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Published in Livemint. Written by Abhishek Bondia
I have a garage. My friend recently asked me if he could store some cartons in it, and I agreed. They contain expensive artefacts and electronic goods. Even though I don’t own the items, I want to get them insured, since they are valuable and left in my care. What would be the ideal way to insure the items? Should I buy an insurance cover or ask my friend to insure them?
—Samarth Ojha
Insurance can be bought only by an individual who has an insurable interest in the goods being insured. This interest basically defines whether the policyholder would be likely to make a financial loss if the goods were damaged. If the goods are being stored in your garage, you can buy an all-risk insurance policy only if you would be held financially liable for the damage or loss of the goods. If you are storing the goods only as a gesture of friendship, your friend should ideally buy an insurance policy to cover the goods since he would stand to incur a financial loss in case of any damage or burglary.
In the policy that he buys, he should get the “goods held in trust” clause endorsed. This clause acknowledges that the goods are not in direct custody of the owner but given to a third party for supervision.
I am 63 years old, and I have had a family floater health insurance policy of ₹6 lakh since 2012, which covers my wife as well. So far, we have not made any claims. However, I spend around ₹2,200 on regular medicines every month. My premium for the policy is ₹16,000 per annum. I am considering switching out of my policy since I don’t make full use of it. Are there any non-hospitalization policies that cover frequent consulting expenses and clinical examinations that I opt for, or should I continue with my current policy?
—N.C. Bose
There are a few health insurance policies, which cover expenses incurred on doctors’ consultations, investigative tests and medicines on an outpatient basis. Such plans have a separate sub-limit for OPD (outpatient department) expenses. In such plans, on a sum insured of ₹6 lakh, the typical OPD limit would be around ₹5,000. Some plans offer OPD coverage of ₹20,000 and above, but only for a sum insured above ₹40 lakh.
Plans with OPD benefits are more expensive compared to standard medical insurance plans since insurers assume a very high utilization of the OPD benefit. So the additional pricing charged for the benefit is close to the OPD limit.
So, in your case, it is not recommended that you switch your plan to cover OPD expenses.
However, your sum insured seems to be on the lower side for hospitalization expenses. In case of a major surgery, the sum insured will prove inadequate. You may consider buying a super top-up insurance policy. For a ₹10 lakh sum insured with a ₹5 lakh deductible, the premium for you and your wife would be around ₹11,000 plus taxes for a top-up insurance plan.