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General Insurance: Rakesh Jain

Today, Rakesh Jain, chief executive officer, Reliance General Insurance, answers your questions

 
A recent blood and thyroid test revealed that I am a borderline case for hyperthyroidism and blood sugar. My doctor says both are curable. Will I be rejected by a general insurer if I want to buy health insurance?

When you fill in proposal form please declare the diseases/conditions you have been diagnosed with. Depending upon an individual company's underwriting norms, they may accept your proposal or ask for certain medical reports and then decide.
 
There was a theft in my house, also the last day of my householder's policy. I could only inform my insurer the next day. Will my policy be treated as expired? I still have no clarity from my insurer on this.

Any loss taking place within the policy period, including the start and end date, is covered under the householder's policy. However, the policy places a responsibility on the insured to inform the insurance company about the loss immediately. In your case, the loss would be covered. However, you may be asked to substantiate that the loss had occurred a day before, to fulfill the coverage criteria.
 
It is said that life insurance should be bought when one has dependents. At which stage in life should a health insurance policy be bought?

It's never too early or too late to buy a health policy. At all stages of life, one is exposed to diseases and hospitalisation could occur. Starting from childhood to extreme old age, no period can be completely free from disease or hospitalisation risks. Hence, it is recommended you immediately buy a health policy covering the entire family in case you are not already insured. One must also ensure the health insurance should be adequate to cover any hospitalisation requirements.
 
If a travel policy is largely a health insurance policy, can I not buy a health insurance policy when travelling? If no, why?

The traditional health policy offered by insurers covers medical expenses incurred in India; hence it would not trigger a claim in case you are hospitalised abroad. And the third-party administrator's servicing such domestic policies are not equipped to handle claims abroad. When you buy a travel policy, it pays for unforseen emergency hospitalisations incurred abroad and a specialised service provider which can service claims across the globe. Also, there are some really beneficial coverages under the travel policy, like evacuation, loss of passport, flight cancellation and so on which covers the travel-related claims not covered under the traditional domestic health policy. Travel and health policies are not a substitute for each other.

Business Standard June 8, 2014