An insurance guide for senior citizens

Posted by Hannah Punitha on Tue, Mar 9, 2010  
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People above 55 years are categorized as elderly. They would need an insurance agent's services most during this period, especially when there is a claim because a lot of running around has to be done.

What a senior citizen can do

Some standalone health insurance companies like the STAR health insurance company sells products exclusively for senior citizens. Approach them for a cover, and if refused, question them.

Secondly seek your agent's advice and if required, approach the regulator. However, some companies may refuse cover as the risks are too high for them to underwrite.

Bajaj Allianz has also introduced Silver Health, aimed at senior citizens. See if it suits your needs.

Some companies also offer products that have limited hospital coverage at a higher cost.

Some agents suggest that insurance companies are more comfortable with their mediclaim as part of a package for the entire family and this arrangement includes senior citizens as well.

If there is no claim and no hospitalization reported in the initial years some private insurance companies also provide a cover by excluding pre-existing diseases for a specific period (generally five years) or permanently.

Certified Financial Planner Gaurav Mashruwalla explains some other options. "Find out where your employer has taken a group cover for employees. You can take a cover from that company as they typically allow the employees to continue with the cover by allowing them to pay the premium even after he or she retires."

The other option is to become a part of a group of individuals that is already covered under a group policy. This group could be an association of people or even your neighbourhood club, which has taken a cover for all its members. Lastly, if nothing works, plan and start saving for a possible rainy day.

7 Tips to Remember

  • Don't wait to fall sick buy a cover at an early age;
  • Question the agent and find out the details of coverage and other restrictions
  • If you are not convinced, take up the matter with the IRDA
  • Evaluate some private insurance products specifically designed for older people
  • Take a limited hospital cover

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