred while treating a serious disease.

2. The amount of tax deduction remains untouched.

3. Now one does not need to provide a doctor’s certificate using the Form 10L.  You just need to get a prescription for a certified specialist in the field to get your tax deduction claim for a serious ailment. However, the certificate needs to specify the name and the age of the patient. 

What to know before claiming deduction under section and 80D and 80DDB?

If your company or employer reimburses you for your treatment, then you cannot file a claim for tax deduction under Section 80DDB.  If your employer reimburses you only partially, then you can file a claim for the remainder of the amount.

With this new amendment, the government is ensuring that tax deduction process becomes easier and hassle-free in the health care area. With such deductions, investing in a good health insurance plan is wise.  Visit, to find a suitable health insurance plan for you.

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Five commandments to choose the best car insurance plan

Car insurance is an essential component whether you are buying a new car or are renewing an expired insurance policy.  Recently, a friend of mine undermined the importance of car insurance. Being a coder, he loved playing with numbers and probability. He calculated that the odds of something happening to his car were very low and thought of saving  insurance money. So, after a couple of months, and a huge money blow, he realized the wise words of Murphy.

“Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”  – Murphy

So here is what went wrong.  He wanted to sell his car, and when the person came for evaluation, he turned on the air-conditioning to check. Result: Short circuit and the vehicle caught fire. When asked why did he not invest in a good insurance plan, he said that he thought about it, but got confused and could not find the best car insurance policy. So, I decided to help this friend and many others like him with what to look for when buying car insurance.

Performance of the Insurance Company

For any insurance company, the true colors come out when it is the time to ‘make a claim’ on the insurance policy previously bought. For this, you need to check the claim settlement ratio of the company, that is out of the number of claims made by the customers, how many of them were settled. Also, it is important to check the average claim settlement time.

Customer Service Reviews

With the technology and emergence of aggregators adapting fast to it, policies can be issued immediately.  With this, customer service has also seen improvements by leaps and bounds. Make sure you go for a company where they can send agents for car inspection for damage. Executives should be present on call, and on chats if possible to assist you with claims. The company should have good service not only while purchase, but majorly during claim settlement.

Policy should have good Coverage

The most important point to look for when choosing car insurance is what all it covers in case of an accident or damage. A regular car insurance policy, known as the  Comprehensive Cover, includes the  ‘third-party liability’ cover and an ‘own damage’ cover. As per the ‘Motor Vehicles Act’, It is compulsory to have a third-party liability insurance cover when the vehicle is on the road. It covers damage to the other party which can be hurt by your car in case of an accident.

However, opting for own damage is important as it covers both accidental damages and losses to your vehicle. Remember my coder friend? In case you do not claim your cover for a year, make sure your insurance company provides you a No Claim Bonus reward for every unclaimed year.

Cost, discounts and benefits

When buying an insurance plan, do not look ONLY at the cost of the entire policy. Make sure your compare the cost to feature ratio. A seemingly cheaper policy, may not have a lot of essential features which you may need. Make a list of all the things you may require, narrow down on policies which cover it, and then compare the price and the other services and features. At, you can match a policy according to your needs and get the one which suits you.

Other Services and Add-Ons

When buying insurance, sometimes there are other add-ons and services, which you may need depending on the area you live in and your driving history. Check to see the benefits and add them to your cover. Your premium may go up a little, but in certain cases it may be worth it.

24×7 Spot Assistance- If you drive long distances especially in the night time, in areas with limited access to garages or mechanics, this may be helpful. You get repair, fuel towing and taxi facilities in case of damage or immobilisation of your car.

Engine Protect Cover: If your engine is damaged due to water entering it or leakage of lubricant, the insurance company may not cover it. So if you live in an area susceptible to waterlogging like Mumbai, or more recently Chennai, then you may want to get this add-on.

Accident Shield- If you carpool often or have a driver, then in the unfortunate event where your car meets with an accident, the insurer will cover you and the other passengers/driver of your car in the event of death and/or permanent total disability caused by an accident when they are riding in your car.

So, now that you are aware of what to look for before buying car insurance, it will be wise to go ahead and buy the car insurance to safeguard your car from any calamity. Check Turtlemint for comparison, purchase and claim procedure for all the best car insurance policies in India.

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What’s personal accident cover?

Accidents are hard on families. It is not just about the pain and loss of the person. It upset their lives for a long time in a financial sense also. The financial turmoil makes it very important to cover this risk to let the family continue a normal life. How does one do that? Well, by getting a personal accident insurance. A personal accident (PA) cover is an insurance that ensures a fixed payout to the family or you in case of unfortunate events of death and disability.

There are different events categorized by severity when you or your family get the compensation. It is very important that you pay attention as to what exactly is defined as what.

Death- The compensation for death is equal to the total cover amount of your policy. It can be an instant death or death within a given period of time after accident. 12 months, for example, applicable as specified in the policy.

Permanent total disability- It is defined as the condition in which you’ve lost the ability to work because of the loss of essential body parts and organs. Blindness, loss of both limbs etc. are such conditions. Here it is interesting to note that loss of one limb is permanent but is not total disability. Again, the compensation here is a fixed, one time payout decided by policy terms. It can be up to the cover amount or a specified percentage of the cover amount.

Permanent partial disability- Partial disabilities, too, are covered with compensation up to 50% of the cover amount. Loss of one limb, one eye etc. are covered under this benefit.

Temporary partial disability- In case of temporary disabilities, the policy pays you a specified amount. The insurer may also ask you to submit a medical proof that you can’t attend work.

Cost is as low as your last meal!
The premium for personal accident cover depends on the cover amount and the events covered. By and large, in a few hundred rupees you can get a coverage of up to 10 lakhs for all the events described above. As the extent of coverage increases, it adds up to the premium.

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Importance of health insurance for women

She may be a homemaker or a breadwinner, but there is no scope for doubt that a household cannot function without her. Hence, her health and her safety are of prime importance to everyone in the family. It is essential that when in need she gets the best health care that is out there to protect her and her family. So, as far as health insurance is concerned, a good one is essential for working  women as well as homemakers.

However, despite the importance of this, only 10% of the total women workforce has some kind of health cover.

Uninsured women are more likely to suffer serious health problems as they tend to wait too long to seek treatment because of the costs involved.

“Only 10% of the total women workforce has some kind of health cover”

In a study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, the leading causes of death in women of reproductive age in India in India were listed.



So in a nutshell, anaemia, communicable diseases, injury, poisoning and cancers are the major killers amongst reproductive age group women.

A majority of the maternal deaths indicating the need to strengthen the maternal health care. Similarly, breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women in urban areas.

With all the above diseases, taking a toll on women’s health in our country, it points out, that a good health care can significantly reduce these numbers.  However, with the increasing costs of health care, proves to be a major hurdle between women and good health. This is where an effective and affordable health care plan comes into play.

Since women have certain gender specific ailments, there are quite a few health insurance plans designed keeping them in mind. Some of them are as follows:

1. Wellsurance Woman policy by Tata AIG. It is a combination of hospitalization benefit and critical illness cover. It pays a lump sum in case the policyholder is diagnosed with any of 11 specified critical illnesses, including cancer, heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. It also pays out a daily cash benefit in case of hospitalization. But such a policy should be taken only as an addition to the basic health plan that covers hospitalization.

2. Bajaj Allianz’s critical illness cover: The policy covers eight women-specific critical illnesses, including paralysis and cancers (breast, ovarian, cervical, uterine, vaginal and fallopian tube). The treatment protocol for such illnesses is not only lengthy but also expensive and involves a lot of lifestyle modifications, such as giving up of job, ergonomic modifications at home, and so on.

Read more about benefits of critical illness policy

3. Maternity Add-On Cover: Most health insurers provide a maternity cover, which covers hospitalization charges related to pregnancy and childbearing. However, this add-on has a waiting period of 4 years and needs to be purchased in advance of the expected pregnancy.

Read more about maternity cover a must have benefit

For options on covers suitable for women of a particular age and pre-existing conditions, you can check out health insurance page. You can compare various insurances for your requirements and needs and choose specific add-ons.

Now, equipped with all the information, make sure every woman in your life is protected and secure.

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Turtlemint wishes all women a very Happy Women’s Day.

Insurance in Budget 2016

The union budget 2016 has finally unfolded. Amidst all the recommendations and expectations, the finance minister Arun Jaitley has presented a budget that has something for all the sectors with strong focus on rural sector in particular. Some key announcements have also been made for the social sector vis a vis education and healthcare. We look at some of the key propositions in the budget 2016 for the insurance sector.

Health Insurance for Families & Senior Citizens

For insurance sector, budget 2016 announced an important scheme. As a logical extension of pradhanmantri suraksha bima yojana and pradhanmantari jeevan jyoti yojana, the Government of India has proposed health protection scheme to provide Rs 1 lakh cover to families that can’t afford healthcare. For senior citizens, the covered amount is 1.3 lakh. The government has also announced to start a dialysis programme to counter the rising no. of renal diseases and lack of affordable treatment centres.

Relief for Farmers- Crop Insurance

The budget has a lot for the farmers as well. In addition to agricultural infrastructure development, the budget allotted Rs 5500 crore to Prime Minister Fasal Bima yojana. Under this scheme, the farmers will be required to pay only 2% of the premium for Kharif crops and 1.5% of the premium for Rabi crops. The rest of the cost will be borne by the government. This will encourage more farmers to insure their crops against the risk of natural calamities.

No Relief on Service Tax

One of the things we wished for the insurance sector was the reduction in service tax charged on personal insurance. This wasn’t realized. Instead, the government selectively exempted service tax on general insurance services provided under ‘Nirmaya’ Health insurance scheme meant for the welfare of persons with Autism, cerebral palsy, multiple disability and retardation. A welcome move, again.

The Income tax slabs have not been changed in the budget. But this year, you can still save up to Rs 17000 tax u/s 80D on health insurance. To buy health insurance, just visit 

Read more about Separate health insurance plans for parents of floater?

Read also An anatomy of an health insurance plan

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