I have already renewed the health plan I bought two years ago once and it is now up for renewal again. Six months ago, I was detected with diabetes. Do I have to disclose this to my insurer now? If I do, can they (a) reject my application for renewal (b) charge me a higher premium (c) not cover me for any diabetes related diseases? If I don’t disclose this information, can they refuse to settle any claim I make subsequently?
Normally, underwriting (either administering a questionnaire or insisting on a medical report) is done at the time of first policy and exclusions, if any, are based on the same. Also, some policies mandate submission of a medical report after attainment of a certain age. In your case, you mention that diabetes was detected only after the policy was renewed for the second time with the insurer. Therefore, there is no need for you to disclose this condition to the insurer at the time of the third renewal. The insurer cannot:
1. Reject the application for renewal,
2. Exclude diabetes-related diseases from the scope of cover, or
3. Refuse to settle any future claims arising out of this condition.
I am told that a career as an actuary is very rewarding. What are the prospects and where is the exam conducted in India? How expensive is it?
Actuaries have opportunities across a wide range of fields such as life insurance, general insurance, health insurance, reinsurance companies, pension funds, consultants, investments, academics and risk management both within India and abroad. There are currently fantastic opportunities for students considering an actuarial career. At the moment, most actuaries work in life insurance companies, but in line with developments in the rest of the world, they start to fulfill a more important role in general insurance and health insurance companies. General insurance does cover significantly more perils than any of the other fields and it is possible to specialize in one of those. It is also possible to specialize in a particular function such as pricing, product development, reserving and financial reporting.
The Institute of Actuaries of India (http://www.actuariesindia.org/) conducts examinations twice a year. Examinations are held only at such places where satisfactory arrangements can be conveniently made for conducting them and where there are reasonably sufficient numbers of candidates. It is also possible to follow the actuarial exams of other countries, such as the UK or US, in India. The institute’s website can be looked up for more details about the exam centres and costs involved.
Readers are welcome to write in with their life and general insurance queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. The questions will be answered by senior executives from leading insurance firms.
Ajay Bimbhet is managing director, Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Company Ltd.