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Understand health policies


*There is growing understanding about the need for health policies and the companies are also working hard to cater the needs of people. The focus is still on primary plans when it comes to vehicle insurance and there is need for add-ins based on requirements, says ICICI Lombard General Insurance Underwriting and Claim Motor-Health sector head Amitabh Jain. He shared his opinions regarding the changes in health and vehicle insurance.

What is the effect of demonetization on insurance sector?

Most general insurance transactions are already cashless. So, there is not much of an effect on this sector. Especially, health policies are normal. There was no effect on motor insurance in November but with slow vehicle sales in December, this has a negative impact on motor insurance.

The claim settlement is also completely cashless. The settlement of hospital payment is also cashless. Even for motor insurance, the claim directly gets to the workshop, so the industry is already almost digitalized and IRDA is also encourage cashless modes, so there isn’t much of an impact.

What is your advice for first timers in health insurance?

Most are now aware about the importance of health insurance. This year saw about 20-25% growth here. Everybody should have this in their portfolio due to rising medical expenses. Most opine that the insurance provided by their company is enough but it may not be sufficient in all cases. A family floater policy is a must in addition. If you feel a personal policy as a burden at least take a topup, which saves you in case the medical bill are above the primary health policy. These can be taken individually or for the whole family and have lesser premiums. The policy amount depends on the age of the policy holder.

*What care should be taken while taking policies with mixed benefits?

It is always good to have different items in a policy. But always know the benefits that a policy gives and clear any doubts you may have in order to avoid any claim rejection. Check if all your requirements are fulfilled by the policy you are taking and always avoid secrets while taking a policy.

*Is it necessary to take add-ons for a motor insurance policy?

Most are still dependent upon primary policies for motor insurance. Add-ons like engine protect and roadside assist are the need of the hour. Earlier, very few used to take nil depreciation policy for cars but now 70% are such policies themselves. During times of floods, engine protect cover, and when your car gets stranded, roadside assist policies are very useful. These have little premiums.