For home insurance, inform insurer when going out of town

Published in Mint on, Jan 15 2013, Written by Kapil Mehta

I am 56 years old and I am a cardiac patient. I recently suffered a cardiac arrest. When buying a health insurance policy for myself, what are the things I should keep in mind?
—Kamal Das

Unfortunately, you will find it difficult to secure comprehensive health insurance because of your heart condition and age. You could reach out to the one or two insurers who offer health insurance without medical screening. These products have a high co-payment clause (where you have to bear part of the claim amount) of 30-50% and a cap on the maximum insurance you can take. The insurance in these is limited but better than having no insurance at all.

I am currently in the UK on a six-month visa. I have been here for the past three months and I plan to extend my stay for another two months. I had taken a travel policy for just three months. Can the policy be extended? What is the procedure?
—Sanjay

Generally, the policy can be extended. Email your insurer and pay the additional premium they specify. Most insurers will accept the additional premium on their online portals or you could have someone pay locally. You should extend your insurance before the existing term of three months gets over.

My daughter is getting married in June. How can I get her jewellery insured? Also, will the insurance cover apply in transit?
—Johar

Jewellery insurance is an all-risk cover, which means that burglary, theft and damages are covered. Several insurers provide this insurance. There are four specific areas that you should cover: risk to jewellery in the bank locker, in the home safe, on the body of your daughter and other relatives, and in transit. A cover of Rs.1 lakh in these four areas will cost Rs.200, Rs.1,500, Rs.1,500 and Rs.1,000, respectively. Put another way Rs.4,200 will cover you for Rs. 1 lakh of jewellery in any of the four locations. You can sit back and enjoy the wedding after buying this comprehensive plan.

I recently took a home insurance policy. My husband and I will be travelling to Europe for the next three months. Do we have to inform the insurer?
—Kajal Jain

You must inform the insurer if you travel out of town for a month or more. This is a requirement of home insurance policies that most salespersons and advisers are unaware of. Send the insurer an email and clearly specify your policy number. It is fine if you do not hear back from the insurer as long as you have informed them in writing.

Can I insure jewellery even if I do not have receipts for the purchases?
—Shanker

You will need to have the jewellery valued by a certified valuer. The insurer can help you with that. Valuation costs about 0.1% of the jewellery’s value.

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