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Home / Money / Personal Finance /  All regular health policies cover covid-19-related hospitalization

I am a senior citizen living in the US with my son. I travelled here in February and have a return ticket for July-end. If the travel restrictions are lifted, can I travel back to India with a travel insurance that can cover any covid-19-related eventuality? Will travel insurance also cover costs for quarantine in case I am quarantined on my return to the country? Are there any other insurance options I can choose?

—Name withheld on request

Travel insurance is meant to cover short-term emergency care while travelling abroad. Travel plans issued by Indian insurers would not cover medical emergencies arising in India.

Instead of a travel plan, you could buy a regular hospitalization plan. All regular health insurance plans cover covid-19-related hospitalization. Most plans have an initial waiting period of 30 days, post which, covid-19 would be covered, unless it was a pre-existing condition. There are some health insurance plans that you could buy online but most will require you to be in India and undergo medical tests. These plans will not cover quarantine costs unless you are hospitalized.

Another option would have been to buy a covid-19 specific individual health plan. Unfortunately, most of the plans offered currently exclude people who have travelled to a foreign country recently. However, new covid-19 plans are launched on a regular basis by the insurance companies. You could explore these as well. Some covid-19 plans provide a lump sum in case the individual is subjected to an institutional quarantine.

Can we take a loan against an insurance policy? How will it affect the premium payment?

—Name withheld on request

Remember that loans are available against only specific endowment life insurance policies. It is not possible to get loans against unit-linked insurance plans (Ulips). Generally, on endowment plans, you can get a loan if the policy has acquired a surrender value. The amount of loan that you can avail is expressed as a percentage of the surrender value and the maximum limit is 90%.

Availing a loan would not affect the premium payment. You can continue the policy by paying the premiums on the due date. Your policy benefits remain intact even if you take a loan on the policy.

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

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