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Published in Mint on, Mar 12 2013, Written by Kapil Mehta
I purchased my car two years ago. My insurance policy lapsed a month ago. However, the insurance company is not allowing me to renew the policy as there is a dent on the car. I had not claimed for the damage. Can the insurance company do this? What should I do?

Before I suggest a solution, let me share the insurer’s perspective. It is fairly common for car owners to hide damages in order to get a no-claim discount. The claim is made once the policy is renewed. Even if the damage is disclosed (as in your case), car owners sometimes mechanically damage their car further so that they can claim insurance for repair. As a result of these issues, insurers tend to be sensitive to insuring damaged cars.
The simplest approach for you would be to call another insurer. When the surveyor comes to inspect the vehicle, give them a written declaration that you will not claim damages for the pre-existing dent. That should work and get you the insurance.
I have a car insurance. I have misplaced one of my car keys and am keen to get one made locally as it will cost less. Will the insurer have any problem with that?

Absence of original keys is one of the main reasons why motor burglary claims get denied. You must email your insurer about your intention to get a locally made key. Ensure you get an acknowledgement to your email before going ahead and getting a duplicate key made.
Are dental surgeries and treatments covered under health insurance policies?
—Poornima Sharma

Generally, dental surgeries and treatment are not covered, unless required due to an accident or cancer. Cosmetic dental surgery is almost always excluded.
A few insurers are tentatively experimenting with dental benefits but these kick in after the policy has been in force for a few years. The sum assured is restricted and the benefit is provided only for X-rays, extractions, composite fillings or root canal treatment.
Are there health insurance policies that cover ayurvedic treatment? If I want allopathic treatment for the same disease later, will the insurance company accept that claim as well?

Several insurers now offer cover for ayurvedic treatment. However, I find the cover of limited use because it requires hospitalization in an ayurvedic hospital and generally has sub-limits of Rs.25,000 or lower. This is an issue because in most cases, ayurvedic treatment does not require hospitalization and even if it does, the sub-limits are too low to be effective.
The insurers will pay for your second hospitalization if you have not exceeded the sum insured or disease-wise sub-limit.