Planning to Buy Another Insurance Policy for COVID-19 Treatment?

Since the launch of Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak policies, I have been receiving many queries if an individual can purchase multiple health insurance policies to cover the costs of hospitalisation and treatment for COVID-19. That is why I thought of addressing your queries in the form of an article. This could be a crucial question to many of you with the shooting number of COVID-19 cases in the country. 

None of us can even guess the number of days one needs to be hospitalised or the expenses to be borne as the co-morbidities in addition to COVID-19 can make things challenging. Also, the choice of getting treated at a government or a private hospital, or even a facility centre can be a game-changer when it comes to medical bills.

Here’s what you all have been waiting to know: you can have multiple insurance policies and claim from them to cover your medical bills. I am sure this is quite relieving! Numerous insurance policies, here, can refer to an insurance policy from your employer plus one that covers you and your family, plus a freshly bought Corona Kavach/Corona Rakshak may be. You are allowed to use them all for a single claim.

You can purchase more than one insurance policy from different insurers if you think the sum assured by one insurance policy is insufficient to cover the medical costs involved. In case you have two indemnity policies, you can choose the insurance policy to make the first claim. If the claim amount is higher than the sum assured in the first policy, you can go ahead and claim the balance amount from the second policy.

Prerequisites to claim from more than one policy

This is an essential aspect if you are planning to purchase more than one insurance policy. When you fill the proposal forms to buy the additional insurance policy, the insurer will ask you for disclosure of any existing policy. If the policies are from different insurers, you need to fill up the details regarding your current policies if any. 

Also, it would be best if you informed them regarding the new policy you bought to the previous insurer as well. That means, both the insurers must be aware of both the policies you hold. If you fail to do so, you may have to face the rejection of a claims application due to non-disclosure of policies since it is considered to be a violation of the insurance contract.

Most insurance policies come with a contribution clause that says if an insured person has more than one policy, all the policies will contribute equally to the sum insured in the case of a claim. To facilitate this, you must procure the claim settlement summary and original medical bills from the first insurer and submit them to the second insurer to apply for claims.

Also Read: Term Insurance vs ULIPs – Which One Should You Choose?

Illustration to understand better

Consider that you have two insurance policies—Policy A and Policy B. The sum assured on the first policy is Rs.5 lakh and that of the second policy is Rs.3 lakh. If you happen to claim a medical bill of Rs.4 lakh, you can easily claim it only from the insurer of Policy A as the bill amount is well within the sum assured of Policy A. 

In case the bill amount goes up to Rs.7 lakh, claiming it only with the insurer of Policy A will not cover the expenses fully. In that case, you have to approach both the insurers. Both the insurers can come together to settle the claim in equal proportion or as specified in the contribution clause you have signed.

How to choose among policies for claims?

  1. Take out all your policy documents and check the total claim amount against the sum insured of the policies. 
  2. Check for deductibles clauses in the policy documents. It refers to the clause that says you will handle a fixed amount of deduction. If the claim amount goes beyond this amount, the insurer will pitch in to pay.
  3. Check the co-payment clause in the policy documents. The clause states that the policyholder will bear a percentage of the claim amount.
  4. Try to find a policy that does not include the co-payment or the deductible clause to claim from first. This is to avoid any payments that you have to bear from your pocket.
  5. Check the older policy first since the waiting period, and pre-existing exclusions would have been completed, and claims will be processed straight away.
  6. If you have two policies—one from the employer and one bought for self, we suggest you claim the one from the employer first. If that policy can alone serve the purpose, you can remain at an advantage as the no-claim bonus on your policy will continue.
  7. If both the policies offer cashless hospitalisation, you can choose the one with the higher sum insured while getting admitted to the hospital and pay any excess from your pocket at the moment. You can then get it reimbursed from the second insurer.
  8. If either of the policies does not offer cashless benefits, choose the one with a cashless facility while getting admitted. 

There is indeed no cap on the number of policies you can buy. However, it is advised that you stick to a maximum of two policies, i.e. one base policy along with a top-up policy, with a sufficient sum insured. This can be up and above the policy offered by your employer. Having multiple insurance policies can confuse at the time of claim application and settlement.

For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, please contact the writer at apoorva.n@cleartax.in

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