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.

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

Read also An anatomy of an health insurance plan

Read more about Dejargonizing health insurance terms

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 turtlemint.com 

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

Read also An anatomy of an health insurance plan

Read more about Dejargonizing health insurance terms

How to pick the right health insurance plan

For those who still think they can do without health insurance, let us set the record straight. The need to get health insurance is more than ever before. Health care cost is rising. It is actually rising by a whopping 19% every year, which, by the way,  is more than 3 times the inflation rate in our country. Understand it like this: Cost of cardiac treatment shot up by 2 lakh from 2007 to 2011 (about 137% rise) and further inflated by more than 60% in the last 3 years. Even if you can afford the occasional health expenses now, you have to just wait a few years to realize that you can’t. But what you can always afford is health insurance.  

Listing the many benefits of getting a health insurance plan is a beaten path and you should read more about it in our previous articles. The matter here is how to choose one health insurance policy out of so many choices available. Not all that easy a thing, but we proudly say we make it easy. Here you go.

Think and rethink your priorities

The first thing to do before you take an insurance plan is figure out your needs and priorities. This will require on your part to consider the benefits you expect from the policy. You will have to think in terms of your age, area of residence, family size, illness history etc. In terms of policy structure, you should assess which limits are acceptable and which are not. You may have an issue with an associated co-pay, some may not have. You don’t want a policy with room rent limit, others may be willing to adjust on that. All this can be easily done if you have the policy features neatly listed out for you.

Mind Your Budget

Once you know the kind of policy you have to buy, decide a budget. This essentially means knowing how much money you can fork out. Of course, this decision is central to the amount of cover you want to opt for. With regards to pricing, a family floater plan costs much less than individual plans.

Read more about family floater plan and individual policy

More than the premium to be paid now, you should think of what the cost of hospitalization in a good city hospital will be. Bear in mind that it can go as high as several lakh rupees. A higher cover amount will increase your premium by a few thousand rupees but will save you from bankruptcy in case you are hospitalized for anything serious.

How to get the Perfect Match

After zeroing in on the budget, you will certainly find a policy that fits the bill. Except that, you will find a number of policies that come close to your expectations. This may make it difficult to arrive at a decision but it’s always nice to have options. Here you will use your customer discretion to sift out the good from the better. The insurers’ claim settlement ratio, rate of claim settlement, pricing of the product and network of hospitals and other data will help you eliminate the unwanted. As part of our motto to empower customers, this data is provided on the site. You just go through the motions and the perfect policy picks itself for you. No kidding!

Know the policy

You must enquire about the details of the product you plan to buy, as much as you can. Knowing the fine print is crucial to your understanding of the policy limits and advantages. It is always good to be sure than be under some impression. And why not? When your policy details are so simply and clearly explained, there is no reason to stay unaware.Visit our health insurance page to compare and buy policies

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

Read also An anatomy of an health insurance plan

Read more about Dejargonizing health insurance terms

Know what to look for in car insurance

Want to reduce your car insurance premium and ensure you are covered for potential claims that can pinch you the most? Here is a list of the most important things that you must consider when getting car insurance, in that order.

What kind of cover?

This is the first thing you need to decide. The IRDA makes it mandatory for every vehicle to have a Third Party Liability insurance that pays for the damage you cause to others in an accident you were at fault. To cover the damages to your vehicle, you get an Own Damage insurance. The general practice is to buy a comprehensive motor insurance that covers both third party liability and own damage.

Read more about Is it worth buying third party car insurance?

IDV- Not more, not less

IDV (Insured’s Declared Value) is the value of the car declared by the owner. It is the sum paid by the insurer in case of total loss of the car. At the time of renewal, the IDV (Insured’s Declared Value) of your car is lower than what you declared the last time due to depreciation. It is important to call the correct IDV. Your insurer will not allow you to quote either a higher or a lower value. It must be close to the present value of the car that has depreciated.

Read more about Should you increase the IDV of the car?

Add-ons that matter

With an own damage car insurance you are covered only for accidental situations. But a lot of times one finds oneself in non-accidental situations where an insurance cover would have saved the trouble. Also, your own damage policy covers only your car, not you, not your driver and not the passengers. For all these events, you’re offered add-ons at very reasonable rates that are always advisable to have in your motor policy. Some of them are:

Engine protect cover– Covers the car engine repair/replacement if it becomes dysfunctional due to non-accidental situation.

Read more about Engine protect cover

Roadside assistance – Covers you for on-road situations like fuel arrangement, flat tyre, battery replacement etc. 

Driver legal liability cover– Covers your driver for death and disability if he meets with an accident driving your car

Passenger PA cover– Covers the passengers for death and disability due to an accident

Read more about Personal accident cover

Your OD insurance cover reimburses you only for the depreciated value of the car parts. If you want your insurer to pay the entire replacement cost, you should think of adding zero depreciation cover to your policy.

Voluntary deductible

Deductibles is the amount you pay out of your packet before the insurer steps in to reimburse the claim. There is a standard deductible applicable to all insurance policies. It is Rs 1000 for engine capacity of 1500cc or less and Rs 2000 for engine capacity of more than 1500 cc. There is also the provision to choose a higher (voluntary) deductible. You should go for a higher deductible if

-You want to bring the premium down.

-You think you’re a safe driver and claiming damages will be a rarity

Compare quotes

This can’t be stressed enough. Comparing quotes is absolutely essential if you want to give yourself a good deal. For this reason, buying car insurance online is always a smart move. One, you get a lot of options to compare and choose from and two, there are the online discounts that save you up to 60% on the premium. That sweetens the deal, no?

For the lowest car insurance prices, visit Turtlemint: www.turtlemint.com

No claim bonus reward driving safe zero claims

When buying a motor insurance policy we often wonder whether it made sense to pay such high premiums despite being cautious drivers/users of the car. Insurance companies have specifically designed benefits for low hazard car owners like you.

When you do not file a claim in your policy the insurer offers you a discount on your next policy renewal. This reward is called the No Claim Bonus or NCB. Let us examine how this NCB works for Motor Insurance.

NCB will be applicable when:

1. You make no claim in a year and the premiums are paid on time.

2. It is available only with the comprehensive car insurance policy.

For a standard Motor Insurance policy offered by leading insurers, NCB follows the following table on Own Damage premium.

Bajaj Allianz

Points to Remember

1. NCB becomes Zero in case you file a claim. This situation can be avoided if you buy an NCB cover which allows up to one claim. Talk to your insurance provided today to know more about it.

2. NCB follows the customer and not the vehicle. So if you change your vehicle after 3 years of use with no claims, you will get a discount of 35% on the insurance premium of your new car which is of the same class. Hence, it is transferable depending on the credibility of the owner.

3. NCB is Valid upto 90 Days from the date of policy expiry. If you policy is is expiring on 1st October 2015, then you can get an NCB discount only if you renew your policy by 31st December 2015.

 

Tip: If you have a vehicle damage and cost of repair is lower than the NCB you would enjoy for subsequent years, then it will be wise to bear theo cost yourself and maintain the NCB instead of filing  the claim.

You can compare from over 20 top  insurers and their plans with ease at turtlemint.com

Read more about Everything you should know about two wheeler insurance policies in india.

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Choose Wisely 🙂

Engine protect cover: Extra shield for your car during rains

Tropical monsoons can’t be trusted. Either they disappoint everyone or arrive with torrential rains and end up flooding the streets. If you parked your car in the open, chances are that your car would be submerged in water. This can be detrimental to your car. The moment you put your keys in and start the ignition, the engine will suck up water and no need telling what that would do to the engine. The more you try, the more you damage the engine. In a few trials, your car will breakdown. The engine is permanently damaged. What to do now?

This must be said here that no regular car insurance policy covers engine damage due to water ingression, or due to leakage of lubricating oil, because it is a consequential loss. What you need is an add-on called Engine Protect Cover.

Read more about All you need to know about car insurance

What is covered

The add-on covers you for repair/replacement of some parts of the engine like pistons, connecting rods etc., parts of the gearbox and the labor cost incurred. If that’s not enough, the entire engine is replaced. Mind you, the cost of replacement is quite high and can go up to 1.5 lakh for most Sedans. Imagine if you don’t have this cover. Horror of horrors!

How much do you pay

Engine protect cover is reasonably priced and costs about 2% of the IDV. The premium goes up by 7-10% of the cost of a policy without engine protect cover.

Read more Understanding IDV – Amount you can claim for Vehicle damage

Who Should Buy

Anyone living in areas prone to flooding and waterlogging must consider this cover seriously. Also, if your car has low ground clearance, which is the case with most premium segment cars, this cover is a must-have really.You can buy car insurance by visiting our site.

Read more about Preparing your car for the downpour

All you need to know about roadside assistance cover

Variations on a frustrating incident: You are running late for a meeting and the car breaks down, driving out to enjoy a get-together with friends but flat tyre plays the spoiler, or coming back from a vacation and the fuel tank gives out in the middle of nowhere. There can be nothing worse, really. Well, let us tell you that it happens all the time to a lot of people, everywhere. Important thing is to consider calling up your insurer for help. Did you do that? Of course, only if you had Roadside Assistance cover.

What is a roadside assistance cover?

Roadside assistance cover is an add-on feature offered with any basic car insurance policy. It covers you for situations of breakdown of your car when you desperately need aid to get moving, whether it is due to no fuel or battery breakdown or any other specified reason.
The great thing is that it is real cheap for the kind of help you get when you need it the most. Priced at Rs 200-500, affordability is definitely not an issue.

How is the cost decided?

By and large, the age of the car and the extent of coverage decide the premium. The old car is much more exposed to mechanical failures, so you end up paying premium slightly on the higher side. Premium depends on the number of situations covered as well. They can vary but there are some on-road situations that are covered by all.

What are these on-road situations?

Fuel- If you run out of fuel, call up the insurer to arrange it, until you reach the next petrol pump.
Flat tyre- And not carrying a Stepney? Well, hail the insurer to send one. It will be happy to oblige you.
Towing- If your car needs to be taken to a garage or elsewhere, your insurer can fix up the service for you.
Battery- The insurance company can send you a battery replacement or someone to take care of the issue.
Keys- You’ve locked yourself out of the car and need spare keys. Ring ‘em up!

Find out 10 items to build your car emergency kit.

Note this one thing well

Roadside Assistance doesn’t mean that the insurer will take care of the expenses. The liability under this cover is limited to just facilitating the process, like, send the garage mechanic to your location or send you the contacts that are nearby or any such ‘assistance’. The actual cost of the fuel, or a new key, or a Stepney will have to be borne by you.

It is still useful, yes!

Although the actual expenses are not covered, the help you get from the insurer is invaluable. It makes the entire process hassle-free and super prompt, and that really makes all the difference. You save a lot of time and the fact that you can rely on the insurer to bail you out of a situation is anyway an extra comfort.  So, roadside assistance cover remains a nice add-on to have.

Health insurance portability explained

You buy a Health policy from an insurer A. A few months down the line you feel that services of the insurer A are not up to the mark and you want to discontinue the policy and get insured with some insurer B.

What do you do?

As per IRDA guidelines issued in 2011, every insurer has to offer the portability feature in all the policies. Portability simply means that you can change your insurer or your policy without losing the benefits gained on the policy you wish to discontinue with insurer A.

What benefits are retained?

Waiting Period: In the new policy, your waiting period for pre-existing diseases and other treatments with a mandatory waiting period will be shortened to the extent of time you’ve spent in the prior policy. This is good because your clock does not start all over again.

No Claim Bonus: Any no claim bonus you’ve earned for your cover will not be transferred to the new policy. You are however free to increase your cover in the new policy and you will have to pay the premium based on the higher cover amount.

Read more about No claim bonus

Conditions

-One can port a policy only at the time of renewal.
The application for switching the insurer must be submitted at least 45 days prior to renewal.
-The policy was renewed without a break.

Other caveats

Portability is not a guarantee. The insurer you want to shift to may refuse to insure you on grounds of high risk (If you’re old or have developed a serious medical condition) and bad claims history (New insurance company will not be happy to see a lot of claims in your policy).

-Every insurance company has its own variety of health insurance policies. If there is a lot of discrepancy in the old policy and the policy you’ve chosen, the insurer may reject your application. Indeed, it is advisable to go for a policy of comparable benefits.

The new insurer is liable to cover you at least up to the sum insured under the old policy. However, the final cover amount will be subject to what is offered in the new policy. If you’re insured up to 3 lakh in your old policy and the minimum coverage in the new policy is 5 lakh, you can’t do anything about it. You’ve no choice but to get the 5 lakh cover and pay the premium as applicable under the higher sum.

If the waiting period in the new policy is more than the old policy, the benefits will kick in only when the period lapses as per the new policy.

If the sum insured is higher in the new policy, period exclusions will apply for the additional sum. Let’s assume you have served the complete waiting period of 3 years for pre-existing diseases in your old 2 lakh policy. You now switch to a new policy of cover amount 3 lakh and waiting period of 4 years for pre-existing diseases. Until you serve the 4 years waiting period in the new policy, you can’t claim the entire 3 lakh sum. For pre-existing diseases, the new insurer will cover you only up to 2 lakh. Only after 4 years will you be able to claim 3 lakh for pre-existing diseases.

Do let us know about about any queries you have regarding portability. We can also help you port your policy. Just give a call on our toll free no. 18002660101.

Read more about What is insurance and how does it works?

Read more about  An anatomy of an health insurance plan

Read more about Dejargonizing health insurance terms

P.S.- Featured image is courtesy of Economic Times.

Family floater plan or individual policy?

The choice between a family floater plan and individual policy for each family member is not an easy one. There is always a bit of confusion regarding which one will fit your needs best. Here is your job made easy, right from explaining both kinds of plans and putting into perspective the differences and benefits of each.

What’s The Difference?

So, understand it like this. The difference between the two is pretty much like pints and pitcher. In a bar, either you order a pitcher so that everyone in the group gets to drink as much as one wants OR you order pints for everyone. This way they get to drink only their beer.

In the same vein, a family floater plan is an umbrella cover for the family at large. It includes self, spouse and children, but a few insurers can also let you include parents and parents-in-law depending on the policy. Any member listed in the policy is allowed to use the sum assured in any proportion. In short, one plan to cover ‘em all!

Individual policies are meant for one person. They cater to the medical needs of only the individual who is insured. Your spouse and your children can’t benefit from your individual policy. So, the line here is ‘To each his own’.

Premium

A family floater plan is invariably cheaper than the cost of equivalent individual policies for each member, given that in terms of benefits they are of equal standing. There is a simple rationale for this. The chance of all the family members being hospitalized at the same time is fairly low. This way the risk is substantially distributed, which allows the insurance companies to offer it at lower premiums.

Restrictions

There is one age related restriction specific to family floater plans about the children. Family floaters cover children only up to a certain age, usually between 20 and 25 years, after which they are excluded from the family cover. Of course, there is no question of such thing happening in individual insurance policies.

Senior Family Members

The other thing one must note is related to the senior most member of the family. It is not advisable to include senior parents on the family floater plan. One, because it will increase the premium by a good margin, and two, it will not prove adequate for the family on the whole. Senior members have pressing medical needs and are hospitalized more often. This will not leave enough sum to be utilized for others in the family.

Find how to chose a Health Insurance plan for your parents.

No Claim Bonus

Family floater plan is one policy for the entire family. So, if a claim is made for any member, it impacts the no claim bonus. From this point of view, individual policies have an edge over family floater. They are independent of each other and claim on one policy doesn’t affect the NCB of other members’ policies.

Read more about No claim Bonus

Key Take-aways

-Family floater is considerably cheaper than individual policies

-The fact that the sum insured can be shared among the family members in any proportion gives family floater an advantage over individual sum assured.

-The age related restrictions in family floater plans call for a better assessment of your needs. If you’re a nuclear family with senior member in his/her 30s, a family floater plan makes a lot of sense. If you want to include middle-aged/old parents in the family floater, it may not be such a good idea.

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

Read also An anatomy of an health insurance plan

Read more about Dejargonizing health insurance terms