6. Understand the premium calculation process
A premium is the sum you pay to the insurance company while buying an insurance policy. Although the formula to calculate one’s premium usually has a common formula, there are a few factors that may change while charging a premium. Some of the main factors are — the ‘sum assured’, the number of times you have used the policy and for how much. Talk to your insurance agent about the amount of premium you will have to pay per year and how the company will charge for various services.
7. Read the fine print (clauses)
A health insurance policy has a number of clauses – what could be called the ‘fine print’. Reading them well is very important. And if you do not understand them, do ask questions. For example: Read clauses related to the renewability of an insurance policy. This means that the policy will no longer hold good after a person attains a particular age. This could mean that you may not have a health insurance at the age of 70 or 75, when you need it the most. Here, choosing a policy that will cover you for life rather than one that will expire when you need it the most is advisable. If you have a pre-existing disease (for eg: diabetes), policies can be used only after a stipulated time period decided by the company. Also, if you are planning to start a family, ask the company about their maternity clause. Many companies do not cover costs of delivery or of any complications arising from that.
8. Go through reviews and compare policies
In the case of a medical emergency, it is important that you and your family have complete peace of mind when it comes to finances. Therefore, talk to your friends who might have the same policy, or read reviews about the policy you are about to buy. Another good tool is to compare policies. Knowing that the company takes care of your finances seamlessly is important for a smooth stay at the hospital and a stress free recovery.
9. Check flexibility of the policy
In the case of an illness, it is important that the company allows the insured person to have some flexibility in paying the premium for the amount used. A premium is recalculated at the end of a policy year and is increased depending on the amount the policy has been used. Therefore, it is important that the policy you choose allows you the leeway of paying older premium amount for some time, after which you can start paying the increased premium without interest or other charges levied on it.
10. Check if the company offers a no-claim bonus or discount
If you haven’t claimed any insurance in the policy year, some companies offer either a bonus amount or a discount on the premium in the next year. This is called a ‘no-claim’ bonus or discount. This is a good feature and also an incentive to keep yourself fit and healthy. These tips will help to guide you in the right direction when purchasing health insurance.