It’s possible to cancel travel insurance cover if you don’t take trip

Yes, you can cancel an overseas travel insurance policy if you did not take the trip. To apply for cancellation, you need to submit the policy, copies of passport, and a covering letter. In the covering letter, you should explain that the trip was cancelled due to denial of visa.

My father (71 years) and mother (63 years) currently have basic individual health policies for a sum insured of ₹1.75 lakh and ₹1.25 lakh, respectively. I and 34 years old and have a similar policy for ₹1 lakh. My father is healthy and has no prior medical history nor a claim record. My mother went through a total right knee replacement surgery recently. We want to increase the sum insured. Should we do that in our existing policies, buy new ones, or buy a family floater covering all three of us?

—Vandana Arjun Butani

Your current coverage is low. You should have a sum insured of at least ₹5 lakh. A rule of thumb is to take coverage equal to your annual income. My recommendation is to buy a separate individual health insurance policy for yourself, and one for your parents. This is because the health needs varies substantially for these two age groups. Accordingly, utilisation of the policy and no-claim bonus benefits gets impacted.

Your own policy could be easily ported into an individual health insurance plan. This will ensure that the waiting period lapsed for the ₹1 lakh sum insured will get carried forward to the new plan.

Insurers are generally reluctant to port plans for senior citizens. Also, because your mother has undergone a surgery, and father is 70-plus, porting will be difficult. So, you should continue the current individual policies for both.

Further, you should try the following options in this order to enhance coverage for your parents. First, you should try to increase the sum insured with the existing insurer for their individual policies. Second, you could buy a top-up health insurance plan for them. Claims above the deductible amount will be covered under the top-up plan. Top-up plans have a more liberal underwriting. Third, apply for senior citizen plans. These plans generally have co-pay or disease-wise sub-limits. So, chances of policy issuance are higher.

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