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Ask Mint Money | Online auto insurance doesn’t provide product customization

Ask Mint Money | Online auto insurance doesn’t provide product customization
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First Published: Tue, Nov 22 2011. 10 41 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Nov 22 2011. 10 41 PM IST
I delivered a premature child five months ago. Can I buy a health policy for him now? —Manasi Sarkar
Health insurance plans cover a new born after 90 days of birth. Hence, you can cover your child now. Please note that insurers will not cover the child only. The child can be covered along with the parents.
I am 33 years old and have a medical insurance. I plan to go to the US for higher studies. I am not sure if I will come back to India. However, if I discontinue my policy now and happen to come back to India after two years, I will lose the benefits accrued on my current policy. What should I do?
—Srinoyona
It is better to continue the current policy and keep paying the premiums for two years. The policy will not cover you in the US but will provide cover whenever you are in India. In case you decide to settle in the US, you can discontinue the policy at that time. The premium, at your age, will be nominal and affordable. If you discontinue the policy now and take a fresh policy once you decide to return to India, it will take four years for your policy to start providing cover for all kinds of diseases and illnesses.
My father and I are going to visit the US. Our travel insurance covers medical expenses too but it is from a company in India. If something were to happen to us in the US, how would we invoke the policy? Do Indian firms have offices in countries where they provide a cover?
—Mritunjay Singh
Overseas travel insurance policies are serviced by international service agents with whom insurers have a tie-up. These service agents are like a third-party administrator, which services your health insurance in India. They have a network of hospitals internationally which provide cashless treatment to the insured. Your policy will carry an international toll-free number. You can reach the service agent on this number for any requirement.
I want to buy a car insurance. I have read that buying it online has benefits such as instant issuance of policy and product customization. Is it safe to buy a car insurance online?
—M. Ratan
Online car insurance provides the convenience of renewing your car insurance at your own time and place. However, it does not provide any extra product customization or faster cover for your vehicle. In both offline and online processes, your car is covered the moment the money or the cheque is handed over to the insurer or the agent. Another point to be kept in mind is that in many claims you may feel the need of an adviser to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurer. This support may not be available with online purchase.
Rahul Aggarwal is director, Optima Insurance Brokers
Queries and views at
mintmoney@livemint.com
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First Published: Tue, Nov 22 2011. 10 41 PM IST