Vipul Pandey: I have been working for my company for four years and I get a medical cover of Rs4 lakh. But I am about to change my job and the new company will provide a group medical insurance worth Rs3 lakh, which will cover the entire family. The policy also features maternity cover after a nine-month waiting period. Is my wife, a homemaker, eligible to get maternity benefit under this policy?
Yashish Dahiya, Co-founder and CEO of Policybazaar.com, replies:
We advise you to go through the terms and conditions of the group insurance policy very carefully to make sure that your spouse is covered under it. Typically, any group insurance will cover spouse and kids, and maternity benefit will be extended to the spouse from day one. But when the baby arrives, a cover of Rs3 lakh would not be sufficient for a family of three due to growing medical costs. Therefore, you should get an additional family floater plan to safeguard the entire family against all medical emergencies. You can also buy a super top-up plan, which is quite affordable compared to a regular health insurance policy.
Devender Rawat: I have a four-year-old car and need to renew the vehicle's insurance. The quotation I have got from the existing insurer is Rs13,000, but online insurance aggregators are putting it at Rs7,000. Why do we see such big gaps? Will I miss out on benefits if I buy insurance online?
Mahavir Chopra, Director of Health, Life and Strategic Initiatives at Coverfox.com, replies:
In the insurance space, different distribution channels work on different cost and commission models. Offline channels include dealers and agents who may incur bigger costs and get bigger commissions, which, in turn, get added to your premium. Also, insurers may give differential discounts to certain agents based on the nature of claims over the years. Online space is fiercely competitive and it is the place for discerning buyers. So, we see fewer fraudulent claims arising from online transactions, and hence, premiums are significantly low.
Ramesh Sahaay: My home loan has been sanctioned, but I have been asked to take a bundled insurance with it. Is it necessary to buy insurance with a home loan?
Harshil Mehta, JMD and CEO, DHFL, replies:
It is not mandatory to purchase bundled insurance products - neither the law nor regulatory bodies made it compulsory. Purchasing an insurance plan should be your sole discretion and no one can force you to go for it. However, some financial institutions request a borrower to keep the property insured at all times, thus safeguarding it from unforeseen circumstances. Opting for home insurance will shield the house, its contents and the family from financial setbacks. There will be protection against property damage, personal injuries (in case of unfortunate incidents), natural calamities, lawsuits, and man-made and antisocial activities. In brief, a home insurance policy will help you recover from losses without too many hassles and rebuild your dream home.