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Individual Better Than Family Plan

Monday, October 03, 2011

manoJ aswani
is VP at MyInsurance Club.com

I want to take Health Insurance for myself and my wife. Please suggest if I should go for Individual or Family Floater. My dilemma is that as per some websites and TV programs, Individual plans are better. As per these programs, if senior most person dies, whole policy get lapse and other member has to take new policy with fresh exclusion period and pre-existing disease not getting covered. How much true is this? As per some policy agents from Apollo and Star- Next, the senior most person get covered automatically under the individual plan with existing exclusion period and pre-existing disease period. Kindly suggest.
—Prabhod Parikh, Malad West

It’s true to a good extent that a separate health insurance policy for each individual is better than a family floater plan, but that is if you can afford it. The idea of taking a health insurance is to protect you in times of medical emergency and hence it is important that one parks aside a part of his money to buy a good health insurance plan. Since the insurance company doesn’t give back the premium if no claims are made, people often want to keep this cost as low as possible. This is one of the reasons people take a family cover rather than taking individual covers for each member of the family. If you can afford it, then surely go for individual health plans for each member (self and wife). Otherwise take a family floater health insurance policy for yourself, your wife and your brother. Popular ones are Apollo Munich Easy Health, HDFC Ergo Health Suraksha and Star Health Family Optima. Don't worry too much about technicalities and transfers; most of the rules are standard industry norms and are applicable for everyone.

I want good health Insurance cover for my retired Father (55) and Mother (52). My working mother who will be retiring in 2018 has taken Health Insurance from National Insurance for 3 lakhs in Jan’11 with Premium is 12K per year. But recently one health insurance agent told me that this plan is not good and one member can't claim more than 1.5 lakhs and advised me that I should take 6 lakhs FF from Oriental on my name with covering my mother and father. Is it correct? I know that you yourself do not recommend any health insurance product, but please help me by giving the right suggestion as I am totally confused from the last 1.5 months and not able to finalize?
—Sukhetu Sharma, Hiranandani Complex, Powai

Take a separate family health policy to cover your parents. Since they are currently below the age of 60, many companies will extend them a health insurance cover without much hassle. Public sector companies (incl. National Insurance) are known for having economical coverage in their health policy but that doesn't mean they are not good. In my opinion, do not discontinue the existing National insurance. However, let her be part of the new policy which will have your father as the primary insured. Also, if you can afford, then take a 3 lakh cover for your parents from Apollo. At their age, it is good to have policies from 2 different companies.
Can you tell me the key factors or points that determine the amount of insurance one should avail?
—Pravesh Ramchandra, Sion

There are many calculators available in addition to the life insurance calculator of each of the insurance companies. However, the basic underlying factors for calculating life insurance of an individual are:

Present age
Assets held
Current Annual income
Current Outstanding liabilities
Future obligations or desired expenditures
(The author is Vice President at www.MyInsuranceClub.com, insurance comparison website in India. You may write to him at [email protected])

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