Want the best quotes for health insurance? Use these tips
Health insurance is not a matter of choice; it is an essential requirement. It would be right to say that health insurance plans should be a key part of personal financial planning. But often, buying an insurance plan is a difficult process. From choosing health insurance plans to finding good insurance companies to ensuring you get the best price, it’s filled with complex decisions.
The insurance market in India is chock-a-bloc with options for plans, types of health insurance products and innovative solutions to healthcare needs. As a buyer, one would always want to ensure maximum coverage for self and family at an affordable and competitive price. So how does one get the best health insurance quotes every time? Consider these factors.
- Master the fundamentals of health insurance
- Compare plans
- Use online insurance calculator
- Look for special health insurance offers and discounts
- Look for recommendations
- Don’t miss out tax benefits
Master the fundamentals of health insurance
If you do not have knowledge about the way health insurance works, you will obviously feel overwhelmed by it. And it is fine. But everything can be learned and understood with just a little effort. Read about how health insurance works in India, what are the key features and factors, to begin with.
As you start grasping the basics, start advancing to more detailed knowledge – tax-saving factors, ways of paying premium, claim settlement processes, and more. Even though it may not be the most exciting subject, learning a little about it would always come in handy when you actually make a purchase.
It’s not always that a well-known insurance company with a high rating is enough to determine that a plan offered by that company would be good. You have to focus on what is good for you. As an insurance buyer, you would have to do your homework, too. If you want to select insurance plans with the most affordable quotes, compare health plans.
However, sifting through scores of policies available in the market and reading all the fine print is not the best way to approach the comparison of health insurance plans. In fact, that is not even feasible considering the constraints of time and resources.
Instead, you could do this:
Research online. Run an online search for what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for health insurance with a large sum insured, say Rs 1 crore, run a search specifically for that. If you’re looking to buy a family floater, try searching for insurers that provide family floaters.
There are numerous publications, blogs and websites that share information about the best insurance plans in the market. Read some articles on credible websites and don’t miss out on the dedicated insurance blogs. It will help you cut the noise and narrow down on a few options for starters. There are a number of insurance aggregators that offer such a comparison based on many customized parameters. You can make the best of these.
Once you narrow down on a few plans, compare just those plans manually. Go through each and every detail such as premium, sum insured, waiting period and the claim settlement ratio. You could create a comparative table to have a clear overview of those policies.
Once you’ve chosen a few plans, get in touch with an insurance representative or an agent to understand the pricing and the best possible rates you could get.
Use insurance calculation tools
The advancements in technology and the insurance sector’s rapid transformation has made it easy to not only find suitable options but also go a step further and calculate the numbers for a better assessment. Many insurance companies provide online aggregators to help customers improve their financial literacy when it comes to insurance calculations.
Look for special offers and discounts
The insurance market is competitive with a number of players vying for your attention. You can make the best of it. With numerous new insurance companies springing up, there is fierce competition. Insurers are continuously looking to provide better, cheaper and enhanced solutions to customers. The online insurance market is filled with innovative products and services. Moreover, insurers use the opportunity of special days, festivals and more, to offer discounted rates. They also run special promotion campaigns with extra benefits.
For e.g. insurance companies might offer a discounted rate for multi-policy purchase, full-payment discount, or a discount for multi-year renewal and premium payment. These are good opportunities to make insurance plan purchases and avail discounts. One way to avail discounts is also to ask for them as more insurers will go that extra mile to get a client.
Look for recommendations
It is easy to get lost in the sea of insurance products one finds online. Moreover, it’s not easy to trust a new insurance agent or any company that you have never bought from before. A good place to start is getting recommendations from friends and family members. Your trusted circle would never give you the wrong information. However, apart from intent, you must also look at the expertise of the advisor.
There is another aspect to this and you must understand that what worked for a friend might not work for you as well. Everyone’s needs are different and unique. Hence you must factor in that aspect. But if a friend recommends an insurer or a plan, it’s definitely worth checking it out. Of course, you must do your due diligence before signing up on the dotted line.
Don’t miss out the tax benefits
The premium you would pay for a policy is one way of looking at a plan’s pricing. But there are other ways, which affect the pricing factor, too. The tax benefit on insurance plans is a factor that can significantly bring down the cost of your plan.
Imagine you buy a health insurance plan for an annual premium of Rs 15,000. You are eligible to receive tax deductions under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act. You can get a tax deduction of Rs 15000. Hence, while you are paying premium, it is also helping you save money through tax deductions. This effectively reduces your cost of insurance. When you pay Rs.15,000 premiums and get back Rs.4500 as 30% tax rebate, you are effectively paying only a premium of Rs.11,500. That is another way to look at it.
In a nutshell
Experts warn that the cheapest policies may not be the best one. If someone is trying to sell a plan at a heavy discount, be cautious. Find out if there’s a catch in it. After all, the reason for investing in health insurance is financial security against healthcare and you do not want to get stuck with a bad purchase that will cost you more than you had imagined. To get the best quotes for health insurance plans, get in touch with us.
FAQs: Health Insurance Buying Tips
What is the best way to compare insurance plans?
Insurance plans must definitely be compared and the comparison must include different parameters. Some of the factors to begin with are: premium, sum insured, renewal age limit, expenses covered, exclusions, flexibility factor, claim settlement ratio, insurance company performance history and more.
The best way to carry out such comparison would be to read online publications, blogs and websites dedicated to finance and insurance. Look for resources that have expert opinion and are updated frequently to gather the best knowledge.
If you want to compare costs and premiums, take the help of online insurance premium calculators and aggregators. These might give you a good sense of the approximate costs and prices of different insurance plans.
A good way to compare plans is to look up each insurance company’s website and make note of the key features.
What are the best resources to learn about health insurance plans in India?
The Internet is full of information, or information overload if we may say. To find the right and most updated information about insurance plans may be a bit difficult with the amount of information available.
It is best to rely on credible sources of information when it comes to insurance plans. Try finding information in news publications such as Economic Times, Financial Times, Live Mint and more. Follow blogs written by finance and insurance experts. The websites of insurance companies are a good and trustworthy source, too. Look for government resources such as the IRDAI website and other publications.