Ask Mint Money | Health insurance premiums increase as you grow older

Ask Mint Money | Health insurance premiums increase as you grow older

I have a family floater policy from a private insurer since the last four years. The premium is payable in March every year. Last year, when I got a renewal notice, the premium was increased by almost 1,500. The reason the company cited was an increase order by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda). I have never made any claim on this policy. Can the insurance company do so?

—Naveen Jalan

In health insurance, premiums increase when the insured person enters a new age slab. The age slabs are in multiples of five. You can check if you have entered a new age slab. You should also check the current premium chart of the insurer. If you have been charged more than what is mentioned in the chart, you should lodge a complaint with the grievance cell of the insurer and ask for a refund. In case there is no positive response, you should lodge a complaint with the ombudsman of your state. The address of the ombudsman is available on Irda’s website, is no Irda order asking insurers to charge more.

I had gone abroad for a family trip. My father lost his laptop that was insured. He had a separate domestic travel insurance plan, too. Which policy will cover the loss?

—Shraddha Raj

Travel insurance does not cover loss of things carried by the insured travellers, except for checked-in baggage. The insurance cover under which the laptop was specifically covered will respond to this loss. Before you lodge the claim, check whether the policy provides “worldwide cover". The policy will pay only if the worldwide cover is provided.

It should also be noted that the policy does not cover mysterious disappearance or loss due to the insured person’s negligence. The policy will pay only if the laptop has been stolen or taken away forcefully. The most important document, therefore, is the police first information report (FIR) as the insurer will go by the description of events in the FIR.

I have health insurance cover of 5 lakh for myself and my family from my employer. Should I take a top-up cover or a family floater plan?

—Krishna Kishore

It is important that you have your own health insurance for your family. With drastic increase in the price of group health insurance, many employers are curtailing benefits while some have withdrawn it altogether. It is possible that your current employer may review the benefits its offering and your next employer may not offer this benefit at all. You will also be without a cover while changing jobs. Therefore, opt for a separate policy instead of a top-up cover.

Rahul Aggarwal, director, Optima Insurance Brokers

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