Floating a healthy cover for joint families

Royal Sundaram’s Family Plus is cost-effective and comprehensive

While a family of two adults and kids have many options to choose from when looking for a family floater health insurance cover, the bigger joint families have to take two/three floater policies and cough up a higher premium. Royal Sundaram recently launched a family floater policy, letting one include up to 19 members of the family under one health policy.

The attraction in the plan is also that it addresses the one big disadvantage of floater plans — the risk of the plan falling short of the sum insured (SI) if two or more adults claim in the same year.

In Royal Sundaram’s Family Plus, each member of the family gets an individual SI and they also share a floater cover.

Here’s what the plan has to offer.

What’s on offer?

In Family Plus, there is a base SI for each member of the family. To top it up, the policyholder can choose a floater SI that can be used by any family member, if he/she exhausts the base SI. The policy allows coverage of 19 relationships across five generations, including son-in-law, daughter-in- law, grandchildren, nephew, niece, brothers and sisters, who live together.

The SI available for individual covers is ₹2/3/5/15 lakh. For the floater cover, the SI options are ₹3/4/5/10/15/20/25/50 lakh. The policy covers maternity (after two-year waiting period) expenses and expenses on domestic evacuation in case of medical emergency (up to ₹1 lakh), vaccination for animal bites and second medical opinion in case of 11 critical illnesses. Domiciliary hospitalisation expenses are covered up to the SI amount.

No-claim bonus (NCB) starts from 20 per cent of the base SI and extends up to 100 per cent. There will be no reduction in NCB, even when a claim is filed.

The other advantage is that the policy provides 100 per cent re-load of the base SI when the total base SI and floater SI are exhausted.

Our take

Family floaters are a cost-effective way of buying health insurance. They work out cheaper than buying individual plans for each member of the family. But some floater covers have restrictions on the number of adults they cover. For instance, ICICI Lombard’s Complete Health Insurance doesn’t cover more than two adults; Cigna TTK’s ProHealth Insurance Plus doesn’t cover more than two adults and three children; Max Bupa’s Heartbeat Family Floater covers maximum two adults and four children and Religare’s Care-Family Health Insurance doesn’t cover more than six adults.

Royal Sundaram’s Family Plus, thus, is a good option for joint families. On the cost front too, it may be attractive. For a slightly higher premium, one can get a substantially higher SI with Family Plus. For instance, a cover for you, your spouse, two children and two parents for a SI of ₹10 lakh, with the eldest member aged 60 years, the premium will be ₹57,000-60,000 a year in normal floaters plans. The cost per lakh of SI is ₹5,700-6,000. But if you take a Family Plus with individual SI of ₹2 lakh and ₹3 lakh floater, the premium will be ₹89,700. The premium per lakh of SI is ₹5,980.

There is but one other insurer that offers a plan similar to Family Plus. It is Max Bupa. The company’s Health Companion Family First and Heart Beat Family First, cover 19 relationships, and give an individual SI and a floater SI.

But note that in case of Health Companion Family First, there is no SI restoration feature. The policy also doesn’t cover room rent fully if it is a suite. It also doesn’t offer a few other benefits such as maternity cover, wellness benefits and emergency domestic evacuation. The cost for ₹2 lakh individual SI and ₹3 lakh floater SI is ₹64,168.

In Heart Beat Family First, there is maternity cover after a two-year waiting period. There is no room rent capping in silver and platinum versions of the plan. But the SI reload benefit is not available. The cost for ₹2 lakh individual SI and ₹3 lakh floater SI in this case is ₹85,464 — which is closer to the price of Royal Sundaram’s Family Plus.

So, Family Plus is a tad expensive than other family floaters. But it is a comprehensive cover suitable for large joint families.

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