National Insurance Awareness Day: Essential things to check before buying a policy
Due to the pandemic people have become more aware about the insurance policies. Also, insurance in the wake of COVID-19 times has become a vital part of everyone’s life and people have started buying health, term insurance more. Uncertain future and contingency needs are what make people more alert for insurance plans. This is the reason this year due to the pandemic, digital insurance sales went up by 100 percent as compared to last year.
“Think of insurance as a tool to manage your financial risks in the future. We are living in an age where providing for your loved ones, even if you are not around, has become possible and so easy by just buying an insurance policy. In fact, ask yourself whether your old parents, spouse, children or younger siblings depend on your income? If the answer is yes, then you certainly need insurance, as simple as that,” Adhil Shetty, CEO of BankBazaar.com, said.
"The pandemic has put a spotlight on risk and underscored the importance of risk mitigation. The insurance industry, with its focus on protection, is poised to play an integral role in building confidence in the post-pandemic world. People now value the importance of insurance and apprehend the financial consequences of not having one,” Rakesh Jain, ED & CEO, Reliance General Insurance, said.
“With the current situation at hand and considering the rising cost of healthcare, an optimal health insurance cover is the need of the hour. One should keep in mind that Covid-19 is contagious and at times affects multiple members of the family. Therefore having a coverage of at least 10 lakhs is recommended,” Ajay Shah, Director & Head- Retail Business, Care Health Insurance, said.
Everyone should know the specifics of Insurance before buying a policy. On this National Insurance Awareness Day which falls on 28th of June 2021 with the motive to make people more and more aware about the insurance benefits and different plans, let's understand a few essential points before buying any policy and what adequate plans we should take for our family and properties.
1. Selection of right product
Insurance policies always differ from one person to another according to their needs. One should always compare insurance policies before opting and check their requirements. Don’t just buy any policy because you need to save tax, or an agent has requested to buy. Always select, research, and take an expert’s advice before opting for any policy. If you have family and responsibilities, Term Insurance is a good option to look at. So that it may financially help your family in your absence. When opting for health insurance, always take comprehensive health plans which can cover critical illness. Even for motor insurance we need comprehensive plans. Home insurance plans are also important to be safe during any property damage and theft.
2. Mode of buying the insurance policy
When you are prepared to protect you, your family, and your belongings with the help of an insurance policy. It is always advisable to select the mode of buying. Better to go to the nearest branch and buy the policy according to your requirements, but due to COVID-19 pandemic, it’s better to buy the product online to save time and save yourself. Do ask the expert about the right product and check the websites of the companies to compare before buying a policy.
3. Check the coverage, risk and premium
Coverage and premium are the two important parts of any insurance policy. This will help you to cover the liabilities and risk in the right way. There is always a difference in insurance companies plans, so take expert advice and compare the policy according to your needs. Never make a mistake to assume that all policies give the same benefits.
“While buying a policy, one should consider that the more popular Covid-19 based plans or similarly disease-specific plans are very different from Comprehensive Health Insurance plans. A disease specific plan offers coverage limited to that illness as against a comprehensive plan that covers a wide range of illnesses. While choosing a comprehensive policy, one should also compare different policies and assess various features and add-on cover,” Shah said.
Whether its Health, Life, or motor insurance plans they all have different coverage and premium plans according to the needs of the policy buyer and company’s rules.
“At a time when the inflation in medical expenses is well into double digits, medical insurance ensures that no medical condition remains untreated due to lack of funds. Medical insurances can cover the cost of, for example, weekly dialysis, diabetes injections, surgery, malfunctioning kidney or liver, dental care, eye care and many more such conditions” Shetty said.
Do check the premium discounts as well before buying a policy which differs from company to company.
4. Verify Claim Settlement Ratio (CSR)
It is very important to rectify the CSR which is the percentage of the claims settled by the insurance company against the total sum of claimed amount but the policy holder. Experts say that the insurance company with the higher claim ratio is always good to buy.
5. Check tax implications and Inflation
Life insurance policies help you in saving your taxes as well under the Income tax different section rules. Before buying any insurance policy it’s better to check the tax benefits according to your income slab and plan, but along with that the best policy is also must to keep in mind.
“A health insurance cover shouldn’t just be viewed as a tax-saving instrument as its more important benefit lies in its ability to help protect your savings from being spent on medical bills,” Shah said.
Also, while selecting insurance plans it is necessary to check the impact of the inflation rates along with the future family requirements. While deciding the amount to cover your plan the rising inflation does matter. So, always factor in the inflation rates.
6. Additional Benefits
Most of the insurance companies provide you additional benefits also. One should only opt for those add-ons and riders if necessary to make the policy comprehensive. Else extra charges for add-ons are of no use to pay.
Last but not the least, never select new policies based on price. Always check the loopholes of the insurance companies. Never shift haywire to some other insurance company and sell the old one. Also, check the continuity benefits before porting to any new policy. After continuity make sure that the second insurer does not treat it as a new policy and will do the formalities again.
Expert advice is always crucial before buying any insurance policies to ignore any future chaos.
(Disclaimer: This article is only for information purpose. Readers/Investors are advised to to seek experts' advise before buying a policy)
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