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Last Updated : Jul 25, 2012 03:22 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Right time to buy health insurance

ASAP (as soon as possible) – These four letters will more or less convey the explanation of this entire article. Many people use their “current” good health as a rationale not to buy a health insurance policy immediately.

Deepak Yohannan

ASAP (as soon as possible)- These four letters will more or less convey the explanation of this entire article. Many people use their “current” good health as a rationale not to buy a health insurance policy immediately. And some who have bought it are constantly pondering if it is worth renewing the policy every year. There is a very small section of the society who treats a health insurance policy as a wise investment and understands the merits of having one.

Understanding the concept of insurance
This example should throw some light on the importance of consistently having a health insurance cover. Imagine yourself to be a businessman shipping goods to an overseas market. The goods are worth Rs.25 lacs and the ship will take 10 days to deliver your goods to the buyer. If there is an accident which damages or destroys your goods then you will have to bear the loss of 25 lacs on your own. Contrary to this, if you pay a small fee (say Rs.10,000) towards insuring the goods then the insurance company will compensate you for the entire sum of Rs. 25 lacs in the event of loss. Even though you cannot put a price tag to your body or health, you can at least estimate the cost of treatment in case something were to go wrong with your health. In such a scenario the small fee paid towards your health insurance policy will help you in protecting a large sum of your hard-earned money.

A good health insurance policy protects us from the sudden, unexpected costs of hospitalisation or critical illnesses which would otherwise make a major dent into our savings or even lead to borrowing. Medical emergency seldom comes with a prior warning and in today’s time we are exposed to many health hazards. The cost of healthcare is very high and there is no running away from it. The only best solution to manage it is by taking a comprehensive and affordable health insurance. All of us should buy health insurance for ourselves and our entire family.


Delay in buying can be harmful
Many people realise the importance of health insurance after they have experienced some health issue or illness. Many start seeking for a health cover after the age of 50-55 years since health issues start cropping up at an older age. Please understand that insurance is a tool to transfer ‘unknown’ and ‘uncertain’ risk from the individual to the insurance company. An insurance company will also weigh the risk and then decide if it wants to extend an insurance cover to you or not. If an insurance company knows that you have a specific illness or condition then they may refuse to give you a policy. Usually, insurance companies are hesitant to issue fresh policies to people above age 55 years because of the risk associated with old age. And therefore, beyond a point the choices for a customer to buy a health insurance are limited and s/he is forced to buy from whatever is available or compromise on some of the features.

Act Now
Do not wait for any accident or condition to surface which forces you to go out seeking for a health insurance. Moreover, you do not want to take hasty decisions for an important purchase like insurance. Also, people who have a group policy or an employer-provided health cover, should take an individual policy in their name and establish a direct relationship with a health insurance company. The premiums and benefits offered to a group policy can be altered without individual consent. Company-provided health insurance benefits end the moment you are out of the organization.

Please remember that we live in a world of uncertainties and a seemingly small condition at times can turn into a major one. In such times of medical emergencies, a good health insurance policy can keep you financial secure. So no matter what your age is and how good your health is, “Now” is the time to buy a health insurance policy for yourself.

The author is CEO of MyInsuranceClub.com and can be reach at deepak@myinsuranceclub.com

First Published on Jul 25, 2012 03:14 pm