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It’s not compulsory to take base health, top-up plans from same insurance firm

  • There are no substantive advantages or disadvantages of having a common insurer for both these plans
  • To ensure seamless claim settlement, ask the insurer to update policy records with her latest address and bank account details

If I already have a health insurance plan from an insurer, is it compulsory to buy the top-up from the same insurer or can I buy from another insurer? Which will work better?

—Kritika Anand

It is not compulsory to have the same insurer for the top-up and the base plans. Most people have different insurers for these plans. Once a claim is settled by the base plan, papers can be filed with the top-up insurer. Insurers follow this process routinely.

While selecting a top-up plan, you should evaluate it independent of the base plan. There are no substantive advantages or disadvantages of having a common insurer for both these plans.

I have health policies from two insurers. In the event of long-term hospitalisation, can I file a claim with both the companies?

— Neha Verma

Yes, you can make a claim for long-term hospitalisation with two health insurance policies. Once the sum assured is exhausted in the first plan, make a claim with the second. If the same bill is claimed twice, the second insurer will deduct the amount settled by the first insurer, and pay only the excess amount.

You have the option of activating the second plan without exhausting the first one. However, this is not recommended, as you lose the no-claim bonus in both plans immediately.

I had bought traditional life insurance policies for my daughter about seven years ago. These are set to mature in the next few years. If my daughter is not in the country at the time of maturity, will it cause any hindrance in redeeming the policy? If yes, is there any other alternative?

—Seema

Redemption of traditional policies at maturity is straight forward. Typically, insurers make the settlement directly on maturity date without the policyholder filing a claim.

To ensure seamless claim settlement, ask the insurer to update policy records with her latest address and bank account details.

My son is three years old and is a special needs child with over 40% physical disability. I want to buy a health cover for him. How much should I buy?

—Krish Agrawal

You should consider a minimum sum assured of 10-15 lakh. However, it is difficult for people with disabilities to buy insurance. You may initially apply for a cover of 5 lakh. It is likely that this will get issued. Thereafter, enhance this cover via a top-up health plan.

You should review your health insurance coverage every two years. The coverage amount should be increased depending on the prevailing healthcare prices and health status of the insured.

Abhishek Bondia is principal officer and MD, SecureNow.in. Queries and views at mintmoney@livemint.com

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