Insurance combi-plans that offer life insurance and health cover under one roof has been in news recently with IndiaFirst Life Insurance tying up with Star Health Insurance to introduce a suite of five plans that provide the dual cover. There are other such products in the market offered jointly by life and health insurance companies.
If you are looking buy both life cover and health insurance, are these combi-plans a good option for you? Insurance experts believe that these plans may not offer the best value-for-money and may be good in very limited instances. They say that the buyer has greater flexibility in choosing plan options if they go for separate cover for life and health.
“In combi-plans you don’t have much scope to manoeuvre the sum insured and cover available. On the contrary, if you buy separate covers, you have the independence of choosing the best available cover based on your need and resource,” Saroj Satapathy, CEO, Ideal Insurance Brokers Pvt Ltd told FeMoney.
Satapathy advises buyers to take a good look at the benefits provided before purchasing a combi plan to assess whether they suit your needs. “One should look at one’s needs to buy a combi product and also the cover amount. Sometimes it may be much lower than your requirement and gives you a false sense of protection. It is also wise to seek advice on the pricing differentiation and also availability of better cover in market,” he said.
Yashish Dahiya, co-founder and CEO, Policybazaar.com agrees. “You need to assess both products individually to see benefits and whether they fit your needs. They should meet your requirement. Should should avoid them if they don’t make sense as individual plans,” Dahiya says.
He says that the policy buyer should understand that these combi plans are not one product but a bundle of two products. “For an uninitiated, this is not a joint plan but a bundled product. This plan doesn’t have a joint offering, but individual pricing and renewability, and they are just put together in one packet. These plans were brought about because they were complimentary in nature and agents don’t need to sell two plans for two risk covers. So basically they were launched because of ease of sale, renewability and to leverage on the stronger partner,” says Dahiya.
On the pricing issue, Satapathy says combi-plans may work out slightly cheaper but that should not be the main criteria for purchasing them. “Combi-plans sometimes have discount built in but it is mostly done for ease of availing the covers through one window. There will not be a huge difference in price. These plans need to bought only when there is need and not because they are available at a lower price,” he said.