Buying health insurance from a bank as its account holder, should you opt for it

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New Delhi | Published: October 25, 2016 1:52:14 PM

When you opened your bank account or went to the branch to transact business, you might have been offered a health insurance along with your account. Most banks have tie up with insurance companies to offer health insurance to their account-holders.

Experts believe buying insurance as part of deal as a bank customer should be avoided. (Reuters)Experts believe buying insurance as part of deal as a bank customer should be avoided. (Reuters)

When you opened your bank account or went to the branch to transact business, you might have been offered a health insurance along with your account. Most banks have tie up with insurance companies to offer health insurance to their account-holders.

You must have wondered whether you should go for the offer? What are the benefits and disadvantages of buying a health policy along as a bank customer instead of looking for choices in the open market?

Experts believe buying insurance as part of deal as a bank customer should be avoided.

“People should not rely on health insurance policy from banks as they are limited and won’t be able to provide accurate cover. There are several benefits that you will not be able to get under a health policy offered by the banks. It is good to purchase the same from the health insurer directly as they will be able to provide better options at the flexible premium. By purchasing the same from the insurer the claim procedure will be much more easier as well,” says Naval Goel, founder and CEO, PolicyX.com.

Alok Bhatnagar, co-Founder and CEO, Easypolicy.com, agrees. “Generally banks sell one or two of their preferential products from select insurers. Selling from limited options will always be biased and will never be based on a customer’s specific needs. Above all, getting services from banks for insurance, especially post sales, has always been a grave concern for customers in India,” he said.

Bhatnagar said buying from banks may deny consumers the facility to choose the best-suited product. “It is better to compare various plans before one buys and since banks do not offer any comparison service, health insurance in particular should be avoided as some of the parameters like hospital network covered in the plan, amongst other factors, are very important to know before one finalizes a plan. The mix and match of one’s needs and the features of health plan being selected is of utmost importance while buying health insurance,” he said.

Naval Goel lists out the pros and cons of buying insurance as a bank customer:

Pros:

Covers cost of health checkup after three years of policy

Low rate of premiums

Covers pre-hospitalisation and post-hospitalisation expenses for first 30 days and 60 days, respectively. Covers ambulance charges up to Rs 1,000.

Cover maternity benefits (up to 5 per cent of sum insured) from the second year.

The claim settlement is carried out directly between the customer and the insurer

Cons:

You have to have a savings account in a particular bank to avail the benefits

Chances of the tie-up breaking in future

Limits on renewable age

Most banks offer policies with a fixed sum assured. You cannot choose the sum assured that you want

Doesn’t cover primary diagnostic, treatment charges etc.

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