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I am employed and covered by group health insurance of my employer for up to 4 lakh, which includes my parents. I would like to buy a top-up option with this health insurer, but I am not sure whether I should go for a top-up option or buy a separate health insurance. I am 29 and have plans to get married within the next one year. Given this situation, is purchasing a separate health insurance a good option? If yes, then which insurance policy should I go for among the two options I have: ICICI Lombard or HDFC Ergo?

—Vikas Bakshi

 

It is generally a good practice to maintain independent coverage separate from an employer’s health insurance plan. Such plans give you the option to maintain uninterrupted coverage in the case of a job change or change in company policies. Further, it allows the waiting period in a plan to be completed while you are covered in the employer plan, and acts as a second line of defence to your employer’s coverage. This is especially true for coverage of your parents.

Top-up plans can be a good way for you to optimize the cost of additional health insurance for yourself. However, you should buy this independent of your employer.

A top-up plan would carry a deductible, which must be borne by your other plan or directly by you.

The cost of a top-up plan is substantially lower than a traditional health insurance plan. A few top-up plans also offer the flexibility to convert into a regular plan at a later date.

To select a health insurance plan, you must prefer plans with no co-pay or policy limits such as room rent or disease wise capping.

Further, consider insurers with a high claim settlement ratio. Finally, shortlist plans that offer high no-claim bonus.

I have a personal accident policy with a sum insured of 50 lakh. Can I go for another policy with a sum insured of 1 crore? Can my nominee claim death benefit from both? Also, can I claim total/partial permanent disability benefit from both?

—Name withheld on request

 

Personal accidental death and disability policies are fixed benefit policies. Most general insurance policies work on indemnity basis, wherein expenses incurred by the policyholder are reimbursed. To avoid profiteering from insurance, the same claim cannot be made from two different insurers.

Since fixed benefit policies are not meant to reimburse expenses, the benefit can be claimed from multiple insurers. So, you can buy an additional personal accident policy. In case of claim—either disability or death—all active policies would pay the benefit amount.

Abhishek Bondia is principal officer and managing director, SecureNow.in.

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