Insurance Uncovered

Since 2004, I have been subscribing to The New India Assurance’s Mediclaim, where the premium for my ₹5-lakh policy has risen sharply, and is now too high for me to continue. I am 66. As a savings bank account holder of Canara Bank, I have taken another policy for ₹10 lakh from Apollo Munich Health Insurance which, being a group insurance cover, is cheaper and has fixed/flat premium for all ages beyond 55.

Do the two insurers by way of being a PSU/private player as well as individual policy/group policy differ in serving the customer at the time of claims?

I propose to quit the New India policy as soon as the three-year waiting period with Apollo Munich policy gets over. Would this be a prudent decision or a risk I may have to face? I am told by the agent of Apollo Munich that, in case the tie-up between Canara Bank and Apollo Munich ends, I would be given an individual policy by Apollo Munich.

M Shrikanth, Mumbai

You will not have a problem with genuine claims, whichever insurer you go to. So, you can stop worrying. If you have declared all facts about your current health condition to Apollo Munich, you can very well discontinue the New India policy after three years when the waiting period with Apollo Munich policy ends.

Private insurers have good service standard. We haven’t heard of any negative feedbacks on Apollo Munich’s claim settlement. The company claims a record of over 95 per cent of the claims being settled within 30 days with average claim settlement duration of 15 days for clear cases.

If in future the tie-up between Canara Bank and Apollo Munich ends, your agent is right; you would be given an option to move to an individual health policy of Apollo Munich. This is mandatory as per the regulations of the land. However, note that once you move to the individual policy, the premium may change.

Individual policies will always be more expensive than group covers. The premium will be as per the then prevailing rates in the market for your age.

If you find the premium expensive, you can consider breaking the policy into a base cover of ₹5 lakh and a super top-up cover of ₹5 lakh. This will help you save on premium.

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