Personal Finance

Expensive ‘Lifeline’, unique features

Rajalakshmi Nirmal | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on May 17, 2015

The product has no disease-specific caps and covers domiciliary expenses too



Royal Sundaram’s new health policy ‘Lifeline’, offers hospitalisation cover up to ₹1.5 crore.

Life insurance policies offering a cover for ₹1 crore are quite common. But Royal Sundaram’s new health policy — Lifeline — is the first policy to offer hospitalisation cover of up to ₹1.5 crore. The product differentiates itself with features such as no disease-specific caps and coverage of domiciliary expenses (that is, expenses for treatment at home). It covers cost of Ayush treatments and animal bite vaccines too.

Three plans

Lifeline has three plans — Classic, Supreme and Elite. The minimum sum insured offer is ₹2 lakh (under Classic) and the maximum available is ₹1.5 crore (under Elite). What is common to all three plans is that the pre/post hospitalisation expenses, domiciliary expenses, day care procedures and donor expenses are covered up to the sum insured. Further, all three plans also offer a no-claim bonus in the form of increase in sum insured from the second year. The increase amounts to 10 per cent a year up to 50 per cent in Classic and 20 per cent every year up to 100 per cent in Supreme and Elite plans. Here, though the sum insured keeps increasing, the premium increases only as per age.

Vaccination in the case of animal bites is also available with a limit of ₹2,500 for claims in the basic plan and ₹5,000 and ₹7,500 in the Supreme and Elite versions. Ayush treatments are covered to a maximum of ₹20,000 in Classic and ₹30,000 and ₹50,000 in the Supreme and Elite plans respectively. Expenses on emergency domestic evacuation are also covered. The limit is ₹3 lakh for the Elite plan and ₹1 lakh in the case of the Supreme plan. The product also offers reload of sum insured up to the base sum insured. Say, you have a ₹5 lakh floater policy.

If you are hospitalised and exhaust the entire sum insured, the reload benefit will be triggered and the policy will be automatically reloaded with a sum insured of ₹5 lakh which can be used for any other member or for yourself again, provided it is a different illness, at no extra cost. The Elite plan — where the minimum sum insured is ₹25 lakh and maximum ₹1.5 crore — has a unique feature. It covers emergency hospitalisation worldwide (the US and Canada will be covered for an extra premium) up to 50 per cent of the base sum insured to a maximum of ₹20 lakh. Though some other health plans in the market too have this feature, it is only for specific illnesses.

In Lifeline, the worldwide cover is for all medical emergencies.

Pros and cons

Lifeline appears to be a comprehensive health policy. The worldwide medical emergency cover is a plus. So is the absence of caps on pre/post hospitalisation expenses, domiciliary expenses and day care procedures. But if you are looking for a large OPD (out patient departments of hospitals) cover, this policy may not be the right choice. OPD cover is available only in the Elite plan and is capped at ₹10,000, whether your sum insured is ₹25 lakh or ₹1.5 crore.

Similarly, though the cover available for maternity expenses is high — between ₹2 and ₹2.5 lakh — it is only available in the Elite plan where the sum insured is ₹25 lakh and above.

There is a waiting period of 36 months for maternity cover. Generally, most insurers have only a two-year waiting period for maternity cover. Note also that in the Classic version of the policy, the waiting period for pre-existing diseases is 48 months, which is on the high side. The other point is that in line with the wide coverage and additional features, all three versions of Lifeline are expensive compared with products from peers.

For a 35 yearold male, the ₹5 lakh plan (Lifeline-Supreme) will cost ₹6,235 here. For the same sum insured, there are products in the market with annual premiums of ₹5,000-5,500.

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