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Published in Mint on 10th June 2014, Written by Kapil Mehta
I was told that online plans do not require a medical check-up. If I buy insurance without a check-up, will there be a problem at the time of claim?
—Deepesh Rathi

Online plans do require a medical check-up, especially if the sum assured is high. At times, for small sum assured, insurance companies issue insurance based on declaration and without extensive tests or documentation. I do not like these simplified products because they increase the possibility of repudiation. Buy insurance that is fully underwritten and needs medical tests.
I have a company health plan. If I want to increase the amount, how do I go about it?
—Lata Rai

Ask your employer to raise the sum assured. Offer to pay the additional premium yourself if required because company health plans typically have the best features. You could also buy a personal top-up health insurance that has a deductible in line with the amount of your company group insurance. This will cost-effectively increase the cover but not your dependence on the company.
My parents are covered by the Central Government Medical Scheme (CGHS). Should I include them as dependants in my company’s health insurance policy or should I take a separate policy for them?
—Amit K.

CGHS is a good insurance to have. It covers most illnesses including pre-existing conditions. However, you must bolster the plan by buying your parents individual cover. This enhancement will help them get top-end medical care without incurring out-of-pocket costs. Consider the example of cataract surgery. Most hospitals use a basic intra-ocular lens if you are covered by CGHS. To get a better quality lens, one needs to pay extra. A well selected personal health insurance will not have this constraint. The option of including parents in the company’s health insurance is also good. However, you will have to live with the possibility that the company may withdraw benefits or you may change jobs to a firm without parental cover.
I purchased marine insurance to transport some valuables from Mumbai to Pune. An item got damaged enroute to my home. On what basis can the insurer deny the claim?

A marine insurance clearly specifies the start and end destinations. If your insurance covers transit only till Pune warehouse and not your home, then the leg from the warehouse to your home is uninsured. The other reason for turning down a claim could be that the valuables were imported but you had not declared that.