Readers' Corner: Bhargav Dasgupta

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 28, 2013 06:37 hrs

I have a householder's policy. I want to put my house on rent. Will a claim for the rented house be honoured?
A home insurance policy covers the basic structure of the house. The contents of your house can also be insured. Insurance cover will stay even when the house is on rent. However, if the contents are also covered in the policy and you are planning to shift these out of the residence, then any claim on those will not be payable.

I am 54 and own a health policy. I want to increase the cover through a top-up plan. How can I buy one and will the insurer charge me extra on the back of my medical history?

You can always opt for a top-up plan to enhance your health cover, from any insurer offering one, including your existing insurer. Top-up plans work on deductibles, so the claim amount needs to be more than the deductible for the top-up to come into force. You should buy a top-up cover where the deductible is equal to the sum insured of the base (existing) policy. Claims exceeding the base policy limit would be taken care of by the top-up. So, if you buy a top-up of Rs 5 lakh (sum insured) excess Rs 2 lakh is deductible and the hospitalistion bill amounts to Rs 3.5 lakh, then Rs 1.5 lakh, (hospitalisation bill less deductible) would be paid from the top-up. Whether or not the insurer will charge you extra will depend on the company's underwriting guidelines.

What should I keep in mind before changing my health insurer? I have been with the present one for three years and I plan a knee surgery by year-end.
It would help to do a detailed research on product offering(s), service standards, claim processing history and premiums being offered by insurers in your consideration set. Also, you will need to check if the new insurer allows continuation of your existing health insurance benefits. Since you plan to undergo a knee surgery soon, you would also need to find out if the new insurer covers the specific ailment and the cost of treatment.

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