Portability between insurers is allowed for individual products

For a group-based product, the policy has to be ported first from group to an individual plan of the same insurer. Thereafter, the individual plan can be ported to any insure


iStockPhoto
iStockPhoto

I want to insure the interior furnishings of my office. What kind of insurance would be suitable? The structure of the office is already insured.

—Keshav Sinha

You should buy a standard fire and special perils policy. This policy will cover risks such as fire, flood, earthquake, and third-party malicious damage.

Interior furnishings of an office could be either leasehold improvements or furniture and fittings. Often, at the time of claim, there is a dispute on whether sum assured was classified correctly by the insured. To avoid ambiguity, ask for the ‘designation of property’ clause in your fire policy. In this clause, insurers agree to accept classification as per the books of account of the insured.

I have been smoking for the past five years. Will I be able to buy a health insurance policy?

—Vani Deshraaj

A smoker can get health insurance. Unlike with life insurers, general insurers do not classify smokers as high-risk across the board. If, however, you have any chronic ailment due to smoking, the same could be a reason for loading the base premium or declining the proposal.

Typically, insurers issue health insurance to smokers as a standard case.

Is there a special child health insurance plan that I can take for my 5-year-old daughter who has thalassemia?

—Rajesh Shankar

Unfortunately, there aren’t many disease-specific and age-specific plans available in the country. If you are unable to get a standard individual health insurance plan for your daughter, you could look at getting coverage through group policies. These have more lenient underwriting norms and lower waiting thresholds for pre-existing ailments.

Typically, coverage of group policies is provided through employers to their employees, and banks and non-banking finance companies to their customers.

I have a special health insurance plan offered by my bank. When I wanted to port it to another company, the new insurer refused stating my existing plan is a group plan. Why?

—Bhaanu

Several banks have designed a customised group health insurance policy for their customers. Health insurance portability between insurers is allowed for individual health insurance products. For a group-based product, the policy has to be ported first from group to an individual plan of the same insurer. Thereafter, the individual plan can be ported to any insurer.

Queries and views at mintmoney@livemint.com

More From Livemint