1. Coverage: A health policy covers room, ICU charges, boarding, nursing expenses, doctor’s fee, blood, oxygen, surgery charges, cost of medicines, etc.
2. Pre-existing illnesses: Normally, all pre-existing illnesses at the time of taking the policy are excluded. However, if you continue to be with the health cover for four years consecutively, pre-existing diseases will be covered from the fifth year on.
3. Hidden costs: A hospital cash policy covers hidden costs to hospitalization which are not covered by health insurance—for instance, special nursing. Instead of a family member tending you in hospital, a full-time nurse can be appointed, special diet expenses, expenses incurred by the family member staying with the patient, conveyance and other inadmissible charges incurred during hospitalization are covered. This product provides you with a daily cash benefit for each 24 hours of hospitalization due to sickness or accident. This is not a substitute for health insurance but supplements your existing insurance cover.
4. Expenses: Normally, all relevant medical expenses a month before and 60 days after hospitalization are covered.
5. Value-added services: Most companies offer value-added services, including a free master health check-up on continuous renewal for a certain period without any claims, a 24-hour helpline and ambulance referral facility, among others.
6. Sum insured: In a motor policy, check the sum insured for your vehicle. The value as per the invoice copy will be the best judge in determining the value for the vehicles in production. For obsolete models, get the market rate. In other words, up to five years, the insured declared value (IDV) of the vehicle is computed based on the manufacturer’s current selling price. For vehicles over five years and obsolete models, the IDV is based on prevailing market rates.
7. Third-party cover: Your motor insurance must have adequate third-party cover, especially property damage cover.
8. No-claim bonus: Most insurance companies provide no-claim bonus which can be transferred from the old car to the new one on submission of the endorsed registration certificate RC/ sale deed/ declaration and payment of discount enjoyed in the earlier car.
9. Packaged products: Some products come with personal accident cover for the driver and car occupants. These may come at a higher premium but they are worth the extra expense.
10. Home contents plan: A standard home contents plan covers clothing, bed linen, curtains, utensils, crockery and furniture and fixtures, electronic items, jewellery and valuables (silver articles, wrist watches, camera, etc.). The policy does not cover laptops and mobile phones. It also does not cover cash, documents of any kind and share certificates.
AJAY BIMBHET (the writer is managing director of Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Co. Ltd).