It is not advisable to club different medical insurance policies into one

It is not advisable to club different medical insurance policies into one

This refers to a response to a query on whether a policy holder can club his different policies. ‘X’ took a policy for himself 16 years ago. In 1998 he took another one for his wife and two sons; one more for himself and his wife in 2005 and one for his younger son in 2007 (from same company).

X’ now wishes to club all these policies since they are on different dates and difficult to manage. Also he is not getting any family discount on wife and younger son’s policies. In June 2007 his elder son met with an accident and was in coma for seven months and is still recovering. He took a claim for hospitalization for the full amount since the bill ran in lakhs. In between he took a renewal (after taking accident claim for elder son) from his wife and both sons’ policy in which elder son was also covered.

He wishes to increase the cover for his wife and elder son. Policy is from Sept to Sept. The insurance company says they cannot increase elder son’s cover as he is still recovering. Please advice what can be done? Should ‘X’ switch over to another insurance company where blanket cover is given and all polices can be combined without losing seniority?

The different policies with different periods of insurance cannot be clubbed into a single policy - A new policy needs to be taken covering all the persons and continuity of benefits (30 days/ 1-year/ 2-year exclusions) can be allowed at the discretion of the insurance company.

Increase of sum insured is at the discretion of the insurance company. However, considering the fact that one member has suffered a serious accident (requiring continuous medication), it would be very difficult to seek a higher sum insured in respect of that person.

It is not advisable to shift the insurance policies under one policy with a new insurer since there might a risk of losing all the continuity benefits under the existing policies. All exclusions, especially in respect of pre-existing diseases [PED] will be set afresh. Even though the existing company has refused to increase the sum insured in respect of one person, it could be requested to combine all the existing covers under one policy and consider the continuity benefits from the previous policies.

Ajay Bimbhet is managing director, Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Company Ltd.

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