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Published in Mint on 10th March 2015, Written by Abhishek Bondia
Is the no-claim bonus discount transferable if I decide to shift insurers?
—Pradyuman Sahay

Yes, it is possible to transfer the benefit of your no-claim bonus in a portability case. The receiving insurer will give you the continuity benefit on the entire sum assured, i.e., base sum assured plus no-claim bonus sum assured. Your new insurer will consider this total sum assured as base sum assured. So, even if you have a claim, the base sum assured will remain intact for future. However, do note that the receiving insurer will charge premium for the new sum assured. Continuation of the no-claim bonus will not be free of cost.
What will determine my health insurance premium? How does it change year after year? Does it change with my claims?
—Neha Arora

Your initial health insurance premium is based on your age, sum assured and the type of plan chosen. After you apply for health insurance, insurer may conduct medical tests.
If a pre-existing health problem, such as arthritis, is identified, the insurer may put a loading on the initial premium. The initial premium plus loading becomes the basis of premium.
As you grow older, premium will be charged only on the basis of age and proportionate medical loading, if any.
What if the hospital close to my residence doesn’t accept the cashless facility for a given mediclaim company?
—Shagufta Khanam

Every insurance company lists a network of hospitals with which it has a tie-up. Insurance companies extend a line of credit to their network hospitals. Based on this credit, hospitals offer cashless services to the respective insurer’s customers. If a hospital is not part of your insurer’s network, it will not be able to provide cashless claim settlement. However, you can pay the money upfront and later claim it as reimbursement.
My son got married recently. Can I take an insurance plan that covers maternity benefit immediately?
—Biswajit Roy

There are health insurance plans that offer maternity coverage. Typically, this benefit carries a waiting period of 2-4 years. Some recent plans have waiting period of as low as nine months. No individual plan today covers a pre-conceived maternity.
I have a small outlet in a shopping mall and have been asked to purchase several insurances such as fire, liability and workman compensation. How should I do this?
—T. Choudhary

Insurers package these requirements cost-effectively into a shopkeeper’s insurance. The main risks covered include property damage due to fire, earthquake, flooding and malicious damage, burglary, third-party liability if an injury takes place on premises, workman compensation and theft by employees.