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Published in Mint on 11th Nov 2014, Written by Abhishek Bondia
I have a Rs. 1-lakh health insurance cover from a private sector insurer and want to increase my cover to at least Rs. 5 lakh. Is it better to stay with the same company or should I look for a new insurer?
—Thomas Cherian

Assuming that you are satisfied with the product structure of the current insurer vis-a-vis room rent, disease wise restrictions and so on, it is better to enhance your sum assured with the current insurer itself. This will save you the hassle of porting your old policy. Some insurers do waive medical checks for enhancement, depending on age and medical conditions.
I am travelling abroad for a month with my family. I plan to purchase a travel insurance cover for the entire family. If I have to use the cover for a medical emergency, do I get cashless facility abroad as well or would I have to wait till I return to India to get reimbursement?
—Subhash Ghosh

It is possible to get cashless facility under travel insurance. Insurers typically have a tie-up with an international network of hospitals that provides this service.
I had a car in the name of my company that was carrying a no-claim bonus (NCB) of 35%. I have left the company and retained the car. Can I carry on with the NCB?
—Anjali Sharma

Yes, you can carry forward the NCB from company’s name to your name. You need to submit a letter from your employer that the car was being used by you and it has transferred the vehicle in your name. Thereafter, the insurer will transfer the NCB benefit to you
I had bought an unfurnished house about five years ago and insured it. Recently, I spent Rs.5 lakh on renovations. Is it possible to increase the sum assured accordingly?
—Gayathri Paniker

You can increase the sum assured during the policy term. You would need to endorse the higher sum assured in the policy and pay an extra premium for the remaining period of insurance.
At the time of enhancement, ensure proper classification of sum assured. If the Rs.5 lakh was spent in structural improvements, for instance, tiles, the sum assured should be classified under the ‘building’ section. If the enhancement came due to new contents, such as furniture, then put this under the ‘contents’ section.