In insurance parlance, burglary and theft are not the same

 Published in Mint on, December 24 2013, Written by Kapil Mehta

Which is better—an individual policy or a family floater plan and why?
—Amit

Family floater plans are best if both spouses have almost similar age and are in good health. Typically, family floater insurance is priced based on the eldest person’s age. If other members of the family are much younger, then costs can be reduced by purchasing individual insurance. Also, if one family member has poor health then the insurer can decline the plan for the entire family. In case of individual applications at least other family members will get covered in a timely manner.

Do health insurance policies only cover the treatment done in hospitals?
—Kanchan Midya

Health insurance often covers two kinds of treatments outside a hospital. First, medicines consumed or diagnostic tests conducted 30 days before and 60 days after hospitalization are covered. Second, there may be a provision for domiciliary treatment, i.e. treatment at home if a person is not fit to go to the hospital or if hospital space is not available. The specific provisions could vary a bit from plan to plan.

Can a person living on rent take a householder’s policy?
—Gurpreet

Yes, but insure only those items that belong to you—the household contents. There is no point covering the house structure as that is typically the landlord’s liability.

I am 40 years old with type 1, insulin-dependent diabetes. However, I am quite healthy and exercise regularly. Can I buy a health insurance policy?
—Hemant Singhania

Unfortunately your health insurance options are limited. Most insurers do not cover type 1 diabetes in individual plans. If you own or work in a company then consider buying a group medical plan for the company. This can cover you with immediate effect. Alternately, a few banks offer health insurance if you have a savings account with them. This is also a cost-effective way for you to access health insurance.

I was recently told that in general insurance, terms such as burglary and theft mean different things? Can you throw some light on the same?
—J. Asthana

Burglary is when a premise is forcibly broken open and items are stolen. Theft, however, does not have forced entry. Typically, theft is an inside job: someone helps himself to a few items from your home; or an employee walks away with a laptop. Theft is more commonplace than burglary and so relatively expensive to insure. If you are buying home or office insurance, make sure that both theft and burglary are covered.

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