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Money Aug 21, 2013

Do yourself a favour, buy your own health insurance policy

By Bindisha Sarang

The auto sector has been in a slump for a while now. But another sector which has felt the heat of slowing down auto sales is the insurance industry. With auto insurance sales drying up quickly, insurance companies are now focusing on other general insurance offerings such as health, fire and home insurance, notes a report in the Hindustan Times yesterday.

Numbers show that while auto insurance accounts for 46 percent of the total business of general insurance, health stands at 26 percent and fire at 10 percent, says the report. This means, insurance companies will now aggressively market health, fire and house policies. There is a good possibility that you might get a pesky call from an insurance agent, trying to sell you a health insurance policy.

Getty Images

Getty Images

Why you should buy: We have always told you to be wary of insurance agents because some have been known to mis-sell. But that does not mean, you need to totally dismiss what they have to offer. That is because relying only on the employer to meet insurance needs is utter foolishness.

Change of job/ job loss: Look at the economic environment of the country and you will realise that people are getting pink slips in almost every sector. If you rely on employer's policy, and God forbid, you lose your job, you will be left without a medical cover. Now suppose you are just hoping jobs. What will happen if you fall sick between the two jobs?

Other issues with employer's policy: Another reason to have your own insurance is that now more and more companies are stopping coverage for parents. Buying a family floater or even a senior citizens insurance policy will do to meet the need to insure you parents. Read this Firstpost story here.

Not covered:"Employer's cover are specifically designed for the group. And there could be exclusions on the cover, which employees don't know off. Nearly 99 percent employees don't know about the finer details of their cover which the employee offers," saysDeepak Yohannan, CEO, Myinsuarncclub.So there is a good possibility that your particular ailment is not covered by the group policy. In such situations, your own policy will come to your rescue.

Portability: If you need to port your medical insurance policy to another insurer which offers better benefits, you could do so with your individual cover. "Portability could be an issue in case of the group cover,"Yohanan says.

In short, like it or not, buying your own health cover for self and family has become necessary. We suggest that you buy an individual insurance policy or a family floater policy as per your need. Next, look into buying a serious disease disability policy, an accidental death-cum-disability insurance. But if you can't afford the latter policies, at least buy the former.

by Bindisha Sarang

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