Only a few insurers cover overseas treatment for critical illnesses

There are different protocols to claim for treatment overseas. Some insurers require cashless payment, whereas others prefer reimbursement


Hemant Mishra/Mint
Hemant Mishra/Mint

Is it possible to get coverage for treatment outside India under a health insurance plan?

—Kavita Lahiri

Medical insurance plans issued by Indian insurers cover treatment taken in India. This norm has a few exceptions. Some insurers cover treatment taken outside India for specified critical illnesses. This facility is restricted to policies with high sum assured.

There are different protocols to claim for treatment overseas. Some insurers require cashless payment, whereas others prefer reimbursement. The base options of some insurers exclude treatment in the US. It’s best to use insurance from Indian insurers for treatment here.

It is possible to buy health insurance from overseas insurers subject to the premium being within the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) specified limits of $250,000 per year. These plans are significantly more expensive than plans available locally although their cover is more comprehensive. As an example, for a family of two 50-year- olds, a local plan for Rs3 crore will cost Rs4 lakh. An overseas plan will cost about Rs8 lakh.

Can I hold my agent accountable for supporting me on my health insurance claim?

—Arun K.

Yes. Agents and brokers are accountable for supporting you in claim settlement. Typically, an agent earns a commission each year. The purpose of this recurring commission is to support you in buying the insurance and in any claim or administrative change you may want.

Is there an insurance that can be taken for a pet’s health care?

—Kaushik Saha

Yes, for some pets you can take an insurance policy. For example, pet dogs could be covered. Insurance will cover death of the dog due to accident or illness. There are some standard exclusions such as death due to rabies, and viral hepatitis.

Claim is settled on the basis of market or agreed value of the dog. Typical premium rate for dog insurance is 5% of the sum insured. A veterinary certificate is required at the time of policy issuance to certify the pet’s health and an identifier such as nose-print.

I have bought a house and furnished it recently. Can I insure all my furniture and fittings? What is the process for this?

—Chintan Shah

Yes, you can insure the entire contents of a house under a home insurance policy. In a home insurance policy, you need to specify the sum assured for the structure and contents separately.

While tabulating sum assured for contents, include the value of furniture and fittings. You should declare the list of contents with its respective value in the proposal form. Get this list acknowledged by the insurer. This will ensure that in the event of a claim, there will not be any ambiguity about the items actually insured.

Do get a reinstatement value clause endorsed in the policy. Otherwise, claim will be settled after deducting depreciation on the asset.

I am an exporter of auto components. Recent news about product-recalls by auto companies has alerted me. A single event like this can wipe out our net worth. Is there any insurance to cover such risks?

—Ravi Kanojia

Yes. You should buy a product liability and recall policy. If somebody suffers physical injury or property damage because your product malfunctioned, the policy will pay for compensation to the person. Policy also pays for cost of defending your firm against litigation, due to any such situations. Additionally, if a particular batch of products is thus identified to be faulty and could lead to injury or property loss to others, then the insurance pays for a product recall. A product recall policy pays for the cost of recall of the product to the manufacturer’s premises. It pays for communication, shipment and repair of the product. To activate a product recall, it is not required that someone necessarily has to suffer. Even an imminent situation of a third party potentially suffering physical damage or property loss, could be made grounds to activate the policy.

Abhishek Bondia is principal officer and managing director, SecureNow.in.

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