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Published in Mint on 8 December, 2015, Written by Abhishek Bondia
My family consists of me (32), my wife (30), my father (64) and my mother (60). I am looking for a health insurance plan for all of us. Should I go for family floater or separate policy for myself and my wife, and a separate one for parents? My annual income is Rs.8-10 lakh a year.
—Jerry Silva

The insurance needs for you and your parents would be significantly different. You should consider a plan with maternity benefits, whereas your parents should look at a plan that provides an annual health check-up. Most plans would apply co-pay if the first-time enrollees are above the age of 60. Also, the propensity to claim for your parents will be relatively higher. If all of you are covered under one plan, in case of a claim, the whole family will lose the no-claim bonus cover. Keeping all the above in mind, you should buy a separate cover for you and your wife, and one for parents. Look at the Mint Mediclaim Ratings ( to choose plans best suited for the respective age group.
I am relocating from Mumbai to Delhi. Can I buy insurance for my household items that are transported by a mover and packer company?
—Ramesh Apte

Yes, you can purchase a transit insurance policy. You should ask the insurer to issue a single transit policy and clearly specify the value of goods, exact address of pick-up and drop points and nature of goods. Generally, for used or second-hand items, insurance companies issue a limited coverage policy. Such a policy will cover damages arising from accidents. But damages due to loading or unloading of goods, internal movement during transit, and pilferage will not be covered.
Does smoking affect my health insurance premium?
—Jatin Bose

Smoking affects your health but may not impact your premium. Unlike in life insurance, health insurance premiums do not vary if you smoke. However, if due to smoking you have developed a chronic problem such as weaker lungs, cardiovascular issues and so on, the insurer may ask for a loading over and above the base premium, or reject the insurance. If you are in good health, then the insurance will be issued at standard rates.
My insurance company rejected a fire claim by my office because the insurance was taken by the maintenance agency. Can the insurer do that?
—Kunal Sharma

Insurance has to be taken by the person who owns the property. This is the principle of ‘insurable interest’. The maintenance agency does not have an insurable interest in the property, which is why the insurance company’s stand is valid. The exception to this would have been if the maintenance agency had specifically recorded you as an ‘insured’ in the policy. In that case you could be paid for damages. Based on similar logic, tenants cannot buy insurance on the landlord’s property.