New Delhi, March 19: With more than 30 companies offering different types of health insurance plan the choice has got broader like never before for a buyer. With so many options to go through one often feels lost thinking which policy should be bought over the other. If you also feel the same here are a few quick questions to ask before buying a health insurance policy to ensure you buy the right policy.

  1. What does the plan cover?

There are different kinds of health insurance plans that are available in the market ranging from basic hospitalization cover, a critical illness plan to specific disease plans. The first question to ask is what your policy will cover. If it is your first health insurance plan always go for a basic hospitalization cover. After covering hospitalization needs, you can add a critical illness plan as a second layer of protection. Under basic indemnity policy expenses are reimbursed for the actual hospital bills. In case of critical illness plans a lump sum amount is paid on the diagnosis of a listed critical illness.

2. How long is the waiting period?

Pre-existing illnesses do not get covered from the day one of the policy. Pre-existing illnesses are covered only are the completion of waiting period that can be maximum upto 4 years but there are companies that have waiting period as short as two years. If you already suffering from an illness at the time of buying a policy do ask your agent about the waiting period.

3. Is there waiting period for selected illnesses?

Some policies do not cover certain diseases before the expiry of initial few years even if there are not pre-existing illnesses. Before signing on the dotted lines ask your agent if there is any time exclusion clause. Always, read the policy wordings carefully to cut out any last minute surprises.

4. Is there a No claim bonus?

For every claim free year you earn no claim bonus in the form of increased sum insured. It can be as low as 5% and as high as 100%. Do understand how it will be added in your policy as low cost claim could be avoided in favour of high sum insured you can get the next year.

5.What is the claim settlement ratio?

Servicing of claim is the biggest moment of truth for any policyholder. If the claim settlement ratio of the company is high it tells a lot about how it treat its customers. So, before buying a policy check out how has been the claim settlement ratio of the company over the last few years.