When do you get overseas health cover

Published in Mint on, Dec 25 2012, Written by Kapil Mehta

I am getting married next year. Are there plans to cover weddings? If yes, what are these and where can I buy them from?
—Remya

My first reaction to your question was that the best wedding insurance is to find a spouse who will happily share the risks and rewards of life with you. However, I decided to dig deeper and spoke with a few insurers. My conclusion is that wedding insurance is not a well-established or practical product in India. The risks that you can cover include damages to the venue due to fire, earthquake and riots. Event cancellation if a head of state dies or riots take place in the vicinity of the venue can also be covered.
Event cancellation due to unseasonal rain, death or illness of a close family member, or political unrest and bandhs are typically excluded.
Wedding insurance is better established overseas where all the risks described above can be routinely insured, including the cost incurred if the bride or groom develops cold feet.

We are arranging a new year’s party . Can we insure the event?
—Nitin

You can purchase a standard event cancellation policy. This is similar to the wedding insurance described in the earlier query. It will cost you about Rs.25,000 to cover event cancellation and venue damage costs of Rs.15 lakh each.

My son is going to Dubai for work. Should I take a health insurance for him here or is it better to take it from Dubai? Also which company serves better abroad? How can I calculate the amount that will be required abroad for medical needs?
—Sanjay

Insurers will provide overseas health cover to your son only if he is in Dubai for six months or less. This will cost about Rs.7,000 for a health cover of $200,000 (about Rs.1 crore). Medical costs overseas are high and, therefore, I would recommend a cover of $100,000 or more. Many insurers offer good quality products and services in this segment. If your son is in Dubai for a long-term assignment, then he will need to procure health insurance in Dubai. Sometimes employers also provide a health cover.

I have bought a property in Delhi and want to insure that. How do we decide the sum assured?
—Ravi

Determine the cost of reconstructing your home if it gets damaged. As a rule of thumb, I assume Rs.3,000 per sq. ft for luxury apartments, Rs.2,000 for normal construction and Rs.1,500 for low-end, temporary constructions. Multiplying these rates with the covered area will give you the sum assured that you must take. The sum assured should be considerably less than what you paid for the property because the cost of land is not insured. Also, make sure that the property insurance is done at reinstatement value so that your actual costs are paid at the time of a claim rather than a notional book value.

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