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Money Matters

Money Matters
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First Published: Sun, Aug 23 2009. 07 52 PM IST

Updated: Sun, Aug 23 2009. 07 52 PM IST
I recently had a girl. Having a job that keeps me on the move gives me little time to visit my bank to open a new savings bank account to park surplus funds so that they can be used for her future. What options do I have?
—Omar Mustafa
You do not need to go to the bank to open a new bank account. Just call the bank stating your requirements, and the bank will send its personnel to your house. You will need to furnish the necessary documents and hand over the initial deposit amount to the bank personnel. Your new account will be open in a day and within a week, you will receive the welcome kit. Some banks, however, may want you to visit the bank in person before they open an account for you. Also remember that even after you open a new savings account, you will have to go to the bank and deposit the surplus money if you are not comfortable transferring the money online.
When selecting a bank in which to open an account, ensure that the bank has implemented core banking facilities and has extended bank timings. This will ensure that even though you are on the move, you can visit the bank and deposit the money at your convenience.
I want to convert Indian rupees into euros. I would prefer to go to a bank than a money exchange service provider, which charges more. Do all banks offer the same exchange rates? If not, will I have to contact each one separately?
—Pravin
You can approach any authorized dealer or the bank with whom you have a banking relationship. Typically, all banks have exchange rates published on their website, which is updated on a daily basis. These rates will not be the same across banks. You can get the euros from the bank that you bank with—the reason being that once you are back from your foreign trip, converting the unused foreign exchange back will be easier. There are, however, restrictions on the amount of foreign exchange you can take. This will depend on the purpose of your visit. In case you are on vacation abroad, you can avail a maximum of $10,000 or its equivalent in one calendar year. In case of a business visit, it is $25,000 per trip. For educational, immigration or employment purposes, the amount goes up to $100,000.
GENERAL INSURANCE
I want to buy a dishwasher. For the first year, the company will provide full warranty for any mechanical or electrical breakdown. Should I cover it under my householder’s policy?
—Sudha
You should get insurance for your dishwasher because the warranty given by the manufacturer does not cover all types of risks. A warranty normally covers an asset against losses arising due to manufacturing defects. An insurance cover, on the other hand, provides protection against any accidental losses. For example, a warranty will neither cover loss due to theft nor damage by, say, an accidental fire. The covers under a contract of insurance and a warranty are totally mutually exclusive. In fact, if the asset is under an annual maintenance contract warranty, one can get a considerable discount in the premium for a stand-alone breakdown insurance policy.
My mother is 62. She is ill and mostly remains indoors. Even the doctor visits her at home. Will her health cover reimburse expenses even if she is not hospitalized?
—Anand Maheshwari
The coverage of expenses in your mother’s case will depend on the reasons for non-hospitalization and her medical condition. Health policies do have provisions for domiciliary hospitalization. This means that if an ailment requires hospitalization but treatment is done at home due to non-availability of bed space in a hospital, or in case the condition of the patient is such that he/ she cannot be moved to a hospital, the policy will cover the expenses. However, such treatment taken outside the hospital is covered only as an exception.
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First Published: Sun, Aug 23 2009. 07 52 PM IST