Why is term insurance an absolute buy?

What is the first instrument which comes to your mind when you want to create your financial portfolio? Is it a mutual fund scheme, shares and stocks or the more conservative bank fixed deposits? What about a term insurance plan? Does it ever feature anywhere in your ‘to buy’ list?

When it comes to life insurance, we all have a tendency to ignore it. Blame it either on the lack of awareness or the biased perception, a life insurance policy is usually given a miss. When it comes to a term insurance plan, the situation worsens. Since term plans usually pay only death benefit, our aversion increases. We start questioning: What about the return on our investments? Let me highlight the various returns of a term insurance for you:

The returns provided by a term insurance plan far outweigh the monetary gains provided by other investment avenues. Here are the top reasons, which make a term insurance plan an absolute buy:

A contingency fund for your family.

Whom does your family depend on for meeting their lifestyle expenses? If you are the sole bread-winner, it would be you and your earnings. What would happen in case of your premature death? How would your family cope with their expenses? A term insurance plan comes to your rescue here. Since the plan pays a lump sum benefit on premature death, your family gets the much-needed financial assistance. The benefit received from the plan can be used for meeting the daily expenses and other financial obligations of your family. Thus, a term insurance plan helps in creating a contingency fund for your family in your absence.

Read on why life insurance should be bought early.

Gives you peace of mind.

Wise men say peace of mind is the best return and a term insurance plan gives you just that. By enabling you build up a contingency fund, a term plan assures peace of mind. You can relax knowing that even in case of any unforeseen eventuality (read premature death) your family would be financially secured.

High coverage at cheapest premiums

Considering the rising expenses in modern times, an optimal contingency fund is required for a complete financial security. Affording such a fund is possible only with a term insurance plan. In fact, the USP of term plans is the coverage level vis-à-vis the premium charged. You can avail high coverage at very low premiums through a term insurance plan. Don’t believe me? Here’s a look at the premiums of three popular term insurance plans for coverage of Rs.1 crore:

term insurance

 

Would you get such value for money anywhere else?

Protection against debt liability

Decreasing term plans are designed to take care of our loans and mortgages. Under these plans, the Sum Assured and the plan term are selected to reflect the loan amount, the interest rate and the loan repayment tenure. Every year, the Sum Assured decreases by a certain percentage (depending on the plan). The resultant Sum Assured (after every decrease) reflects the outstanding amount of loan. In case of early death, the plan pays the Sum Assured as in the year of death to repay the outstanding loan. Thus, your family is spared the burden of your debt. Decreasing term plans, therefore, are also called mortgage redemption plans.

Low claim rejections

Ideally, you should fill up the plan’s proposal form. If you do so and provide the relevant details correctly, the chances of your claim’s rejection become nil. You get assured claims if you furnish correct details. Moreover, courtesy of the Insurance Amendment Act 2015, any claims made after the first 3 policy years are compulsorily honored by the insurance company. So, your wish for your family’s security would not remain unfulfilled as your term insurance claims would be honored.

Thus, given all the above returns, a term insurance plan is an essential investment. It should feature in your financial portfolio. Given the plan benefits and the advantages, peace of mind being the primary one, how can you avoid it? So, stop ignoring a term plan and buy a term insurance plan at the earliest.

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

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Read more about Life insurance policy in India – How does it works?

Do you know some insurance companies offer term plans upto 99 years? Check out our video to know more

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5 reasons why you need life insurance

In the prime of life, with age and good health on our side, most of us do not worry about the uncertainties of life. Financially secure and physically fit, any future mishap and its consequences is the last thing on our minds.  However, contrary to what we might feel, this is exactly when we need to plan for the future, a future where we may not be as secure and fit as we are now.

Read more about Reasons to buy life insurance at the earliest

Why life insurance?

Insurance, be it for health, vehicle, life or home, is essential to cover the financial implications of unexpected events. Life has no guarantees is a statement that is clichéd but true. Obviously, no monetary valuation can do justice to a human life, but life insurance does not aim to do that! It simply aims to provide financial protection in case of a potential loss of income in the future, which could arise from multiple factors like death, disability, or retirement.

You need the security blanket of life insurance if any of the following reasons holds good for you.

  1. Provide for your family in case of death or disability

If your family is wholly or partly dependent on your income or your contribution in any other way, then they will be left in a very difficult situation in case of any unfortunate accidents. Life insurance comes to the rescue here by offering a lump sum or a steady income.  Explore term life insurance  by visiting our site.

  1. Finance your expenses and obligations

In case of the loss of income, your regular expenses and other obligations in terms of outstanding bills, loans or mortgages will be tough to manage. An insurance cover will help pay for all this, removing a big load off your shoulders.

  1. Have an additional source of income in the later years of one’s life

Life insurance is not just for death anymore; there are child plans, retirement plans, whole life plans, etc. These are all good investment instruments. So, if you are looking for a long-term investment and do not want to put your money in the traditional instruments like FD/NSC/PPF etc, life insurance is the way to go.

  1. Leave an inheritance for your children/dependents

Even if your children or dependents do not need financial support after your death, insurance is your way of leaving them an inheritance that is large enough for them to lead a life of luxury.

  1. Avail of Tax benefits

Premium paid for life insurance is eligible for tax benefit under section 80C. That, in itself, is a good enough reason to buy life insurance.

Read more about Understanding tax benefits of life insurance policy

Convinced? Buy One, Today

Life insurance can range from the simple protection plans to pension plans. Insurance companies also offer riders or add-ons, which cover accidents, critical illness, incapacitation, disability, premium waiver, income benefit rider, etc. Each rider addresses a specific requirement of the policy holder and you may choose to buy a policy with or without these riders.

Insurance essentially helps you plan for adverse situations. And life insurance plans for any kind of adverse situations that might impact your life or the lives of your loved ones. Not only taking care of loss of income, but also helping you lead your life with self-respect and peace of mind. So, young or old, single or married, with kids or without, stay at home parent or employed, everybody needs life insurance. To ensure you and your family is adequately provided for, no matter what turn your life takes.

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

Read more about Common terms in life insurance policies

Read more about Life insurance policy in India – How does it works?

Feel free to share your comments below.

7 reasons why you should invest in health insurance early

It is often said that “Health is Wealth”. A hectic life, increase in pollution levels, contaminated food, etc., our health faces serious concerns in today’s age. Though life expectancy has increased the amount of diseases affecting the younger generation has also been increased. The medical costs associated with treatment of such diseases are an all-time high. Bearing such heavy expenses is difficult for a common man. Here is where health insurance proves beneficial. It pays for the medical costs which are incurred on treating any ailment and thus protects our finances. So, a health insurance policy is needed. But, when should you buy?

The answer is – as early as possible. Even when you are young and are free from medical ailments, having a health insurance from a young age is beneficial. Let us see how:

Benefits of investing early with Health Insurance:

  • Employer cover is just not sufficient

Though your employer might have provided with a group health insurance cover, is it sufficient? Given the fact that medical inflation is high, your employer-sponsored health cover is not sufficient to meet your hospitalization expenses. Moreover, during job change or loss of employment you may be left uninsured. Hence, it is advisable to buy an independent health insurance policy to be financially secured.

  • Rise of lifestyle and critical illnesses

A sedentary lifestyle, higher consumption of junk food, increased pollution levels, etc. has led to an increase in the number of diseases like hypertension, diabetes, obesity, lung disorder, etc. Moreover, these diseases strike from a very young age. Critical Illnesses like cancer, heart attacks, stroke, etc. have also become common phenomena. Both lifestyle and critical illnesses necessitate medical attention which results in huge costs. Thus, it is very essential to get yourself insured on time.

  • Completing waiting period before you actually need it

Health insurance policies usually have waiting period of 2-4 years for pre-existing illnesses and even for some named diseases like cataract, hernia, etc. During such waiting period, you cannot get coverage for illnesses you suffer from when buying the policy. If you buy a health insurance policy at a young age, the waiting period would be exhausted by the time you develop a need to cover any of your pre-existing illness or specific diseases and require such coverage.

  • Accumulating NCB in initial years

Many insurance companies provide ‘No Claim Bonus’, if no claims are made in the previous year. When you are young, you do not require medical assistance and so do not make any claim. You can, thus, accumulate the NCB of your plan till the time you actually make a claim. Since most NCBs increase the Sum Assured, you can enjoy a higher coverage at the same premium in later years when you make the claim.

  • Coverage

It is safer to buy health insurance policy early in your life to enjoy a wider scope of coverage. Since your health risk would be lower in younger ages, the insurance company would allow you a more comprehensive coverage than when you buy in older ages.

  • No need of pre-entrance medical check-ups

Insurance companies require you to undertake a medical check-up past a certain age (45 years usually) due to increased health risks. When you buy young you don’t have to undergo for these pre-entrance check-ups. Moreover, if, on such a check-up, your health risk is found to be high, the policy might have coverage restrictions and increased premiums (known as premium loading). To avoid such restrictions and to pay lower premiums, buying young is always recommended.

  • Lesser chance of rejection

Your health insurance policy is issued after medical underwriting. Medical underwriting means assessing your health risk. When you are young and have good health, the underwriting would be favorable and you can get the policy easily. However, when you age and develop some medical complications along the way, your medical underwriting would not be so favorable. If you have severe health complications, the insurer might reject your policy altogether. Thus, buying the health plan at a younger age lowers the probability of rejection.

Click here to watch video on why you must buy a health insurance policy at a young age:

Conclusion

A health insurance policy is an essential requirement to tackle those burdensome medical costs. If buying young has so many benefits, why delay. Buy a health plan early and enjoy its many benefits. So, hurry up and grab your policy now!

Read more An anatomy of an health insurance plan

Read more about Dejargonizing health insurance terms

Read more about Don’t be fooled while buying health insurance

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Understanding tax benefits of life insurance policy

Rishabh was filing his income tax returns for the first time on his own. He was thus confused about the treatment of his life insurance policies. He had a term insurance plan of Rs 1 crore for which he paid a premium of Rs 12,000 every year. Moreover, he had also invested in a child insurance plan this year when he became a proud daddy as well as an endowment plan for which he paid a premium of Rs 24,000 and Rs 33,000 annually respectively. He also took a health insurance plan for himself, spouse and children for Rs 5 lakhs of coverage and paid a premium of Rs 15,000 annually. Thus, his total premium outgo for the year approximated to about Rs.84, 000 and he wasn’t sure about its tax treatment. One of his Unit Linked Policies of Rs 5 lakhs sum assured also matured this year for which he used to pay an annual premium of Rs 50,000. Though the proceeds were not subject to any tax deduction, he didn’t know whether he should include it in his taxable income. Confused, he went to his financial advisor who sorted out his dilemma. Let’s see what his advisor advised.

Besides being an important tool of financial protection and security, life insurance also has tax-related benefits. Thus, it is considered to be an effective long-term tax planning tool as it is entitled to tax benefits under Income Tax Act, 1961. Rishabh’s premiums and also the benefits he received were tax-free. While the premiums acted as deductions from the taxable income, benefits received were exemptions which did not attract tax. Let’s find out how:

Tax Benefits under Life Insurance Policy

  1. Deductions for Premium Payment:
  • What is Section 80C?
  • Under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, you will be eligible for the deduction, from your taxable income on the premiums paid towards all your Life Insurance policies till a maximum limit of Rs. 1,50,000.
  • The benefit of this deduction is available to self, spouse, dependent children and any member of HUF (Hindu Undivided Family).
  • While the maximum limit under Section 80C is Rs. 1.5 lakhs, there is also a maximum limit on the premium amount vis-à-vis the Sum Assured. This limit depends on the date of the policy issuance. Here are the rules of the limit:

tax benefits
Thus, the total premium paid for Rishabh’s policies were exempt from income tax under section 80C since it was less than
Rs. 1,50,000.

  • What is Section 80D?
    • Under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, you will be eligible for the deduction, from your taxable income on the premium paid towards all your Health Insurance policies till a maximum limit of:
      • ₹25,000 for self, spouse and children.
      • An additional amount of ₹25,000 for premium paid towards parents.
    • However, an increased deduction of ₹30,000/- shall be allowed in case any of the person mentioned above is a senior citizen.
    • The above mentioned limits include ₹5,000 for preventive health check-up.

Thus, the total premium paid for Rishabh’s health policies or additional health riders in life insurance policies like personal accident, critical illness, etc. will be exempt from income tax under section 80D till ₹25,000. If he had an additional plan for this parents, he would have got an additional exemption of ₹25,000.

  • Section 80DD:

Although Rishabh did not need this deduction but under this section, the premium paid for disabled people who are dependent for their medical treatment is allowed as a deduction. The quantum of deduction for such disability is ₹75,000 every year. An increased deduction of ₹1,25,000 shall be allowed in the case of severe disability.

  1. Exemptions for Maturity Benefit:
  • What is Section 10(10D)?
  • Any amount received at maturity or surrender of policy of insured shall be exempt from income tax under section 10(10) D provided the terms and conditions are fulfilled. This includes the sum given in the form of bonus on such policy. However, there are 2 conditions for this tax exemption:
    • The premium should be at max 1/10th of the sum assured in all the years.
    • The policy is not surrendered within the first 5 years.
  • However, the rule does not apply in case of death benefits. Death benefits, irrespective of the premium paid, would be completely tax-free.

Rishabh’s Tax Treatment:

tax benefits

 

The entire premium for all Rishabh’s Life Insurance Plans totaled to Rs 1,19,000 till last year but since the ULIP has matured this year, his total Life Insurance Plan Premium would be Rs 69,000 and the entire amount is deducted for income tax under section 10(10)D since it is less than Rs 1.5 lakhs per annum!

Thus, Rishabh’s maturity benefit from the Unit Linked Plan would be tax free as the sum assured was not more than 10 times the premium for all the years. All his other life insurance plans would also have tax-free maturity benefit but he should calculate the same only when the policies mature!

In a synopsis:

tax benefits

 

Rishabh was duly educated on the tax benefits of his life insurance premiums and benefits. He was overjoyed to know that both his premium and the benefit he received from his Unit Linked Plan were tax-free. This is the beauty of a life insurance plan. It not only provides you financial security, it also helps in saving taxes. So, know the tax benefits and enjoy your life insurance policy to its fullest. You can compare and buy your life insurance policy online.

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

Read more about Common terms in life insurance policies

Read more about Life insurance policy in India – How does it works?

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Types of health insurance add-ons/boosters and their benefits

Did you know that your health insurance can cover several other benefits such as maternity, critical illness, and personal accident? Don’t believe us? Let our Turtle surprise you.

what is health insurance

Be a smart guy like Rahul. To know more about HEALTH INSURANCE call our Health Expert at 1800-266-0101
or visit our website at: www.turtlemint.com/health-insurance

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Read also An anatomy of an health insurance plan

Read more about Dejargonizing health insurance terms

Cover amount and premium

Raj and Sunil are best of friends. They discuss every other aspect of their lives except financial decisions. Only when Raj met with an accident while coming back from their annual backpacking trip, Sunil was dumbfounded to realize that his best friend had no clue about his health insurance plan and its coverage benefit. In fact, Raj had no clue of how much coverage his health plan would provide, the network hospitals, other terms and conditions, etc.

Trust me they are not the only ones. There are quite a lot of us who don’t discuss financials even with our near and dear ones, let alone best of friends.

While more and more individuals are insuring themselves and their families under a health insurance cover, most of us lack the basic knowledge of a health insurance plan. It’s time to wake up and discuss the same so that we are aware of the basic terminology of our own health insurance plan!

Let’s talk about the most basic two features of a health insurance plan – the coverage and the premium amount. Do all of us know what exactly does the cover amount and the premium of a health insurance policy mean?

What is Coverage Amount?

This is the MOST important thing you must understand about any health insurance plan. The coverage amount, also called the Sum Assured or the Sum Insured, is the maximum amount of money payable by the insurance company when a claim is made. It is also called the amount of risk covered by the insurance company.

Thus, if you have a Health Insurance Plan for say Rs.10 lakhs, then under all circumstances, over the entire year, the total money that the Insurance Company will pay for your medical treatment on hospitalization cannot be more than Rs.10 lakhs.

How much Health Insurance Cover should you choose?

You need to opt for health insurance coverage depending on your need. You may choose a lesser coverage if your company has provided some medical coverage as well. Also, you need to choose as per the hospitalization expenses you may incur, the type of bed you would be choosing, your previous history of hospitalization, etc.

There is a range of cover amount or Sum Assured options available under health insurance plans and you have to choose a cover amount from the available range.

The next important consideration is ‘Premium’.

What is Premium?

The premium is the amount of money which you, as a policyholder, are required to pay to avail insurance coverage from a company. The premium is also called the cost of insurance.

Basically, premium is the amount of money you need to pay every year to the insurance company so as to buy the Health Insurance Coverage for that particular year. It needs to be paid annually and renewed every year with fresh policy document being issued.

How is the cover amount (Sum Assured) and the premium related?

A health insurance policy is a contract between the insurance company and you (policyholder). Under the terms of the contract, the company promises to cover you for the chosen level of Sum Assured. You, on the other hand, promise to pay the premium for availing the cover. The amount of premium depends on the Sum Assured selected.

So, if you (Age 30) buy a Health Plan for Rs.10 Lakhs and pay a premium for Rs.8200 approximately without tax, then Rs.8200 + tax is your Annual Premium payable for the entire policy year for coverage of Rs.10 lakhs.

The premium payable is directly proportional to the cover amount opted for. Higher the level of Sum Assured, higher would be the premium and vice-versa.

How are they relevant?

There is a constant battle among individuals to choose between the Sum Assured and the premium rates. Sadly, our pockets always win the battle and we buy plans with cheapest premium outgoes. This results in a very minimal cover amount, the brunt of which is felt at the time of claims. Since our coverage is limited, we end up paying any excess claim from our pockets. Here is where the relevance of a plan with a balanced Sum Assured and premium feature comes in –

  • The cover amount denotes the maximum liability of the insurance company in case of claims. You would have to bear the expenses exceeding the cover amount. Thus, you should choose an optimal Sum Insured in your health plan.
  • The premium denotes your liability. It is the amount of money you are required to pay for the coverage. Though an optimal coverage is essential, you should factor in your affordability while choosing the health plan.

Important points to note

Now you know what a cover amount and the premium means. While the latter is the financial extent up to which your plan would pay the claim, the former is the cost of availing the cover amount. So, premium depends on the cover amount (Sum Assured). Here are some important points which you should remember:

  • The optimal level of Sum Assured when you are insuring only yourself and when you are also insuring your family members differs. When family members are also covered in your health plan, you should choose a higher cover amount.
  • Premium not only depends on the cover amount. Other factors which influence the premium rate are age of the insured, number of members covered under the plan, optional coverage features added in the plan, medical history of the insured, etc.
  • Under no circumstances would the claim paid exceed the cover amount.
  • The cover amount (Sum Assured) can be increased when the health plan is renewed.
  • There is a limit on the maximum Sum Assured which is allowed under a health plan. This limit varies among the different plans.

Now you know what a cover amount and premium of a health plan denote. So, the next time you are asked about it, you would be sure.You can visit our site to compare and buy health insurance plan.

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

Read also about An anatomy of an health insurance plan

Read more about Dejargonizing health insurance terms

How does insurance cover “Day-Care” health procedures?

In recent years, modern advances in science and technology have changed the face of the Indian healthcare industry. Until a few years ago, carrying out medical procedures like eye surgery and kidney stone removal used to take some days. Today, complex treatments like these have become a lot faster and take just a few hours to complete.

However, in spite of the many scientific advances, healthcare costs have only increased. Very few people can afford treatment in case of a health emergency. For others, it’s either a huge dent in their savings or reliance on financial help from outside.

Surprisingly, most over-the-counter treatments cost almost twice as much as the cost for hospitalization! This is why most of the major health insurance providers have begun giving day-care health coverage to their customers. Day-care health insurance coverage offers the necessary financial relief by paying for costs related to medical treatments that need only short-term hospitalization and can be taken care of in less than 24 hours.

Example

Mr. Arvind holds a health insurance plan, which covers day-care health procedures. When he is diagnosed with kidney stones, his doctor advises lithotripsy (kidney stone removal surgery) as the required treatment. Incidentally, a decade ago, Mr. Arvind’s father too had suffered from kidney stones and had to be hospitalized a few days for the kidney stone removal procedure. Remembering this, Mr. Arvind worries that his surgery will not be admissible under day-care health coverage. He goes on to air his concern to the doctor. He is surprised to find, however, that due to technical advances, the surgery now lasts only a few hours and because of this, the hospital will discharge him the same day of the surgery. Therefore, Mr. Arvind, unlike his father, can make a hassle-free claim for the kidney stone removal surgery, as it is listed under day-care health procedures!

Claim process

The claim filing process for a day-care health procedure is similar to that of the claim filing process for a regular hospitalization.

You must notify the insurance company beforehand in the case of a planned procedure and within 24 hours in the case of an emergency procedure. Make sure you maintain all your medical records for the reimbursement to go smoothly.

Procedures covered

Treatments that are usually admissible as a Day-Care Health procedure include:

  • Appendectomy
  • Angiography
  • Angioplasty
  • Fracture/dislocation excluding hairline fracture
  • Surgery of ligament tear
  • Chemotherapy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Dental Surgery
  • Eye Surgery
  • Ear Surgery
  • Radiotherapy
  • Lithotripsy (kidney stone removal)
  • Incision and Drainage of abscess
  • Hydrocele
  • Hemodialysis
  • Hysterectomy
  • Hernia
  • Tonsillectomy
  • Piles / Fistula
  • Prostate
  • Sinusitis
  • Liver aspiration
  • Dialysis
  • Sclerotherapy

Checklist

There are a few things you should consider while choosing a day-care health insurance coverage.

  • Cost:

Most of health insurance plans in India today cover day-care procedures. However, the costs vary. So, don’t forget to compare the benefits before you buy a plan to ensure you get your money’s worth.

  • Broad categories:

Though it may seem like a good idea, choosing a health insurance plan that lists a large number of procedures may not necessarily be in your best interests. Instead of going for the impressive quantity of specific procedures covered, go for quality; you’d be better off choosing a coverage that mentions broader categories of day-care health procedures.

  • Out Patient Department (OPD) clause:

To save spending from your pocket on minor procedures (that last only a couple of hours and don’t require hospitalization even for a day), check if the plan you are considering offers the OPD clause. Note that most dental treatments fall under the Out-Patient-Department category, but not all health insurance plans cover OPD diagnosis and treatment.

Read more about day care treatment vs outpatient expenses

  • Treatment at home:

This option covers the cost of treatment at home, when a patient cannot be moved to a healthcare center or hospital. This benefit can literally be a lifesaver but very few health insurance plans offer it.

  • Cashless treatment option:

Cashless medical transaction is generally available at hospitals or healthcare centers that have partnered with the insurance company. In case of planned procedures, you can easily avail this option by letting your insurance company know about it well in time.

Thus, by going for a health insurance plan that covers day-care procedures, you can also protect your finances while you protect your health.Visit our site to know more about health insurance plans.

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

Maximizing your health insurance benefits with riders that are worth buying

Health insurance riders are added benefits that you can purchase along with the base health insurance plan. It is like a topping on a pizza. You need to pay extra amount for an additional cheese on top! Thus riders are like add-ons which come with extra coverage and features but are charged over and above the regular premium.

The riders make your policy more flexible and you can use the benefits to your advantage. If you opt for riders, you become entitled to get additional sums assured, which you can use in any way you wish at the time of an emergency.

The popular health insurance riders include the critical illness rider, the hospital cash rider and the room rent waiver rider. Each rider has its own set of benefits and so you must look at the features very carefully before selecting a rider.

Benefits of health insurance riders

Like mentioned above, health insurance riders help you in customising your policy. Let us understand this with an example. Anil bought a regular health insurance plan and a critical illness rider as he had a family history of heart ailments. He himself was a patient of hypertension. Sadly, at the age of 46, Anil suffered a cardiac arrest and needed urgent hospitalisation.

Thankfully for him, the extra sum assured from the critical illness rider took care of his hospital bills and he went home healthy and happy. The sum assured from the base plan would not have sufficiently covered Anil’s health costs and so the rider proved to be very beneficial.

So, for Anil’s family is the cost of the Critical Illness Rider an additional cost? Of course not! Because they have got the benefit for the same by paying a very small amount for the rider. However, if Anil had to opt for a stand alone Critical Illness Plan all on his own, his premium would be much more than the additional premium he opted for the rider for the same coverage.

Who needs a health insurance rider?

Everyone needs coverage. So, technically speaking, everyone can benefit from these riders just by paying a small amount of extra premium. However, to maximise your health insurance plan, you first have to understand the features of the riders available to you. This is important because you need a rider that would serve you.

For example, a maternity expenses rider would be of no use to a 50 year old person and a critical illness rider wouldn’t be crucial for a healthy 25-year old. So you have to assess your own needs and then look at the riders from that angle to understand if you need to opt for the riders.

Are the riders worth buying?

This is a very valid question as many people wonder if taking a rider would cost them a huge sum of money. A rider comes at an added cost and that in turn pushes up the cost of your health insurance premiums. As a result, you have to be very careful and see if you can afford the rider.

If the plan, along with the rider, becomes too expensive then you may end up defaulting on your premiums. This will lead to closure of your policy and you will not only lose the added benefit, but the entire health cover! So opt for the health insurance riders only if you feel you can afford to have them.

However, riders come with additional benefits at a nominal cost. Thus, on the flipside it may be worth it.

Now the worry is, how do you know which rider is worth and which is not?

The extra premium may not really pinch if the benefit of the rider is well identified. Some of the most common riders of a health insurance plan are:

  • Maternity Coverage and New Born Coverage for a young couple, even though it may sound like a burden to an older couple
  • Critical illness Coverage for a family who has closely seen the emotional and financial stress of a critical illness patient or has heard about it
  • Personal Accident Coverage for a person who does a lot of travelling especially road travel for work or pleasure
  • Room rent waiver for a family who wishes to opt for a higher room rent and doesn’t want a limit on the coverage
  • Alternate Therapies coverage if you believe alternate treatment to the regular antibiotics

Conclusion

Speak to your financial confidante or look through our website for more information on the specific riders available from the various insurance providers and then make your choice. If you feel that your base health plan is sufficient and you do not need any extra coverage, then you would do well without the riders. If however you feel the base cover isn’t going to support you during an emergency and you find a suitable rider, then definitely opt for it. All you need to do it to click on I’m interested tab and then choose Apply Online to buy the policy online at the click of a button.

Just remember, the best time to opt for a coverage is when you don’t need it because you never know whether you will be given the coverage when you really need it! Prevention is surely better than cure.

Read more about Dejargonizing health insurance terms

Read more about How to choose health insurance plans

Comparing health insurance plans- do you know how to do it?

The market is saturated with different varieties of health insurance plans. Whether we talk about basic health plans, defined benefits plans, disease-specific plans or senior citizen plans, the platter is overfilled with choices. With about 20+ insurers competing for business, you couldn’t have asked for more varieties. As a result, comparing between the plans before taking a buying decision is the most obvious thing to do and since online aggregator websites are also aplenty, this comparing becomes much easier and convenient. Gone are the days when one used to depend on the health plan peddled by a family agent. With so many options available, who would forego the choice of choosing the best?

We, at turtlemint.com, a dedicated insurance comparison portal try to make your life easier by providing the best possible options suitable for your needs. This is taken care of by specially designed algorithms, which determine the best plan that matches your needs, so that you don’t have to really worry about which one to choose.

Do you compare your health plan before buying it?

If you do, what are the parameters of your comparison? The first thing which must have jumped out from your mind would be the premium, isn’t it? Premiums are given the majority weightage when comparing between different plans, which, unfortunately, is wrong. Do you compare apples to oranges or apples to apples? Apples to apples, is it? But aren’t both fruits? Then why not apples to oranges?

If comparing apples to oranges is foolish, how can you compare different health plans based only on their premiums? What about their coverage features? Do you ever compare the plan features or are you too busy saving your pockets to look at the coverage extended. If you don’t, you are making a mistake. Buying a health plan requires a comparative analysis between the plans available and the analysis parameters should include the coverage features. If you don’t know what to look for, here are the important points:

    • Coverage extended – though all plans have the basic coverage inclusions like room rent, pre and post-hospitalization, day care procedures, organ donor expenses, ambulance charges, etc. some plans also provide additional coverage features like Sum Assured restoration, coverage for alternative medical treatments, maternity coverage, etc. You should look into the coverage features of the plans under comparison before making a choice. Plain vanilla plans, though cheaper, only have a basic coverage while plans with higher premiums are like ice-cream sundaes which provide various coverage options. Who likes vanilla when you can settle for sundaes?
    • Plan limits – health plans might have a capping on the room rent allowed, ICU Room rent, specific surgery costs or ambulance expenses. Comparing these limits is essential because you wouldn’t want to settle on plans which, though cheaper, do not fully meet your hospitalization expenses, would you?

      Do you know what is pre & post hospitalization in an health insurance plan? Check our video to know more

       

    • Waiting period – another important consideration is the tenure of the waiting period. This clause is applicable for pre-existing illnesses and certain specified list of diseases where the company specifically excludes the coverage for such illnesses in the waiting period. Given the uncertainty of health issues you wouldn’t want to settle on a plan with a long waiting tenure, would you? What if a plan with similar coverage options offers a lower waiting period? Wouldn’t you want to get coverage for all your ailments at the earliest?
    • Network hospitals – is your local hospital your most preferred destination for medical treatments? Is it included in your insurer’s network hospitals? Did you check? The answer would most certainly be ‘No’. If you want to avail of a cashless claim (most of us do) treatments in a network hospital is the only way. Would you want to go to the other end of the town in search for a network hospital? Find out the network hospitals when comparing so that your claim process becomes hassle free.
    • Discounts and bonus – we all love discounts, don’t we? That is why everyone loves the sale season. Then why don’t we look into the discounts and bonus available in different health insurance policies? Various types of discounts like family discount, bi-annual term discount, online discount, etc. are available in health plans. A No Claim Bonus (NCB) is also given which increases the Sum Assured at the same premium for every claim-free year. While discounts lower the premium, the NCB increases the coverage without a pocket-pinch. Since your pocket is ultimately saved, isn’t these a point of consideration?

I agree that saving money is important but isn’t it the whole crux of buying a health insurance plan. If saving premiums save money, doesn’t getting a complete claim settlement also save money? A cheapest plan might be appealing initially, but when you incur a claim, the plan might fall short of meeting it entirely. Would the cheaper plan still look the best? A plan with a comprehensive coverage compared on all the above parameters is better, though a tad bit dearer, if you want to enjoy an all-inclusive coverage and put your mind to rest. If you still feel saving a couple of thousands on premiums is more important, good luck with your claims!

All you need to do is to compare it on https://www.turtlemint.com/health-insurance by entering your basic details and then choose the plan which best suits your needs. After you compare and select, just click on I’m interested and then select Apply Online tab to buy the policy online.

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