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Sanjib

Sanjib Jha  | Answer  |Ask -

Insurance Expert - Answered on Jul 28, 2022

Sanjib Jha is the CEO of Coverfox Insurance. His expertise includes health and auto insurance. He has over 22 years of experience in the financial sector. He has completed his post-graduation from the Institute of Company Secretaries of India.... more
Harinarayanan Question by Harinarayanan on Jul 28, 2022Hindi
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I am a mild smoker aged 47 years. I am already having medical insurance for the past 10 years. When I tried to include the concept "smoker" in the renewal application, the agent does not accept and want us to lie with the insurance company. In view of the above the real truth is not disclosed. In this situation, whether any claim particularly related to heart or BP or hospitalization will be affected? Whether full claim will be affected? Please clarify sir.

If I particularly want to include the smoker in the application, whether the premium will be high?

Ans: Hi Harinarayanan, to answer your question if it will affect your claim settlement, yes it will and I suggest that you should declare and be transparent with the insurer.

If you have started smoking after the purchase of the policy, then at the time of renewal you should declare it to the insurer. In fact, any material change in activities between renewals should be declared to the insurer; it is then up to them to either adjust your premium accordingly or accept it without a change in the premium amount.

DISCLAIMER: The content of this post by the expert is the personal view of the rediffGURU. Users are advised to pursue the information provided by the rediffGURU only as a source of information to be as a point of reference and to rely on their own judgement when making a decision.
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Recently, a top-notch insurer rejected my mediclaim for not informing the insurer that I was a non-habitual smoker. While getting the insurance policy I had stated that I was not a smoker but somehow they found out from my friends and family, or not sure from where, that I was a smoker. I was admitted to a hospital for a lung infection recently and they rejected the claim saying that I falsified my personal info. Under what other grounds can insurance companies reject claims?
Ans: Insurance companies can reject claims for various reasons beyond falsified information like undisclosed smoking habits.
Here are eight common grounds for claim rejection. Please do not ignore these if you want your claim settlement process to happen smoothly:

1. Pre-existing conditions: If the policyholder has a pre-existing medical condition that wasn’t disclosed or was misrepresented at the time of purchasing the policy, the insurer might reject claims related to that condition.

2. Policy exclusions: Certain treatments, procedures, or conditions may not be covered by your insurance policy. If your claim falls under these exclusions, it can be rejected.

3. Non-disclosure of information: Besides smoking habits, any undisclosed information relevant to your health or lifestyle (such as pre-existing illnesses, risky hobbies, etc.) that could impact the policy terms might lead to claim rejection.

4. Lapsed or non-payment of premiums: If you fail to pay premiums within the grace period or if your policy has lapsed due to non-payment, claims during that period might get rejected.

5. Policy limits or maximums: If the claimed amount exceeds the policy’s maximum coverage limit, the insurer might reject the excess amount.

6. Fraud or misrepresentation: Any fraudulent claims, providing false information intentionally, or submitting falsified documents can lead to claim rejection.

7. Waiting periods: Some policies have waiting periods for specific conditions or treatments. If a claim is made within this waiting period, it might be rejected.

8. Policy violations: If the claim is in violation of policy terms or conditions, it can be rejected. For instance, seeking treatment from a non-network provider in cases where network providers are mandated.

If your claim has been rejected, review your policy documents thoroughly to understand the grounds on which the rejection was based. It’s also worth considering appealing the decision if you believe the rejection was made in error or if you have additional information to provide. Consulting with a legal or insurance professional might also help navigate the appeals process or understand your rights in such situations.

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Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on May 12, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - Mar 12, 2024Hindi
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iam holding a health insurance policy from bajaj for 15 lakhs. iam told that one has to disclose ailments if any, while taking policy. i was suffering from high bp when i took policy, but do not remember whether the same had been dic sclosed or not at the time of taking policy. the policy is more than 3 years old, and no claim has been made under this. will in the future my claim for any heart related ailements that i might suffer , gets rejecte by company on grounds that bp was not disclosed while taking policy. 12.03.2024
Ans: It's essential to be transparent about pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure (BP) when applying for a health insurance policy. While I can't provide a definitive answer without reviewing your policy documents and the specific terms and conditions, here's some guidance:

Review Policy Documents: Take some time to carefully review your health insurance policy documents. Look for any clauses related to non-disclosure of pre-existing conditions at the time of policy issuance.

Contact the Insurer: If you're unsure whether you disclosed your high BP when taking the policy, consider reaching out to the insurance company directly. They can provide clarity on the information provided during the application process.

Grace Period: Since your policy is more than 3 years old and you haven't made any claims, it's possible that any non-disclosure issues may be considered lapsed due to the grace period typically provided by insurers.

Future Claims: In the event that you develop heart-related ailments in the future, the insurance company may investigate whether the non-disclosure of high BP was intentional or unintentional. If it's determined that the non-disclosure didn't affect the underwriting decision or the terms of the policy, your claim may still be honored.

Seek Professional Advice: If you're concerned about the potential impact of non-disclosure on future claims, consider consulting with a legal or insurance expert who can provide personalized guidance based on your specific situation and policy terms.

Ultimately, it's crucial to maintain transparency with your insurer and ensure that all relevant information, including pre-existing conditions, is disclosed at the time of policy application to avoid any complications during claim processing.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP,

Chief Financial Planner,

www.holisticinvestment.in

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Hi team, I have a health insurance since 2011. No claims as of now. I don't have BP or Diabetes as of now. the insurance company is NIA. What if in due course of time i develop some lifestyle ailment like BP or diabetes and it goes unchecked. will it affect my claims after that?
Ans: That's a great question! It's fantastic that you've been proactive with your health and maintained good health so far. Let's break down how pre-existing conditions and health insurance claims work:

No Claims and Pre-existing Conditions:

Good news! Having no claims history generally looks good to insurance companies. It shows you've been responsible with your health.
Pre-existing conditions are medical conditions you have before buying health insurance. These might affect your coverage or premiums in the future.
Lifestyle Ailments and Claims:

Lifestyle diseases like BP and diabetes can develop over time. If they go unchecked, they might become pre-existing conditions.
The impact on claims depends on your specific policy and when the condition developed. Some plans have waiting periods for pre-existing conditions. This means you might have to wait a certain time before coverage kicks in for those conditions.
Here's what you can do:

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: This is key! Keep up the good work by eating healthy, exercising, and getting regular checkups.
Review your Policy Wording: Look at the section on pre-existing conditions and waiting periods. If unsure, call your NIA customer service for clarification.
Talk to a CFP Professional: A Certified Financial Planner can help you review your health insurance coverage and see if it aligns with your future health needs.
Remember: Early detection and management of lifestyle diseases can make a big difference. Taking care of your health now can benefit you in the long run, both physically and financially.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP,

Chief Financial Planner,

www.holisticinvestment.in

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